Tag Archives: Star Trek

The Final Culinary Frontier: The Star Trek Cook Book by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel

28 Sep


I have at times been disappointed by some cookbooks based on popular TV shows, books, or movies due to not having food that actually feels like it comes from that world, but instead just having food items with cleverly titled names, but no connection to the franchise itself.  The Star Trek Cook Book by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel, however, truly feels immersive.  Dishes are listed by the alien species whose planet originated the dish and it is explained that the earth ingredients are substitutions for hard to find off planet ones.  Dishes included resemble those from a variety of earth cuisines and have a sprinkling of molecular gastronomy type techniques that give the dishes a futuristic feel like the Porakan Cloud Eggs which have you separating chicken eggs, beating the whites, and then combining them again when baked for a dish that “replicates the unique properties” of the Porakan variety.  Large full color illustrations are included with each dish. 

I’m planning to have a cocktail party with some of my Star Trek loving friends featuring Ferengi Tube Grub Skewers (don’t worry gnocchi stand in for grubs), Denobulan Sausages, and Klingon Krada Leg Skewers with libations including Klingon Bloodwine, Romulan Ale, and Risan Mai-Tais.  My son is particularly looking forward to helping me with the Starfleet Food Rations, which are suspiciously similar to mochi candy. 

Difficulty is cleverly measured in pips and the reader is given tips on what the recipe pairs well with as well as “diplomatic plating” suggestions.  Definitely recommended for Star Trek fans, even those who aren’t usually fans of cooking will smile over recipes like Spatchcocked Tribble.  Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for access to an early copy. Fantasy Foodies can check out a previous post featuring cookbooks based on Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and True Blood.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

Shaping the Universe: Sundiver and Victories Greater than Death

14 Jul

I remember one of the things that always stood out to me while watching the Star Trek series was the idea of the prime directive, the idea that the spacefaring societies tried to avoid interactions with the groups still developing so that those species would be able to create their own societal values and beliefs without being influenced by more advanced groups.  But what if one were to imagine a very different situation where more advanced civilizations purposely manipulated other intelligent groups.  Two novels that examine this possibility are Sundiver by David Brin and Victories Greater than Death by Charlie Jane Anders.

Sundiver by David Brin
Sundiver was Brin’s first book in his Uplift trilogy.  In the universe of the novel, humans are an anomaly, in that there is no record of them being “uplifted” by another intelligent group.  Most alien species have been assisted through genetic manipulation and other techniques to advance by other species.  Humans have “uplifted” dolphins and apes on earth.  Although humans treat those that they have uplifted as equal, in most of the universe the uplifted groups are treated as being indentured and owing the more advanced group that helped shape them.  The alien species in the novel are vividly described and although they are all able to communicate due to technology, they are vastly different in shape, for example one looks like a giant tree and another looks like a teddy bear with tentacles.  There is a mystery in the novel that slowly unfolds about a sabotaged mission to our sun, where it is believed aliens might have secretly been living for centuries.  We read Sundiver for our June HPL Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Discussion Group and the members thought the book still felt fresh and enjoyable even though it was published in 1980.  You can join us in July for a discussion of Darwinia by Robert Charles Wilson in Church Square Park. You can borrow Darwinia and Sundiver in print from the Hoboken Public Library or as an ebook from elibraryNJ (log in with your HPL library card for access).

Victories Greater than Death by Charlie Jane Anders
Victories Greater than Death is Charlie Jane Anders first in her new Unstoppable YA series.  It starts with a teen on earth who has been waiting for years for her true destiny.  Despite looking like a normal American teen, Tina, is secretly an alien clone of a fierce warrior who is the only hope of stopping an evil space force.  Along with her best friend, she also recruits a diverse group of teens from around earth to help on the mission.  Issues of gender, class, and identity are all examined.  One reoccurring theme is that early on in the Universe a group described as the shapers chose to help intelligent symmetrical bipedal groups, but held back groups that did not meet these standards.  The assumption at first is that this may have been due to prejudice by the shapers, but as the book continues a darker motivation is possibly uncovered.  The sequel, Dreams Bigger than Heartbreak is scheduled to come out at the beginning of April 2022.  You can check out our previous review of Anders’s adult novel All the Birds in the Sky (another of our book club picks) here.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Services

%d bloggers like this: