Author: Fran Wilde

Book Bites: The Buried Life by Carrie Patel

North American Print & Ebook | | | Global DRM-Free Epub Ebook Robot Trading Company UK Print & Ebook | Book Depository | Waterstones | WHSmith

US: | | |   Global DRM-Free Epub Ebook: Robot Trading Company                                 UK: | Book Depository | Waterstones | WHSmith

Book Bites is Cooking the Books‘ more easygoing sibling. Authors talk about their book and share a recipe, all in one tasty bite. We’re so glad to have the wonderful Carrie Patel here to talk about her new Angry Robot book The Buried Life, which debuted on March 3.

Book Bites with Carrie Patel:

The Buried Life takes place in an underground city filled with scheming blue bloods, cunning detectives, and plucky laundresses. While food isn’t the centerpiece of the story, characters frequently come together to share a bite and a drink while they trade secrets and barbs.

In a status-obsessed city like Recoletta, the cuisine also reflects the venue—fashionable whitenails dine on canapés and caviar, and working-class characters enjoy meat and potatoes. Also, since inter-city trade is limited, all but the most expensive dinners must come from ingredients provided by Recoletta’s local farming communes. (more…)

The view from Rainforest

I spent a few days writing without ice and snow last week. Also without much Internets. We had a weak WIFI signal, which made for many words, and an odd feeling of being disconnected on a global level, while very connected to my fellow writers. This was a very good thing.  Many thanks to Patrick Swenson and everyone at session 2 of the wonderful Rainforest Writers’ Village.

I gave a Deadlines 2.0 talk and I made deadline-apocalypse stickers for it… I have some extra. Might give away a few. Will give that a think.

Meantime: Picspam!

Tea(s) in London(s): Cooking the Books with V.E. Schwab

V.E. Schwab’s 2014 adult fantasy debut from Tor Books, Vicious, delighted readers. This year, V. begins another amazing series: A Darker Shade of Magic.  ADSOM (look for the hashtag this week and next on twitter) introduces multiple Londons: Red, Gray, and White… as well as a dangerous, but disappeared, Black London.

V. was kind enough to sit down with Cooking the Books to discuss many things, including A Darker Shade of Magic, coming from the future, and living in the Internet. (more…)

Book Bites: Stranger & Hostage by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith

Very excited to announce a new column, called Book Bites! Book Bites is Cooking the Books‘ more easygoing sibling. Authors talk about their book and share a recipe, all in one tasty bite.

Even more exciting are our inaugural guests: Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown have dropped by to share a bite of their book HOSTAGE with you.

Book Bites, with Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown

Our YA series, The Change, starting with STRANGER and HOSTAGE (download an excerpt here) is set in a kind of Gold Rush crossed with X-Men setting, on the ruins of Los Angeles. That called for a diverse set of cultures—and that means an interesting variety of foods. We describe food a lot in the books, because we both really like food.

So when the opportunity came up to do this Book Bites blog, the first thing to mind was apple crumble. Rachel had one recipe, which is a delicious one. Sherwood faced a dilemma. (more…)

See You at Boskone!

Food, monsters, and world-saving fashion panels! A reading! A contest judging!

I’m very excited for Boskone 2015. If you’re in Boston the weekend of February 13-15, come say ‘hi’!  Also, check out this fun Q&A Boskone did with me… and more great interviews too.  The whole schedule looks great –check out the main website so you don’t miss anything.

Here’s my schedule:   (more…)

Beneath Ceaseless Pies: Cooking the Books with Editor Scott H. Andrews


Beneath Ceaseless Skies Best of Year Five

Beneath Ceaseless Skies magazine began in 2008, when Scott H. Andrews noticed a need for more venues that celebrated secondary world short fiction. (And we’re very glad he did!) When you visit their website (repeatedly,) you’ll learn: “Beneath Ceaseless Skies is an online magazine of “literary adventure fantasy”:  fantasy set in secondary-world or historical settings, with a literary focus on the characters.  BCS […] was named Runner-Up for the Million Writers Award for Best New Online Magazine of the year, and in six years has published over 335 stories and 140 audio fiction podcasts.  BCS has been a finalist for two Hugo Awards, one British Science Fiction Association Award, two Parsec podasting awards, two Aurealis Awards, and four World Fantasy Awards, and stories from BCS have won the Aurealis Award and the World Fantasy Award.”

This month, Scott H. Andrews joins us to talk about pie — from lemon and bourbon pies to chocolate tofu pie –, editing, his favorite food and beverage pairings with BCS stories, and much more. (more…)

2014’s Top Six Posts

sunsetHere they are:

Before the Mast and On the Deck of the World. An intensely personal post. I’m very grateful it got the reception it did, and for the support and thoughtful words of so many when I posted it.

