Tag: food

Roundtable: Food in SF


Roundtable: Food in SF

Another of my January project has gone live at Tor.com: a roundtable on The Food of the Future, with Ann Leckie, Elizabeth Bear, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, and Fran Wilde. Check it out here.

Thanks to everyone who took part–it was a lot of fun, and especially many many thanks to Fran Wilde for masterminding it and sending me pointed reminders about fixing and submitting it in what has been a rather overwhelming month (well, OK. Lately all months have been overwhelming).

Today’s amusing cookbook


A guide purporting to be an encyclopaedia of Asian ingredients. Under fish sauce, it recommends the Tiparos and Squid brands as being the best ones. Maybe, if you’re doing Thai cooking? They’re both Thai fish sauces, and for Vietnamese dishes I have to admit I’ve never found them to be much use (the book doesn’t go into the fact that there are huge regional variations on fish sauces, which is odd because it specifies this for soy sauces…).
Bonus points: under “typical dishes”, it lists “larb (Vietnam, Thailand)”. I have no idea about Thailand, but larb sure as heck isn’t a typical Vietnamese dish (in fact, I had to look it up on the Internet, and Wikipedia tends to suggest it’s a Lao dish. Way to go on mixing up all the countries of the Indochinese peninsula, guys).

Tueday update


Not much to report… It’s become a tradition that whenever I sell something big, the H and I will go to a restaurant and have a nice meal, so we went to the 13e and had a nice phở to celebrate the Clarkesworld sale (the owner knew what I was going to order when I walked in, too–drawbacks of eating at a restaurant which accommodates Mum and Grandma on a regular basis 🙂 ). The couple next to us was a bit lost, I think–they started off by ordering a chè ba màu (three-colour chè, which I’ve always seen eaten as a dessert when it’s part of a meal), and they were desperately looking for a “light” soup without noodles on the menu (they don’t really exist: you do have broth, but it’s thin and not nourishing at all…). In cases like those, I always hesitate to butt in and offer unwanted advice: they could have had one of the various gỏi, the cold “salads” that include green mango/green papaya/grapefruit, which are full of vegetables (and nước mắm), if not very nourishing. But I would have felt really out of place making a suggestion to two total strangers, so I didn’t say anything (though, amusingly, I would have done it were we speaking English–I really think my English-speaking persona is more outgoing than my French).

And finally steeled myself and said “bye” in Vietnamese, and nobody looked vexed, so at least it worked (though I think I shouldn’t have said “Madam” to the waitress, who looked to be firmly from my generation, but hey, better be safe than sorry…).

Right. To bed, and then to work on that short story that threatens to morph into a novella all over again. Sigh. I really need to stop worldbuilding and start writing.

Linky linky, the shameless edition


-It’s only been out a week, but there’s been awesome coverage of “Scattered Along the River of Heaven”: Lois Tilton on Locus Online marked it as Recommended, and noted it as a “good story” in her semi-monthly summary (my first time ever Lois Tilton likes something of mine…). Ken Liu posted a few thoughts on it here; John M. Kerr liked it ; starlady38 referred to it as “painfully good” (and reviewed Harbinger of the Storm, too!); the World SF blog showcased it; VarietySF wondered if it was part of a new trend of “helpful” invasive swarms of bots; and various people on twitter (Alex Dally McFarlane, Joyce Chng, Fred Warren, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz…) pointed to it. Wow. Never quite had so much press for one story.
-Fatema Mernissi on “Size six: The Western women’s harem”:

Unlike the Muslim man, who uses space to establish male domination by excluding women from the public arena, the Western man manipulates time and light. He declares that in order to be beautiful, a woman must look 14 years old

(I think what Mernissi means here is “time and slenderness”, because “time and light” makes no sense in the context of the article)
(via ideealisme Don’t agree with everything, but it’s an interesting analysis of current standards of beauty)
-Kate Elliott on “Re-reading and the Experience of Narrative”: interesting thoughts on how the sense of urgency can shape certain modern narratives; and on how re-reading can parallel life:

In life, we come back to the same events or choices, back to similar things, and we can never see them in exactly the way we saw them the first time, or the last but one time, when we encountered a similar moment or that same issue.

-Ari Marmell on “The Shared DNA of Steampunk and Epic Fantasy”. Worth munching on, though I’m not entirely sure I buy the premise in its entirety (the basic nostalgia drive is bang-on, but the parallels that are drawn feel a little too neat. Haven’t had time to think about this properly yet).
-And a random food link: thịt heo kho trứng (caramelised/braised pork with eggs) in steamed buns, from Blue Apocalypse. Yum.