Cooking the Books

Cooking the Books with Malka Older

Happy Wednesday and welcome to a brand new monthly feature in partnership with Fran Wilde and Aliette de Bodard’s Cooking the Books Podcast!


Today’s guest is Malka Older talking to Aliette and Fran about her novels Infomocracy and Null States over at the main Cooking the Books kitchen.


Here at the extension kitchen, we have bonus Q&A content and an audio snippet!


The Book Smugglers: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Malka Older:

I totally reject the premise! Food (and other things) are about variety and difference and I’m not sure there’s anything that would be inherently better if eaten without variation. If I have to answer I will fudge and pick a deluxe version of something like nasi kuning/thali/bhat kare/bento/injera plate where there are lot of different tastes (and nutritional values).

The Book Smugglers: What’s your favorite food scene from (an SFF) movie, tv show, or book? (e.g. Imaginary Food becomes Real Food morphs into Food Fight in ’90s classic, HOOK)

Malka Older:

Tom Jones (not SFF, Hobbits fighting over mushrooms in Fellowship of the Rings, Professor Aronax’s first meal with Captain Nemo.


The Book Smugglers: Let’s play Marry/Kiss/Kill, but with food. (e.g. Marry: Thanksgiving Turkey/Kiss: McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets/Kill: EGGS.)

Malka Older:

Marry: chili peppers

Kiss: miso

Kill: tripe and/or gizzards


And here is the audio clip teaser of A Book Smugglers Question(TM): “What food did you write off first in your future”:


Go over to the main kitchen to check out the full episode which includes a discussion about relief work in Japan after Fukushima, writing data-driven SFF, pigeons, poetry and more Book Smugglers questions.

You Might Also Like


  • Cooking the books with Malka Older - Aliette de Bodard
    October 16, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    […] Our fabulous friend Malka Older found time between busy moments at BEA to talk with co-host Fran Wilde and me about her relief work in Japan after Fukushima, writing the data-driven, sf stunners Infomocracy and Null States (out soon from Tor.Com Publishing!) and telling us what foods go away first in an infomocracy universe. It’s all  for Cooking the Books this month, both here and at the extension kitchen over at The Booksmugglers! (check out Malka’s Booksmugglers Bonus answers!). […]

Leave a Reply