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A Taste of Salt: Cooking the Books with Ruthanna Emrys

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You might have missed the announcement on this, but I’m now Fran Wilde‘s co-host for Cooking the Books, the podcast about SF and food. This month we sat down with Ruthanna Emrys, the author of the newly released Winter Tide from Tor.com Publishing, a novel about re-imagined Deep Ones.

Read excerpts at tor.com| Buy at Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indiebound

We talk about how Ruthanna uses food to evoke memory in her book. What we didn’t realize is that we would also be talking about revising the Lovecraftian recipe, and exploring monster digestion.

This podcast contains so much salt. Also a heads up about Ruthanna’s book party with her blog co-host Anne M. Pillsworth at Wiscon in a few weeks! Are you going? Pick up a Honeyed Salt Cake for us. Or try the recipe yourself, below…

This month’s Cooking the Books Podcast, #030: A Taste of Salt – Cooking the Books with Ruthanna Emrys contains:

  • Deep Ones comfort food
  • What one would feed H.P. Lovecraft (a Book Smugglers question!)
  • Truffle salt, fleur-de-sel harvested from marshes, smoked salt…
  • CSA joys
  • Avocados
  • Holiday Fish Stew
  • Did We Mention Ruthanna’s Book Party at WISCON
  • A mention of “The Litany of Earth”, the short story that started it all.
  • Snarky aliens

Ready? Subscribe to the Podcast here! Or on iTunes! Or click play below.
(and consider supporting us on Patreon please?)

And visit additional Ruthanna Emrys content over on the The Booksmugglers!

Podcast #030: A Taste of Salt – Cooking the Books with Ruthanna Emrys


Direct MP3 Link

Recipe: Honeyed Saltcakes

(Recipe by Nora Temkin)
Makes: 21 cookies

Ingredients:

  • ¼ C sugar
  • 1.5C + 1T flour
  • 1.5T fine-ground salt (People of the air who think there’s such a thing as “too much salt” may want to make this 1.5 teaspoons.)
  • ½ C honey
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • ½ t baking soda
  • Additional honey + course ground fleur de sel for glaze, to taste

To Cook:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cream butter, sugar, and honey until smooth.
Add egg and mix.
Combine remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.
Drop spoonfuls of batter onto a greased cookie sheet, leaving room for cakes to spread to about 2 inches wide.
Bake 9-12 minutes until lightly browned.
Remove from oven—immediately brush with warm honey and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve warm.


Ruthanna Emrys is the author of Winter Tide, the first book in the Innsmouth Legacy series. She is also co-blogger on Tor.com’s Lovecraft Reread, and writes short stories about religion and aliens and psycholinguistics. She lives in a mysterious manor house on the outskirts of Washington, DC with her wife and their large, strange family. She makes home-made vanilla, obsesses about game design, gives unsolicited advice, and occasionally attempts to save the world. You can find her on Twitter, livejournal, her website, and at Tor.com.


Cooking the Books is a mostly-monthly podcast hosted
by Fran Wilde and Aliette de Bodard.

Check out our archives.

Help out Likhain

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So, the lovely Likhain (who’s up for a Best Fan Artist Hugo, and whose art you’ve seen me publicise before), has had unexpected vet bills on top of a costly move, and could really use some help (in the “need money for groceries” context of help). I know she’s given an amazing amount for the community (if you want a few of the specifics I’m familiar with, she ran a lot of the fundraiser we did for Rochita Loenen-Ruiz a year ago, in spite of being tired and drained most of the time).

The best help would of course be to contribute to her patreon or commission her for work, but this is medium to long-term stuff, and we’re talking pretty short term here? If you happen to want to help, you can paypal her here.

And should you donate above 7$/£5/€9, forward me the receipt using the form below, and I’ll send you an ecopy of Ships in Exile, which gathers three hard-to-find Xuya stories.

