Post by Madawc Williams
In the USA, I'd guess about half of the best-known writers are Jewish.
There are also 168 individuals listed by the Wikipedia in the category
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:British_Jewish_writer. I could
recognize no SF writers there.
One of life's oddities. I can think of no reason why it should be so, but it seems to be so.
Well, I'll tellya. I met a guy in college who was astonished
that I didn't know immediately that his surname (Saslow) was
Russian Jewish. I am sure I'd met lots of Jewish people, but
this was the first one who'd actually mentioned it, and my mother
brought me up NEVER to discuss anybody's religion, the way you
would never discuss anybody's warts or club foot. (She was an
So I said, "So are you Jewish by religion, or just by ancestry?"
And he said, "Well, I'm glad you put it that way. What I mostly
got out of my Jewish upbringing were the concepts of the
fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man, and the necessity of a
Now, if this can be taken generally, and Jewish kids
(particularly boys) are generally encouraged/bribed/threatened
into getting college degrees, they're going to be more literate
than those who aren't. They probably aren't all SF writers, but
a lot of them may turn into writers of some kind.
I'm thinking of the passage in one of the Lord Peter Wimsey
novels wherein a young woman (not Jewish) assures her ailing
father that she can make a living writing novels. "You start in
college, writing about how rotten everything was in school. Then
you write about how rotten everything was in college." A certain
degree of angst, whether Jewish-related or not, is going to
provide one with an endless supply of material.
Dorothy J. Heydt
djheydt at gmail dot com