Weston Ochse is the author of more than twenty books, most recently SEAL Team 666 and its sequels Age of Blood and Reign of Evil, which the New York Post called 'required reading' and USA Today placed on their 'New and Notable Lists.' His first novel, Scarecrow Gods, won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in First Novel and his short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His work has appeared in comic books, and magazines such as Cemetery Dance and Soldier of Fortune. He lives in the Arizona desert within rock throwing distance of Mexico. He is a military veteran with 30 years of military service and currently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Alien Invasion Stories from Armada to Grunt Traitor

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The Book Plank asked me to write an essay for promotion of my newest novel GRUNT TRAITOR. They told me I could write about anything. I decided since I've been working on the Grunt Trilogy for awhile that I'd write about alien invasions, especially on the heels of reading Ernest Cline's brilliant Armada.



Here's how it begins:

There’s something at once terrifying and romantic about an invasion. One wrong move could mean the destruction of everything you know and love, but in the heat of battle, there are crystalline moments in which true humanity shines. Like many military authors, I often look to history for guidance on how to write the future. I’ve always looked at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift as the perfect sort of battle to represent an alien invasion. One hundred and fifty British soldiers in a remote outpost are beset by four thousand Zulu warriors. The odds seemed impossible, yet in the end the British won the day.

The early Michael Cain movie Zulu retells this story and stands as one of my favorite military movies of all time. There are moments in the film that resonate. In the face of overwhelming attack, the sergeant major lowly commanding his men to take it easy. Right when everything seems lost, several men channeling the ridiculous still complain about having to fight and would rather go on profile. The stoicism of Michael Cain’s character in the face of implacable odds.

There’s so much about this movie and story. But overall what it tells me is that an alien invasion story isn’t about the aliens. It’s about how people react to the aliens.

If you want to read the rest, you can find the essay here.

Oh, and if you have the time, check out Grunt Life and Grunt Traitor. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Zombies in Science Fiction - Grunt Traitor Exclusive

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I was asked to write a guest blog for  Rising Shadow Dot Net. I decided it was high time to write about zombies in science fiction. After all, most of our zombies are science fiction, right? So how do you make a different zombie if so many have been done before?

Well, I did it in Grunt Traitor.

Here's a sneak peek before you go to the main article.

It all started when I read an article online in early 2013 about zombie ants. Have you heard of them? Since then, National Geographic even had a picture of one in a recent issue. The actual name for the fungus that infects the ants is Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis. It’s an entomopathogen, or insect-pathogenising fungus and totally freaking scary. Once infected, the ant leaves its normal environment, goes to the forest floor where it’s warm and humid and better for the fungus to grow, attaches itself to a leaf, then stays there for 4 – 10 days sprouting fruiting bodies the whole time until it dies and spreads its spores to infect more ants. 

Now, what if the aliens were able to take this fungus, change its cocktail of behavior-controlling chemicals to target humans, then weaponize it? How cool and devastating would that be, especially if you are a soldier who is trying to save humanity, all the while alien-zombified humans are trying to stop you?
 
 Does it make me a bad man to say I delighted in doing this to my fellow humans?

HA!


Oh, and if you have the time, check out Grunt Life and Grunt Traitor. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Grunt Traitor Came Out Screaming - The Problem With Second Acts

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GRUNT TRAITOR was born yesterday shortly after midnight. Weighing 7.8 ounces and running 432 pages, this brand new baby book came out screaming. Screaming because it was happy to be alive, but also screaming because it knew at once it needed to live up to it's older brother GRUNT LIFE and it was afraid it wouldn't be able.

This is my 26th literary child and I love this one as much as I loved the first. It's funny, though. I always feel my greatest achievement is writing the book. The publishing of it always seems so anticlimactic. But then someone comes along and comments on my baby and it makes me realize that it's no longer just my creation. It's been let loose in the world and now belongs to everyone. 

Grunt Traitor has a tough road to walk. It's the second book in a series. It's a sequel to a fan favorite - Grunt Life. While people might want to buy Grunt Traitor, they're hesitant. I get that. I feel the same way too and sometimes it seems too much effort to go back and read the first book. I mean, what if I buy it and don't like it?

For the author, a second book represents tremendous danger. The strength of sales of this second book are going to dictate what the publisher's plans are for the series and the author. Stale sales of a second book can easily cause a series to be cancelled, or no further contracts offered. 

So it's really up to the author to write a hell of a second book. In fact, the author really needs to have a plan. Let me explain, but first read Deborah J. Ross, who explains the middle book syndrome excellently.  

"Middle books present particular challenges that reflect whether they are truly the second of three parts or whether they are “the continuing adventures” of a successful-but-complete first book. A trilogy is like a three-act structure, only on steroids. The whole work gets fractal, if I’m using that term correctly. Overall, you have three books, but each book has a three-act or four-act architecture within it. And each scene has its own buildup and partial resolution of tension, etc."

 Not only must an author successfully create a three act arc over the space of three books, but the author must create one which continually captivates the readers. This overarching arc represents the cohesive tension the author creates to link each book. It's not just enough to have the second book be the continuing adventures of. Somehow the second book has to have an intrinsic value. It has to answer unanswered questions posed in the first book, but leave enough unanswered to allow for opportunities in the third book. Doing this without making the second book feel incomplete is tremendously difficult.

Thankfully, I knew this going into it. I'd done my homework. I knew that there were some great authors out there who'd had problems with second novels.

Working on the sequel to Shipbreaker, Paolo Bacigalupi said, “It felt like I was writing a sequel for a sequel’s sake, rather than because there was a story that felt immediate and necessary and that required the canvas of a multi-book series.”

So I had to have a plan. And I had one. You see, I'd failed in this before so I'd began formulating the plot for the second book even before I finished the first book. I think this was hugely important. Writing a sequel for a stand alone novel is too hard, because if the author is doing his or her job well, then all loose ends have been tied up. My job when writing the first book was to determine what loose ends to tie and which ones to leave alone. Too much and the reader feels cheated.

By planning the second book as I was writing the first, I gave myself an incredible head start. I was able to hit the literary landscape running, continuing the overarching three act arch of the trilogy, while also concentrating on the three act structure belonging to the second book. This is a mistake I made in my SEAL Team 666 trilogy from Thomas Dunne Books. Each of the three excellent books was a complete stand alone novel. I didn't have any overarching problem or situation. Think X-Files and Cancer Man. Even though Mulder and Scully would wrap up an investigation each episode,  there was always a bigger problem to solve-- a greater mystery.

