Monday, March 11, 2019

Crystal King

Crystal King is a novelist, editor, professor, social media professional, and critical & creative thinker.

Her debut novel, Feast of Sorrow, is about Marcus Gavius Apicius, the man whose name is on the world’s oldest known cookbook.

Her new novel, The Chef's Secret, is a story about a famous Italian Renaissance chef, Bartolomeo Scappi, who was the cuoco segreto (private cook) to several Popes.

Recently I asked King about what she was reading. Her reply:
Time travel has been on my mind lately, it seems. A desire to escape the things of this world? I’m not sure, but I’ve been fortunate to find a bookish escape in several time travel books in recent months.

An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim was one of my favorite reads last year. In the midst of a deadly flu pandemic, time travel has been developed as a way to thwart the virus. The cost of the cure is prohibitive for most, so the solution is to jump people ahead to the time when the virus has run its course. Sounds great, right? Except that there is a catch. If you can’t pay for the cure for your loved one in this time frame (interestingly, the 1980s), you can sell yourself into several years of indentured servitude twelve years into the future, working for big corporations to pay off the cost. But that cost proves to be even more devastating for our protagonist, Polly. Absolutely gripping.

I loved The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas for its take on how time travel was invented--by four women in 1967. One of them suffers a breakdown, is ostracized by her peers, and erased from the history of time travel’s invention. I loved the nearly all female cast, the inventiveness of moving through time, and how two women, Ruby and Odette, are at the heart of a really strange murder mystery. It begs so many questions, particularly--how can you kill a time traveler if they can always move ahead and see how they will die? A fantastic, fast-paced read.

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire isn’t out in the world as of this writing, but I managed to score an early copy. It’s my first introduction to the author, and wow, what a way to enter the world of her imagination. This is time travel of a totally different kind, a story that rips the reader through the worlds of two twins, one who sees and manipulates the world through math, the other through words. Ambitious, epic, and one I highly recommend for the TBR list.
Visit Crystal King's website.

The Page 69 Test: Feast of Sorrow.

--Marshal Zeringue