Chat With an Author Cooking the Books

Cooking the Books with Arkady Martine

Happy Wednesday and welcome to a regular monthly feature in partnership with Fran Wilde and Aliette de Bodard’s Cooking the Books Podcast!

What’s cooking this month? SPACE OPERA THAT’S WHAT.

In the main kitchen, Arkady Martine  talks about her debut novel, A Memory Called Empire

Here at the extension kitchen, we have bonus SMUGGLERIFIC Q&A content:

If you could host a dinner party with your characters, and any other characters: who and why? AND what would you serve?
AM: I would invite the ezuazuacat Nineteen Adze to have dinner with the aiji-dowager Ilisidi (of CJ Cherryh’s Foreigner series) and at least one, possibly several, copies of Anaander Mianaai (of Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice). I would serve very exquisite tea, and small patisserie dishes with citrus and Sichuan pepper flavors to counteract the sweetness. And then I’d leave a tape recorder on and get the hell out of the room, because I’ve just set up a referendum on imperialism and right rulership with three (or more, depending on how you count the Anaanders) brilliant, scheming, patient individuals, all of whom might poison the tea if it seemed like a politically useful move.

What’s your favorite food scene from (an SFF) movie, tv show, or book? (e.g. Imaginary Food becomes Real Food morphs into Food Fight in ’90s classic, HOOK)
AM: Okay so this is pretty fucked up, but the Pale Man scene in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth. I mean. It’s the worst scene in the film for me. I’m so not okay with anything about the Pale Man, his eye-hands and the horrible hollownesses of his face, the dusty opulence of his banquet table, the food that doesn’t rot because it isn’t touched. The grapes. The temptation of grapes. It’s just such a powerful sequence: food hoarded, luxury hoarded, pleasure hoarded. All these good things rendered perverse.

Let’s play Marry/Kiss/Kill, but with food. (e.g. Marry: Thanksgiving Turkey/Kiss: McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets/Kill: EGGS.)

Marry: salmon sashimi

Kiss: Sichuan chili oil (on anything, but on lamb dumplings is especially great)

Kill: bananas. They taste like banana. This is terrible.

Now go over to the main kitchen to check out the new episode and to listen to the whole interview!

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