Project image
)}
$3,429
pledged of $65,000pledged of $65,000 goal
57
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, November 11 2014 8:00 AM UTC +00:00
$3,429
pledged of $65,000pledged of $65,000 goal
57
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, November 11 2014 8:00 AM UTC +00:00

About

Forget about start-up nations! Inspired by a 1902 utopian novel Old New Land by the founder of Modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl – the State of Israel has become the quintessential science fiction nation. Yet the Jewish State remains the only industrialized, western-oriented country on the planet that has yet to generate its own authoritative English-language collection of speculative fiction. In fact, it hasn't generated one in Hebrew either.

Illustration by Avi Katz
Illustration by Avi Katz

     Enter, Zion’s Fiction: An Anthology of Israeli Fantasy & Science Fiction, the first of a three-volume series that will finally tap the wellspring of a small but vital genre of Israeli literature hidden from a world in which the fantastic has become a shared taste. 

Zi-Fi in a Pita
Zi-Fi in a Pita

     The first volume of Zion's Fiction will consist of a definitive collection of the finest Israeli speculative fiction published since 1978, when the local F&SF scene took off. If funds suffice, a second volume will showcase material published since 1948, when hard-won independence gave rise to literary musings over alternate futures, presents and pasts. A third volume will feature material, much of it imagining different utopian versions of Jewish statehood, published from the mid-19th Century on, and even older stuff.    

Ezekiel's Chariot of Fire
Ezekiel's Chariot of Fire

     If funds for the latter two do not suffice we will launch separate campaigns following the publication of the first volume. 

     Before we presume to ask you to back us, we owe you and ourselves due diligence. Transforming dream into reality requires a thorough assessment of the potential market for this book.

     We conducted a survey of comparably nationally and ethnically based collections in English. The list we came up with surprised us. Dozens upon dozens of titles from Australia to the Philippines to Zimbabwe. Who knew? 

Illustrated by Avi Katz
Illustrated by Avi Katz

     Next, we tried to identify who might be interested in buying an anthology of Israeli fantasy and science fiction. One thing we knew from the outset -- this book is NOT intended for Israelis. Here's what we came up with: 

Illustrated by Avi Katz
Illustrated by Avi Katz

     • You are an ardent consumer of science fiction and fantasy, and this first-of-its-kind series grabs you by the brainstem 

     • You are held rapt by the spectacle of a tenacious people surrounded by implacable enemies who reclaim their ancient homeland, turning it into a scientific and technological marvel whose destiny, if not written in the stars, may yet unfold in this book 

Illustrated by Avi Katz
Illustrated by Avi Katz

     • You are not especially a fan of the Jewish State, but you're looking for insight into Jewish and Israeli thinking. And, of course, you want a book that represents the country that incorporates the best in Palestinian-Israeli sci-fi. 

     • You’re big on Jewish literature, but never saw anything like this coming -- especially a compendium of Israeli sci-fi that includes stories written by Russian immigrants who make a living writing F&SF for readers in their former republics, and Israelis who are trying to forge careers in English-language F&SF 

Hagar sent packing (llustrated by Avi Katz)
Hagar sent packing (llustrated by Avi Katz)

     • You grok that Israeli literature’s almost exclusive embrace of social realism represents a profound break with a rich and empowering Jewish story-telling tradition that is ripe for renewal 

• You are an educator or scholar looking for a text that can anchor a survey course on the fantastic in Jewish/Israeli fiction 

     • You are on the market for the mother of all Bat and Bar Mitzvah gifts 

Columbia Astronaut Ilan Ramon (Available as premium))
Columbia Astronaut Ilan Ramon (Available as premium))

     We concluded that the world sorely needs this book. But throwing money at a problem, however immediately gratifying, does not necessarily solve that problem. We decided to put mechanisms in place to ensure that your support will be applied in the most direct, effective and transparent way possible.

     To ensure that all obligations to backers are met, we secured top notch (and, thankfully, pro bono) legal council to prepare a joint operation agreement for a limited liability corporation (LLC) dedicated solely to the successful and lawful management of the Zion's Fiction Project. We now have this document in hand. Once funded, we will register Zion's Fiction Enterprises LLC in California and comply with all pertinent state and federal regulations.

     We have pledged from the outset, however, that at no time will a penny of Kickstarter funding end up in the pockets of our principals. The one possible exception to this proviso pertains to the two translators on our board. If they agree take on added duties as translators (this being their livelihood), they will receive payments according to rates set by the Israel Translators Association, as will any other translator.

     We will apply any funds awarded within our stated funding target toward the acquisition of story rights and the translation of the first volume of Zion's Fiction. With these in hand, we will try to engage a North American or British commercial or academic publishing house in a joint venture. Any additional monies raised in this fashion will be directed toward marketing the book. 

Sheba visits Solomon (Illustrated by Avi Katz)
Sheba visits Solomon (Illustrated by Avi Katz)

     Once funded, we intend to address the final selection of material to appear in the  the book(s). To ensure the most authoritative assortment of stories -- a mixture of canonical and new material -- possible, we assembled a team of Israel's leading F&SF editors, translators, scholars, critics, artists and publishers to serve on the Zion's Fiction editorial board. 

     Each board member has already nominated stories they believe represent the best of Israeli F&SF extant. The editors drew up their own short-lists. Upon funding, the editors will reconcile these choices, first through vigorous discussion, then by vote. This means, by the way, that any authors mentioned here or on www.zionsfiction.com will not necessarily be included in the final list. 

Esau's wives (Illustrated by Avi Katz)
Esau's wives (Illustrated by Avi Katz)

     With this done, we will secure the literary rights to these stories. To facilitate this process, we secured a project coordinator, Eli Herstein -- an established Israeli F&SF publisher with years of experience in this niche market. 

