4 min read

Stone Soup Digest 02.18.22

global microbiome, inner shrimp, lorenzo coconuts

Welcome to the Stone Soup Weekly Digest! This is where I share what I'm up to and some of my favorite things from around the internet. Subscribe to Stone Soup to get this in your inbox every week.

This week, I had the immense privilege of giving a talk at Hugo House. I used the opportunity to expand on my SFWA Bulletin essay on trauma-informed narratives.

Also this week, we had a guest! S.A. Barnes wrote this phenomenal piece on what it’s like to be an unreliable narrator. As someone with mental illness, who struggles sometimes with relying on my own perceptions, I found this essay to be relevant and bracing. Check it out if you haven’t already!

Finally, this phenomenal review of Eat the Rich has picked up a ton of traction on TikTok. If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to pick it up, maybe this will help you decide!

Clara Horst’s aquatic Wordle art

I just liked this a lot. Click through for a lovely four-part illustration of an underwater Wordle.

Bacteria are evolving to digest plastics

This study reveals that the global microbiome is responding to plastic pollution by inventing new enzymes that can efficiently break down plastics! This is great news for the planet and for recycling efforts. It also makes me hope that we’ll all have ready access to non-plastic goods before hungry bacteria learn just how much of a buffet waits for them inside many American homes. (If you don’t feel like reading the study, there’s a neat summary here.)

The art of João Bruno Videira

João Bruno Videira creates stunning works of art using woolen yarn to make intricate geometric designs. I have rarely wished so hard to be able to reach through a computer screen to touch squares.

Need an Alias?

This name generator will give you a whole new identity for when you need to flee by cover of darkness! Mine’s Lorenzo Coconuts. I’ll be starting a new life as a shrimp rancher. They’ll never track me down! Well, unless my shrimp ranch gets too successful…

Speaking of Shrimp

Take the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Shrimp Week quiz to find out what kind of shrimp you are! I got BARREL SHRIMP

“Even the most outlandish sci-fi concoctions can barrel-y do the barrel shrimp (genus Phronima) justice. Though it didn’t inspire the xenopmorph from the movie Alien, it does seem like the screenwriter took notes on this shrimp’s behavior. A female barrel shrimp will commandeer the body of a salp (a drifting gelatinous invertebrate relative of humans and other chordates) and use it as a jelly donut snack and incubation chamber for her offspring. The salp also acts as a mobile home and food truck for the female barrel shrimp. She funnels planktonic morsels through the salp, then feasts.”

Fuck yeah.

I’m Reading: Chef’s Kiss by T. J. Alexander

Simone Larkspur is a perfectionist pastry expert with a dream job at The Discerning Chef, a venerable cookbook publisher in New York City. All she wants to do is create the perfect loaf of sourdough and develop recipes, but when The Discerning Chef decides to bring their brand into the 21st century by pivoting to video, Simone is thrust into the spotlight and finds herself failing at something for the first time in her life.

To make matters worse, Simone has to deal with Ray Lyton, the new test kitchen manager, whose obnoxious cheer and outgoing personality are like oil to Simone's water. When Ray accidentally becomes a viral YouTube sensation with a series of homebrewing videos, their eccentric editor in chief forces Simone to work alongside the chipper upstart or else risk her beloved job. But the more they work together, the more Simone realizes her heart may be softening like butter for Ray.

Things get even more complicated when Ray comes out at work as nonbinary to mixed reactions--and Simone must choose between the career she fought so hard for and the person who just might take the cake (and her heart).

After giving up his power to save the world earlier this year in IRON FIST: HEART OF THE DRAGON, Danny Rand believes he’s seen the last of the Iron Fist. But when demons begin to attack cities around the world, a new hero appears, hands blazing with the Chi of Shou-Lao the Undying! Who is this new Iron Fist? And does his power really come from the Dragon of K’un-Lun… Or from something far more sinister?

This new five issue limited series is written by Alyssa Wong with art by Michael Yg, and the spectacular cover is by Jim Cheung. Find it at your local comic shop! If you prefer digital, IRON FIST #1 is available at comiXology/Kindle.

Kitten Update

This week the kittens have discovered the joys of playing with foil, getting onto the kitchen counter, and watching me wash my hands! They have also been extra-snuggly with each other. Sometimes to the point of just straight-up sitting on each other’s heads.

If you’re a paying subscriber, come by the Stone Soup Supper Club for our weekly chat! I can’t wait to find out how you’re doing. And don’t forget tomorrow’s coworking date at 11am PST!