Shmulie Shimmer is the inventor of LERBS, the most popular designer drug ever to be created. Turns out that it leaves people brain dead, and Shmulie should be in prison, but his business partner took the rap. Now Shmulie’s father hasn’t heard from him in over a year and half. He approaches Shmulie’s high school friend, Professor Nick Friedman, aka Nick Bones, private detective. Nick’s beautiful daughter was a victim of Lerbs, and Nick never wants to see the guy again, but Shmulie’s father has cancer and only a few months to live, so NIck takes the case. It’s a future in which the world no longer works the way it did, and sharp-witted, colorful characters roam above and below ground in what is an unrecognizable New York City. Now, Nick needs the help of his AI computer to make his way in the Velvet Underground, previously known as part of the subway system. Phil M. Cohen’s Nick Bones Underground (Koehler Books, 2019) is a mystery, a wild ride through the future, a science-fiction nightmare, and an exploration of religion and humanity.
Phil M. Cohen is a rabbi who has been engaged in Jewish storytelling for a very long time. In addition to a B.A from Dickinson College and rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Phil holds a Ph.D. in Jewish thought from Brandeis University and an MFA from Spalding University in Louisville. From his rabbinic education, he learned how to create and interpret stories. From his doctoral experience, he learned how to grapple with philosophical questions. In earning an MFA, he learned how to write fiction. From his work as a rabbi, he gained deep insight into the Jewish and broader world. And from realms unknown and a bit scary, Rabbi Doctor Cohen discovered his creative imagination.