     Translation will eat up the biggest chunk of our resources, and command our greatest effort. To ensure the best possible translations, we enlisted the help of Jessica Cohen, one of the most prominent Hebrew-to-English translators in the world, to advise us on matching up stories with the most ideal translators. Zion's Fiction Co-Editor Dr. Emanuel Lottem, Israeli's preeminent F&SF translator, will manage the process. 

Worfspeare (Illustrated by Avi Katz
Worfspeare (Illustrated by Avi Katz

     While we want the book to be of interest to the casual reader, we intend Zion's Fiction to become the go-to resource for students and teachers of Israeli literature. For an idea of the kind of text we have in mind, check out James Gunn's monumental six-volume series, The Road to Science Fiction (White Wolf Publishing). Our editorial board, several of whom teach such courses at Israeli and American universities, will assist in creating study guides, annotated bibliographies, and providing or procuring survey essays, thematic essays and other suitable academic material. 

     Once funded, we will publish, upon completing these translations, a professionally designed and exquisitely illustrated eBook, a limited edition trade paperback, edition, and a hardbound limited edition of Zion's Fiction. These will be sent, when completed, as premiums to qualifying Kickstarter backers. We anticipate the books being ready to ship by the end of 2016, but cannot formally commit to any deadline at this juncture.

I'm working on it...
I'm working on it...

     The cover art and story illustrations have been provided by our Board member Avi Katz, Israel's leading and award-winning F&SF illustrator. The book design and initial publication will be accomplished by Yanshuf Publishing, an established Israeli F&SF firm and a creative partner in this endeavor. 

Zi-Fi
Zi-Fi

     In the event that we do not succeed in securing an adequate joint publishing venture with a suitable American, Canadian or British publisher, we will publish and market the book(s) through Amazon's publishing arm. However the book is published, contributors will receive royalty payments. A portion of any profits garnered through sale of the book will, if sales are sufficient, fund or help fund a graduate-level SF Studies scholarship in Israel. 

     Herzl, the Austro-Hungarian journalist (and, not coincidentally, the model for bearded, pointy-eared gentleman featured on our cover), once famously declared: “If you will it, it is no fairy tale.” 

     Herzl’s dream was to create a modern Jewish state in the historical homeland of the Jewish people. Ours is to forge out a literary refuge for the kind of unbridled whimsy his aspirants, tasked with transforming his science-fictional vision into a hardscrabble reality, could not make room for. Yours, we hope, will be to help us pry open a long-shuttered window into the dreams and nightmares of a nation quite unlike any other. 

     If not us, dear Kickstarter, who? 

    And if not now, when? 

 

Risks and challenges

Our greatest challenge will be to produce and dispatch all commissioned premiums to our backers in as timely and effective a fashion as possible. To best ensure the swift and most assured means of dispatch to backers, we lined up several established companies willing to produce all commissioned items and deliver them safely and in their entirety to the appropriate parties. This ensures, in most instances, that items that go missing or are damaged in transit can be replaced.

Few books can thrive without ample marketing. Fortunately the editors of Zion's Fiction command many combined years of in-the-trenches literary marketing experience. If we exceed our target, we will apply excess funds toward advertising, book tours, and pitching optimal media outlets directly. If not, we will undertake these activities on our own dime and on our own time.

Have we missed anything? Undoubtedly. As a prominent American decision-maker famously declared, "There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns... But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."

Here's what we do know. We're not in this for the money and we're not in this for the glory. This is a legacy project driven by our growing recognition that these books are long past due and that it is up to us, as folks who have dedicated their lives and passions to Israeli fantasy and science fiction, to make the dream a reality.

We feel obligated to complete this project in a timely and thoughtful manner. More than that, we feel accountable to those individuals who have decided to put their own money on the line to share in this historic undertaking.

Visit us at www.zionsfiction.com

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    1 Digital Thank You! No, really. Thank You!!!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    1 Zion's Fiction Postcard: "May the Schwartz be With You!" & an E-book version

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    1 E-book (upon publication); 1 Zi-Fi tee-shirt or ZF mug.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    1 Limited Edition trade paperback (upon publication); 1 Zi-Fi tee-shirt or mug.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    15 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    1 Limited Edition hardcover (upon publication); 1 Zi-Fi tee-shirt or mug.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 85 or more About US$ 85

    1 Limited Edition hardcover (upon publication); 1 artist-signed Ilan Ramon Israeli astronaut poster. Add $20 fee for shipping outside of Israel.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    1 Limited Edition hardcover (upon publication); 1 boxed Traveler Star Trek Action Figure; 1 telephone message for your answering machine from the Traveler informing callers "NEVER to speak of merging space, time and human thought!" but to otherwise leave their name, number and time of calling.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    1 Limited Edition hardcover (upon publication); 1 mounted, laminated and signed by the artist (Avi Katz) First-Day-Cover (2000 C.E.) commemorating Science Fiction in Israel. Add $20 for shipping outside Israel.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 750 or more About US$ 750

    1 Limited Edition hardcover (upon publication); 1 signed poster of Spock doing his Sukkoth thing; 1 set of Avi Katz's "Alien Corn" coaster featuring Biblical women in sci-fi settings; A thank you in the book's introduction; and 1 Jewish National Fund certificate permitting the bearer to plant a Klingon tree in Israel (seedlings to be smuggled into Federation space by Ferengi traders.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    3 Limited Edition hardcovers (upon publication); Prominent listing in the back of the book as an "Elder of Zion's Fiction;" 1 inscribed propeller yarmulke.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    3 Limited Edition Hardcovers, all versions of Zion's Fiction (limited edition e-Books, trade paperbacks and hardcovers as well as any other variant editions subsequently published) DEDICATED TO YOU or SOMEONE DEAR!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)