The title of the post is from Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. I read it and the SF nature of it jumped out at me. What? It did, my brain works like that… And it got me thinking about how I often tackle world building from a food standpoint.
I’m reading a Mesopotamian cookbook at the minute (It’s for a fantasy story, *sh-h* don’t tell anyone) and the introduction the author gave caught the idea I often work with:
There is nothing more commonplace than eating and drinking. And certainly nothing can acquaint us better with the representatives of a culture than joining them for a moment or two in these activities.
It can reveal societal differences between characters and races or act as foreplay. I love writing food scenes, which is odd, as I loathe cooking in real life ;)
Bottero pushed the idea one step further for me, moving beyond simply discovering the food stuffs in your culture. Making up alien food is fun, especially the ones that are still alive at the table, a la Klingon. He pointed out that to really know a society, you have to stand behind the cook, see how the food is prepared, what routines and ritual go into the actual cooking–or not–of each dish. This has added something extra for me to think about as I build my worlds.
It’s early and my brain is fluff on good food examples from books, TV and films. What are yours?
Oh and I found this quote:
“But how will I eat cake if my head is over there, and my hands are over here?”
― Marie Antoinette
From an SF viewpoint…this begs for the French Queen to be a tentacled alien in the making :)
Kim Knox brews sex, magic, darkness and technology in a little corner of North West England. She writes erotic science fiction and fantasy romance for Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, Cleis Press and others.
SYNTHETIC DREAMS and BITTER HARVEST are available now from Carina Press.
AT THE COMMAND OF THE SORCERER and DARK DEALINGS coming soon