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Conversation Pieces


Vol. 40 — NoFood

by Sarah Tolmie

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For top chef Hardy Arar, his whole life is food. What is he to do when technology eliminates the need for it? TGB (total gastric bypass) is a giant leap forward for humans longing to transcend their flesh. It has fulfilled the desire of the rich to escape illness, boring sustenance routines, and disgusting bodily processes. But like all technological change, TGB unleashes a cascade of effects, social, political, and economic, effects drastically changing the lives of the characters in NoFood. For what is lost with the elimination of the drive to eat?

“He was gracious to the end, Harwicke Arar. He was satisfied. He was still in possession of his nose; he was still in possession of his principles; he was still in possession of his own digestive tract. He had cooked the best food in the world, real and imaginary, and found someone to eat it.”—from “Cakes and Ale”

Reviews

In NoFood, Sarah Tolmie (whose first novel The Stone Boatmen was one of 2014’s most promising debuts) transforms a sardonic novella into some­thing more than an extended joke by making it a story suite: exploring an outrageous fad that cap­tivates the super-rich, some decades in the future, from multiple viewpoints in six connected tales. 
  —Locus Magazine, Faren Miller,  Nov. 2014

Structurally speaking, this book is brilliant. The stories are interlinked, yet they build on each other in unusual ways. Tolmie makes use of the breaks, the ruptures between one story and the next. Each story disrupts the expectations that the previous one has set. The relationships between characters change in surprising and poignant ways. The perspective and point of view shifts radically, sometimes detaching entirely from the main narrative thread, yet always adding depth.   (Read the whole review)
  —Strange Horizons, Molly Katz,  24 August 2015

ISBN: 978-1-61976-065-3 (13 digit)
Publication Date: 2014
paperback 86 pages