*I received free ARCs of these short stories with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Post-molecular Comfort Food
Blurb: Public health warning! This story is likely to cause profuse salivation!
Read only on a full stomach!
Michael Turner, the most popular food blogger in the world, has been unable to get his life back on track ever since being overtaken in the ratings by new upstart food designer Amy Williams. And now he is faced with the daunting challenge of taking her on in the annual televised top chef competition and the ignominy of losing his long-held crown to her in front of an audience of millions.
A humorous science fiction tale of delightful dishes and culinary masterpieces that shatters our familiar notions about cooking and explores our relationship with food and each other. Are you still a bit hungry? Good, then dinner is served..!
The blurb isn’t lying about this story making you salivate. I suggest stocking up on eggs before reading it, because if you weren’t craving them before, you definitely will be afterwards!
The story is told in the first-person narrative of Michael Turner and set in the not-too-distant future, where food has become such a global problem that entirely synthetic solutions have had to be implemented. This is where Michael and his ilk come in – making printable recipes that recreate the tastes and textures of food-gone-by.
Michael goes on a journey of self-discovery through the short length of the tale. We meet him as he is frothing with rage, jealousy and competitiveness, as he attempts to create a competition recipe to put him back at the top of his field. During the process though, he learns a lot about being human, perfection, and what is important in life.
And he describes some absolutely mouth-watering food. Seriously, don’t go into this story hungry!
For the past five years, my name has deservedly topped the list of the most popular food bloggers. Everyone knows that I, Michael Turner, lead in the field and that my recipes are works of art married to the latest innovations in culinary science.
“Plus, of course, a teaspoon of home-spun magic”, I used to joke in interviews, at a time when I could still laugh and have a joke.
– Anton Eine, Post-molecular Comfort Food
My New Superjob
Blurb: Did you ever want to be a superhero? The city’s defender against crime, violence, and all forms of sicko nastiness?
When one day she stumbled upon a strange help wanted ad claiming that the city was looking for a superhero, Samantha Washington, a former Ranger commander, was sure it was a joke. And she sent in her resume.
Will the ad turn out to be somebody’s dumb idea of a joke, a practical stunt, a cunning maniac’s clever trap, or… a real opportunity leading to a difficult and dangerous future occupation?
Now that she has let herself be drawn inextricably into the chain of events, Samantha will have to figure it all out on her own. And she’ll have to do it face to face with her own deepest fears.
My New Superjob is a completely different kind of story: edgy and a little dark.
Sam Washington turns up at an apparently deserted warehouse for a job interview with a difference. But does she really want to be the superhero the city needs and deserves?
Sam’s character is incredibly engaging. She is sharp-tempered, quick-thinking, foul-mouthed, suffers no fools and takes no prisoners. She is a bit of a badass.
It makes complete sense to the reader that she would have struggled to hold down any sort of a normal job, and so its lucky really that she has been presented with the opportunity for an abnormal one.
Originally intended as a standalone short story, I am in full agreement with Anton’s wife who insisted that this was merely the opening act of Sam’s adventures in Maze City. I also need to know what happened next!
I was certain now that something really was going on here, but it could still be a set-up. Someone had been here – only a few moments ago. Maybe I spooked them when I came in. Or maybe someone was still here, hiding somewhere, waiting in ambush. Or homing in on me with some unpleasantly lethal something or other.
I slowly walked up to the table and examined the slender file folder lying on it. On the plain manila paper, in thick magic marker lines, was written my name.
– Anton Eine, My New Superjob