March 26th, 2009

Fishy Circumstances

Aggregating Stew

Over the coming months, as you read works of fantasy, fairy tale, science fiction, and travelogue, could you do me a favor and note if you happen to spy the word "stew" used to refer to food in the work? Name, author, year of publication, page number and, ideally, an exceedingly brief description of context, where context might be (reheated meal over fire while traveling; laboriously cooked in a kitchen; meal in tavern with bread)

I wouldn't mind knowing about stew-free books either. For example, based on recent reading, I can tell you that there is no stew anywhere in The Night Sessions or Flood, but that Hope's Folly and Moonstruck has characters eating it.

Astute readers may be able to immediately guess at context without me telling them, given how well known the definition in Diana Wynne Jones' Tough Guide to Fantasyland is. I'm doing a paper on the topic for July's DWJ conference, and would love to cast my net of references further afield than I'm able to do by myself, given how collectively vast these literatures are.