The Galactic Culinary Society - Cryovacked by D.R. Schoel
Recently released, the third in a series of just-for-fun short stories featuring Jean Oberon of the Galactic Culinary Society is an adventure with a dark flavor (see what I did there?), and an interesting twist. This volume also contains a bonus story titled Rising Terror.
The story opens with the abduction of one Benjamin Thompson (1753-1814), an American-born physicist and inventor credited with the discovery of the sous vide method of preparing food. Sous vide allows one to cook food at lower temperatures for longer times to achieve a more evenly cooked item with the outside not being over cooked.
Thompson, also known as the Count Rumford, is living in Paris, France and conducting experiments on methods of heat transfer when he hears strange noises which he assumes are small animals scurrying about on his property. He soon learns it isn't animals entering his home, but Greelon abductors who wrap him up and take him on a long journey.
Jeane and her Greelon sidekick, Xstersi, are on a quest to find the last of a delicacy called Quibble Eggs. Along with that, Xstersi believes the eggs would be even more succulent if cooked using the sous vide method. Unfortunately, there are several obstacles along the way causing much frustration for the Greelon, and a lot of work on Jeane's part. A mysterious presence on board almost cooks our heroes by turning the entire ship into a sous vide machine. With only moments to spare, it is uncertain whether Jeane and Xstersi will survive.
In the second story, Rising Terror is about a sourdough starter that threatens to end the entire universe. If you pay attention, you might find an interesting thread connecting to one of Schoel's fellow authors.
As with the first two stories in the Galactic Culinary Society, Secrets of Umami and Song of the Golden Brew, I enjoyed the clever banter between characters and laughed several times throughout the story. Schoel has a knack for interesting language, but more than that, he has a knack for hiding little hints referring to real-world people and things in his writing. While his stories are meant to be fun, he takes the science content seriously and goes to great lengths to be as accurate as he can. I find his style of weaving fact with fiction and humor refreshing.
Schoel assures me future stories are in the works.
One thing I should caution potential readers of these Galactic Culinary Society stories. Be sure you read these when there are no distractions. I made the mistake of trying to read this while the house was full of distractions and didn't get the stories the first time. On the second reading, I was home alone and able to fully concentrate and received the full flavor of these clever writings.
About D.R. Schoel:
I'm a writer and filmmaker with a Master's degree in film production. But they say it's the experience that counts: I've worked for nearly twenty years with the Inuit of the Arctic on many, many television programs. I've also worked with Chad McQueen (son of movie icon Steve McQueen) on an un-produced project for Netflix, and wrote a feature film about a Jewish-Arab love story, Adam's Wall, released globally. I've presented a short film at Cannes (an autobiographical piece, The Fantastic Bus), won a Canadian screen award (the equivalent of the Canadian Oscars; is that worth mentioning?) and had aTop-10 documentary at the Toronto Film Festival, Sol, about an Inuit circus performer who died in RCMP custody.
I like to travel, having been all across China - excluding Xinjiang, where Uyghurs were put into detention camps, and I had to go through police checkpoints, sometimes twice a day - to Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, The Dominican Republic, pretty much everywhere in Europe, and the Arctic. Lastly, I'm a lifelong fan of Sci-Fi and since I can't (yet) go into space... I like to daydream about it.
The Secrets of Umami is the first in my new series, The Galactic Culinary Society. I have lots of surprising ideas to explore. To keep up-to-date on all things related to the GCS and Intergalactic Chef Hunter, Jeane Oberon, you can sign up for my newsletter at GCS NEWS.