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mark211Most mouthwatering descriptions of food?2014-09-28 07:38:27
mark211As one of the tributary sources of Science Fiction and Fantasy was Travel fiction, it's perhaps not surprising that Food is often depicted in mouthwatering detail. J.R.R Tolkein's Bilbo Baggins tucks his way into bread, honey and clotted cream; Geoge R.R. Martin's Tyrion Lannister seems to be forever breaking apart crusty brown rolls to dip into creamy chestnut soup; Elisabeth Moon's Paksenarrion not only wilts at the smell of fresh-baked spicebread, but even attends a banquet in which a castle she successfully besieged is made into a huge cake. 2014-09-28 07:38:49
mark211So what are the most mouthwatering descriptions of food?2014-09-28 07:38:59
mark211Actually, having just asked the question - another one comes to mind - is it just me or has anyone noticed that in Science Fiction novels, as a rule, they seem to be going for the 'Bleurggh!' factor when describing food and eating - you know, the drinks are always blue or the characters are being asked to eat some living squirming alien lifeform (Jack Vance's Demon Prince series has at least two examples of revolting alien foods that the hero, Kirth Gersen, has to chow down on. However, when it comes to Fantasy fiction, the food is almost always salubrious, soul food - bacon, butter, ale, freshly baked bread, soups, thick sausages etc. It's as if everyone just agreed that food in the future will be a disaster whereas food in the 'past' is like going to a rustic Umbrian Farmhouse ... 2014-09-28 08:13:46
jessbaumOh my gosh, Neil Gaiman has this down. In American Gods especially he describes McDonalds perfectly. He goes into detail on how disgusting it is while making you crave it at the same time, that is an art that few writers have: speaking the truth but still giving it the appeal that no one can deny. (Though I have successfully abstained from the evil that is the golden arches for years now every once in a while I kind of want to destroy my insides with the greasy mess.) 2014-09-28 09:44:55
mark211Heh ; - ) Speaking of burgers, I really like this scene from John Kessel's 'Some Like it Cold' – the time-travelling narrator, Detlev Gruber, goes back in time to 1962: "Saturday I spent touring pre-quake L.A. I indulged in vices I could not indulge in 2043 […] At mid-afternoon I stepped into a diner and ordered a bacon cheeseburger, rare, with lettuce and tomato and a side of fries. My mouth watered as the waitress set in front of me, but after two bites a wave of nausea overcame me. I watched the grease congeal in the corner of the plate."2014-09-28 10:47:59
mark211And also, I'm pretty sure that may confirm my suspicion that most food in Sci-Fi is bad, but in Fantasy it's usually good - "I uncovered the plates. Warm bread swirled with honey and raisins, cold meats, a dish of strawberries and a small pot of cream." - that's from Robin Hobb's 'Assassin's Apprentice' and half the food in that series is poisoned!2014-09-28 10:58:07
micheledutcherIf you set aside Anne Rice's descriptions of human blood as a vampire's food, I guess Hemmingway describes food very well. 2014-09-29 09:10:21
micheledutcherExamples of my own writings about food: William had noticed the antique laser-knifes hanging on the glass walls when he entered the house and took one from its sheath. “Seaside,” he instructed the Home Enhancer as the transparent walls muted to an idealistic cliff-filled scene. He noticed a bowl on the countertop holding three blue apples and picked one up, studying it for a moment before cutting it in half. The apple’s inner surfaces instantly softened with the heat, being quickly baked with the laser’s heat. '''''' William stood studying the splendid banquet room before him. The affluent on these outer worlds enjoyed socializing over meals of dirt food: meals actually grown in their own greenhouses instead of being synthesized by chemical corporations. The manufacturers of synthetic foods promised the taste and texture was the same, but the eternals swore they could tell the difference. '''''' “Sal, Puck,” she cried out briefly, pleading for an end to the carnage. Her screaming stopped suddenly as the small female form ripped out old woman’s throat. The other creature plucked out Mothergod’s eyes before they began to feast upon what little flesh remained on her brittle bones. Sometime during the feasting, she gave up her spirit. Only the booming of the distant thunder echoed through the water-raped river valley. The two drew their leathery, reflective wings around their small bodies as they scooted closer to the warm meal. While the pair devoured the soft entrails, the reflective outer wings made it look as though part of the body was simply absent. Only the head and legs of the corpse were visible, streaked by squirts of thick, black blood. 2014-09-29 13:12:05
micheledutcherPaolo Bacigalupi, in his novel Windup Girl, gives a vivid description of eating a fruit that he hopes is not genetically enhanced. The food itself is a big part of the plot – it’s his job to find such a fruit – he’s trying to save the world through food. Food usually isn’t a basic part of most scifi stories; it’s just something referenced in passing. In The Hobbit, food is a basic part of the story, since hobbits are not adventurers – rather they are comfort seekers. So the emphasis on food is important in defining the characters. “Anderson turns the strange hairy fruit in his hand. It carries no stink of cibiscosis. NGAW. A mystery. The (seller) hands back the fruit. Anderson sniffs tentatively. Inhales floral syrup…He slips the ngaw’s slick translucent ball into his mouth. A fist of flavor, ripe with sugar and fecundity. The sticky flower bomb coats his tongue…” 2014-10-01 05:38:36
r.tornelloDOWN AND OUT ON ORION & PISCES By RdotTornello © 2013 & The Village Idiot Press _________________________________________

