ChiZine Publications is preparing to publish a new book: Other Covenants: Alternate Histories of the Jewish People, the first-ever anthology of Jewish alternate history stories, to be edited by Mark Shainblum and Andrea D. Lobel. Contributors already confirmed include science fiction masters Harry Turtledove and Jack Dann.
Shainblum and John Dupuis forged a new trail in Canadian literature in 1998 with Arrowdreams, Canada’s first alternate history anthology. Now Shainblum and Lobel propose to do the same for Jewish literature, and explore the rich possibilities of Jewish roads not taken.
Shainblum was born and raised in Montreal, where he and illustrator Gabriel Morrissette co-created the comics series Northguard and Angloman. Shainblum has published science fiction in various magazine and anthology markets, and he also co-edited Superhero Universe: Tesseracts Nineteen, in 2016, with Claude Lalumière.
Lobel has worked as a writer and editor for more than a decade, winning two industry awards. An ordained rabbi, she also holds a master’s in religious studies (McGill University) and a PhD in religion (Concordia University). She has taught at both McGill and Concordia. Her book Under a Censored Sky: Astronomy and Rabbinic Authority in the Talmud Bavli and Related Literature is forthcoming from Brill Publishers in 2018.
Other Covenants is open to submissions of short fiction, through Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time. Submissions must be between 1,000 and 10,000 words in length, and may be in English or French (the book will be published in English and authors will be responsible for translations). Original stories are preferred, but the editors will consider reprints of significant works on a case-by-case basis. Payment will be eight cents (Canadian funds) per word. Authors may be from anywhere in the world and do not need to be Jewish.
Many individual stories of Jewish alternate history have been published over the years, but Other Covenants will be the first themed anthology collecting such stories under one cover.
Some possible themes to explore are: What if the Holocaust had never happened? What if Joseph’s brothers had not sold him into slavery in Egypt? What if the state of Israel had been established in Uganda? What if Jesus’s followers had not broken with Judaism? What if Jews had proselytized their faith door-to-door for a thousand years? What if the Romans had not destroyed Jerusalem and the Second Temple? What if Judaism became the dominant Western religion, but was riven by conflicts between the Temple priesthood and reformist rabbis? What if the Spanish Inquisition had never occurred? What if Napoleon had not smashed down Europe’s ghetto walls?
Full submission guidelines and the online submission system are at chizinepub.com/other-covenants-alternate-histories-of-the-jewish-people. Stories must not be submitted by email – they must go through the submission system.