Food in fantasy novels are as varied as they are in real life. As a lover of food and food blogs, youtube cooking channels, discovery channel and travel channel food programs, I find the eating culture of different fantastical tribes very important as a way of showing cultural and religious beliefs, especially the connection of those beliefs with hospitality toward strangers, gratitude toward the gods, and the passage of time.
Wind Follower benefitted from my love of anthropology and from my living in New York. In Wind Follower, I created four tribes that lived in a common cultural setting. In many ways, they were like the cosmopolitan New York area I live in -- many people sharing some aspects of the culture while preserving their own unique cultures with characters' wealth or committment to their religion being the factors that affected their eating habits.
But there were sexual taboo food issues in Wind Follower, and women were not allowed to touch or eat certain foods at "that time" of the month. In addition, some foods implied certain spiritual doctrines. Therefore to touch those foods implied challenging the doctrines.
In my story, Lingua Franca, the eating of certain foods -- or more specifically, the eating of flesh or the cutting of flesh with a tool-- is the crux of the story. In that story, the main character challenged her husband on his changing the "letter" of the law in order to do what the foreigners want.
In The Constant Tower, my upcoming novel, different tribes eat different foods but the problem is not a big one.
For other posts on food and fantasy, check out: http://www.sylviakelso.com/2012/12/food-on-travelling-round-table-fantasy.html
Sylvia Kelso lives in North Queensland, Australia. She writes fantasy and SF set in analogue or alternate Australian settings. She has published six fantasy novels, two of which were finalists for best fantasy novel of the year in the Australian Aurealis genre fiction awards, and some short stories in Australian and US anthologies.
The members of the travelling blog tour are:
Theresa Crater has published two novels, Beneath the Hallowed Hill & Under the Stone Paw and several short stories, most recently “White Moon” in Riding the Moonand “Bringing the Waters” in The Aether Age: Helios. She’s also published poetry and a baker’s dozen of literary criticism. Currently, she teaches writing and British lit in Denver. Born in North Carolina, she now lives in Colorado with her Egyptologist partner and their two cats. Visit her website at http://theresacrater.com
Andrea K Höst was born in Sweden but raised in Australia. She writes fantasy and science fantasy, and enjoys creating stories which give her female characters something more to do than wait for rescue. See: www.andreakhost.com
Warren Rochelle has taught English at the University of Mary Washington since 2000. His short story, "The Golden Boy” (published in The Silver Gryphon) was a Finalist for the 2004 Gaylactic Spectrum Award for Best Short Story and his novels include The Wild Boy (2001), Harvest of Changelings (2007), and The Called (2010. He also published a critical work on Le Guin and has academic articles in various journals and essay collections.
Deborah J. Ross began writing professionally in 1982 as Deborah Wheeler with Jaydium and Northlight and short stories in Asimov's, F & SF, Realms Of FantasyY and Star Wars: Tales From Jabba's Palace. Now under her birth name, Ross, she is continuing the" Darkover" series of the late Marion Zimmer Bradley, as well as original work, including the fantasy trilogy The Seven-Petaled Shield, forthcoming from DAW. She is a member of Book View Cafe. She's lived in France, worked for a cardiologist, studied Hebrew, yoga and kung fu, plays classical piano, loves horses, and is active in the local Jewish and Quaker communities.
Valjeanne Jeffers is a graduate of Spelman College, science fiction writer and the author of the Immortal series, The Switch II: Clockwork (books I and II), Grandmere’s Secret, and Colony. She has been published in numerous anthologies including: Steamfunk! and Genesis Science Fiction Magazine. Contact Valjeanne at http://valjeanne.wordpress.com and www.vjeffersandqveal.com.
Chris Howard's a fairly creative guy with a pen and a paint brush, author of Seaborn (Juno Books) and half a shelf-full of other books. His short stories have appeared in a bunch of zines, latest is "Lost Dogs and Fireplace Archeology" in Fantasy Magazine. In 2007, his story "Hammers and Snails" was a Robert A. Heinlein Centennial Short Fiction Contest winner. He writes and illustrates the comic, Saltwater Witch. His ink work and digital illos have appeared in Shimmer, BuzzyMag, various RPGs, and on the pages of other books, blogs, and places. Last year he painted a 9 x 12 foot Steampunk Map of New York for a cafe in Brooklyn. Find out everything at http://the0phrastus.typepad.com/ You can also find out more about Chris at http://the0phrastus.deviantart.com/ at http://the0phrastus.livejournal.com/ and also at http://www.SaltwaterWitch.com