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Proof of donation (photo or screen capture of receipt required, GIF, PDF, JPG or PNG, 2MB maximum)

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Reminder: House of Binding Thorns promo tour (sort of)

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Quick reminder of a few events:

  • I’ll be at Waterstones Piccadily in London on Wednesday 12th April 19:30 (so tomorrow!), in conversation with Zen Cho and Vic James. You can get tickets here (or just show up at the event and get them).
  • And I’ll be attending Eastercon in Birmingham: my schedule is here

I’ve also been around the blogosphere:

  • My Favorite Bit at Mary Robinette Kowal’s Blog: destroying Paris and terrible bilingual puns
  • In Defence of Uncanny Punctuation at Chuck Wendig’s blog: in which I defend the King of Fruit and the King of Punctuation
  • My Favourite Dragons and how I designed mine at The Book Smugglers
  • Unfamiliar rooms: magic and dread in Kari Sperring’s The Grass King’s Concubine, at Tor.com
  • At my blog: why likeable characters are overrated and how to design your very own character we love to hate,
  • The Fallacy of Agency at Uncanny Magazine, with awesome Likhain art (aka Madeleine from The House of Binding Thorns, with silver and gold foil and all the usual Likhain prettiness, which you can see a snippet of above. Seriously. Go check the post out just for the art because it’s stunning. Likhain is a current Hugo finalist for Best Artist and deservedly so!)
  • Author takeover: War of the Houses at Mugglenet (which makes me absurdly happy because Harry Potter was such a big part of my London years)

Release Day for House of Binding Thorns! (UK)

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And today is release date for the UK edition of The House of Binding Thorns! Ruined and decadent turn-of-the-century Paris, dragons, Fallen angels, intrigue, revolutions, betrayals! (and it’s standalone: you can read it without having read the first one and it works just fine).

I hate to say this, but given that this is the way things work–the likelihood of me getting to write more novels in this universe (or indeed, more novels, full stop) is entirely dependent on sales, so if you fancy picking up a copy (whichever format) I’d be very grateful. And if you like it, dropping a good word about it on social media or reviewing at goodreads/amazon (doesn’t have to be long reviews–I’ll take inarticulate squeeing too *grin*) or recommending to a friend would help immensely.

Here are a few blog posts I did for the release:
“Unfamiliar Rooms: Magic and Dread in Kari Sperring’s The Grass King’s Concubine” at Tor.com
Geography of alternate destroyed Paris and terrible bilingual puns at Mary Robinette Kowal’s My Favourite Bit
“In Defence of Uncanny Punctuation” at Chuck Wendig’s blog: a blog post with semicolons and durians, all the best things in life ^-^

And here are a few reviews:

A successful continuation of a truly grand story, brimming with action, heart, representation, and magic.

Martin Cahill, Barnes and Noble blog

A striking example of a story that both stands alone and expands (…) truly beautifully balanced: between new and old, birth and death, beauty and ugliness, inside and outside, beginning and, yes, ending. It walks the line, and walks it fine.

Niall Alexander, Tor.com

Buy now
Read Chapter One Online!

 

Release day: House of Binding Thorns!

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Yesterday was the US release date for The House of Binding Thorns (well, in the US anyway: the UK edition drops in two days’ time, on Thursday). If you’re in the mood for a dark fantasy set in a ruined and decadent Paris, magic creepy spells, Vietnamese dragons in human shape, and intrigue and backstabbing, I’ve got you covered! (and it’s standalone: you can read it without having read the first one and it works just fine).

I hate to say this, but given that this is the way things work–the likelihood of me getting to write more novels in this universe (or indeed, more novels, full stop) is entirely dependent on sales, so if you fancy picking up a copy (whichever format) I’d be very grateful. And if you like it, dropping a good word about it on social media or reviewing at goodreads/amazon (doesn’t have to be long reviews–I’ll take inarticulate squeeing too *grin*) or recommending to a friend would help immensely.