In Grunt Life I established that there was an alien invasion. Not a big spoiler, but the aliens did invade and they kicked humanity's ass. In Grunt Traitor they are still kicking our ass. The thing is, though, we don't know who they are or why they've come. Not once was there a broadcast from the alien commander telling us why. It was as if we were ants and an intergalactic foot stomped on us-- which is how I think an alien invasion would take place, if we ever have one (fingers crossed it doesn't happen because I have plans).
Was I successful? I suppose you'll be the judge. Sales will be the footnote for my success or failure. I've had a tremendous outpouring of well wishes and people who said they bought copies. But will this be enough? 

Gosh, I hope so, because in this case I did everything right. Now it's up to the bookstores and salesmen and fans to hand sell my books by word of mouth.

The thing is, I'm read to write the third book -- Grunt Hero. Grunt Traitor wrapped up well, but there are still some unanswered questions. I'm hoping that the audience will hang around long enough to find it out, because I'm doing something that has never been done before and I want to hear the collective jaw-drops when everyone finally finds out.


To get your own copy of Grunt Traitor go to this link and choose your bookseller.

PRAISE FOR GRUNT TRAITOR AND GRUNT LIFE

"Grunt Life was a major achievement in military SF! A real page-turner! This new chapter in the series is even better!" David Gerrold, Hugo and Nebular Award winner of The Martian Child
 

"Weston Ochse writes hard-nosed fiction with more grit and imagination than most authors could ever hope to muster. When he turns his skills to tales of the military, the words sing with the truth of personal experience." Christopher Golden, #1 New York Times bestselling author of SNOWBLIND

"Weston Ochse is the new voice of action science fiction." Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of CODE ZERO and FALL OF NIGHT

"Ochse writes with assurance and confidence, and that shines through in this superb military SF novel. Brutal, bloody, and brilliant." Tim Lebbon, award-winning author of Coldbrook



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Grunt Traitor Available for Kindle and Paperback Pre-order

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Grunt Traitor has been available for paperback pre-order for some time now, whether it be through your favorite indie bookstore, Barnes and Nobles, or Amazon. As of today you can now pre-order it on Kindle. So if you're like me and want the book delivered without having to go look for it when its released, here's the link you can use.

Link to Pre-order Kindle - US

Link to Pre-order Kindle - UK

Cheers!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

CONTEST RESULTS: Last Meal Before the Comet Hits

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So I had a pop-up contest and asked:

POP-UP CONTEST: A comet is going to hit the earth and you have time for one last meal? What is it? I'll pick three winners tomorrow. Winners get either a signed copy of Grunt Life, Grunt Traitor or FUBAR! GO!

I found the culinary decision making very exciting and interesting from a sociological perspective. Seeing everyone's favorite meals let me know a little bit more about everyone. I noticed that beef won out, especially steak. I love a good steak. Medium rare definitely. In fact, I've always wanted to have a real Delmonico steak. I've been to several restaurants who claim to, but when I ask, it's never the real thing. I'd like to have one before a comet hits for sure.

Still, there are so many choices.

I put a round up of everyone's choices below. You should really go through them. Some are quite inspired, while others are nicely quaint.

If you want, hit Control-F and input what your favorite food it and see if it's here.

Or you can skip to the bottom to see the winners.

Samaire Provost Full blown Thanksgiving Day Roasted Turkey Dinner, with all the trimmings, just like mom used to make, then afterward, hot toddies 'till I can't walk upright, then I'll be ready to be smushed by the comet kiki emoticon
Like · Reply · 19 hrs

Catherine Higgins vodka, vodka and more vodka.

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Tom Deady Cinnabons

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Yvonne Navarro I'm with Ben Snider. I want a buffet of international EVERYTHING before the comet smushes me!

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Cory Herndon Whatever they're serving on the Moon station, and I want to eat it there. Loophole!

Like · Reply · 2 · 19 hrs

Jonathan Lambert Quality soft pretzels, until I just can't eat any more.

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Laura J. Hickman a New Orleans meal of gumbo, etouffee, red beans and rice, a dish from Commander's Palace called Singing Shrimp (pasta, shrimp, garlic, and more butter and cream) blackend catfish, and finally bread pudding.

Like · Reply · 19 hrs

Thomas Arensberg mushroom burger with orange cream soda

Like · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs

Eva Eldridge Sashimi, green mussels, squid salad, miso, asparagus from Yamato Japanese Restaurant.

Like · Reply · 19 hrs

Charie D. La Marr Chocolate. Just chocolate

Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Denise Dumars Anything at Antoine's in New Orleans.

Like · Reply · 16 hrs

Weston Ochse Not seeing a lot of vegetarians here... especially at the end of the world

Like · Reply · 4 · 5 hrs

Tracy Rose Adam replied · 1 Reply


Steven Winfrey Barbecue from Arthur Bryant's in KC. I'd also pick that as my last meal right before execution.

Like · Reply · 19 hrs

Sean Ellis Haggis neeps and tatties...that way, I'll welcome the end

Like · Reply · 19 hrs

Aletia Meyers Um...final meal. Outback Steakhouse kinda meal. Start off with that loaf of bread. Then a green salad, and bacon cheesy fries. Followed by the drink order, a Cape Cod. Slice of lime on the tumbler. Then the main course, a rare prime rib with a baked potato. Desert, if any room left smile emoticon would be a warm walnut brownie with vanilla ice cream. Drizzled chocolate sauce on top.

Like · Reply · 19 hrs

Matt Flynn Philly cheese steak sandwich with everything on it...loaded fries w/ ranch dipping sauce...and cherry soda with crushed ice cubes.

Like · Reply · 19 hrs

David Margules replied · 1 Reply


David Margules Oyster linguine with water chestnuts and capers and a nice blush, along with Ben & Jerry's Phish Food ice cream

Like · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs

David Margules replied · 3 Replies


Aaron Gudmunson Double bacon butter burger. Chili cheese fries. Beer battered onion rings. Craft pale ale. In fact, double it. All of it.

Like · Reply · 19 hrs · Edited

Weston Ochse David Margules...blush? Lol. Really?

Like · Reply · 2 · 19 hrs

David Margules replied · 2 Replies


Matt Nord

Matt Nord's photo.
Like · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs

Del McCune Baby pan fried oysters and a shrimp and scallop etoufee with collard greens all washed down with and oatmeal stout - if I'm going to die, I won't feel the pain of gout. The comet will be merciful.

Like · Reply · 19 hrs

Tom Deady Cherry pez, no question about it

Like · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs

Michael Grover I'd go to one of those all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouses and eat myself into a coma so I'd be unconscious when the time came.

