The History of Soul 2065
The uncanny stories of two interconnected families through the generations.
With an introduction by Jane Yolen
Now available for sale at Amazon and other book retailers.
Months before World War I breaks out, two young Jewish girls just on the edge of adolescence—one from a bustling Russian city, the other from a German estate—meet in an eerie, magical forest glade. They are immediately drawn to one another and swear an oath to meet again. Though war and an ocean will separate the two for the rest of their lives, the promise that they made to each other continues through the intertwined lives of their descendants.
This epic tale of the supernatural follows their families from the turn of the 20th Century through the terrors of the Holocaust and ultimately to the wonders of a future they never could have imagined. The History of Soul 2065 encompasses accounts of sorcery, ghosts, time travel, virtual reality, alien contact, and elemental confrontations between good and evil. Understated and epic, cathartic and bittersweet, the twenty connected stories in Nebula Award finalist Barbara Krasnoff’s debut form a mosaic narrative even greater than its finely crafted parts.
Jane Yolen, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grand Master, says in her introduction: “If you, like me, love quirky and original fantasy stories, I advise you to dive right in. If you, like me, admire tough writing that’s not afraid of the grit, dive right in. If you, like me, want to hang out a while with characters rich in their own traditions, dive right in. This is storytelling at the top of the heap.”
With cover art and design and interior illustrations by Paula Arwen Owen.
Praise for The History of Soul 2065
“Intriguing stories from the world of Humperdink and Sholem Aleichem, that return us to a time when a world that is achingly familiar and wonderfully strange is coming into being among the Jewish children, beginning the imaginary journey of marvels forth and back between then and today.”
—Samuel R. Delany, Hugo and Nebula Award–winning author of Atlantis: Three Tales, Dhalgren, and the Return to Nevèrÿon series
“Like all good mosaic novels, The History of Soul 2065 rewards its readers with both a beguiling narrative arc and a succession of individually riveting stories—in this case, twenty cannily uncanny tales involving ghosts, gods, demons, dybbuks, magic jewels, and time-bending birds. With its echoes of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America and Jonathan Lethem’s Dissident Gardens, Barbara Krasnoff’s multigenerational, phantasmagoric saga kept me turning the pages at a rapid pace.”
—James Morrow, World Fantasy and Nebula Award–winning author of Galápagos Regained
“If David Mitchell plotted a speculative novel-in-stories that then Alice Munro wrote, you might get something approaching the ambition and beauty of Krasnoff’s The History of Soul 2065. Krasnoff creates a world so excessively alive, both with woe and human kindness, that history can’t contain them, and thus, they leak into haunted, uncanny realms. Told in prose so unassuming you might suspect irony, what you get is here the exact opposite of irony: hard-won empathy, though hidden beneath protective layers of wit and circumspection. That’s why Krasnoff’s stories retell themselves in our minds long after they’re finished. Like gentle ghosts that don’t know they’re dead and don’t realize they’re terrifying us, they just want to keep on having a nice chat with the reader. Forever.”
—Carlos Hernandez, author of Sal and Gabi Break the Universe
“There’s a lot of heart in Barbara Krasnoff’s collection, The History of Soul 2065—the warmth of home, the lies of families, the demons that lurk in trees, myths both great and small. It tells the fantastic history of two families, their journey through time, what they kept and what they lost. Plunge into The History of Soul 2065, there’s nothing like it.”
—Jeffrey Ford, World Fantasy and Nebula Award–winning author of Ahab’s Return: or, The Last Voyage
“Barbara Krasnoff’s great gift is for manifesting the invisible: immigrants and outcasts, the queer, the bereaved, elderly, children, ghosts. And, ah! The ghosts! The ghosts in The History of Soul 2065 arrive from both the past and the future to interact, and interfere, with each other and the living. Timelines tangle, bloodlines mingle, the mundane becomes magical. There is horror here, bitter droughts of hopelessness and gall, but each sip is offered with such a spirit of camaraderie and solidarity that sharing in it makes the aftertaste linger long and sweetly. The more I read this book, the more deeply I was impressed. Yes, impressed: in the sense of being indelibly marked by Krasnoff’s stories. I’ve been—ever so gently—cicatrized.”
—C. S. E. Cooney, World Fantasy Award–winning author of Bone Swans: Stories
“As a writer of mosaic novels—short stories that connect to tell a larger one—I admire the craft, humor, and emotional storytelling that Ms. Krasnoff brings to her work. Each of her stories, starting with two small European girls meeting in a woodsy park, has its own particular moment while connecting to the general theme.”
—Richard Bowes, World Fantasy Award–winning author of Minions of the Moon and Dust Devils on a Quiet Street