They park their space rigs in geosync, Fancy freighters and scowboy’s stink. At The Inn and Star Way Diner delight all chow down by the gas cloud’s light. I’ve cooked here and I’ve cooked there I’ve cooked the worst of the universe’s fare.

A Train Wreck of a diner in 520 ABELL Your intestines will feel like Whirlpool. Eating @ the bistro of the Hunting Dog. The Southern Pinwheel has the worst after dinner feel, and if your mind is your gyro Your Compass @ Pyxis will true no longer you. The worst dessert was mixed by the Witches’ Broom, when you sup at the Eagle and Swan Saloon.

They park their space rigs in geosync Fancy freighters and scowbow’s stink Different beings all the same Gotta eat and get ptomaine.

Horse Head is what we fed @ Coma Berenices. Ringside @ Rhea a nice view I’m sure with a dark Doodad string of stars. Then at the One Armed Spiral eatery’s bar, Butterflys from NCG 6302 brew in a jar. I’d call the medic were I you, were I seeing that Red Rectangle of death. Add a Unicorns Head and if you don’t make quick to the infirmary’s bed, you’ll be worse than sick.

They park their rigs in geosync Fancy freighters and scowboy’s stink. Fancy linen or plastic ware, we feed them all and we don’t care.

With dark matter secret in their omega omelets it’s a Celestial Question Mark how they survive, even if they’re Universal Space Cowboys cause, our cooking is of the lowest of all the dives.

The spin of a black hole’s event horizon? To your stomach, my cookn’s no comparison. I’ve cooked the worst this universe’s served. My bona fide are here displayed. So Trust Me when I declare, Out side the 5 star grease-pit in Pleiades, I’m the worst cook in anywhere. Eagle Swan Song in Sagittarius, my last gig until I landed here on this planet of a pig. A small yellow sun where you cook your own; three rocks out ain’t no place to shout about.

Dine in, eat out, Ammonia gas fired, CMB baked Gravity drawn and pulled, over cooked, under cooked or tar-tar. They park their space rigs in geosync, fancy freighters and scowboy’s stink.

The End

2014-10-02 05:43:10
mark211I really enjoyed 'The Wind-up Girl' which is weird, in a way, because my immediate reaction on finishing reading it was kind of ... 'meh' ... and yet it was clearly a slow burner because after reading it I found myself thinking about it loads and the more I thought about it the more I started to realise just how good it was - so-o-o-o, I guess it's kind of a slow-release kind of story - like porridge?2014-10-02 16:35:24
mark211I guess we don't usually have micro-fiction in the weekly discussion, but hey, why not? Incidentally, this "Your intestines will feel like Whirlpool" I'm sorry to say that I think, well, know, I've eaten in that eatery - or at least a franchise of it(!) 2014-10-02 16:37:11

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