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A Rucksack Universe Novella. The first e-book published for the Rucksack Universe.

3 Rules in Search of Galway Pradesh Stout

The beery trinity of stouts: Guinness, Murphy's, Beamish.

In our world, there is a beery trinity of stouts: Guinness, Murphy’s, Beamish. But in the Rucksack Universe, there is just one stout to rule them all: Galway Pradesh Stout, or GPS.

It’s a hard life, creating a universe. When your wee world has a beer so rich and vibrant that it’s a character all its own, you have to find out what that beer is like in real life. With my work, homebrewing meets fantasy fiction, and there are 3 rules for searching out one beer in particular.

Second rule first.

Rule #2: Galway Pradesh Stout. It’s nothing at all like Guinness, Murphy’s and Beamish.

In case you didn’t know this already, stout is my favorite beer style for chilly weather (for warm weather, it’s saison. Preferring beers that start with “s” makes it easier to remember after a few pints). For as long as I’ve been building the Rucksack Universe, a key feature has been a beer called Galway Pradesh Stout, or “GPS” for short.

Galway Pradesh Stout is a dry Irish-style stout. Its history and recipe are older than Guinness. Actually, GPS is damn near older than Ireland itself, but that’s another story for another time. For now let us turn to the sacred words of the Beer Judge Certification Program, 2008 BJCP Style Guidelines, Category 13 — Stout, 13A. Dry Stout. And thus it was spake… (spaken? Whatever. Said…)

Aroma: Coffee-like roasted barley and roasted malt aromas are prominent; may have slight chocolate, cocoa and/or grainy secondary notes. Esters medium-low to none. No diacetyl. Hop aroma low to none.

Appearance: Jet black to deep brown with garnet highlights in color. Can be opaque (if not, it should be clear). A thick, creamy, long-lasting, tan- to brown-colored head is characteristic.

Flavor: Moderate roasted, grainy sharpness, optionally with light to moderate acidic sourness, and medium to high hop bitterness. Dry, coffee-like finish from roasted grains. May have a bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate character in the palate, lasting into the finish. Balancing factors may include some creaminess, medium-low to no fruitiness, and medium to no hop flavor. No diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium-full body, with a creamy character. Low to moderate carbonation. For the high hop bitterness and significant proportion of dark grains present, this beer is remarkably smooth. The perception of body can be affected by the overall gravity with smaller beers being lighter in body. May have a light astringency from the roasted grains, although harshness is undesirable.

This is pretty much a description of beers like Guinness, Murphy’s and Beamish, which are the beery trinity of examples of the style.

Guinness is one of the world’s most iconic beers, and my travels in Ireland certainly left me with many fond memories of Guinness and its brethren. However, for my world, and as both an author and a homebrewer, I wanted to create my own beers.

So I came up with GPS. It ties in with some other things about my world and characters, and it is absolutely-tootly nothing at all like Guinness, Murphy’s and Beamish.

Which brings us to the first rule.

Rule #1: Authors lie.

Rule #1: The Doctor Lies

Rule #1: The Doctor lies, and so do I.

If you’re a Doctor Who fan, you’re probably familiar with River Song’s important reminder from The Big Bang finale of reboot season 5 (thanks to Planet Claire for the quotation):

Rory: How could he have moved? He was dead. Doctor! Doctor!
Amy: But he was dead.
River: Who told you that?
Amy: He did.
River: Rule one: the Doctor lies.

Yup. The Doctor lies. And authors lie too. Probably even more than a 900-year-old time lord.

So I’ll say it again—and this time I mean it, I really really, timey wimey mean it—GPS is nothing at all like Guinness, Murphy’s and Beamish.

Rule #3: A beer described must be created.

GPS figures in all of my current Rucksack Universe stories, and it will feature in every story to come. (Think of it as a tasty drinkable version of the Death of Discworld. They both look best in black, only GPS doesn’t swing a scythe or SPEAK IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Plus, while Death helps you move on when you die, GPS helps you move on through life.)

The Death of Discworld, dark as a pint of GPS, but not quite as fun. Though to be fair, GPS doesn't have a horse named Binky.

The Death of Discworld, dark as a pint of GPS, but not quite as fun. Though to be fair, GPS doesn’t have a horse named Binky. Heya there Death, what’s that yer drinkin’?

Whether Ireland, Oregon or Australia, I’ve drunk many a stout in many a place. Each stout has contributed its own ideas for what GPS ultimately is like as a world-class iconic beer. After so much, ahem, field research, I’m also now working on my own rendering and recipe of Galway Pradesh Stout.

GPS will share many of the characteristics of the BJCP style guidelines noted above. I want it be a rich yet drinkable beer, the sort of think you could quaff by the pint all evening, and barely notice until you got up to pee.

Five gallons of my first attempt at a GPS homebrew—we’ll call it GPS, Mark I—were bottle conditioned a while back under a towel in my kitchen. The flavors are rich and roasted, with slight sour tangs to temper the bitterness.

I’m excited for this beer. It’s a true taste of my fiction.

Will it be all the way yet? Nah, not yet. Just like the world and characters of the Rucksack Universe itself, GPS is evolving.

But it’s a good start.

Images: anthony_thebest31 Keeping Calm in the TARDIS tumblr.com, Stuart B.




Giveaway Winners

The Martini of Destiny, by Anthony St. Clair

Available in e-book and paperback

The wait is over! Thank you to everyone who entered and shared both giveaways for The Martini of Destiny. One was through my website and social media, and the other was through Goodreads.

