Thursday, December 09, 2010

Contest for Specially Signed Copy of The Witch of Hebron

I have one signed copy of James Howard Kunstler's latest novel to give away. But of course there is a challenge involved.


When I met up with author Jim Kunstler a few months ago, I had him sign a copy of his latest novel, The Witch of Hebron, for a reader of this blog. As many of you know, this is the follow-on book to Jim's "post-oil/debt-bubble/Savior State" novel World Made by Hand.


Jim inscribed the book "To the lucky reader of the splendid blog Of Two Minds." Why lucky? Because there is a contest. The winner gets the specially inscribed book, and the runners-up will have to make do with a signed copy of one of my books.


Here are the contest rules. The setting of the novels is the not-too-distant future when oil, the Savior State and an integrated industrial infrastructure are no longer around. The novels' protagonists live by the sweat of their brows and what work they can extract from animals and other people. (Thievery carries high penalties, chosen and imposed by local "authority.")


Submit a recipe via email which can be made with locally available ingredients over an open fire or equivalent. The recipe needn't be original (how many variations of rabbit stew can there be?) but you need to have actually prepared the delicacy yourself over an open fire, camp stove, coals, hot rocks in an imu pit, etc. Low-technology items built from materials which would still be available as scrap are allowed (for instance, a solar oven made of low-tech salvaged stuff). Pots, pans, Dutch ovens, woks, etc. are allowed. Electricity-powered espresso machines are not.


The ingredients have to be grown/raised in your locale. No mushrooms from Italy unless you live in Italy, no canned mushroom soup, etc.


Criteria for winning: though it's my arbitrary choice, I will probably favor recipes which seem foolproof, healthy and tasty, though a random-luck draw between too-close-to-call recipes is likely (slips of paper drawn from a hat, etc.). I have done a lot of camping and lived for several months without power or water (a two-burner Coleman handled the cooking for five of us), so I feel modestly qualified to assess if the recipe will turn out and isn't too laborious for lazy mortals ("First, go bag a buck with your bow and hand-turned arrows...")


The second and third-place winners will have to amuse themselves with one of my books. I will reprint as many contestants' recipes as I can squeeze in (assuming there are any entries at all).


Other Holiday offers: I wheedled and cajoled two more signed copies of Horsemen of the Red Hand: Book Two of the Operation SERF Trilogy from author Chris Sullins, and for $29.33 (shipping included) you get this novel and a signed copy of Survival+ The Primer--plus a bonus embroidered military-style patch that is based on the flag of a new group introduced in the story. More about the patch and a picture can be found on the Garden SERF blog. I'm sorry I only have two of these signed books in hand, so it's first come, first served.


You can snag a copy of Operation SERF from amazon.com for $14.99 plus shipping if you don't have a copy yet.


Last but not least, I always offer those readers who are desperate for a cheap but meaningful gift for teens 15 and older (a nearly impossible challenge, granted) one "ten seconds left, Hail-Mary pass from the 51-yard line" gift idea: a signed copy ofClaire's Great Adventure, my novel of pirates, mysterious Chinese Tongs, the underworlds of Paris and Shanghai, and of course 16-year old Claire and her fellow adventurer Camden, for $17.70 (shipping included). Supplies are limited to the copies I have on hand.


I will ship any of my other novels for the same absurdly low price, with the caveat that these books contain adult themes which may not be suitable for readers under 18.


The great thing about a signed book is that the recipient, no matter how uninterested in the gift book he/she may be, will recognize you went to the trouble (on his/her behalf) to contact the author, get him/her to sign the book to a specific reader and stand in line at the post office to mail it, etc. They will probably appreciate it, though it's also possible they'll be annoyed that you didn't give them a Starbucks gift card.


If you don't have a copy of the World Made By Hand series yet and don't feel up to entering the contest, Amazon is offering The Witch of Hebron for $16.32 and World Made by Hand for a mere $10.17.



New recipes on What's for Dinner at Your House?--Elsewhere Cafe Muffins, and Louisa's Vegetarian Baked Beans



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