cooking the books

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…)

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…)

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…)

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!


A manifeasto from Nene Ormes, new Cooking the Books Correspondent

This summer, Malmo, Sweden-based author and foodie Nene Ormes and I were talking about food (as one does) and fiction (ditto). I mentioned to her my desire to widen the table at Cooking the Books. Her response was brilliant and delicious, as you might expect. I’m so pleased to share with you the news that Nene will be joining Cooking the Books, bringing tasty literary treats from Scandanavia now and then.

we are very excited.

Without further ado, I would like to introduce the wonderful Nene Ormes by letting her tell you a little about herself.

Cooking the Books goes to Scandinavia, or a Manifeasto

By Nene Ormes (twitter / blog)

When asked about Swedish food culture I immediately reach for the old things, the festive things, the feast of old. We see a lot of it represented in books and movies, in fairytale and myth. (more…)

Magic Wants to Be Fed: Cooking the Books with Robin Hobb

This summer, I met Robin Hobb at Loncon3. We were both on a great food politics panel and she is as lovely and charming in person as you can imagine. When I asked her later if she’d join Cooking the Books for an interview, I knew my chances were slim, given that she’s hard at work on the new book – but she said yes. Everyone wins!

Robin is the bestselling author of short stories, books, and fantasy series including the Farseer trilogy, The Liveship Traders trilogy, and The Fitz and the Fool trilogy. Knowing that Robin has many loyal fans, I offered the lovely folks at reddit/fantasy a chance to join me in interviewing her. What follows are her fantastic answers to the questions we put together — please join me in welcoming Robin Hobb to the November Cooking the Books!

CTB: From the start of the Farseer Trilogy, Fitz’s status changes seem marked by where he eats (or is left to await food) – was this something you plotted out or something that happened naturally? Fitz’s observation ‘that food served in the kitchen was warmer than that served in the hall’ is quite wonderful – was that a reflection on the burdens of status?


It’s Hard to Fish from an Airship: Cooking the Books with Rajan Khanna

A year ago, Rajan Khanna and I read together at a New York Review of Science Fiction reading, curated by Amy Goldshlager.

Rajan read from Falling Sky, and the passage I heard was amazing. Earlier this month, Rajan joined Cooking the Books for a podcast answering all sorts of questions about post-apocalyptic cuisine.

To hear Rajan yourself, hurry to the World Fantasy Convention in Washington DC, where he’ll be reading on Thursday, November 6 from 2:30-3pm, or head to the December KGB Fantastic Fiction Reading in Manhattan, where he and author Steven Gould will join forces for an evening of … fantastic fiction.

You can read an excerpt from Falling Sky at

Or, should you desire, you can hear him talk about Falling Sky right now, on the latest installment of the Cooking the Books podcast. (more…)

How to Cook a Shimmer: Cooking the Books with E. Catherine Tobler

This month, Cooking the Books is delighted to welcome guest cook E. Catherine Tobler. A Sturgeon Award finalist and a cupcake connoisseur, Tobler has Senior Editor at Shimmer Magazine.  Elise asked if we would like to know how a Shimmer is made, and we, of course, said yes.  (previous Cooking the Books collaborations with SF/F magazines include A. C. Wise presenting How To Brew a Bugzine.)

Shimmer Badgers hard at work.

Shimmer Badgers hard at work.

It is a well known fact that Shimmer cannot be found in the wild and does not grow on trees. Shimmer is only brought to fruition through a careful nurturing and monitoring process, which involves practices we are revealing here for the first time. Just as last year we bravely exposed the horrors of slush-reading badgers, we are now opening the door upon Shimmer’s very own badgers, and how they cook Shimmer.

(Please note that all badgers are supervised and wear hair nets while in the Shimmer kitchens. Their paws are washed in fresh spring waters after their hourly romps in the clover meadows. They are never unsupervised while stoking the Shimmer Ovens of Industry. Except that one time, which this article is not exploring.) (more…)

The Clockwork Kitchen: Cooking the Books with Beth Cato

If trapped aboard an airship, with only a tin of cinnamon, a pinch of yeast, and a bag of somewhat questionable flour, our heroine, author Beth Cato would unquestionably come up with delicious baked goods in time to destroy her enemies. We are certain of that.

Cooking the Books is delighted to welcome Beth on the day her book, The Clockwork Dagger, debuts!

(You can read the first chapter of The Clockwork Dagger at

Beth joins us to talk about the research that went into the book, especially regarding food, politics, transport, medicine, and gremlins.

Thanks to Beth, you can score the very ARC written by Beth that was then gently read by us in preparation for this interview. This ARC is experienced, in good condition, and comes with your very own Cooking the Books Con Ribbon as a bookmark. (Yep, we’re making you read to the end for the entry terms. We were not born yesterday.)

So! Grab your goggles and your traveling-case, adventurers! And bring a good appetite, because Beth’s shared her recipe for maple fudge, as well as the story behind that fudge’s connection with The Clockwork Dagger.

Everyone armed with their weapon of choice? (more…)