Like · Reply · 3 · 19 hrs

Eric Grizzle A typical meal I associate with growing up in Texas. Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and white gravy, fried okra, corn on the cob and green beans with bacon. Lots of rolls with butter. Sugared sun tea with ice. Glass of fine bourbon. Vanilla ice cream and/or peach cobbler.

Like · Reply · 19 hrs · Edited

Pamela Donovan Rare, bloody steak. Fully loaded baked potato. Onion rings. Chips with various dips like guacamole and spinach/artichoke. Gates BBQ. Sushi. And for dessert, skillet brownie with ice cream drenched in hot fudge and liberally sprinkled with crushed Oreos.

Like · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs

Brian Knight Effie Burger https://farm4.staticflickr.com/.../3569227258_82a53f61ef...


farm4.staticflickr.com

Like · Reply · Remove Preview · 1 · 19 hrs

Ivan Zoric A bucket of Nutella and a jug of almond milk.

Like · Reply · 19 hrs

Shaun Jacob Cobble Fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, crinkle cut French fries, chili, menudo, chocolate ice cream, and Evan Williams Single Barrel. It's all about comfort food when you're about to die.

Like · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs

Magan Rodriguez Homemade fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, biscuits, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, picked cucumbers and tomato, kielbasa, sweet tea. Mexican food. Italian.

Like · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs

La Blankenship I would probably make my homemade fried chicken with cornbread and fried okra for my husband and me. Crab sticks for my kids. Then pie for my husband, ice cream for my kids and me.

Like · Reply · 19 hrs

Drew Williams Chipped ham sandwhich and a cold beer.

Like · Reply · 19 hrs

Tim Martin Starter: French baguette with fromage Main: Mexican Chicken Soup with Cilantro, Avocado, and adobo chiles. Dessert: Bananas Foster

Like · Reply · 19 hrs · Edited

Stephen Ormsby Roast koala.

Like · Reply · 19 hrs

Lisa McCune Your paella. Ha ha.

Like · Reply · 19 hrs

Geoffrey H. Goodwin I'd fast. There's other stuff I'd want to do more.

Like · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs

Walter Aloysius Guse Beans baby...Lots of Beans...If a comet is going to blast my ass to smithereens, I at least want the opportunity to blast my ass off the planet...Seriously wink emoticon

Unlike · Reply · 3 · 19 hrs

Robert Shane Wilson Haha. This is interesting. A short story I have coming out in the next Nameless Digest is about the last night before a comet will be hitting Earth and the main character has a country fried steak dinner, so that's my answer: Country fried steak! smile emoticon

Like · Reply · 2 · 19 hrs

Greg Chapman Tim Tams!

Like · Reply · 19 hrs

Michael F Doughty Pizza. Joint on 9th and Avenue a, NYC. #24hrdough

Like · Reply · 19 hrs

Paul Michael Anderson A breaded-chicken sandwich--toasted bun, mayo, American cheese--and a side of greasy cheese sticks from a diner I used to go to when I was kid.

Like · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs

Mike Klesowitch Mexican Chocolate Cake (bittersweet chocolate cake with hints on

Like · Reply · 19 hrs

Mike Klesowitch replied · 1 Reply


Jason Wolfgang Gehlert London broil and a Sam

Adams cherry wheat
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs

AP Fuchs If my life is ending, I'm going with my favorite: a greasy burger with chili, fries, gravy and an ice cold Alexander Keith's beer. Then a cigarette to cap it off once done.

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs

Lynne Akers Pan Seard salmon with avocado remoulade. And a bowl of hostess zinnger icecream

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs

Michael Yugo Grilled Chicken sandwich with cheddar cheese, waffle fries with a side of BBQ sauce for sandwich and fries...and 2 chocolate shakes...

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs

Tom Grellner I would fly all the way back to SIDS DINER for a burger and coney. That was the first thing I got when I came back from my first deployment.

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs

Donna Burgess Chili-cheese burger w/ mayo & onions, & half 'n half (half fries & rings), sweet tea from Rainbow Drive-in, Greenville, SC smile emoticon

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs

Jay Chase Kraft Mac an Cheese, three Oscar Meyer hot dogs and one can of Van Camps Pork and Beans (mixed with saltines and miracle whip). Along with an ice cold Dr. Pepper. The ultimate comfort food meal... I don't expect to place - but it made me happy just to write this!!! smile emoticon.

Unlike · Reply · 2 · 19 hrs · Edited
1 Reply

Steve Nagy Haggis from Deacon Brodie's Tavern in Edinburgh. http://www.bestofedinburgh.com/Page.asp?Title=Pubs...


Best of Edinburgh Pubs

The Essential Guide and Booking Service for the Capital City of Scotland.
BESTOFEDINBURGH.COM
Unlike · Reply · Remove Preview · 2 · 19 hrs

Sunni Brock Hoppin' John and Jalapeno Cornbread, with a very large bucket of buttery cajun-spiced popcorn as an appetizer, red wine and a tall pour of tawny port as a desert.

Unlike · Reply · 2 · 19 hrs

Skip Novak Jeb's BBQ ribs, home made sausage, pulled pork, fried corn, southern green beans and homemade bread pudding. Near Smithfield Virginia.

Like · Reply · 19 hrs

Jackie Glener Texas beef brisket (no sauce needed), V&V sausage, mustard potato salad with egg, pinto beans with cilantro and pork, spanish rice, home made flour tortillas, pico de gallo, slice of dill pickle, iced tea and to finish it off ice cold watermelon! Mmmmmmmm

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs · Edited

Weston Ochse Gosh you all are making me hungry

Like · Reply · 3 · 19 hrs

Aletia Meyers replied · 1 Reply


Paul Legerski LUNA's Carne Asada.

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs

Nick Sharps A bottle of Jack and a rack of ribs should do the trick.

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 18 hrs

Paul Synuria II Porterhouse, pizza, bacon sandwich, and a shit ton of Reese Cups cause I'm diabetic might as well go out that way

Unlike · Reply · 2 · 18 hrs

Gabino Iglesias I've been training for something like that for years. We start with with some tacos al pastor from Arandas and some spicy pulled chicken/cheese/homemade pico/avocado tacos. Then, we move on to some peppered turkey and brisket from Franklin BBQ and finish it up with some of my grandma's nata montada crepes and mom's triple chocolate brownies.

Unlike · Reply · 2 · 18 hrs

Bill ZombieZak Snider Steak, cheese, bacon and baked potatoes!

