Happy Birthday Diana Wynne Jones & Giveaway

Author-amazing Diana Wynne Jones would have been 78 today (according to Wikipedia). So many wonderful books – including Howl’s Moving Castle (Yes, THAT Howl’s Moving Castle) and the Chrestomanci series are in the world because of her.

The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones

And then there’s this: the wonderful Tough Guide to Fantasyland. A brilliant excision of all things one might find on a typical Quest or Journey to the fantastic realms. It contains more than one smart sharp insightful and often hilarious point about fantasy food, which the Cooking the Books column took as its polestar from the beginning (nearly two years ago – wowowow).

To wit:

STEW: … Given the disturbed nature of life in this land, where in CAMP you are likely to be attacked without warning.. and in an INN prone to be the centre of a TAVERN BRAWL, Stew seems to be an odd choice as a staple food, since, on a rough calculation, it takes forty times as long to prepare as steak….

and:

WAYBREAD or JOURNEY CAKE: … a flat cake, infinitely nutritious and weighing almost nothing, on which Tourists may sustain themselves for long periods… it is truly remarkable since those eating it are never hungry and absolutely never suffer from any deficiency disease (see SCURVY).

Do go read her autobiographical statement, which is lovely. And check out her books.

Meantime, I thought it might be fun to try out a giveaway. Despite having never done one, the operation won’t go completely pear shaped, I’m sure.

The Item To Be Given Away: One Copy of A Tough Guide to Fantasyland, by Diana Wynne Jones. **US & Canada shipping only (sorry! Will do an international/ebook giveaway soon, I promise.)**. Or I can hand-deliver it at LoneStarCon.

Here are the rules:

  1. Find your favorite food mentioned in any Cooking the Books column. Can be fictional or factual food.
  2. Tweet that food item, along with a link to the column where you found it, the featured writer’s name and the hashtag #cookingthebooksDWJ by 8pm EST on August 16, 2013. /*** BREAKING *** NOW open to Facebook hashtaging too! SAME HASHTAG, SAME RULES.***/
  3. One winner selected at random, announced on my twitter feed at 9am EST, August 17, 2013. Should the winner not send me their shipping address within 12 hours of the announcement, another winner will be selected at random. And so on.
  4. No whining, throwing of elbows, or pulling of hair.

That’s it! Good luck! Check out Diana Wynne Jones’ books – they’re wonderful.

UPDATE : We have a winner! CD Covington – @exaggerated on Twitter. Congratulations!

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