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Free Rucksack Universe Fiction: Stars in your beer

Stars in your beer - B.S. Trotter - Rucksack Universe Anthony St. Clair

From The Lost & Found Travels of BS Trotter

Originally published in London Rising

Okay, we all know that after a couple of pints you can, well, see things. But for Londoners they were not expecting to see strange things in their beer.

I want to make a distinction here: they are seeing strange things in their beer, not because of their beer. We all sometimes see strange things because of beer, typically because we should have stopped about five pints back.

Street lights turn weird for me. After I’ve had a few too many I always find that the street lights, instead of just shining and being bright, in fact have a sort of halo. The light hangs in cloudy rings around the light bulb, as if the lampposts were strangely camouflaged angels. Sometimes I think I’m seeing the world how painter Vincent Van Gogh saw things when he painted his famed Starry Night.

Then I realize I probably just need a kabob and my bed.

However, Londoners are seeing the strangest thing in their pints. Reports and calls and letters have been flooding in to London Rising that all over the city, when someone first picks up a brimming-full pint of their favorite blackest stout, they see a star inside.

Folks, that’s not fancy talk from a humble itinerant reporter suddenly aspiring to be a poet. That’s what people have said, over and over and over. The same thing.

A star.

They look at their pint, which is dark as night sky, and in the middle of the beer, it’s as if they see a small spark. It’s there just a moment, then it either fades or simply can’t be seen anymore or wasn’t there to begin with.

First Call Brewing declined a request to be interviewed for this story. However, the cheeky buggers did point out that no stars are used to brew Galway Pradesh Stout.

Keep those reports coming in, though. I’ve heard it said that after a good pint you can understand the universe. Like you I didn’t expect to see the universe in my beer, but I’ve a feeling the universe is a better place for it.

The Rucksack Universe is Anthony St. Clair’s ongoing beery travel fantasy series of myth, intrigue, and adventure.




Free Rucksack Universe Fiction: Brewing School Launches in London

Brewschool - BS Trotter - Rucksack Universe

From The Lost & Found Travels of BS Trotter

Originally published in London Rising

BrewSchool has opened in London, England. Focused on “brewing brewers,” the teaching operation will train prospective professional brewers in all aspects of the beer industry. Areas of training include developing recipes; the brewing process; equipment selection, ordering, installation, and maintenance; finances and regulation; scaling business; packaging (kegs, bottles, and cans); marketing; and serving beer.

Founded by longtime homebrewer Zara Porter, BrewSchool is an interesting new initiative in the industry. “BrewSchool gives women and men the opportunity to understand every aspect of this ancient and complex process,” says Porter. “By the time students graduate BrewSchool, they will be ready to bring value to any of the world’s breweries, or start their own.”

Porter’s younger sister, Branwen, is the newly appointed second-in-command at First Call Brewing, which recently regained its independence from Deep, Inc., and left London to return to its roots in New Galway, Ireland. First Call is among over a dozen breweries that have already pledged support for BrewSchool and its first class of graduates.

In addition to setting up shop in London, Porter has also negotiated certifications and special offers for BrewSchool graduates. Students will be eligible for business planning services, apprenticeships at small breweries and large operations such as First Call, and will also be eligible for special financing offers for new business startups.

BrewSchool offers a new way to get into the esoteric industry. “Brewing will always rely in part on the apprentice model and being a self-starter,” says Porter. “However, all brewers benefit from an understanding of the full process, and they can then build on this strong foundation of knowledge and training depending on where their professional journey takes them.”

Porter is embarking on a two-month world tour to promote the school, develop and further relationships with breweries abroad, and recruit students. The first formal training sessions, each lasting six months, are expected to begin early next year.

The Rucksack Universe is Anthony St. Clair’s ongoing beery travel fantasy series of myth, intrigue, and adventure.




Who is Faddah Rucksack? – 100 Days to Forever

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#100DaysToForever

Day 6: 95 Days till FOREVER THE ROAD

“I’m Himalayan by birth, Irish by fortune, and myself by choice.”

So far in the Rucksack Universe, we’ve met folks like Jake Hongkong, Jay the world’s greatest traveler, Aisling the Awen of Ireland, and Declan.