Magic Wants to Be Fed: Cooking the Books with Robin Hobb. Robin Hobb. Talking about food. And writing. And answering questions from Reddit/r/fantasy readers. Such a fun interview to do, with a fantastic author.

Many Things at Once: Cooking the Books with Russ Galen. Wherein I drove my agent a little nuts trying to get him to pair books with food & wine. But eventually he saw method in my madness. Sorry about all the spaghetti-space operas coming your way!

On Campbell Ineligibility and the Eligibility of Others. Talking about careers, awards, and a list of shiny authors you should not miss.

2014 Favorite Reads. What it says on the tin! Plus a peek at more great books on my goodreads.

My Little Jhereg & The Lunch of Locke Lamora’s Bartender’s Guide. This Cooking the Books April Fools list of made-up drinks from Scott Lynch and Steven Brust has requested its own personal assistant and a bowl of blue M&Ms for its private trailer.

(Can’t wait until you see what Cooking the Books has on the menu for 2015.)


US Patent #410243 - An automatic grain weigher

US Patent #410243 – An automatic grain weigher

I try to spend a lot of time in these parts talking about people who are not me – from Cooking the Books features to keeping track of who I’m reading and what I’ve loved, to talking about tools of the trade and things I’ve learned that might be useful. (not to mention a few posts that are pure rantypants handwaving.)  But one thing I’ve done for the past couple of years that feels very different is an annual numbers / accountability post. I’m weighing whether to keep posting it. I’ll still track the numbers – it’s motivating to see progress and I will never fault a writer (including myself) for finding what motivation works for them. However, I don’t know if these numbers are useful for others to see. Let me know what you think? You might also drop in the comments and tell me what keeps you going – I’d love to hear about it.

This year’s big number is 410,243, or thereabouts. There’s still a day left.

  • 410243 is prime. This delights me.
  • On the web, #410243 is a lovely eggplant, or aubergine color.
  • US Patent 410243 is for an automatic grain weigher.
  • 410,243 is also the number of words I wrote in 2014, minus those I’ll write tomorrow. It includes all of Cloudbound, the sequel to Updraft; revisions to Updraft; revisions to another novel; revisions and several short stories in draft form, plus a story I wrote and published this year, “Welcome Briefing at the Obayashi-Ragan Youth Hostel.
  • It includes “How to Walk Through Historic Graveyards in the Digital Age,” which will appear in the March/April issue of Asimov’s, and revisions to “The Ghost Tide Chanty,” which will appear at
  • 410,243 does not include: twelve (out of fourteen total) Cooking the Books episodes, other blog posts here, an essay on staying ahead of technology as a fiction writer for SFSignal, two Mind Melds, a food of the future roundtable for, ten articles and bookshelf write-ups for, one co-written article for the Washington Post, two proposals, one game world for Storium, or my review of Eileen Gunn’s Questionable Practices for the New York Review of Science Fiction.
  • I used a friend’s wordcount tracking spreadsheet to see how my writing broke across days and months. It is infinitely useful and I’m very grateful for it. There were definitely a few thin weeks, while I was traveling. I’m hoping to get better about working on the road. 410,243 words breaks out to 7,890 a week, average, and 1,124 a day, but there were days and weeks when I wrote more, and less.
  • I like what I wrote for last year’s number post. I’m keeping it for this year:

Last year, my goal was to write more, better words. This year, I’m sticking with the ‘better’ side of that goal. I want to write consistently, and to learn new ways to tell more powerful stories every day. I don’t need to write more words, though if that happens too, I’ll be glad for it. Consistent words. Better words. In pleasing arrangements. Goal.

  • There’s one more number that’s much different from my word count number. It’s 0765377837. It’s the ISBN number for Updraft. I like that number a lot.

So that’s me. Do numbers keep you motivated? If so, which ones?

The Infamous Lasagna Scene: Cooking the Books with Sara B. Elfgren and Mats Strandberg

Welcome to Nene Ormes, Cooking the Books International Correspondent! 

Hello dear listeners!

This is the first Cooking the Books out of Sweden and I, your constantly curious gourmonaut, had the opportunity to travel to Stockholm to visit with Sara B Elfgren and Mats Strandberg. Together they not only served me tea and a proper tray of seven cookies for fika, they have also written the Engelsfors-triology and that in turn have swept over the world. We spent a lovely half hour chatting about how teenage witches deal with normal school life, family and food when they’re not trying to stop the end of the world. We stumble along in English and hope that you all have patience with us. So pour yourself a cup of something nice and welcome to take fika with us!