Author Rajan Khanna joined Fran Wilde on Cooking the Books podcast to celebrate his debut from Pyr, Falling Sky.

You can read the first chapter of Falling Sky at Tor.com. Rajan will be reading at the World Fantasy Convention on Thursday, November 6 from 2:30-3pm, and at the December KGB Fantastic Fiction Reading in Manhattan, with Author Steven Gould.

The ingredients for Cooking the Books podcast #005 – “It’s Hard to Fish from an Airship: Cooking the Books with Rajan Khanna” include:
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Cooking the Books with Fran Wilde and Beth Cato

Author Beth Cato joined Fran Wilde on Cooking the Books podcast to celebrate her debut from Harper Voyager, The Clockwork Dagger.

You can read the first chapter of The Clockwork Dagger at Tor.com.

The ingredients for Cooking the Books podcast #004 – “The Clockwork Kitchen: Cooking the Books with Beth Cato” include:
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Author Max Gladstone joined Fran Wilde on the Cooking the Books podcast to celebrate his new book in the Craft Sequence, Full Fathom Five, just out from Tor.

The ingredients for Cooking the Books podcast #003 – “That’s Craft with a C: Cooking the Books with Max Gladstone” include:
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MIND MELD: Books We’ve Worn Out Re-Reading

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

There are books we read once. There are books we re-read. And then there are the books that we wear out because we devour it again and again. These are the books for which we have to buy ourselves another copy immediately upon lending out because we’re sure we will never see it again — or just want to make sure we have it on hand.

Q: What are some of these genre books for you? Why do you go back to them again and again?

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Fran Wilde is an author, programmer, and technology consultant who has worked as a science and engineering writer, a university professor, a sailing instructor, a game developer, and a jeweler’s assistant. Fran’s first novel, Bone Arrow, is forthcoming from Tor in 2015. Her short stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Beneath Ceaseless Skies (forthcoming), Nature, and The Impossible Futures anthology, while nonfiction interviews and roundtables writers have appeared under the banner “Cooking the Books” at Tor.com, Strange Horizons, the SFWA blog, and at franwilde.wordpress.com. You can also find Fran on twitter (as @Fran_Wilde), tumblr, and facebook.

Photo Credit: Dan Magus, 2014   
On Staying Ahead of Evolving Technology (OR: Things Fall Apart)

By Fran Wilde

Diana Rios swore she’d put the next stung brigger who entered her garrison med tent out of their misery with her bare hands.

“What possessed you to put a live wasp in your mouth, Jersey?” she asked, before tearing an antihistamine pen cap off with her teeth.

“Ith wath a beth! Ow!”

- From “Like a Wasp to the Tongue,” by Fran Wilde, Asimov’s April/May 2014.

John DeNardo invited me to talk to SF Signal readers about the sensor wasps that appear in my Asimov’s April/May 2014 short story “Like a Wasp to the Tongue,” and I’m delighted to do so.

SF writers spend a lot of time thinking about where technology is headed. In particular, we try to stay far, far ahead of where technology might be headed. It’s part of the job description. Personally, I find it a lot of fun. But it isn’t an easy sort of fun. Tech moves faster every day.

In a former life as an engineering and science writer, I learned that one way to get a jump on technology and where it could evolve is to look at the problems that technology is currently creating for itself and for its users — the holes it digs for itself, simply by virtue of its own headwind.

I’m totally getting to the wasps. Bear with me.
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MIND MELD: Our Favorite Dragons in Fantasy

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

With the arrival of The Desolation of Smaug on movie screens, We asked this week’s panelists about the most iconic of fantasy creatures: Dragons.

Q: What makes dragons appealing? How do you use dragons in your own writing? What are your favorite depictions in fantasy?

This is what they said…

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MIND MELD: Food in Science Fiction versus Fantasy

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

This week we asked about Food and Drink in SF.

Food and Drink in science fiction sometimes seems limited to replicator requests for Earl Grey tea and Soylent green discs. Why doesn’t do as much food as Fantasy? Does Fantasy lend itself more to food than Science fiction? Why?
This is what they had to say…
Laura Anne Gilman
Author and Freelance Editor Laura Anne Gilman is the author of the popular Cosa Nostradamus novels, the award-nominated The Vineart War trilogy, as well as the story collection Dragon Virus. She also has written the mystery Collared under the pen name L.A. Kornetsky.

This will, I will admit, be a purely foodie view: I enjoy cooking, I enjoy eating, I enjoy reading about cooking and eating. And for a long time, it seemed as though we foodies were, if not the minority in genre, then certainly underserved.

There were the banquets in fantasy, of course, and the trail rations, and sometimes even a discussion of where the food came from, but – like bathroom breaks and sleeping – it often seemed tossed into the pile of “boring, don’t write about it.”

And science fiction? Mainly, science fiction mentioned food in context of technology: food-pills, space-age packets, vat-grown meat, etcetera. I suspect that many writers of the time had been heavily influenced by the early space program, and extrapolated their SF on the actual science. Surely, science fiction was saying, we had more important things to do than cook – or eat!

Even when they were dealing with an important, food-related issue (overcrowding, famine, etc), MAKE ROOM, MAKE ROOM made it a (very serious) punchline. So did “To Serve Man.” But scenes of characters preparing their food, or even enjoying it, were notably, if not entirely, absent.

(even CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY made the “too busy to eat” point with the 3-course-meal-gum…)
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