In January, we’ll be dabbling in urban fantasy when our little book club tackles Marjorie M. Liu’s The Iron Hunt (Check the right sidebar for details. Oh, alright, you lazy good-for-nothings. Discussion the week of January 17th with author Marjorie M. Liu). In February, we’ll be switching gears to take on a little Hard SF in Karl Schroeder’s Lady of Mazes…
Says Publisher’s Weekly: “Canadian author Schroeder’s challenging hard SF novel explores the vast potential of artificial intelligence for transforming human culture. On the remote ring world of Teven Coronal, Livia Kodaly and her family inhabit the beautiful Westerhaven manifold, surrounded by a richness of high tech and virtual conveniences. Due to a childhood tragedy, Livia enjoys different consensual realities. The mysterious Book 3340 breaks down the barriers between manifolds, destroying her world, so that she must travel, with a few accomplices, out of Teven Coronal into the Archipelago, where she encounters several models for a perfect human society and examines her own. Her task is to choose among them, but ultimately to ensure that choices are possible by sacrificing herself to prevent the total subjugation of humanity. The interrelationship between technology and philosophy that informs her choice gives depth and breadth to a book that many will want to reread to get all the nuances.”
Says SfSite: “Karl Schroeder’s new novel is the real thing–head-snappingly cool SF, with big and clever ideas, almost believable transcendence, and a way to map human scale stories into a world where ‘post-human’ powers exist.”
Says Library Journal: “Schroeder specializes in far future, hard sf. His lively writing style and cutting-edge visions combine to deliver a topnotch story that emphasizes the human will to persevere even when reality is falling apart. A good choice for most sf collections.”
Says me: I’ve heard a lot of great things about Lady of Mazes from some very great people. Plus, Karl and his wife are Stargate fans!
Discussion the week of February 14th, 2011 with author Karl Schroeder.
Well, as promised, after considerable consideration, I’ve narrowed down your entries in the “I Make the Best Whatever” contest down to the Elite Eight dishes that will battle for culinary supremacy on this blog (and in my kitchen). The champion of the round robin tourney wins the title of Goodliest Eats 2011 and a remarkable prize (to be
decided on awarded at a later date). It was very tough choosing from among the slew of delectable-sounding dishes but, in the end, I was able to trim the field by focusing on those entries that: a) appealed most to my warped culinary sensibilities, b) showed a degree of creativity and/or personal ownership, and c) seemed uncomplicated enough that even I could successfully prepare them without burning down my kitchen. And so – drumroll, please – the Elite Eight are…
You had me at “Puerco”.
Yep, that’s right. I went with the white chocolate over the milk chocolate cheesecake. I’m leaning toward the white’s more subtle flavors. Also, Akemi prefers white.
It’s his Great Grandma’s recipe! That’s as home-cooking as you can get.
Tim Lade’s Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bread Pudding
I was promised a pic, but the combination of the words “chocolate”, “peanut butter”, and “pudding” alone were enough to secure a playoff spot. But I still want that picture!
I’m usually not a fan of fruit-themed desserts, but I’m a sucker for cobbler with a nice dollop of vanilla ice cream. Of course, if the official entry doesn’t include a recipe for the accompanying vanilla ice cream, DP faces a darkhorse battle.
From group underdog to field favorite. Alexander of Houston dishes a recipe worthy of culinary institute. But am I worthy of following his directions?
No, it’s not a euphemism. It’s a hearty traditional soup/stew popular in Spain, the Canary Islands, and South and Central America.
This looked and sounded so damn good, it edged out the Nutella Croissants!
So there you are. Listen up, candidates – if you haven’t posted a recipe yet, please do so. The rest of you – let the betting begin! And thanks to everyone who entered.
A marginally better day today. At least my dog didn’t pee on me. I woke up way too early because Jelly was crying. Was she in pain? Lonely? Did she have to go to the bathroom? Nope. She was just hungry. I fed her and the rest of the gang, then proceeded to clean the house (since I’ve realized I’ll have one whole half day to tidy up between my return from Tokyo and mom and sis’s arrival in Vancouver for Christmas). I worked out, had my protein shake, then showered up and headed out, Jelly in tow.
In a desire to make as informed a decision as possible, I decided to look into alternative treatments and second opinions for Jelly. The first vet I visited checked her out and informed me that nothing short of surgery would cure her condition. Instead, he focused on pain management, suggesting I start her on Gabapentin and monitor her progress for a few weeks before trying acupuncture. The second vet I visited checked her out and came to the same bottom line conclusion: only the surgery would improve her condition. But unlike the first doctor’s wait and see attitude, he urged me to schedule the surgery as soon as possible lest she deteriorates completely.
Suffice it to say that the second opinions only served to reinforce my confusion and general uncertainty. If I go ahead with the surgery and it leaves her paralyzed (or worse), I’ll feel terrible. If I don’t do the surgery and her condition deteriorates, leaving her paralyzed (or worse), I’ll feel terrible. If I wait too long to schedule the surgery and she takes a turn for the worse, I’ll feel terrible. If I rush her into surgery and something goes wrong, I’ll feel terrible.
I cheered myself up by heading back to the dentist for the third time this week to (finally) get that crown finished. To the list of things I hate – popcorn, candied fruit, shepherd’s pie, kiwi’s – please add “needles”. I received another four this afternoon and, when they didn’t do the trick, another two for good measure.
“Is it working?”asked my dentist hopefully as I massaged the right side of my face.
“I hope so,”I said. “Otherwise, I think I’m having a stroke.”
All lopside grin and drooling aside, it was a much nicer visit than the last one.
Tomorrow, Jelly has one more vet appointment and I have a bunch of things to get done (ie. buy chairs for the kitchen table because all the old ones have last their backs) before I’m Tokyo-bound on Monday.
Also, there’s something wrong with my garage door.