Children of Arkadia ebooks are available now at Amazon and Kobo.

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Recipes of Arkadia: Betsy Rhys-Jones’s Spicy Vegetable Stew

Recipes of Arkadia: Betsy Rhys-Jones’s Spicy Vegetable Stew

Food — growing it, preparing it, eating it — is a central part of life in the Arkadia space colony. Over the next few weeks I’m sharing recipes for some of the food mentioned in the book.

Betsy isn’t one to build a community hall or tend to crops, but she isn’t content to just sit by the riverside. She loves to cook, but cooking for one is a pain. So why not share with everyone?

Recipes of Arkadia: Betsy Rhys-Jones's Spicy Vegetable Stew
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Recipes of Arkadia: Betsy Rhys-Jones's Spicy Vegetable Stew
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Sauté the onion in the oil, with salt, pepper and other spices. (Note - spice amounts are approximate. Adjust to taste/smell).
  2. When the onions are translucent, add the stock and beans. Cover and simmer until the beans are just tender but not quite done.
  3. Add chopped potato and yam. If necessary, add stock/water to cover. Simmer about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the green beans or other vegetables. Simmer until potatoes are soft. Serve with rice or fresh bread.
Recipe Notes

The cook and prep time is highly dependent on what (or if) dried beans are used. Lentils and pre-soaked chick peas cook in about half an hour, other pre-soaked beans can take up to an hour and a half. But you can let the stew just simmer on the stove while you do other things, making the house smell wonderful. Or use canned beans. That works, too.

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3-2-1 Book Launch!

3-2-1 Book Launch!

At the New Zealand National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention on Easter weekend, I was lucky to be able to pre-launch Children of Arkadia along with several other awesome local authors.

Gail Carriger

Gail Carriger

We were welcomed by local Rotorua bookshop Atlantis Books, and after a great Q and A with the con’s Guests of Honour Gail Carriger, Phillippa Ballantine and Tee Morris, we read a little from our books for the generous crowd.

First up was Debbie Cowens, with her Sherlock Holmes/Jane Austen mashup, Murder & Matchmaking.

Then Darian Smith read from his debut novel, Currents of Change.

Up next, I read the first chapter of Children of Arkadia, then the Australian FFANZ delegate to the convention, David McDonald read from his story “Her Face Like Lightning” from the anthology Insert Title Here.

Last but not least, CY Smith read from her new collection, The Chasm.

It was a great evening and I’m especially grateful to the folks at Atlantis Books for being so welcoming and genuinely excited about all our books. They were awesome! If you’re ever in Rotorua, go check them out. It’s a beautiful shop!

 

All photos by Matt Cowens

Thoughts on Awards

Thoughts on Awards

This post is about the Hugo fracas, but it’s also about awards in general.

If you don’t know about the current brouhaha regarding this year’s Hugo Award nominees, I’d recommend that for your own sanity you don’t read the rest of this post and go do something more fun. Like read a book, for example.

If you still want to know what’s what, you could do worse than read George R.R. Martin’s well-reasoned explanation and opinion. Of course, it’s long, written in many parts and not finished yet. But still —go do that. I’ll wait. The first part is here and it continues with subsequent posts.

So. Awards. I strongly dislike popular vote awards. They inherently reward campaigning, slates and bloc voting. And, not to put too fine a point on it, popular works already enjoy the natural rewards of popularity: eyeballs, pageviews, buzz and sales. I frankly don’t get the point of having an award for popularity. It’s double-dipping, But, they exist and like everything else in the universe that isn’t my personal ideal, my options are to participate and try to change things for the better if possible, or just opt out.

The Hugos are part of my community, part of my business. I might not like the way they are structured, but they are what they are. If I participated in the past (which I have done) I can’t opt out now just because some if their inherent flaws have been made obvious.

However, some people have argued that even participating in this year’s Hugos validates the use of slates and breaks the Hugos.

Bullshit.

Any system that requires adherence to unwritten rules in order to function properly is broken from inception. All straight popular vote awards open themselves to slates and bloc voting, it’s just a matter of people deciding they want to make it happen.

I’ll be giving everything in the Hugo packet a shot, even if that means I stop reading immediately after I see the author or publisher’s name. I’ll vote for what I think is award worthy and vote No Award before anything that isn’t, just like every year.

I personally hope that this debacle forces a rewrite of the actual Hugo rules to reflect the way voting is intended to occur. Regardless of the intentions of the slate-makers (and I personally deplore everything about “Rabid Puppies”) I just can’t sympathize too strongly with an organization losing its shit over people following their rules.

The nominees, on the other hand, have all my sympathy, congratulations and good wishes.

Recipes of Arkadia: Chen Wu’s Seed Loaf

Recipes of Arkadia: Chen Wu’s Seed Loaf

Food — growing it, preparing it, eating it — is a central part of life in the Arkadia space colony. Over the next few weeks I’m sharing recipes for some of the food mentioned in the book.

Chen Wu, one of Arkadia’s volunteer bakers, doesn’t think of himself as lazy — he’s efficient. He makes a lot of bread, so he does it the easy way: by letting time do the work. 

Recipes of Arkadia: Chen Wu's Seed Loaf
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50 minutes 18 hours
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50 minutes 18 hours
Recipes of Arkadia: Chen Wu's Seed Loaf
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50 minutes 18 hours
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50 minutes 18 hours
Ingredients
Servings: loaf
Instructions
  1. Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and stir them up.
  2. Add 2 cups of warm water, mix until you get a damp, doughy ball. You can do this all with a wooden spoon, there’s no need to knead! Cover with a cloth and let it sit overnight.
  3. The next day, pour the dough into a loaf pan and bake at 220C/425F for 40-60 minutes.
Recipe Notes

This seed loaf is my real-life everyday bread, using 3 cups of white flour, 1 cup of whole wheat and flax seed or meal. I’ve let the dough sit for more than 24 hours and as little as 8 hours. Longer is better, but the bread has always turned out.

You can use more or fewer seeds; I wouldn't go with more than a cup, though.

This recipe is based on Jim Lahey’s No-Work Bread, from How To Cook Everything.

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Happy (sneaky) Book Day!

tl;dr You can get the ebook of Children of Arkadia NOW

I knew I was having a sneaky digital launch of Children of Arkadia at the New Zealand National SFF Convention Reconnaissance this weekend (come say hi if you’re there!), but my publisher Bundoran Press has given the okay for everyone to be a Kiwi for a day (or four).

So the DRM-free ebooks are available now to buy from the publisher’s website as a zipped epub/mobi combo. Good for all ereaders!

Yay! Happy ebook Day!