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Monday, February 23, 2015

Jews vs. Aliens

It's not properly out until March 17, but I have a short story in a new collection called Jews vs. Aliens. (There's also a companion volume, Jews vs. Zombies, which will be released at the same time.) My story is called "The Ghetto," and I will try not to give anything away but it's about an alien abduction in Crown Heights. And it was just featured on BoingBoing, which for a very small percentage of the population is roughly equivalent of getting a Nobel Prize in Weirdness. Oh, and here's the cover.

My favorite-person-ever (and Big Bang Theory producer) Eric Linus Kaplan also has a story, and so do a bunch of other wonderful people. And the whole batch is edited by Rebecca Levene and Lavie Tidhar, that latter of whom might be the most bitingly satirical and wise Israeli expat science fiction writer ever to exist. Not that there's much competition, but if there was, he'd wipe them out like a bunch of Space Invaders.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Squeezing Art into Life

Hey! I've been super delinquent about posting. But not about writing, I promise. Finishing a novel, and writing a new children's book, and the regular scribbles. And this.

Basically, Alan told me this story, and I knew I needed to do something with it. The other night, I called him up and spent two hours typing what he said -- not polishing his sentences so they sounded more like mine, not cutting out the prepositions and the passive verbs. It felt good. It felt honest in a way I haven't written in a while, to just take another person's voice and mivatel yourself (um, nullify yourself) to it. Here's what I got.

He Tried To Quit Music, But God Said No

“This isn’t a miracle,” he warns me, the first thing he says. “I can tell you the story of how it happened. But there’s some interesting stuff that happened before, that happened after — well, I think it’s interesting. I’ll let you decide.”
That’s Alan Jay Sufrin talking. He’s one of my favorite musicians. Alan is equally comfortable when he straps on an acoustic guitar as when he takes a bunch of keyboards and computers and makes some ridiculously danceable electropop anthems. He calls himself “the short Jewish Prince” — the singer, not the royal status — although he’ll usually follow it up by saying something like, “Well, Prince is also short.” In any case, the two have a lot in common: they’re both inspiring, both incredibly prolific, both can take the simplest tune and build it into an amazing anthem that sticks in your head for days and that you never regret having there.
Alan’s also one half of the pop group Stereo Sinai, with his wife Miriam Brosseau. They came out with two amazing albums that took Biblical verses and stories and Psalms and turned them into really wonderful pop songs. Then Alan started writing some of his own original stuff, possibly as a side project, possibly as the next phase of his career — and then he stopped making music entirely.

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