I heard Ada Palmer before I met her. One of the primary singers and songwriters for the a capella group Sassafrass, Palmer has performed at SFF conventions for many years. At my first (and – sob – last) Farthing Party, I got to see members of Sassafrass perform live, and I continue to make every effort to hear them at every occasion.
As compelling as that was, that same weekend, I also heard Palmer speak eloquently on a range of literary and historical topics, and I was forced to conclude that this was A Brilliant Person and I needed to know more.
Along with her teaching duties as a professor at the University of Chicago, Palmer supplies an endless opportunity of more (more knowledge, more delightful recipes, more insights into things I didn’t know I needed to know). She hilariously co-hosts the auction at Vericon. Occasionally appears in brilliant formal dress at one’s table at the Nebulas. And has now written one of the books that will stick with me for a long time — her first book — Too Like the Lightning (Tor 2016) with the next book soon to follow.
But what you really want is to hear Ada yourself, on topics of food and enlightenment! So please do pull up a chair, and bring your appetite.
(You know how in The Phantom Tollbooth Milo & Tock go to the Word Market and tastes all the delicious words? This podcast is going to be like that.)
The ingredients for podcast #23 ~ The Kitchen Tree: Cooking the Books with Ada Palmer ~ include:
- multiple servings and preparations of gelato
- pasta, being the best of all foods
- intense worldbuilding methodology
- hard truths about enlightenment-era dining
- one Pope hat
- dumpster diving
- the aforementioned kitchen tree
- 100% more flying cars
Podcast #023: The Kitchen Tree – Cooking the Books with Ada Palmer
And as promised in the podcast, here is:
Ada Palmer’s first science fiction novel Too Like the Lightning (volume one of Terra Ignota, from Tor Books) explores how humanity’s cultural and historical legacies might evolve in a future of borderless nations and globally commixing populations. She teaches in the University of Chicago History Department, studying the Renaissance, Enlightenment, classical reception, the history of books, publication and reading, and the history of philosophy, heresy, science and atheism, and is the author of Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance (Harvard University Press). She often researches in Italy, usually in Florence or at the Vatican. She composes fantasy, SF and mythology-themed music, including the Viking mythology musical stage play Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok (available on CD and DVD), and often performs at conventions with her vocal group Sassafrass. She also researches anime/manga, especially Osamu Tezuka, early post-WWII manga and gender in manga, and worked as a consultant for many anime and manga publishers. She blogs for Tor.com, and writes the philosophy & travel blog ExUrbe.com. You can find her on Twitter too!