The best fantasy and science fiction books from authors who care passionately about food and drink

Shannon Page Author Of Our Lady of the Islands
By Shannon Page

Who am I?

I love food and drink! I am an avid cook and kitchen creator. Since moving to an island five years ago, far from mainland stores, I’ve learned to craft much more myself. I make limoncello, fresh ice creams, shrub (sipping vinegar); I roast and saute and barbecue and preserve; and I belong to a “bean club” which sends me a box of interesting dried beans every quarter. (No, really.) Combine this with my love of imaginative literature, and you end up with Arouf’s “spicy sweetprawn stew” in Our Lady of the Islands…a recipe I’ll have to actually invent someday.


I wrote...

Our Lady of the Islands

By Shannon Page, Jay Lake,

Book cover of Our Lady of the Islands

What is my book about?

Sian Katte is a successful middle-aged businesswoman in the tropical island nation of Alizar. Her life seems comfortable and well-arranged…until a violent encounter one evening leaves her with an unwanted magical power.

Arian des Chances is the wife of Alizar’s ruler, with vast wealth and political influence. Yet for all her resources, she can only watch helplessly as her son draws nearer to death. When crisis thrusts these two women together, they learn some surprising truths: about themselves, their loved ones, and Alizar itself. Because beneath a seemingly calm facade, Alizar’s people—and a dead god—are stirring…

The books I picked & why

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Ancillary Justice

By Ann Leckie,

Book cover of Ancillary Justice

Why this book?

Even though I’m not much of a tea drinker, I wanted to become one as I read this book (and its two sequels, Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy). The attention to detail in both the preparation and consumption of the tea in these books—and what those actions say about the characters who perform them—is fascinating and revealing. As more of a coffee fiend myself, it makes me want to pay such careful attention to coffee in a book of my own…hmm…

Ancillary Justice

By Ann Leckie,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ancillary Justice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ancillary Justice is Ann Leckie's stunning debut -- the only novel to ever win the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke awards -- about a ship's AI who becomes trapped in a human body and her quest for revenge. A must read for fans of Ursula K. Le Guin and James S. A. Corey.

"There are few who write science fiction like Ann Leckie can. There are few who ever could." -- John Scalzi
On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Once, she was the Justice of Toren -- a…

Bridge of Dreams

By Chaz Brenchley,

Book cover of Bridge of Dreams

Why this book?

Chaz is my favorite foodie; many of his books (and other writings) display his vast and enthusiastic expertise on the universe of foods and how to enjoy them. But the description of the preparation and consumption of the ortolan in Bridge of Dreams is epic: it takes six dense, rich, gorgeous, deeply revealing pages…for one bite.

Bridge of Dreams

By Chaz Brenchley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bridge of Dreams as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For a thousand years, the great city of Sund stood impregnable while its enemy, Maras, remained outside the walls. Then the Marasi harnessed the powers of magic. Erecting an otherworldly bridge whose foundations were rooted in sorcery, the Marasi overran the walls of Sund and threw them down...

Now, in the city known as Maras-Sund, magic has been outlawed. Yet there are hcildren being born with raw mahical talent—and there are those who would rally behind them to rebel against their hated overlords. Issel, a young  water-seller from the poorest part of the city, possesses the gift for magic. And…

Flesh and Fire: Book One of the Vineart War

By Laura Anne Gilman,

Book cover of Flesh and Fire: Book One of the Vineart War

Why this book?

Wine and magic. Need I say more? No, but I shall anyway: I love wine, complex and delicious and delightful; and I love magic, mysterious and powerful. Laura Anne combines these elements to great effect in her Vineart War series, where spells are crafted from wines—the only source of magic in the world. It was hard to read this without wanting a glass of pinot noir by my side!

Flesh and Fire: Book One of the Vineart War

By Laura Anne Gilman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Flesh and Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hailed as "something wholly new" and "extraordinary" in starred reviews from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, Laura Anne Gilman’s Flesh and Fire is as intoxicating as the finest of wines—and as powerful as magic itself.

Once, all power in the Vin Lands was held by the prince-mages, who alone could craft spellwines, and who selfishly used them to their own gain. Now, fourteen centuries after a demigod shattered the Vine, it is the humble Vinearts who know the secret of crafting spells from wines, the source of magic, and they are prohibited from holding power.

But a new darkness is…

Twice: The Serial

By Mark J. Ferrari,

Book cover of Twice: The Serial

Why this book?

This book is actually an illustrated online serial, currently 64 episodes in (and on pause at the moment, but I have it on good authority that it will resume). One of my favorite episodes deals with a mysterious young woman preparing a mysterious—magical?—breakfast of zucchini and eggs…but it’s full of spoilers, so you should probably just start the story from the beginning.

I love Twice: The Serial because it's an amazing contemporary fantasy story, well told and beautifully illustrated—a great example of the kind of fantasy I love, which is the "slow build" type...we're in the real world and then mysterious things happen around the edges...and then right in the middle.

Twice: The Serial

By Mark J. Ferrari,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Twice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

By C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (illustrator),

Book cover of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Why this book?

I’ve hardly met a fantasy writer who didn’t grow up on the Narnia books. I read them over and over as a child and a young adult, loving them more deeply each time…and yearning for the delicious, deadly, magical Turkish Delight that the White Queen gives Edmund. I would totally have fallen for that trick as a child. I probably still would.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

By C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Complete and unabridged on four CDs, read by Michael York.

"This is the land of Narnia," said the Faun, "where we are now. And you - you have come from the wild woods of the west?"
"I - I got in through the wardrobe in the spare room," said Lucy.

Lucy steps into the Professor's wardrobe - but steps out again into a snowy forest. She's stumbled upon the magical world of Narnia, land of unicorns, centaurs, fauns... and the wicked White Witch, who terrorises all. Lucy soon realises that Narnia, and in particular Aslan, the great Lion, needs her…


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