And, along with a wee cameo in Home Sweet Road, in The Martini of Destiny we had our first enigmatic encounter with the stout-swigging, ever-mysterious, anywhere-faced, gloved-left-handed who-the-feck-are-ya-anyway Faddah Rucksack, the world’s only Himalayan-Irish sage.

Faddah Rucksack. Just “Rucksack” will do. Or, if you’re a bartending, destiny-slinging Jake or Jade, you might as well call him “let me get you another pint of Galway Pradesh Stout.”

Personally, I’ve always figured Rucksack for a combination of Morpheus from The Matrix…

…and the fourteenth Dalai Lama…

(BTW, he’s certainly as bald, but no glasses.)

Or, to put that another way, I’ve always considered Rucksack as what would happen if The Doctor from Doctor Who and Nanny Ogg from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld had a lovechild.

How’s THAT for a crossover?!?

As you can probably guess, the Rucksack Universe is ultimately the story of Faddah Rucksack. Everything that’s happened in other stories, and everything happening in Forever the Road, ties back to him in one way or another.

But who the hell is Rucksack anyway? Unfortunately, Rucksack tends to be very evasive when it comes to answering questions. But let’s give it a go anyway.

A Quick Q&A

Who is Rucksack?

“Some say he’s a broken hero,” said the figure in blue and green.

“Some say he’s the world’s only Himalayan-Irish sage,” said the figure in brown and black.

“Some say he’s just a freeloading drunk,” said the figure in silver and gold.

“None of these things has ever been proven,” they all said together. “All we know is that he is an unknown quantity.”

Rucksack is from the Himalayas and India. However, he also lived a long time in Ireland.

Why did you move to Ireland?

“That’s a boring story o’ youth and a family that had to flee for their lives. Nothing that would interest you.”

In addition to having a face that makes him seem like he could be from anywhere, Rucksack is also distinguished by wearing a black leather glove on his left hand. No one knows why, but let’s ask.

What’s up with the gloved left hand?

“You wouldn’t want to hear about that. It’s a gruesome tale involving an innovative effort to come up with the world’s first piecrust flattener machine.”

Sigh. See what I mean? The bugger can’t stand to answer a question.

Why you gotta be like that?

“Myth is the best camouflage for the real.”

Nonetheless, there’s far more to Rucksack than a love of beer and a tendency to never directly answer a question. Let’s ask someone else…

Is there more to Rucksack than meets the eye?

His heart beats like a person’s. He breathes and blinks. He drinks and eats… and drinks. The sun, cold, wind, water, and dust of the world are etched into him like tattoos. He could seem like other people. Except for this emptiness, this loneliness around him. He is so alive, life burns like a fire in him and hums like a song, but he has no path…. He transformed his grief into gold, a rich happiness that didn’t serve him but served to bring out the joy in others, since he seemed not to have any of his own.

And in Forever the Road, we’re going to start learning how much more to Rucksack there really is.

What should we do in the meantime, Rucksack?

Raise those pints. There’s no such thing as the sound o’ one glass clinking.

I’ll drink to that.

Add to Goodreads

Tune in Next for…

100 Days to Forever

On Sept. 8, 2014, Forever the Road, the third Rucksack Universe book, will be released as an e-book and trade paperback worldwide.

During our 100 Days to Forever lead-up, you can follow all the adventure on the blog via the 100 Days to Forever category, on my email list, and at the #100DaysToForever hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

#100DaysToForever
Images: fringedbenefit; Morpheux/The Matrix © 1999 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.; Debarshi Ray



He was smiling as he did it

Today’s Oneword: Aperture

More postcards from the urban fantasy stories of the Rucksack UniverseHe was smiling as he did it, she thought, anger and disgust flooding her. Through the camera she looked, twisting a dial to change the aperture.

“Bet you never thought anyone would see you doing this,” she said softly, then snapped the picture.

And a quick note… The postcards are taking a holiday break. I’m going to spend the rest of the year planning 2014’s novels and novellas! Happy Holidays 🙂

What are these things?

The Oneword website is a writing exercise where you have 60 seconds to write something based on one word, which changes each day. I use it to explore ideas and give you a daily postcard into the Rucksack Universe of travel fiction stories.

Want to know more? Leave a comment below or check out the stories.




But who is he?

Today’s Oneword: Colonel

More postcards from the urban fantasy stories of the Rucksack Universe“But who is he?”

“He’s just himself.”