Unlike · Reply · 2 · 18 hrs

Tracy Rose Adam Duck lettuce wraps to start. Bucket of crab (with accompanying bucket of garlic butter of course) with crinkle cut fries and brown gravy, chicken wings (hot), and watermelon. Angel food cake with whip cream for dessert. The whole cake mind you. Others ...See More

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 18 hrs

Zakri Rafa'ee My mom cooking

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Erik Smith I'm going three courses, so that I get my favorites. 1: Homemade macaroni & cheese, with tomatoes in it. 2: Homemade lasagna. 3: Mint chocolate chip ice cream, with mini-marshmallows mixed in.

Unlike · Reply · 2 · 18 hrs
1 Reply

Janet Armentani Anything you cook Weston Ochse. Especially if it's lamb.

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1 Reply

Scott Glener Mom's matzah ball soup. She makes the lightest and fluffiest matzah balls.

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 18 hrs

Michael Knost Mamma's pinto beans and cornbread, fried potatoes, and salmon patties.

Unlike · Reply · 3 · 18 hrs

Soledad Medrano replied · 2 Replies · 8 hrs


Lesa Trapp Cheetos, Reese's peanut butter cups and a Dr Pepper

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Sunni Brock replied · 1 Reply


Carla Moore If I can't have some of everything.... Then chicken and dumplings and for dessert apples fried in bacon grease topped with bacon crumbles on buttered toast...

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Robin Wyatt Dunn Bangers and mash

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Carol Hightshoe Buying a one way ticket to Holland and hitting of my favorite restaurants - Pearla de Roma in the town of Zeist.

Like · Reply · 18 hrs

Marjorie Kosky My mama's pickles. With rice.

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Lance Cheuvront Green lipped oysters, raw. Lamb kebabs marinated in garlic, shallots and red wine. Fresh greens with feta, olive oil and lemon juice. Strawberries in cane sugar and glasses of Chartreuse to finish the evening.

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 18 hrs

William O'Donnell Ratatouille, portabella mushroom "steak," and tapioca pudding

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 18 hrs

Ken Brady A huge bowl of seafood ramen, filled with lobster, shrimp, crab, and psychedelic mushrooms - all things I'm allergic to - to enhance the light show. Wash it down with the bottle of the '05 Owen Roe Yakima Red I've been saving for a special occasion. If I'm still breathing after that, a bottle of 1993 Springbank 21 year old whisky.

Like · Reply · 1 · 18 hrs

George Ibarra chicken mole (1 breast), 2 enchiladas verdes, roasted corn on the cob, frijoles borrachos, nopales sauteed with onions and red peppers, guacamole, and homemade corn tortillas

Like · Reply · 1 · 18 hrs

Angelo Mayo-Casino In and Out Cheeseburger with animal style French fries! smile emoticon

Like · Reply · 18 hrs

Patrick Bonanni My Wife's meatloaf with greens and pinto beans. So many good memories were had over that meal.

Like · Reply · 18 hrs

Bill Kuehl Money no object? Distance no object? How long before impact? Union Oyster House in Boston for clam chowder would be one possibility. The Old Fish Market in Windsor, Ontario for a sword fish steak. Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark for practically anything gluten free. Maybe frekadeller (Danish meatballs).

Like · Reply · 18 hrs

Alma Kesling Chili relleno with refried beans, chips with Christmas

Like · Reply · 18 hrs

Jason M. Tucker Soylent Green.

Like · Reply · 18 hrs

John Foley Lenny & John's pizza, Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY. I know it's not a fancy choice, but it's the best pizza I ever had. I moved 2,000 miles away 12 years ago and still think about the best damn pizza on earth all the time.


Oh, and add in an order of their cheese balls(Fuuuuuu.).

Like · Reply · 18 hrs

Dustin Lavalley Chili Mac.

Like · Reply · 18 hrs

Ginger Leatherwood Keller My bacon wrapped jalepeno shrimp, grilled potatoes with green peppers, and a piece of my moms fudge for dessert and a sweet tea. I'd die happy!

Like · Reply · 18 hrs

Ian Burke There's a website in the UK that lets you track child molesters. I'd combine that with my love of cookery and a biomed degree to share a Thomas Harris style intimate dinner. It's not the meal that would make it special but the company and how long I could make it last.

Like · Reply · 18 hrs

Larry Meier I honestly can't give specifics, but know that whatever my last meal was, I would ask you to choose and prepare whatever it is to be... Your expert choice.. You sir, are a true gourmet chef, and a literary yakuza.

Like · Reply · 18 hrs · Edited

Jackie Coleman chicken brest stuffed with mushroom,cheese and chrizo and wrapped in ham.gorgous stuff

Like · Reply · 18 hrs

Rebecca Petithory-Hayes Sushi gardens all you can eat sushi yup that would do it and the best carrot cake with ice cream I can get.

Like · Reply · 18 hrs

Alma Kesling Are you looking for dinner ideas?

Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Chris Ansted Slow smoked beef brisket taco's with fresh Pico de gallo

Chris Ansted's photo.
Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Bob Milne A bucket of hot wings from Quaker Steak.

Like · Reply · 1 · 17 hrs

Brian Lane Fruity Peebles, Bacon. Bacon. Bacon And spray cheese.

Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Hans Curtis its got to be italian, start off with a nice garlic bread topped with bruschetta and shrimp, with an antipasto with thinly cut proscuitto, ripe tomato's, garden greens, fried eggplant, artichoke hearts and black olives, slices of salami and provolone c...See More

Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Joseph Reinhardt Cocaine and Redbull, not going to waste a second of time left!


If I had time to get to Utica NY, it would be the kick-ass pie from O'scugnizzo's Pizzeria, it's seriously the best thing ever.

Like · Reply · 1 · 17 hrs · Edited

Mike Meroney Myself.

Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Jonathan Maberry Breakfast in bed with my wife.

Like · Reply · 2 · 17 hrs

Rose Blackthorn Grilled salmon, potato chowder and sour dough bread.

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 17 hrs

Nick Diaz Slood.

Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Weston Ochse Joseph Reinhardt... Snort!!!

Like · Reply · 2 · 17 hrs

Marc Morris Go to a local food kitchen with my family and ensure those people enjoy a nice last meal of there choice

Like · Reply · 1 · 17 hrs · Edited

Becky Kyle replied · 1 Reply


John Groth Fugu. After all, even if it's not quite properly prepared, what's the worst thing that could happen? It's a culinary extended middle finger, aimed right at the Sweet Meteor of Death.

Like · Reply · 17 hrs

John Groth replied · 1 Reply


Lucas Mangum Scotch. Obviously. wink emoticon

Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Margaret Westlake Sushi J in Prescott Valley AZ avocado roll and some salmon nigiri

Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Nick Gucker Morning glory garlic, albacore sashimi, vanilla malt and a jar of spicy Thai peanut butter

Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Nikolas P. Robinson This fantastic sausage and penne dish my ex-girlfriend introduced me to. Sausage sliced into maybe quarter to half inch thick rounds, onions, mushrooms, and peppers sautéed in a dark beer, mixed with Alfredo sauce and sun dried tomatoes over penne noodles. It's delicious.

