Eating Authors: David Brin

1 Comment » Written on April 29th, 2013 by
Categories: Plugs

Welcome to another Monday. This week’s guest fascinates me, not only because of his fiction but the man himself. We’ve only met a few times, exchanged barely a handful of emails, and yet there’s just something about him that captures my imagination. And the same is true for his fiction. David Brin has won the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Campbell (the one they give for a specific book, not the other one, though he was nominated for that one). He’s carved out a legacy for himself in the genre with his Uplift series, and continues to break new ground. And don’t get me started about his short story collections, just follow the link below, trust me.

David has a PhD in physics, has seen his work adapted to the movie screen, and been the Guest of Honor at a Worldcon. After a career like that, what’s left but to talk to me about food?

LMS: Welcome, David. I know you’ve dined all over the world, can you tell me what meal was the most memorable?

DB: Lawrence, dining should be like life itself – contingent and hard to pin down along the simplistic metaphorical axes of mere language. Hence, when pondering my “best meal” I could only come up with several, each in its own context the “best.” For example 16 years old, at a summer academic camp, the strawberry fields next door so overflowing that one lunch we had mountains of the best, most luscious berries I ever tasted. A true surfeit. I stayed after everyone else left, eating ever more slowly, asymptotically, until it was clear that one more was impossible. It would harm the bliss… but the best part was knowing there were mountains more of them nearby, were I to want them. It taught me a lesson in the fine art of human satiation and satiability.

Coming down out of the High Sierras, fourteen days on scanty food and hard work. My most unapologetic carnivorous moment. Steak and beer in a little diner: Lone Pine California.

Eating spicy lentil-dahl served by Nepalese Sherpas on the flanks of Annapurna, while looking at my then-fiancee (now wife), sensing one hunger abate while another grew and knowing that satiation would come in a nearby tent.

A few months later, while we lived in Paris, discovering our favorite crepe stand on Rue Mouffetard. Champignon-fromage avec des oignons.

Tasting my own blood during a fist fight when I was fourteen, while knowing that victory would end all bullying. A salty flavor, spiced by success, with just a soupcon of acceptable guilt. I didn’t need or want another meal for two days.

These stand out more vividly than formal dinners with fine wines and sauces… though those can be nice too!

The River of Time

Thanks, David. A welcome reminder that what we mean by “meals” can be as fluid as memories themselves.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!


One Response to “Eating Authors: David Brin”

I’m really enjoying reading these. This week’s guest, though, brings up a wonderful point; it’s the moment at least as much as the food that makes a meal memorable. The situation, the person or people with whom it is shared, this is, at least, as important an ingredient as anything ingested to be digested.

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