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Stuffed Head

Stuffed Head

The Vrekli had charged him a small fortune for the gene-tailored symbiotes, and it had taken weeks for him to get used to the squirming feeling in his nasal passages, but it was worth it to be at long last rid of the allergies that had made his life a misery since childhood. The tiny slime worms reliably devoured every speck of pollen, every fragment of dust-mite, every molecule of each airborne allergen that had plagued him in the past, before they could cause the vestige of a reaction.

What he shouldn’t have done was to spring for the recreational-hallucinogen nanobot inhaler on Chur’r. There seemed to be a struggle for supremacy going on inside his sinuses—some kind of hierarchical dispute—and even though he was zoned to the gills, he had now been sneezing nonstop for at least two hours. The spasms were simultaneously a delightful metaphor for a pervasive sense of oneness with the universe, and absolutely unbearable.

from the notebooks of F. J. Bergmann

Three Day Nerve Crackers

Three Day Nerve Crackers

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

If these don't put the zing in your central nervous system, nothing will.

This is a simple recipe, but does take a fair amount of planning, as well as quite a lot of work. It provides a nice workout, though, in addition to being very tasty. One bite of the final product, and you won’t be tired at all.

Credit: B. Morris Allen


  • 4 Voranian nuggle darts
  • 1 gram Rigelian snifkles
  • 80 liters salty (Mg-Cl2) seawater in a sturdy vanadium pot.


  1. The tricky part, of course, is capturing the nuggle darts. Vorania is such a harsh environment that even the plants don’t stay put, and nuggle darts are notoriously rapid. My advice – hire an expert.
  2. Once you have the darts netted, crack off the stem and let it fly away; it confuses predators and gives true nuggle dart seeds a better chance of germinating.
  3. Without the stems, the nuggle darts are motionless. With a basalt mortar and pestle, grind the darts into a fine powder. Five or six hours should do it. A Terran might do it in two. (They may be grotesque, but they’re very strong.)
  4. Sort the snifkles by size. Add them to the seawater starting from largest to smallest.
  5. When all the snifkles have dissolved, add the ground nuggle darts. Try to do it from a distance. I find a nice underhand throw does the trick. Corvians may want to use a blast shield, or an environment suit.
  6. Once the steam has cleared, you’ll find that what remains is a nice thick crust on the bottom and sides of your pot. Scrape it off, and press it into crackers while it’s still slightly moist.
  7. Enjoy! One cracker should keep you awake for about three standard days. Don’t eat two.