Children of Arkadia follows three generations of humans and AIs participating in an audacious experiment — to create a just and free society in an orbital space colony. The book is, in many ways, utopian science fiction. The Arkadians are literally trying to build a better world. Of course, it’s not that simple, and this story revolves around how people can (or can’t) resolve the inherent conflict between competing views of what doing the right thing actually entails. And, of course, how they are going to feed themselves.
Arkadia is a mix of high-tech and rural living. Farming is the chief concern of most of the people — human and AI — and even those not directly participating in growing food are, to some extent or another, foodies. Among the human population, at least, everyone needs to eat.
Isabel Hernández isn't like the other residents of Arkadia and she finds herself at a loss to navigate her new surroundings. Baker Chen Wu helps her figure out how some parts of this society works and keeps her coming back to his market stall with both his knowledge and the savoury smell of this bread.
Chen Wu’s Herb Bread
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups white flour
2 tsp yeast
1 tsp table salt
5 tbsp olive oil
1 cup warm water
1 tbsp mixed herbs(basil, oregano, marjoram)
1 tbsp rosemary leaves
1. Mix together the flours, salt, yeast and mixed herbs.
3. Let it rise an hour or more, then punch it down and shape it into a rectangle. Place it on a baking sheet with about a teaspoon of oil rubbed over it. Let it rest about half an hour.
4. Stretch the dough out to the edges. Let it rest another half hour. Preheat oven to 425F/220C.
5. Poke some divots into the top of the loaf, then drizzle with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and rosemary. Reduce the oven temperature to 375F/200C and bake for about 30 minutes. Cool on a rack and cut into squares.
M. Darusha Wehm is the three-time Parsec Award shortlisted author of the novels Beautiful Red, Self Made, Act of Will andThe Beauty of Our Weapons. Her next novel, Children of Arkadia (Bundoran Press), will be released April 28, 2015. She is the editor of the crime and mystery magazine Plan B.
She is from Canada, but currently lives in Wellington, New Zealand after spending the past several years traveling at sea on her sailboat. For more information, visit http://darusha.ca.