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Great Gift Ideas For Geeks and Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 | Posted by John ONeill

honey-monthI love being interviewed.  Especially on weeks when Jack Nicholson isn’t talking to the press.  I tell my wife, “I was interviewed more often than Jack Nicholson this week.”

Alice is rarely impressed. “I don’t like Jack Nicholson,” she tells me. But I keep it up, in the hopes that it will win me some lovin’.

I was interviewed by SF Signal for their regular Mind Meld column, along with people less famous than me, like Jeff VanderMeer, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Mike Resnick, Martha Wells, David B. Coe, Jaym Gates, Brenda Cooper, Mike Brotherton, A. Lee Martinez, and other international celebrities and rock stars like that.  The topic was Great Gift Ideas For Geeks and Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans, and here’s what that VanderMeer guy said about some book about honey by Amal El-Mohtar:

The Honey Month – This beautifully illustrated volume of short fictions and poems takes as its inspiration the author’s tasting of 28 different kinds of honey, one per day. Each tasting leads to a different literary creation, but she begins each entry by describing the honey in terms that will be familiar to wine connoisseurs. To top it all off, Oliver Hunter’s finely rendered color illustrations make encountering such rich, heady prose even more delightful…. The book’s a slim 73 pages for a reason: like the honey described, any more and it would be too rich for most readers. As it stands, however, The Honey Month is the perfect length, and the perfect gift.

I tried to buy a copy of The Honey Month from Amal at Wiscon, but she wouldn’t sell it to me (I think because I was more famous than her). Now that she’s had a book blurbed by VanderMeer and done, like, the most popular interview in the history of Black Gate, I expect all that to change. And maybe a brother can buy a simple book, know what I’m sayin’?

You can read the complete SF Signal article here.


  1. John-O, my dear, you are too kind. Thank you so much for the link!

    And you’re a well-loved Blarney-stone, you are. I had no copies left for your too-famous self! I hope you like it if you read it, though. You can get it on Amazon now n’stuff.

    Comment by Amal El-Mohtar - November 24, 2010 4:47 pm

  2. Well, lookit this. How sweet it is. Sweeter than night-black honey…

    Comment by C.S.E. Cooney - November 24, 2010 5:40 pm

  3. This looks like a great Christmas present to myself. What kind of stories are in it?

    Comment by Mister_Alex - November 25, 2010 11:15 am

  4. The absolute riot known as John O’Neill strikes anew! Witty and debonair, the man-No, the Master!-is an artist of prose and oratory! I am humbled by my association with him, glutted by his friendship.

    Comment by Jason M. Waltz - November 25, 2010 1:00 pm

  5. Amal,

    Blarney is what gets me the books. (And all the lovin’, if I have to be truthful.)

    Figures your book would sell out before I get to buy a copy at Wiscon. And I’m sure I will adore it — I was much impressed with what I managed to read before Cooney snatched back her copy.

    As for your skyrocketing fame, I have a theory. It involves the black dress. I shall say no more.

    Comment by John ONeill - November 25, 2010 3:28 pm

  6. C.S.E,

    > How sweet it is. Sweeter than night-black honey…

    Quit gloating because you have a copy, Cooney!

    Comment by John ONeill - November 25, 2010 3:30 pm

  7. Mister-Alex,

    I’ll leave that question to be answered by those lucky enough to already have a copy (ahem, Cooney), except to say that the book is wonderfully illustrated, and the stories were beautifully written.

    Comment by John ONeill - November 25, 2010 3:32 pm

  8. Thank you, Jason. And dude, I’m totally going to pay you that hundred bucks I owe. Chill out. :)

    Comment by John ONeill - November 25, 2010 3:33 pm

  9. The stories and poems are inspired by different honey vials, so they are as each different from each other as the honey that inspired them.

    Strongly fantastical, dreamy language, with the descriptions of the honey in Amal’s own, wry, talk-right-at-you-through-the-pages voice.

    But it’s an interstitial sort of book. It’s not easily defined or given a cozy genre to sit in.

    Comment by C.S.E. Cooney - November 26, 2010 4:04 pm

  10. Amal’s hair is sweet as honey and black as darkness

    Comment by francisco72 - November 28, 2010 10:45 am

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