Guest Post: RecipeArium by Costi Gurgu


There are three complementary sides that determine a phril personality: gastronomy, politics, and romance. The rest represents salads or pickles to fill the mundane.
I will start naturally, with food for the gourmet side of the phrilic spirit, presenting to you, my dear reader, an absolutely genuine Recipe.

Mature vermih –a crawler from the land-worm family, having its vital organ—the sufleida—in the middle of its spindle-shaped body. This in turn is protected by a circular stomach layer, where the ingested food is stored, preparatory to being assimilated after fermentation.
Swamp Plabos Sauce–for plant and insect broths, in a suckitori base.
Sequ-tulapa flavoured oil – with hot spices, preferably from Blood-Moth’s wings.

The fragrant vermih should be left to rot alive only under the light of the Three Daughters of the Sky. The diffuse light drives it mad and the cool night air makes its stomach layer tremble. The trembling forces its membrane to enlarge to several times its usual size, preparing for future storage. If it doesn’t scream for mercy, it means it has not putrefied enough. However, while it is rotting, ensure it is protected from fright, to avoid wrinkling its flesh.

When it has reached the desired level of putrefaction, immediately place the gluttonous and shivering animal on the sweet maidenly leaf of the moamoam. The two beings will intertwine and the juice of pleasure will flow from the vermih, imbuing the fluffy layer of the maiden moamoam. The vermih, driven by overwhelming hunger, will then devour the leaf. Because its stomach membrane is enlarged, it will not be satisfied with only one leaf. Continue this process with another leaf, luring it by way of the gnawed stem to where the Swamp Plabos Sauce boils vigorously. I have specified that the sauce be flavoured with suckitori. The steam from the boiling sauce will penetrate the vermih’s stomach wall, moistening the ingested moamoam leaves before the vermih throws itself into the sauce, simultaneously ejecting one last fresh spurt of the bittersweet pleasure liquid.

The vermih will sink to the bottom of the pot of boiling sauce, allowing the Plabos liquor to penetrate it just short of its core. It is very important that the depth the crawler will sink and the thickness of the sauce be calculated exactly. Otherwise, the slightest contamination of its vital core with the liquor will cause a hideous death, which would thicken the vermih’s flesh.

As its stomach membrane tenderizes to a suitable degree of sponginess, and with its flesh flavoured by the Swamp Plabos Sauce, the crawler should fall free from the orifice in the pot’s bottom straight onto your plate, where it will spread into a well-blended and sparkling stew surrounding the sufleida, still pulsing within the protective layer of the bitter crystalline coating.

Combine the sequ-tulapa flavoured oil with hot spices, preferably brown butterfly wings, and heat it to boiling. Pour the hot oil over the crystalline coating of the sufleida. This will melt the covering and evaporate all trace of bitterness. Flavour to taste with a sprinkling of Night Daughters Flower pollen and serve with red wine for a truly gourmet meal.

(from The Gastronomic Teachingsof Master Recipear Plabos)

Costi’s scripts have been finalists and semifinalists in numerous competitions.

Costi’s fiction has appeared in Canada, the United States, and Europe. He has sold 3 books and over 50 stories for which he has won 24 awards. His latest sales include the anthologies Tesseracts 17, The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk, Dark Horizons, Street Magick, Water, and Alice Unbound. His story Cosmoboticawas a finalist for Aurora Awards.

His novel RecipeArium is out from White Cat Publications and a 2018 finalist for the Aurora Awards.

To find out more about Costi Gurgu visit
Recently, Costi started Games for Aliens, a tabletop games enterprise. His first two games are Absolutism (a dystopian scenario) and Carami (based on RecipeArium).

Enjoy this writing advice and want more content like it? Check out the classes Cat gives via the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers, which offers both on-demand and live online writing classes for fantasy and science fiction writers from Cat and other authors, including Ann Leckie, Seanan McGuire, Fran Wilde and other talents! All classes include three free slots.

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About Cat Rambo

I am a science fiction and fantasy writer and editor. My three collections of short stories are THE SURGEON'S TALE AND OTHER STORIES (with Jeff VanderMeer), EYES LIKE SKY AND COAL AND MOONLIGHT, and NEAR + FAR (forthcoming this September).
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