cooking the books

That’s Craft with a ‘C': Cooking the Books with Max Gladstone

Max Gladstone’s fiction mixes modern economic theory with thaumaturgy, necromancy with bankruptcy laws, and his characters draw you into their world before you realize the dangers involved. Talking to Max is a bit similar – you never know where you’ll end up. Be well assured, it will be mindblowing. Max joined the Cooking the Books podcast to celebrate his new book in the Craft Sequence, Full Fathom Five, just out from Tor.

The ingredients for podcast #003 – Cooking the Books with Max Gladstone include:

  • 10% stone golems
  • 3 times the Recommended Daily Amount of artificial gods
  • The best street food money can’t buy
  • What to eat when you’re stuck at the office and still living
  • 2 Dragon Steaks
  • Island economics and class divides
  • One box of Kraft macaroni and cheese
  • Seasoned with Anime, Loncon, and the John W. Campbell awards
  • Plus Max’s new story, The Angelus Guns


Lessons from the Portuguese: Cooking the Books with J. Kathleen Cheney

Very excited to have author J. Kathleen Cheney join Cooking the Books today! She’s here to talk about Portuguese cooking and the Golden City, where magical beings have been banned for decades, though many live there in secret.

Kathleen, welcome! Tell us a little about The Golden City and The Seat of Magic — is there a close cultural analog in the world?

The Golden City and The Seat of Magic are set in an alternate Portugal, in what would be the city of Porto, although a somewhat altered version.

What kind of research did you do on that culture?

To research that culture, I did a lot of reading, not only of history, but also period fiction from Portugal (Eça de Queirós and Camões, for example), guide books, cookbooks. Among other things, I tried cooking several recipes from those Portuguese cookbooks. And then we visited the country, spending two weeks in Portugal back in 2012, which was absolutely wonderful. (more…)

Blue Goo in Space – Cooking the Books with Adam Christopher

Is Adam Christopher as charming as he is prolific? Today, you have the opportunity to find out! Born in New Zealand, now living in England, Adam is the author of Empire State (Angry Robot, 2012), Hang Wire (Angry Robot, 2012), Seven Wonders (Angry Robot, 2012), The Age Atomic (Angry Robot, 2013), and most recently, The Burning Dark (Tor, 2014). He has a number of books upcoming as well, including the LA Trilogy, and The Burning Dark‘s sequel: The Machine Awakes (Tor, 2015)

Adam joins Cooking the Books for our second podcast episode to discuss The Burning Dark as well as his novelette Brisk Money, coming to Tor.Com in July.

(UPDATE: there’s a giveaway going on through Monday – details in the comments!)

Want to know what you’re getting into before you press play? Here are the ingredients:


Cookies and Con-versations: Cooking the Books with Rachel Kory

Must remember to be nicer to  agent…

By day (and sometimes evenings and weekends and possibly the wee dawn hours), SGGLiterary agent Rachel Kory encourages and promotes her writers. She’s awesome at it.* When she’s not scouring contracts, Rachel can be found at conventions throughout the country. Here’s the catch about cons: You may not recognize her when you see her, not at first: she’s excellent at costuming too. (Rachel’s been kind enough to share some of her photos below.)

A hint, for those who are lucky enough to cross her path: she’s usually carrying cookies or other delicious foods to share. Curious to find out more? Let’s have a con-versation… (more…)

When You’re What’s On The Menu: Cooking the Books with Mur Lafferty

Presenting the first-ever Cooking the Books podcast! – brought to you in no small part by Mur Lafferty’s I Should Be Writing podcast expertise. 

photo by JR Blackwell

Mur Lafferty is the author of The Shambling Guide to New York City (Orbit, 2013) and the recently released Ghost Train To New Orleans (Orbit, 2014). The 2013 John W. Campbell Award winner is also a fantastic friend to new writers. Her I Should Be Writing podcast contains a regular dose of encouragement, empathy, and advice.

What’s more, Mur is funny as all get out, and that comes across really well in a podcast. Let us know what you think! Get Your Cooking the Books podcast here!
It’s also here!

Cooking the Books #1: When You’re What’s On the Menu – Cooking the Books with Mur Lafferty – April 24, 2014

Want to know more before you commit to clicking the link? I’d be remiss if I didn’t list the ingredients. Here we go:

When You’re What’s On The Menu: Cooking the Books with Mur Lafferty contains:
  • 1/2 scoop I Should Be Writing
  • Assorted lesser gods
  • 2 Underground Publishing city guides for vampires, zombies, and monsters
  • 1 city talker
  • 2 favorite New Orleans restaurants
  • 1 road trip with Ursula Vernon

Plus! the following recipe for Ego Pie: 

Mur says: “Ego Pie is essentially Emeril Legasse’s chocolate creme pie, but you add 1/4-1/2 of a teaspoon of cayenne. My husband says that’s too much, but the point is to go past enjoyment into a little bit of pain because that’s what an ego needs.”
Mur Lafferty can be found at and on Twitter at @mightymur
Thanks for tuning in, everyone! Next month, we shift back to the blog with more interviews. Meantime, leave a comment to let me know what you thought of the podcast format.  For Reasons to be named later.

Available via paperback, ebook, and audiobook.
(Amz) (BN) (Indie) (Waterstones)

Available via paperback, ebook, and audiobook.
(Amz) (BN) (Indie) (Waterstones) (Audible)

Many Things At Once: Cooking the Books with Russell Galen

Douglas Levy

photo by: Douglas Levy

Russell Galen figured out by the age of 14 that helping authors was his career path. By the late 1970s, he’d secured an apprenticeship with one of the great literary agents of the era. In 1993, he joined two other literary agents to found what is now Scovil, Galen, Gosh Literary. With passions that include science and nature writing, science fiction and fantasy, Russ represents writers including Cory Doctorow, Diana Gabaldon, Terry Goodkind, Steven Gould (his Cooking the Books interview was our first ever), James Rollins, Paolo Bacigalupi, Cassandra Clare, and new novelists including Ken Liu, Charlie Jane Anders, and me*. (See how smooth I was, sticking that last one on the end? SMOOTH.)

Russ’ tastes are legendary, and I was delighted when he agreed to answer questions for Cooking the Books – so delighted that I threw him a curveball, below, about what upcoming releases should be paired with which foods. I suspect we will see more pairing suggestions in the future.

None of the other questions I asked him were easy ones either. I’m not sure where that falls on the brave/stupid scale of how to work with your agent, but his replies are phenomenal, and I’m very grateful Russ shared some of his time.

Everyone ready? Let’s all sit down to an agent’s lunch with Russell Galen… (more…)

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!