And here’s a little bit of a cheat: you can still get the exclusive-to-preorders ebook, Children of Thorns, Children of Water, if you buy the book today or tomorrow. Dragons in human shape infiltrating a grand, decaying mansion, magical shenanigans, and éclairs! (ignore the “UK only” in the graphic, this is valid whatever the edition you order–just send your proof of purchase through the form).

And here are a few reviews:

Touches the heart as often as it cuts throats.

Publisher’s Weekly (Starred Review)

THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS takes the gothic atmospheric politics of THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS and ramps them up to a pitch of intensity that I really wasn’t expecting. (…) Wrenchingly tense, suffused with a creeping undercurrent of atmospheric horror, of decline-and-fall, and yet vividly alive. (…) It does so much so right, and so well, that I cannot help but love it wholly and entirely. It really is an utterly magnificent achievement.

Liz Bourke

Buy now
Read Chapter One Online!

First reviews of The House of Binding Thorns

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Just thought I’d share a handful of reviews of The House of Binding Thorns–one week to go…

Liz Bourke:

The House of Binding Thorns takes the gothic atmospheric politics of The House of Shattered Wings and ramps them up to a pitch of intensity that I really wasn’t expecting.

(…) It does so much so right, and so well, that I cannot help but love it wholly and entirely.

It really is an utterly magnificent achievement.

Chris Meadows at Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews:

This is humanity at its worst and best, and it’s mirrored back to the reader in the faces of the supernatural creatures striding the broken streets of Paris. These aren’t saints or monsters, but complicated people, making decisions for their own reasons, worming their terrible way off the page and into your heart.

… a story which rewards close reading, and one which compelled me to keep turning pages; the climax was rewarding and impressive – and left me breathlessly hoping for more.

Stitch’s Media Fix:

…such an experience for me.

(…) I almost felt like I was in the middle of a hurricane being smacked around by all of the feelings and the incredible worldbuilding. It’s a brilliant, beautiful work of fiction and while it can hurt to read it and worry about the characters you’ve come to love over several hundred pages, there’s also hope to be had.

The House of Binding Thorns is an incredible book in a series that I can’t get enough of. If you enjoyed works like Susan Ee’s Penryn and the End of Days series or Kaori Yuki’s Angel Sanctuary, this book will be right up your alley. Trust me.

K Hart at longandfullemptywithwords:

The relationships between characters were incredible. (…) I could talk for hours, but this is supposed to be a short review. (…)

Do read.(…) absolutely this book did not disappoint!

The book is also featured on Kirkus’s “list of Science Fiction and Fantasy Everyone will be Talking about in April”

Buy now
Read Chapter One Online!

Women in Fantasy: Zen Cho, Vic James and Aliette de Bodard in conversation

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Come hang out with Zen Cho (author of Sorcerer to the Crown), Vic James (author of Gilded Cage)  in Waterstone’s Picadilly! We’ll talk women in fantasy, Regency & 19th Century, and quite possibly food!

You can get tickets here, or on the day: they’re £8 but redeemable against the purchase of one of our books–and The House of Binding Thorns will just have come out (just saying *grin*)

Last day to nominate for the Hugos!

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If you still need ideas/stuff to read at the last minute I’ve collected my recommendations here.

The short version: please consider Likhain (sample above) for your Best Fan Artist ballot, and Tade Thompson for the Campbell. And because I’ve repeatedly had the question: insofar as I can tell, the Xuya universe series is eligible in the Best Series category (meets the total wordcount and had 3 new volumes released in 2016: take your pick between “A Salvaging of Ghosts” , “A Hundred and Seventy Storms”, and “Pearl” in the excellent anthology The Starlit Wood–you can read the first two free online, or you can check out the Cheat Starter Guide to Xuya)

Dominion of the Fallen word search

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Want to play a fun game?
Leticia Lara has kindly made a Dominion of the Fallen word search puzzle–you can go look for the heads of the major Houses in the books, here. I’m offering three UK mass market paperback edition of The House of Shattered Wings if you can find them all!

(if you want to actually solve the puzzle, the one at Leticia’s blog is a widget where you can highlight text)