A Handful of Dal by Naru Dames Sundar

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: June, 2016 in Lightspeed People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction

Genre: science fiction

Setting: a spaceship (or maybe a series of them), in the future

Summary: We follow a family that is emigrating from earth to a new planet via the perspective of the creation of dal for a special meal. We start with the original recipe from earth with lots of spices, and the elements in the recipe are slowly whittled away throughout the generations as times get hard. One member of the family finds a way off the main ship and to a new world, and the recipe slowly improves until it returns to its initial form on the new world.

Final thoughts: It’s a standard story told in a fascinating form. You can see the privations on the ship as the recipe gets more simplified. And then salvation is at hand, and the recipe improves. Many generations pass in the story, since every time a recipe is presented, there is commentary on the changes since the last recipe. Very enjoyable.

Title comes from: the recipe that was at the heart of the story started with a handful of dal

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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