One of my favorite meals I've had over the past year or so.
Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Jerry B Flory Kentucky Fried Chicken--I'm gonna try to die before the comet can kill me.

Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Joe Miles Mila Kunis.

Like · Reply · 1 · 17 hrs

Rhonda Rettig Tacos! Is there really any other answer? Oh... And of course margaritas.

Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Brian Felker Chips, salsa, 2 taco's, rice , beans and a cheese crisp.

Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Tim Potter I'm going to cheat and enter twice. Not only because it means I won't ever have to hear the Eagles again, but my meal would be medium-rare Don Henley. I like my meat very white, bland and tough to swallow.

Like · Reply · 1 · 16 hrs · Edited

Marleen Smouse Stuffed lobster tail, King crab legs, shrimp scampi, and roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Paired with a glass of Mascato. But, actually, I would rather spend that time I was eating and spend it with family or great book.

Like · Reply · 17 hrs · Edited

John Calia Thanksgiving turkey dinner

Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Steve Diamond Chili verde (nice and spicy), with a stack of fresh hand-made flour tortillas. Homemade refried beans. Habanero salsa. Ice cold bottle of Mexican Coke.

Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Roy Dobbs Kobi steak dinner in Tokyo

Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Wendy Protagonist Kimchi and rice and anything I can stockpile for the possibility of survival.

Like · Reply · 16 hrs

Richard Charles Pione Wawa Iced Tea, half of a cow cooked lightly over three Bic lighters-ten minutes each side, corn on the cob, biscuits to die for, onion rings, then for dessert....my gf.....nuff said. Don't mean to be crude about dessert, just being honest.

Like · Reply · 16 hrs

Steph O'Connell Schnitz chips, or chocolate mousse, or bacon.

Like · Reply · 16 hrs

Amy Frischmann Grilled Ribeye Steak with Johnny's Seasoning and Mrs. Dash herb and Garlic seasoning with Sauteed Mushrooms and a Baked potato. smile emoticon

Like · Reply · 16 hrs

RJ Cavender The Plata special at Cafe Poca Cosa, Tucson. I'll leave my last meal to the chef's choice...never disappointed (thought I DO hope if it's my last meal that I'll get some variation of the tamale pie.)

Like · Reply · 1 · 16 hrs · Edited

Tim Potter replied · 1 Reply


Thomas Touhey Easy choice. My mothers meatloaf.

Like · Reply · 16 hrs

Weston Ochse RJ Cavender...we've seen that place. Is it good?

Like · Reply · 16 hrs

RJ Cavender replied · 2 Replies


John Everhart My mom beef stew. Her stew was thick, almost like gravy and she cook it from 8 am to 4 or 5. Home made buttermilk biscuits and for desert hot fresh chocolate chip cookies with a cold glass of milk

Like · Reply · 16 hrs

Dawn Nassise I think it would have to be a pepperoni pizza at Fatso's with a few Corona and Caesar Salad. A hot fudge sundae with browns for dessert. I have a wheat allergy, but I would throw caution to the wind since I'm about to die

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 16 hrs

Dawn Nassise Brownies*

Like · Reply · 16 hrs

Chip Fehd My neighbors. They are a bunch of jerks and would totally deserve it.

Like · Reply · 1 · 16 hrs

JC Hemphill Apple-glazed baby back ribs, pulled pork smothered in sweet-and-spicy BBQ sauce, some lo mein from my favorite take-out, stuffed baked potato, and a Coke with ice in a glass. Not a plastic cup, not out of the can, a *glass*.

Like · Reply · 16 hrs

Djuana Berlin Mine would be chicken fried steak, loaded mashed potatoes, white cream gravy, fried ocra, a large salad with cranberries, and for desert a banana split, with hot fudge, real whipped cream and lots of cherries. Oh and a large iced tea with lemon. I am a southern girl at heart.

Like · Reply · 16 hrs

Jim Mcleod Haggis, neeps and tatties, followed by a proper apple crumble and custard

Like · Reply · 15 hrs

Rob Meyer I would start with Avgolemeno soup; a cucumber, tomato, beet and avocado salad; a small pear sorbet; salmon with miso sauce and pearl onions; roast lamb with sauteed mushrooms, a spinach souffle, lima beans, orange glazed carrots; a small coconut sorbet; and for dessert a fig puree over a warm brie and a root beer ice cream with a lemon curd ripple running through it. (yes, two desserts).

Like · Reply · 15 hrs

Shane Douglas Keene Basil pesto linguine and steamed clams with dill butter. And a fifth of scotch to wash it down.

Like · Reply · 15 hrs

Mikel Dornhecker Jr Sea Food Paella, since the food would kill me, I wouldn't have to worry about the Comet. Since I haven't been able to eat Sea Food since I became allergic at 17, I really miss it, and that would be a tasty way to go!

Like · Reply · 15 hrs

Amanda Tillman Nachos with all the toppings

Like · Reply · 15 hrs

Joe McKinney A giant cowboy cut ribeye steak, cooked medium rare. And seeing as it is my last meal, I'll have a side of fully loaded backed potato, broccoli soup, a sushi tower of tuna, avocado, salmon, bean sprouts and orange slices with a straight vodka chaser to make the pain of losing it all a little easier to deal with.

Like · Reply · 15 hrs

David J. Schow Dr Pepper Lip-Smacker.

Like · Reply · 1 · 15 hrs

Dave Munger Cincinnati style chili dog.

Like · Reply · 15 hrs

Kawika Kalanui Kaula pig with poi and macaroni salad Hawaiian style ya lol

Like · Reply · 14 hrs

Stephen McCracken My mum's roast chicken...

Like · Reply · 14 hrs

John McDaniel Boiled crawfish with potatoes and corn and andouillie sausage. Also a case of beer to wash it down.

Like · Reply · 14 hrs

Mick Hahn Easy, Christmas dinner turkey, thick gravy, cranberry sauce, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, peas, sprouts and turnips. With traditional Christmas pudding and cream for desert. For starters it would be the family pulling crackers and telling crap jokes. Festive hats compulsory. Best meal of the year.

Like · Reply · 1 · 14 hrs

Chris Friedman A huge big German Schäufele (I have no idea what it is in English! But it's tender and crusty at the same time, mouth watering juicy, smells like heaven, nicely spiced and oh so good!) with Semmelkloss (bread dumpling), cucumber salad with yogurt sauce and a nice German beer and afterwards my mom's rum cheesecake and a glass of cherry wine.

