cooking the books

The Sandwich Manifesto: Cooking the Books with David Edison

When I first met David Edison, he was silver.

That is, David was dressed for a masquerade, wearing glittering things from head to toe (including mirrored pants). He was beautiful. And then we began to speak, and, dear reader, I realized that the beauty wasn’t a costume. David is one of those people who glitters, even without mirrored pants.

His first book, The Waking Engine, is strikingly beautiful too. And Cooking the Books is lucky enough to have David as a guest during his debut week, in part thanks to another guest, E.C. Myers, who realized that David’s opinions on sandwiches would be a perfect topic for us to munch on. So it is, friends. So it is.

The Waking Engine is available for order now. We’ve tried to keep spoilers at bay, below, and I think we’ve done a pretty good job.

A warning, before we begin. What started out as a mild-mannered interview about food turned into something much more important – a manifesto on the true nature of sandwiches. Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll comment with your own thoughts at the end, and enjoy The Waking Engine, by David Edison.

I’ll be putting sandwiches on the Cooking the Books dinner party menu, for sure. (more…)

Food of the Future at

For a little over a month, I’ve been working on a bit of a secret project – a roundtable about food and the future – with amazing authors Aliette de Bodard, Ann Leckie, Elizabeth Bear, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz. We created a virtual roundtable to talk about Food of the Future after a roaring discussion on Twitter last December. The resulting discussion was filled with give-and-take, and everyone posed excellent questions. We topped it off with a speed-round: Describe the Future of Food in 10 Words Or Less.

Food of the Future was a lot of fun. I’m grateful to be able to work with Aliette, Ann, Bear, Benjanun, and Rochita in the middle of what is a very busy time of year. Thanks to Aliette de Bodard for the framework idea, and to everyone for their great questions.

The comment section discussion over at is already quite delicious! I hope you’ll join in.

Cook All the Things: Cooking the Books with Editor Miriam Weinberg

This month, we have a very special Cooking the Books guest: Miriam Weinberg, Assistant Editor at Tor. Also, my editor at Tor. GLEE.

*Actual Photo* of Me & Miriam hard at work.

Miriam is an amazing cook and baker, prone to the occasional well-layered pun, and when it comes to animated gifs, she contains multitudes. She’s also a mighty fine finder-of-restaurants, which makes her an excellent person to kick off the 2014 season of Cooking the Books! We asked her all sorts of questions, from editing/cooking style to anime. So bring your appetite… Cooking the Books 2014 begins now…


Dragons! SF Mind Meld & SFWA reblogs Cooking the Books

This week, I’m a guest at SF Signal, where we’re talking Dragons – What makes dragons appealing? How do you use dragons in your own writing? What are your favorite depictions in fantasy?  You should go check out the excellent answers from all the guests: Authors Scott Lynch, Sherwood Smith, Jon Sprunk, Peter Orullian, A.M. Dellamonica, Jamie Wyman, Tessa Gratton, Stellar Four’s Meghan B., Courtney Schafer, and L. Jagi Lamplighter.

The SFWA blog has reprinted my Cooking the Books interview with Saladin Ahmed – What Heroes Eat. Saladin was a great guest, and his books are amazing. If you haven’t already, give that a peek as well.

I’m wrapping up the year, trying to finish as much of OtherNovel as I can before I dive back into Bone Arrow and its kin. There should probably be a numbers post, like last year. Adding that to the list. Meantime, I hope your end of year goes wonderfully, and that I’ll see you next year!

The Necessities of Tea: Cooking the Books with Ann Leckie


Friends, perhaps you have heard of this amazing novel Ancillary Justice? If no, please read Liz Bourke’s review. I’ll wait….

Ok! Welcome back – and we are so pleased to have Ann Leckie as our guest for the final Cooking the Books of the year. That is Ann Leckie, friend to all, drinker of tea, purveyor of kindness at conventions, Ann Leckie, science fiction novelist whose first book has hit NPR’s Best Reads of 2013, and pretty much all the lists, everywhere. Including here. This Ann Leckie. Of whom I think very highly.

