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Murder in the Generative Kitchen Paperback – September 11, 2016
Attention Science Fiction Fans
Man vs. machine, humans vs. aliens, paranormal activities – discover the best of science fiction with these collectible books. Learn More.
About the Author
A writer and artist dedicated to multiple genres, Meg Pontecorvo earned an MFA in Poetry Writing from Washington University in St. Louis and is a 2010 graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. Meg has published a novelette, “Grounded,” in Asimov’s, and her artwork in collage and pen has been featured in experimental video performances in the Bay Area. A native of Philadelphia, she grew up in the Midwest and now shares a small apartment with her partner and cats in San Francisco, where she cooks in a tech free kitchen.
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Top customer reviews
With housing in cubicles already underway here in San Francisco and articles in the local newspaper boasting emerging AI technology available for our kitchens, I experienced the premises of “Murder in the Generative Kitchen” as both relatable and relevant. In fact, even now we are having a national discussion about under what circumstances our driverless cars, already on the road, would kill us.
This novella entertains on many levels- science fiction, romance (or perhaps romantic comedy), legal thriller, ethics and moral issues, and even bildungsroman as we follow Julio on his voyage of self discovery. The author hops nimbly among these facets as she progresses the story, prodding us to both think and kick back and enjoy the ride.
The story started out a little slow, but it quickly built steam and complexity and had me hooked.
I was especially engaged by Julio as his character unfolded and evolved during the course of the story. I felt myself wishing the defendant Mrs. Ellis received more of that same care and development. And while I instinctively want a storyteller to neatly wrap up the loose ends for me (who really committed the murder?), I respect the artistic value of a book or film that leaves me hanging.
I enjoyed the story. The writing is excellent, the story is fast-paced, and the ideas are interesting. The story pulled me along from the first page to the last.
Most science fiction books are based on one "what if," and this story has three that are seamlessly woven together. The most interesting is the generative kitchen itself, which reads the biology and preferences of its owners to create culinary masterpieces. I was hooked by the question the trial was intended to answer: Did Mrs. Ellis kill her husband, or did her kitchen do it?
I'm giving the book four stars, not five, because the resolution wasn't fully satisfying. The story of Julio, who's not the most likeable of characters, ends with a good comeuppance. But the story of Mrs. Ellis is left at a loose end.
Julio, being a normal human being, starts to go a bit wacky for lack of social interaction and hijinx ensue. But things get deadly serious once jury deliberations begin and a woman's life literally hangs in his hands.
Four out of five stars because the ending didn't quite resolve all the plot threads I cared about, but your mileage may vary. Overall, an entertaining, well-written book.
(Review based on an ARC I received from the publisher.)
You have to watch 8 hours of the trial a day but you can do it on your own schedule.
You have to finish your viewing for the day before you can be served any alcohol.
You can't talk to any of the other people in the resort.
If you break the rules, you are sent home with a bill for your vacation.
The defendant has a generative kitchen. It monitors the health of the people in the home and changes the food to meet their individual needs. Sick? It will add nutrients. Depressed? Get mood boosters in your food. There is no question that it increased the cyanide levels in the trout almondine but did the defendant request it or did it do it on its own?
I loved the two original ideas in this novella - the generative kitchen and the vacationing jurors. The main character is Julio, a juror. I hated him from the beginning. He has a wonderful girlfriend at home. He is planning on breaking up with her because she isn't very feminine looking and she won't change her look to please him. Well good for her! He starts to get obsessed and stalkerish over another juror at the resort. She has an ultrafeminine look due to extensive body modification. He can't talk to her due to the jury rules but he tries to get as close as possible within the rules. He imagines a life with her based entirely on how she looks since he has no idea what she is actually like and it never occurs to him to care.
When the jury heads back to Chicago to deliberate he finally gets to talk to this woman of his dreams and finds out that his fantasy and her reality don't line up. It is sort of like every internet troll who suddenly has to deal with a woman who has the nerve to be different from what he thought she should be.
I'm not usually a fan of books with unlikeable characters but it served this story well. No one is on their best behavior but characters learn even confronted with it. There is a lot packed into a novella.
The effects of aging on women and how other people (especially other women) judge them
Perception vs reality when dealing with strangers
How much power over your life should you give artificial intelligence
Most recent customer reviews
Murder in the Generative Kitchen is a novel by Meg Pontecorvo that follows the juror, Julio,...Read more
The premise of this book is interesting; however, this story left something to be desired.Read more