Like · Reply · 14 hrs

Jo-Anne Russell Human tenderloin, slow roasted in a sweet bbq sauce, with mashed garlic potatoes and a side of mixed veggies including corn, green and yellow beans, broccoli, and cauliflower, smothered in a three cheese sauce. For desert - Tripple chocolate cheese cake with real whipped cream, and dark chocolate shavings. For the drink, I will take a good old fashioned double screwdriver.

Like · Reply · 14 hrs

Chris Lason A medium done fillet mignon, covered with foie grois, plated with angel hair with pesto and grilled tomato with a thick slice of parmesan or gouda. A rich bourbon on ice, to drink. Best meal I've had. Only meal I've had by a four chevron chef. I have dreams about it.

Like · Reply · 14 hrs

Chris Lason That or long pig.

Like · Reply · 14 hrs

Kay Peterson Cafe Poca Cosa is the best! The owner is a great lady to chat with. The menu is on a chalk board and changes based on what looks good at the markets. Everything is amazing. You can often get a sample with three different entrees on it...always a good choice first time there. I was planning on hitting that place next week to ask for a gift card for the TusCon raffle....a great excuse to stop in for lunch.

Like · Reply · 14 hrs

Kay Peterson Close second would be Latitude 31...Latitude Rocky Point on FB. Mike and Cindy always put on a good experience. Cindy painted all the colorful accessories hanging from the ceiling. The margaritas are great. The fish is always perfect and the Mexican food is very good. The Chile Rellenos are perfect! Not sure if I would have 4 hours to drive to Rocky Point before the comet strikes me down.

Like · Reply · 14 hrs

Robert Linden The biggest lobster I can get, red potatoes, steamed broccoli ribeye steak french onion soup and dessert would be chocolate pudding with nilla wafers

Like · Reply · 13 hrs · Edited

Danny Morris Fried catfish, hushpuppies, mashed potatoes, gravy and peach cobbler, all washed down with a 6-pack of Samuel Adams Octoberfest!

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 13 hrs

Jim Woodward You have got to be kidding. I will be doing everything I can to figure out how I or mine or SOMEBODY can survive. My last meal will be whatever was fast and available.


Now, if you want to talk about being sentenced to death by a mad dictator, we can have a discussion. Every Veterans Day and every Memorial Day I eat apple pie and ice cream, and remember our brothers and sisters, so it will include that.

Like · Reply · 13 hrs

Andrew Angel Meat and Potato pie (home made) soaked in Henderson's Relish

Like · Reply · 12 hrs

Naomi E Acosta Roast leg of lamb, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, Yorkshire puddings, broccoli, peas and sweetcorn and gravy, followed by raspberry pavlova.

Like · Reply · 12 hrs

Edward Sullivan Peyote. Just lots of peyote.

Like · Reply · 11 hrs

Michelle Miller Cubed steak and gravy, mashed potatoes, and biscuits. Like my grandma used to make!!! Yes please

Like · Reply · 10 hrs

JM Heluk Chicken Vindaloo with Basmati rice and onion Naan

Like · Reply · 10 hrs

Tammy Novik One of those delicious looking pizza's you make!

Like · Reply · 10 hrs

Anthony Zebrowski Pan fried Ostrich Steaks, homemade biscuts with susage gravey, shrimp fried rice, black eyed peas and greens with bacon, pickled onion and cherry peppers. Desert would be Blueberry Pie with vanilla icecream and cafe cubano.

Like · Reply · 9 hrs

Gregory Solis I don't care, as long as it's with her.

Like · Reply · 9 hrs

Ralph Bieber Maine lobster (broiled), double-baked potatoes with cheddar cheese, and steamed asparagus.

Like · Reply · 9 hrs

Krystal Brittain Well, as it stands now....Kabul DFAC. wink emoticon So, "Mexican" night I guess.

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs

Dawn de la Morte I have to go with corned beef, cabbage, red potatoes, soda bread and an Irish coffee to top it off.

Like · Reply · 8 hrs

Morgan Griffith Tough call between teriyaki steak and grilled swordfish--both on the BBQ. Baked potato and fresh veggies. Appetizer of home made won tons. I use chicken, broccoli and onion, sometimes adding diced water chestnuts. Great summer meal.

Like · Reply · 8 hrs · Edited

Soledad Medrano I'd want prime rib with lobster, rice pilaf, and something light for dessert with coffee at Mozart's on the lake with Mr. Zimmerman. There's nowhere better and no one better to view the light show with in Austin!

Like · Reply · 8 hrs

Wade Garret My wife's Beef Wellington and garlic potatoes (Guinness); The Brazed Lamb-shank with mashed potatoes (An Amber ale) I had in Ireland; or the perfect Pizza from a little place down the way from me (An IPA)—and all finished with a hot chocolate chip cookie. smile emoticon

Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

Dave Lake Ribeye steak - rare, sauté spinach, bottle of Opus One.

Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

Jp Edwards Medium well steak, baked potato, pasta salad and Caneles de Bordeau... with a sweet wine and lots of iced tea

Like · Reply · 7 hrs

Matthew Sylvester Maine lobster right off the boat ,steamed on an outdoor fire in seaweed with fresh picked corn on the cob, and a few cold IPA's.

Like · Reply · 6 hrs

Gardner Goldsmith Such a tough answer to pin down! So many options, Wes! I mean, who WOULDN'T want to get to the nearest McDonald's drive-thru to grab a Happy Meal? Besides, I have just one more sticker to win a million in their old Monopoly game! I could be rich! And t...See More

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 6 hrs

Kate Thornton Anything, as long as my hubby was with me.

Like · Reply · 6 hrs

Wendy Protagonist I can't help that I am Polly F*&!ing Anna

Like · Reply · 5 hrs

Robin Nyx Any 3 things that are artery clogging, non-diabetic and about 20,000 calories....with chocolate :

Like · Reply · 5 hrs

Wendy Cooper Brenner I would go to the grocery store and buy enough food to bring to the homeless shelter. I'd rather eat my last meal with people who haven't had 3 meals a day than eat a decadent meal alone! I'd enjoy the meal and appreciate it much more!

Like · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs

Kelly Penrose Something made of bacon and cheese, possibly on hot dogs, accompanied by a large gin and lime.

Like · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs

Wendy Protagonist replied · 1 Reply


Aurelio Rico Lopez III Beef wanton noodle soup.