We will be talking solely about tea. And, possibly, curry. You will shortly see why.

Please stay tuned to the end for an important announcement about a giveaway where you could win a 6oz tin of loose tea (YES TEA!) that is entirely relevant to both Ancillary Justice and this conversation.

/fans self.

Let us begin. (more…)

Time You Can Eat: Cooking the Books with Bee Ridgway

RIVER OF NO RETURN PBWhen you think about it, cooking and time travel have a lot in common. Preservation brings food forward in time. And occasionally, the act of dining resembles a race against time. Author Bee Rigeway, whose time-leaping novel The River of No Return debuted from Dutton Press in 2013, applied her knowledge of food to the problem of time travel. She joins Cooking the Books to talk about rot, cheese, canning, romance, and more.

Thank you for joining us, Bee!

My pleasure.

In The River of No Return, we first meet Nick when he is breaking the law. He’s helping a modern artisanal cheese maker avoid trouble with the FDA. (more…)

Crazy List of Happening, part 1

You guys! So much going on!

I am feeling rather like both of these folks over to the right: 

Here’s the rundown:

Cooking the Books is the Reddit/fantasy AMA Site of the Week this week. Come on over and ask me anything for one whole week.

Over at GeekMom, I interview Campbell-Award Winning author Mur Lafferty, and she said amazing things.

In a little over two weeks, on November 5, I’ll be reading at the New York Review of Science Fiction, with Rajan Khanna – would love to see you there!

There are more things happening in November and December, which I’ll post about soon. And there’s something else, which I’m totally forgetting right now… I’ll remember it. Or you’ll remind me…. Who was in charge of remembering what I’m forgetting?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Chefs: Cooking the Books with E.C. Myers

Quantum-Coin_Final-Front-Cover-225x347E.C. Myers is the mild-mannered superhero behind the award-winning YA alternate universe duology: Fair Coin and Quantum Coin. We lured him to Cooking the Books with a peanut-butter laden trap, and while we have him in our power, we’ll ask him about the kinds of food found in speculative young adult fiction. From pizza and french fries, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cooking to Master Chef, and more eclectic offerings on the menu, join us as E.C. fires up the stove for our latest Cooking the Books.

A question came in from the audience – our first from the Twitterverse!



Libations in Literature: Cooking the Books with Laura Anne Gilman

Author Laura Anne Gilman visits Cooking the Books armed with a diet coke, a mug of coffee, and… if we go past 5pm, and you’re of age, a few tips on how to make a perfect gin and tonic.

She’s here to discuss libations in literature. The topic is particularly apt: Laura Anne is not only a connoisseur of fine wines and beverages, but also the author of the Vineart War and the Gin & Tonic mystery series as well. There’s also a lot of caffeine in her Cosa Nostradamus series, as well as other works, which we will discuss shortly.

A discussion of libations encompasses a range of beverages, from water to wine, and beyond. Can you talk about why these drinks are important to narrative?

Writers write a lot about meals and great big feasts, especially in epic fantasy. But when you look at our society, when people gather outside of those feasts, we meet over coffee or we have drinks. It’s a very social thing.  We eat, and we drink water in order to keep our bodies going, but we also drink in order to sort of smooth the passage of conversation.  (more…)

SUPERFOOD: Cooking the Books with Michael Damian Thomas & Shira Lipkin

In a Speed-Round Interview, Michael Damian Thomas and Shira Lipkin, editors of Flying Higher, an Anthology of Superhero Poetry have joined Cooking the Books to talk about SUPERFOOD!

Shira Lipkin: I admit that I haven’t thought much about what superheroes eat… Except that obviously Lex Luthor is super into cake.

Michael Damian Thomas: Clearly they *all* eat meatballs, as our press is called Meatball Trouble Productions.

And Based on nearly *every* comic I read in the 1980s, superheroes eat Hostess Fruit Pies. Pie theft was a MAJOR issue in the Marvel Universe!

Shira: The 1980s were one long Hostess Fruit Pie theft epidemic. And we know that the cartoon versions of the Teen Titans are super into pizza.