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The Celestial Foods of "Dim Sun"

Describing the food in "Dim Sun," a short story by Maria Dahvana Headley.

Published onSep 30, 2019
The Celestial Foods of "Dim Sun"

Assignment: A quick Pub on your thoughts on the world or an artifact from your chosen “Women Destroy Science Fiction!”  reading.

In “Women Destroy Science Fiction!,” I chose to read “Dim Sun” and “A Burglary, Addressed By a Young Lady.” Although both take place in an age of significantly advanced technology, “Dim Sun” stood out the most given that it was the one world that really tested my imagination. It also felt as if the characters were like Marvel’s Celestials, cosmic beings that may resemble humans but are vastly superior. The reason being is that the food that was described so vividly by Maria Dahvana Headley, although sounding delicious, was made up of celestial properties that if a human within any reasonable timeline would ingest it, assuming they can, they would cease to exist.

<p>Marvel’s Celestials</p><p>(source: <a href=""></a>)</p>

Marvel’s Celestials


The first thing that I found fascinating about this world, other than the food, is how Rodney’s Ex, the welder, was able to remove a chunk of the universe so that he could walk through it and enter another location within the universe (e.g. like a wormhole). The first thing that came to mind is a “traditional” welder using their torch to somehow create a crack in the universe. This made me think of the doors that led to The Upside Down in Stranger Things that had to be blasted with energy in order to open them up.

<p>Stranger Things Door to The Upside Down</p><p>(source: <a href=""></a>)</p>

Stranger Things Door to The Upside Down


When Maria describes the food in the restaurant, she makes them sound less like a futurists view on food and more as if something a god would create and eat. Instead of just describing an onion ring-like food as spicy, she goes a step further and describes it as glowing and “fried in some kind of astral napalm” which left my imagination to go wild. When reading that, I immediately thought of the scene from The Lord of the Rings where after the ring is thrown into the lava pit in Mount Doom, it momentarily sat there, glowing on a bed of lava. I really enjoy spicy food but that’s not something I would want to eat in any era.

<p>Ring Thrown into Lava at Mount Doom</p><p>(The Lord of the Rings)</p><p>(Source: <a href=""></a>)</p>

Ring Thrown into Lava at Mount Doom

(The Lord of the Rings)


However, my most favorite food description had to be of the “Donut hole.” How would you even go about imagining how a black hole would look like as a food for a mortal? I wouldn’t even know where to begin when describing eating something that is “full of nothing and everything at once” but Maria is able to do it so vividly. When Rodney eats the black hole, he says, “the nothing makes its way down my throat and into my belly. The nothing swells to fill my stomach. It’s a black bleakness, a twisting unfurling into itself, like something being wrung and simultaneously growing.” Then when he describes how “a bit of black hole leaks out the corner of Bert’s mouth,” it made me think of an image along the lines of the below picture.

<p>Human Imploding</p><p>(Source: <a href=""></a>)</p>

I really enjoyed Maria’s short story and how it made me imagine eating things that I would have never expected to find edible, or even touchable.


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