Like · Reply · 4 hrs

Chad NeSmith Am I the only person around or is it just me? How much food is there if not just me? Is it children with me or adults? If other involved I'd let the youngest person in room choose bc they haven't had the chances others have had to experience as much...See More

Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Ladonna Perkins Jimmy Page

Unlike · Reply · 2 · 3 hrs

Ed Erdelac A succulent Chinese meal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c19WJ1QQjXs


Getting arrested - Australian style (NSFW)

Getting arrested - Australian style (NSFW)...
YOUTUBE.COM
Like · Reply · Remove Preview · 2 hrs

Paul Watson Fish and chips with tomato sauce and a few beers for me. Screw waiting 3 hours for a meal to be delivered to a table. just phone in an order, pick it up and head to the highest hill and enjoy what time you have left.

Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Weston Ochse Looks like there are more beef eaters than anything else.

Like · Reply · 2 · 2 hrs

Stefunny Nichole A pack of clove cigarettes, Scotch that's older than me, and pizza rolls.

Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Natalie Carroll Anything in bed.

Like · Reply · 1 hr

Alyn Day Fresh (not frozen) hamachi collar, broiled with tamari and a kiss of ponzu over crispy fried scallion rice with pineapple and bacon. A glass of basil hayden, neat, and a huge bowl of kheer with pistachios

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 1 hr

Cameron Pierce Last meal? I'd start with a little sashimi. Second course would be homemade bread and clam chowder. Pair the chowder with Stone's smoked porter with vanilla bean. The main course would be barbecued Chinook, Dungeness crab, and a slice of mushroom pot p...See More

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 1 hr

Cameron Pierce No, scratch the sashimi and replace it with crackers and Rogue River Blue Cheese.

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 1 hr

Justin Robbins No point being healthy so it's a large kebab, cheesy chips and a gallon of cider.

Like · Reply · 1 hr

Kimberly K Stewart-Holmes Fried Chicken Mashed potatoes gravy corn rolls and a ice cream Sunday for dessert chased down by a ice cold beer

Like · Reply · 1 hr

Catherine Bader Two Coney Island hot dogs, large fries and a rootbeer float!

Like · Reply · 27 mins

Weston Ochse Jim Woodward Dude. It's a planet killing comet. Go ahead and run around and try and survive. You're going to die. SO might as well fiddle, while Rome burns.

Like · Reply · 1 · 25 mins
View previous replies

Weston Ochse You'll be the one running around as it hits. There's that

Like · 18 mins
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Weston Ochse Krystal Brittain - Say it aint so. You are not eating the Mexican food, cooked by Indians, using Pkistani ingredients. Every wed for me was Cianos Pizza night.

Like · Reply · 16 mins


And the winners are

Charie D. La Marr for her simplicity. Chocolate, just chocolate.

Lance Cheuvrant for getting the closest to what I'd have. Gotta go out with Lamb. Add to that the oysters and wine, and you had me. I need to come over to your house so we can practice making and eating this. "Green lipped oysters, raw. Lamb kebabs marinated in garlic, shallots and red wine. Fresh greens with feta, olive oil and lemon juice. Strawberries in cane sugar and glasses of Chartreuse to finish the evening."

And finally, Wendy Cooper Brenner for her stalwart humanity even in the face of a human race killing comet.  "I would go to the grocery store and buy enough food to bring to the homeless shelter. I'd rather eat my last meal with people who haven't had 3 meals a day than eat a decadent meal alone! I'd enjoy the meal and appreciate it much more!"

Friday, July 17, 2015

Smoked Oyster Linguini Recipe

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EATING DANGEROUSLY

Smoked Oyster Linguini
Author: Living Dangerously
Duration: 60 minutes
Average Cost: $5.50 US
Serves: 2- 4

I've had a love affair with smoked oysters since the first time I packed them in a bag and went to the field*. They're so easy to eat. Full of good fat and protein. They're just sort of the perfect food. But other than eat them out of a can or put them on crackers, what do you do with them? Well, while standing in the smoked oyster aisle at our local grocers the other day, I had a flash of brilliance. Sure, Wilbur and Orville flashed and got flight. Henry Ford flashed and got the assembly line. Steve Jobs flashed and got Apple. I flash and get a canned cephalopod pasta. I'll take what I can get, I suppose.
Plus, you can't beat the price. A package of pasta is 2 bucks.  A can of oysters is 2 bucks. A can of diced tomatoes is a buck. And the other ingredients barely add up to fifty cents. And this to feed four people.
Next was what kind of pasta. Small or large. Shelled or straight. Thin or wide. I use rigatoni for my Lamb Merguez Rigatoni Recipe. I use squid ink pasta for my vegetarian squid ink pasta recipe, the pasta imparting the taste of the sea without any actual protein. I also use oricchiette for my Orecchiette with Shrimp, Pancetta and Fresno Chiles recipe. Well, it's not really my recipe, but I make it enough it feels like it's mine. (Sorry Chef Geoffrey Zakarian) There are so many choices. I decided however that I wanted to go classic. I used linguini. Not only, is it my wife's favorite, but it will also stand up well for coating of the sauce I'm going to make, much like in my recipe for Smoked Salmon Linguini.

About the sauce. White or red? I can really see a smoked oyster lemon cream sauce working well with this. For those who aren't afraid of a caloric avalanche, they could try this. But I'm still watching calories, so I deferred to a simple but elegant ragu. A sliced shallot, minced carrot, a can of diced tomatoes**, a couple cloves of garlic, a little red wine, oregano, and maybe some fennel. Salt and pepper to taste, but be careful about the salt. Look at the sodium in the can of tomatoes. You might have enough already. Plus, if you're adding cheese at the end, cheese has its own inherent saltiness, especially Parmesan. Simmer the ragu for about 40 minutes, then add the oysters in their oil*** and simmer for another ten. If you put them in too early, they'll end up like smokey little raisins.

Meanwhile, chop up some scallions, fresh basil. and some sweet peppers. I'll also add a couple of tiny yellow sunburst tomatoes from my garden for color. These ingredients are the crunch and sweetness to offset the smokiness of the ragu.

Cook the pasta and drain per instructions. At this stage, I put the fresh ingredients in. If I put them in any sooner, they'll get cooked and I want them floral and crunchy. Stir in your pasta and serve. Note, if you use a full box of pasta, it will feed four people but the sauce will be a little light. I made this for two people and only used half a box, then offset the food portion with a healthy salad.
When you serve it, top with your favorite cheese and maybe a basil flower or two. In addition to shredded Parmesan, I added a tbs of low fat sour cream to the top and spread it through the ragu as I ate. I found this to be a bright counterpart to the smokiness of the oysters.

Sure beats canned rations.