“Come on, a man like that, he must have known command, leadership. Colonel, general, admiral, boss, mayor, king, come on, what?”

“He has no title. None who he leads know that he leads. That is why he is so effective.”

What are these things?

The Oneword website is a writing exercise where you have 60 seconds to write something based on one word, which changes each day. I use it to explore ideas and give you a daily postcard into the Rucksack Universe of travel fiction stories.

Want to know more? Leave a comment below or check out the stories.




You may have to improv

Today’s Oneword: Improv

More postcards from the urban fantasy stories of the Rucksack Universe“You may have to improv,” she said, trying not to look down.

“Surely it’s not that strange a situation,” he replied.

“I’ll grant you that you’re probably not the first person to try to cross a border while not wearing pants,” she said. “But completely naked? I’m pretty sure that’s a new one.”

“You don’t think they’ll give me a visa?”

“I don’t think you’ll like where they stamp you.”

What are these things?

The Oneword website is a writing exercise where you have 60 seconds to write something based on one word, which changes each day. I use it to explore ideas and give you a daily postcard into the Rucksack Universe of travel fiction stories.

Want to know more? Leave a comment below or check out the stories.




It wanted out

Today’s Oneword: Mechanism

More postcards from the urban fantasy stories of the Rucksack UniverseThe little hollow cube shouldn’t have been so heavy. There was no mechanism to open it, no crack or seam to suggest that it had been assembled. The cube was as natural as the sun, not made but there. It was hollow, but something was inside.

And it wanted out.

What are these things?

The Oneword website is a writing exercise where you have 60 seconds to write something based on one word, which changes each day. I use it to explore ideas and give you a daily postcard into the Rucksack Universe of travel fiction stories.

Want to know more? Leave a comment below or check out the stories.




The guru shuddered

Today’s Oneword: Meanwhile

More postcards from the urban fantasy stories of the Rucksack UniverseThe motorcycle stood at the edge of the cliff.

Meanwhile, the guru looked up from his desk in his high tower in London.

The woman took off her helmet and stared north.

The guru shuddered.

The woman started the engine. It’s a long way from Tibet to England, she thought, but I’m coming for you.

What are these things?

The Oneword website is a writing exercise where you have 60 seconds to write something based on one word, which changes each day. I use it to explore ideas and give you a daily postcard into the Rucksack Universe of travel fiction stories.

Want to know more? Leave a comment below or check out the stories.




So much for peaceful

Today’s Oneword: Plumes

More postcards from the urban fantasy stories of the Rucksack UniverseShe stood on the peaty ground, staring out over the dim, misty morning. It should have been silent. It should have been a peaceful morning, full of tea and a crossword puzzle.

But she stared harder, waited, and at last, she saw it. Plumes rose from the worn dirt track leading to the hostel. The motorcycle sped up.

Great, she thought. So much for peaceful.

What are these things?

The Oneword website is a writing exercise where you have 60 seconds to write something based on one word, which changes each day. I use it to explore ideas and give you a daily postcard into the Rucksack Universe of travel fiction stories.

Want to know more? Leave a comment below or check out the stories.




The foam had formed letters

Today’s Oneword: Geometric

More postcards from the urban fantasy stories of the Rucksack UniverseThere was no sense to it, at least, not after ten pints of black, black stout. The geometric gentleness of the lacy foam fell, clinging to the insides of the glass, but it never went away.

The foam slid down the glass, and across the glass, even up the glass, and finally, at last, it made sense.

The foam had formed letters, and he realized there was a message in his beer. “Help me,” it said.

What are these things?

The Oneword website is a writing exercise where you have 60 seconds to write something based on one word, which changes each day. I use it to explore ideas and give you a daily postcard into the Rucksack Universe of travel fiction stories.

Want to know more? Leave a comment below or check out the stories.




Hi.

Anthony St. Clair - Travel Fantasy Author / Craft Beer Writer / Business Copywriter

Author and copywriter Anthony St. Clair has specialized in online content since 2000, blogged since 2004 and is the author of the Rucksack Universe travel fantasy series.

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Rucksack Universe

Travel fantasy tales
of wit, adventure & beer

Forever the Road by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novel - learn more and buy now

Home Sweet Road by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novella - learn more and buy now

The Martini of Destiny by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novella - learn more and buy now

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