Our TRANSCENDENT Authors: a Featured Interview with Elana Gomel

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In our new author series, we’ll be offering a clairvoyant peek behind the veil of who and what makes up TRANSCENDENT. Here’s a glimpse at Elana Gomel and her story “Dreaming of Ravens.”


Did you have to do any research? If so, what kind? What did you learn?

When I write, unrelated bits and pieces of information come together, illuminating each other. I am interested in bird intelligence, so I read a couple of books about ravens. Though not religious, I know the Bible very well. We live near San Francisco. What do all these things have in common? Read my story to find out.

Can you tell me a little bit about your protagonist?

She is me, or rather what I could have been under different circumstances. I went through several life-changing events, including motherhood and immigration. Every time you make a significant decision, reality shifts (though, hopefully, not as radically as it did for Laura).

Tell be about the setting you chose and how it influences your work.

I am a city person. All my stories have an urban setting. My first novel was called A Tale of Three Cities. I lived in London and Hong Kong. But San Francisco has a special place in my heart. It is the most beautiful city in the US and it has its own mystical aura which many writers tried to capture with varying degrees of success. So this story is my own modest tribute to the City on the Bay.

What would you like readers to take away from your story?

The same thing you would take from a dream: a little fear, a little wonder, and a set of vivid images that would suddenly pop up in the midst of your daily commute and tease you with the question of what they mean.

Which phrase are you most proud of in this story?

I pulled the curtain aside and stared into the copper-lit dry backyard as the rays of the setting sun fell through the crochet of holes in the roiling black-and-blue cloud above: the holes made by the rain falling upwards”.

If your story was front-page news, what would the headline be?

Black Crows and Mothers’ Tears: The Plague of the Firstborn in the City on the Bay




What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

All the money invested in my library of science fiction, fantasy and horror. It’s more than I care to count but every dollar is well spent.

If you had to put your name on someone else’s book/story, which would it be and why?

The Polish science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem has been called “the best sci-fi writer of the twentieth century”. I agree. I would not aspire to have written Solaris, his masterpiece. But he has a lesser-known novel called Eden, which is one of the best depiction of an alien civilization in literature. The novel manages to be both creepy and engaging; both vivid and intelligent; both suspenseful and thought-provoking. This is what I am trying to achieve in my own writing.

So, in my dreams I can see the book cover of Eden by Elana Gomel.

When did you decide to take writing seriously?

Before I knew how to write. I have been a storyteller my entire life.

If you could choose a single superpower, what would it be and why?

I travel a lot. And I hate planes, airports and jet-lag. I would like to be Quantum Woman: slipping through cracks in space-time to arrive anywhere a couple of seconds before I left.


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Elana Gomel teaches at the Department of English and American Studies at Tel-Aviv University. She is the author of six non-fiction books and numerous articles. As a fiction writer, she has published more than 40 fantasy and science fiction stories in The Singularity, New Realms, Mythic and many other magazines; and in several anthologies, including People of the Book and Apex Book of World Science Fiction. Her fantasy novel A Tale of Three Cities came out in 2013 and her novella Dreaming the Dark in 2017. Two more novels are scheduled to be published this year.


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