One more thing. I just remembered this. When I was in Papua New Guinea in the early 1990s, I was staying in one of the embassy's apartments. For transients, many folks would come and go. One guy who was traveling through always made his own food. At the time I thought he was crazy, but then my pallet was still on fried chicken and garlic bread. What this guy did-- I wish I could remember his name cause I can still see his face-- was make a simple ragu with diced tomatoes and sardines and throw them over spaghetti. He did this every night, getting the sardines from the local sardine plant. I never tried them, but now I wished I had. I remember at the end he topped it with hot sauce. I bet it's good. Makes you think that any canned fish, cephalopods or crustaceans can be used for a ragu di mare.

 INGREDIENTS

1 can smoked oysters
1 box linguini
1 can diced tomatoes
1 shallot ****
3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
several basil leaves (finely chopped)
one smallish carrot (minced)
half a cup of red wine (half for you and half for the ragu)
1 tbs oregano
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 small sweet peppers (roughly chopped)
3 scallions (finely chop whites only)
2 tbs Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste (you probably won't need pepper)
2 tbs low fat sour cream (optional)

*When a military person says 'field' he/she means war games and training in some dank, dusty, uninhabited spot where they eat canned rations, sleep in tents, and share their misery with others until it's time to go back to the world. While stationed at Fort Carson in the 80s, I averaged 260 days a yea
r in the field.)
**Why canned tomatoes instead of fresh? Although the canning process destroys some of the vitamin C and fiber, canned tomatoes (as opposed to fresh) are an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene, shown to help lower the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and macular degeneration (poor eyesight as you get older). (Source: Food Network)

***You'll also want to watch the sodium levels in this as well.

****Remember not to cut the shallot like you would an onion for a BBQ. After you trim the ends, cut the shallot in half long ways, then thinly slice each piece from stem to stern. Should come out looking like slivers. Then dice finely.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Christopher Golden Appreciation from the WHC 2015 Program Book

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In honor of Chris Golden's new book, Tin Men, which I had the pleasure of reading while I was in Afghanistan, I'd like to share with you the appreciation I wrote.  After you read it, consider going over to your favorite bookstore and buying a copy of Tin Men. It's phenomenal.

So...

When I was asked by Eric Guignard to write an appreciation for World Horror Convention Guest of Honor Christopher Golden, I knew I had to do something different. This was the second time I'd been asked to write an appreciation, the first being for the late Adam Niswander. Too many of these read like Wikipedia articles. I wanted mine to not read that way. So I took some poetic license. I think it worked. It certainly allowed me to describe friend and mentor Chris Golden in the way he deserved to be described. I'll let you be the judge.

This appreciation originally appeared in the World Horror Convention 2015 Program Book. I'm reproducing it here for those who were unable to attend the convention. You missed something cool.



IN THE GOLDEN COURT
A Christopher Golden Appreciation by Weston Ochse

Prince Golden stood amidst the NECON crowd, a proud amalgam of Prince Valiant and the black bearded GI Joe with kung fu grip I used to play with when I was a kid. I watched as eager young
scribes moved around him as if his very touch could imbue some magical ability. Seasoned men and women of letters stood near, eyes on him. They were neither wary nor afraid, but instead, also drawn to him by his comfortable manner. Several editors who I’d only heard of through their learned tomes eyed him with their sage eyes, curious smiles curling their lips as if they knew some new work even now was being created behind this man’s bright, intelligent smile. I was a newb to the North Eastern Writers Convention. I was curious about the tidal pull of this man. Ever wary about cults of personality, I had questions which needed answered. Who was he? What was he about? Should I be worried? Was he to be my nemesis?

Over the years I watched as his work became better known until he eventually became a New York Times Bestseller. From his early days writing Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to his The Boys Are Back In Town, to the Veil Series, and to the soon to be released Tin Men, I’ve increasingly enjoyed his ability to weave a gruesome tale. I found myself to be a fan, not only of his work, but of the man himself. He’s worked with other writers both as partners or as mentors. On occasion I’d ask a question, only to have Chris’s full attention as he offered the breadth of his experience, helping me as he’d helped so many before and continues to help so many others. On several occasions when his creative font was overfilled, he would toss a project this way or that to an author whom he could trust to get it right.

Among these authors was Squire Sniegoski, whose aspirations to become a writer of great fame is equal to Chris’s own. But instead of seeing this young squire as a threat, Chris embraced him as a friend, partner and co-creator. “There isn't a kinder, more supportive creator out there. Chris has been there for me, as well as many other writers, with every kind of support imaginable. He's helped me with plotting troublesome scenes, helped with contract negotiations, and has even been the hard ass when I was feeling sorry for myself, telling me to suck it up and do what I was supposed to do--write.”

Lady Newstein-Hautala holds Prince Golden in tremendous regard. In the dark terrible days after the death of Lord Hautala, Chris became her eternal brother, helping her like none of us ever could, giving of himself because of his love for Hautala, as well as his desire to do the right thing. “Because of his love and care, I got through it all and came out strong. I owe him more than I can ever repay and I love him dearly,” said Lady Newstein-Hautala.

This is perhaps what I like about Chris most. It’s one thing to share experience to one seeking guidance. It’s another thing entirely to give so freely of one’s heart. When I first saw him holding his Golden Court I thought it was something he created, some affectation he reveled in, desiring to stand tall as he looked down upon us all with pride at our attendance. But now I understand. He didn’t create the court; we did in our effort to be like him, share our lives with him, and revel in our friendship with him.

In the end, Chris is a far better friend than I deserve, helping me as he’s helped so many before me. He’s led our army of scribes from the front, occasionally turning to look back upon us, gesturing every now and then for one to join him. None of us are jealous. None of us are petty. We know he leads us to a certain victory, if only we have the courage to follow him, learn from him, and then branch off to seek our own truth. 

No, Christopher Golden was never my nemesis. He was and remains my friend. I’m pleased whenever I see the movement of young eager scribes around him. I was one of them once and know the benefit of belonging to the Golden Court. No, Chris wasn’t my nemesis. I’m my own nemesis and I will remain so, until I can become the prince of my own court, helping, guiding, leading… just being a truly genuine and impressive man like my friend Christopher Golden, Senior Scribe, Prince of the Pen, Knight of the Holy Order of the Bram Stoker, Legionnaire of the Fantastical, and friend to us all. 

 #

Weston Ochse is a Cavalier of Supernatural Military Thrillers, Knight of the Holy Order of the Bram Stoker, Chevalier of Great Danes, and Consort to Dame Navarro. His SEAL Team 666 tomes have been optioned by the minstrel show MGM with the legendary barbarian bard, Dwayne Johnson, to star. You can find him through the mystical portal, www.westonochse.com.

Visit Chris Golden at his website. I highly recommend his new novel Tin Men!