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Yaniv, Nir

Entry updated 4 March 2024. Tagged: Author.

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(1972-    ) Israeli musician, editor, occasional film-maker and author, most influential as the editor of the Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy website, which he created and built into Israel's first significant online SF Magazine, at a time when none existed. He also edited several issues of the print magazine Chalomot Be'aspamia, following the departure of long-serving editor Vered Tochterman.

As a writer, Yaniv has worked predominantly in the short-story form, borrowing influences from such authors as Stanisław Lem and, notably, Alfred Bester. He is often an absurdist (see Absurdist SF), utilizing Humour in the creation of fictional worlds. He began publishing with "Blues Le'Echav" ["Blues for Ahab"] (March 2001 Ha'Meimad Ha'asiri ["The Tenth Dimension"]). Notable stories include "Mechayeh Ha'safa Ha'ivrit" ["The Man Who Resurrected The Hebrew Language"] (in Ktov Ke'shed Mi'shachat ["Write Like A Devil"], coll 2006), which imagines a Sleeper Awakes character from our present day who finds himself in a future Tel Aviv where Hebrew has become a form of pidgin language (see Linguistics). It is a comedy of manners paying homage to C M Kornbluth's "The Marching Morons" (April 1951 Galaxy). "Ramtzanim" ["Cinderers"] (trans Lavie Tidhar in The Apex Book of World SF, anth 2009, edited by Tidhar) deals with terrorism in Tel Aviv in hallucinatory terms. "Internet Mahir" ["Fast Internet"] (10 March-April 2004 Chalomot Be'aspamia) with Yael Sivan, was nominated for a Geffen Prize.

In English, his stories – several translated by long-time collaborator Lavie Tidhar – have appeared in ChiZine (see Online Magazines), Weird Tales and elsewhere. A Hebrew collection was Ktov Ke'shed Mi'shachat ["Write Like A Devil"] (coll 2006). It was followed by an English-language collection, The Love Machine (coll 2012). With Tidhar, he collaborated on the short novel The Tel Aviv Dossier (2009), which envisions a Tel Aviv beset by a Lovecraftian apocalypse (see Cthulhu Mythos; H P Lovecraft), much of it for Satirical purposes; and on the novel Retzach Bidyoni ["A Fictional Murder"] (2009), a comic murder mystery set in an easily-recognized Israeli sf Convention (see Tuckerisms). Both novels were nominated for the Geffen Prize.

After a break of some years, Yaniv ventured into full-length writing with Melech Yerusha'laim ["King of Jerusalem"] (2019), a novel about a time-travelling King Solomon, and in English with The Good Soldier (2024), an affectionate Parody of Military SF inspired by Jaroslav Hašek's classic anti-war novel The Good Soldier Schweik (1921-1923) and the author's own military experience.

As a musician, Yaniv created the first Hebrew-language SF Music themed album, The Universe in a Pita (2001). He began writing and directing short films of strong genre interest with Konspiratzia ["Conspiracy"] (2011), a humorous look at conspiracy theories coming true (see Paranoia), and MicroTime (2013), shot in English, about an experiment in Time Travel gone wrong. Since 2023, under the label Positronish, and with Tidhar as writer, he has been making short animated films and series, beginning with Loontown (2023) and Welcome To Your A.I. Future (2023). These were followed by The Radio and Mars Machines (2024). More are projected.

With a wide-ranging interest in form, Yaniv generates the sense that he is a maker endlessly-experimenting and perhaps chafing at the restrictions of any specific medium. Where his not-inconsiderable talents might lead him next remains to be seen. [LTi]

Nir Yaniv

born Jerusalem, Israel: 11 October 1972




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