On Venus, Have We Got a Rabbi!

A long-lost space age satire about what it means to be a Jew from one of science fiction’s greatest humorists

By William Tenn

source: http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/202356/on-venus-have-we-got-a-rabbi

The story you are about to read was almost never written. By the early 1970s, one of America’s greatest science-fiction satirists had all but retired. After a celebrated literary career under the pen name of William Tenn, London-born Jewish author Philip Klass had hung up his pseudonym and settled in as a professor of English at Penn State University. That is, until he had a chance encounter with some young fans at a science-fiction convention in 1973.

“They asked me why I wasn’t still writing,” Klass recalled. He responded that teaching was its own satisfaction, and that “there was not much market for the fiction I wanted to write these days, especially for a specific story whose title was all I had but which had been on my mind for many months.” Klass told them the name, sure that it was a nonstarter. But as luck would have it, one of the fans was planning a collection of Jewish science fiction—and so “On Venus, Have We Got a Rabbi,” William Tenn’s final story, was commissioned.

SOURCE: click to continue reading On Venus, Have We Got a Rabbi!

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