80 people were entered into the giveaway through my site. Namaste and thank you!

But… Goodreads… OMG. According to Goodreads, an average of 825 people enter a giveaway. 1,336 people entered my Goodreads giveaway. Just looking at that number makes me light-headed. (Though I also need more coffee this morning, thanks to the 5 a.m. sleeplessness of a certain toddler.)

As you may recall…

  • 5 Goodreads winners would each receive a signed/numbered paperback of The Martini of Destiny
  • 4 folks on social media would each win a signed/numbered paperback and free e-books
  • 1 grand prize winner would receive a signed/numbered paperback, free e-books, and a $25 gift certificate to the bookstore of his or her choice

It’s time to announce the winners!

Goodreads Winners

  1. Dalene Rodman, USA
  2. Rachael O’hara, Belgium
  3. Karolina Klosinska, Ireland
  4. Andrew Halper, USA
  5. Hayden Skilling, New Zealand

Social Media Winners

  1. Lilah Tov, +Lilah Tov on Google+
  2. Megan Claire, Mapping Megan, @mappingmegan on Twitter
  3. Nick & Dariece, Goats on the Road, @GoatsOnTheRoad on Twitter
  4. Abby Tegnelia, Daydream Away @AbbyTegnelia on Twitter

And the Grand Prize Winner Is…

Floriana Anton-Pilorget (via Facebook)

Congratulations to Floriana and to all the other winners!

I’ve been in touch with the winners and will have your prizes out to you soon.

Again, to everyone who participated, thank you so much for being part of this and for showing your support. It is both encouraging and humbling, and I can’t wait to get more books out there for your armchair traveling and on-the-road enjoyment.

What Now?

This giveaway is closed, but another opens soon. My next Rucksack Universe novella, Home Sweet Road, comes out soon in both e-book and paperback.

For updates and to find out when giveaways open for that book…

The Martini of Destiny is available in e-book and paperback from Amazon, Kobo and more stores all over the world. Check out The Martini of Destiny »

Home Sweet Road comes out soon in e-book and paperback »

So does Forever the Road, the first Rucksack Universe novel »

Image: Anne Roberts




Giveaway Closed, Winners Soon

Thank you to everyone who entered the The Martini of Destiny giveaway! The response has more than I could have hoped, and I am so amazed and humbled.

The giveaways are now closed, and I’ll be announcing winners soon!

P.S. Psst, over here. Home Sweet Road, the latest Rucksack Universe novella, is coming out soon. You’ll have a chance to win that book too. That tuned for the next giveaways.

In the meantime…




[Giveaway Closed] Last Day to Win $25 + Free Books

The Martini of Destiny, by Anthony St. ClairIt’s Jan. 7… which means it’s the last day to enter The Martini of Destiny giveaway! Enter by 11:59 pm PT, and you could win…

  • One of 5 free autographed and numbered trade paperback copies (retail price, US$8.99)
  • Free e-books for Kindle, Kobo, iPad and other e-readers (.mobi and .epub formats; retail price, US$2.99 each)
  • And… one US$25 Gift Certificate to a bookstore of your choice

So, YES, that’s a FREE book, FREE e-books and a FREE gift certificate.

4 lucky folks somewhere in the world will win signed paperbacks and free e-books, a $15 value.

1 extra-lucky folk somewhere in the world will win a signed paperback, free e-books and the $25 gift certificate. That’s $40 smackers worth of prizey goodness.

Do any one of the following 8 things today, and you’re in the running to win.

One entry per sharey-thingie:

1. Subscribe to my free email list

Click here to subscribe Sign up here »

2. Follow me on any of these social networks

Click here to follow @anthonystclair on Twitter Follow @anthonystclair on Twitter »

3. Share this on Facebook (copy & paste)

The Martini of Destiny – one drink changed the world. Anthony St. Clair’s first Rucksack Universe travel fantasy novella is now in e-book & paperback (Anthony St. Clair, Author & Copywriter) http://anthonystclair.com/martini

(Sometimes a privacy setting may prevent me from seeing these. So, if you share it via Facebook, please email me—writer@anthonystclair.com—so I can be sure to know about it.)

4. Share this on Google+ (copy & paste)

*One drink changed the world.*

_The Martini of Destiny_, the first Rucksack Universe travel fantasy novella by +AnthonyStClairAuthor, is now in e-book & paperback

http://anthonystclair.com/martini

(Sometimes a privacy setting may prevent me from seeing these. So, if you share it via Google+, please email me—writer@anthonystclair.com—so I can be sure to know about it.)

5. Retweet this on Twitter

Click to Tweet or copy and paste:

The Martini of Destiny @anthonystclair – one drink changed the world. E-book/paperback http://anthonystclair.com/martini

6. Add The Martini of Destiny to your Goodreads

Add to Goodreads

7. Comment on this blog post

Enter your comment below.

8. Share this blog post on your site, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Twitter: Click to Tweet or copy and paste:

Win $25 + The Martini of Destiny, an #urbanfantasy novella by @anthonystclair http://wp.me/p3zrGS-24L #travelfiction #bookgiveaway

Other social networks—copy and paste:

Win $25 + The Martini of Destiny, an #urbanfantasy novella by Anthony St. Clair http://wp.me/p3zrGS-24L #travelfiction #mustread

BONUS! Double your chances of winning

In addition to the giveaway on my website, you can also enter my Goodreads Giveaway for The Martini of Destiny! 5 Goodreads members will win signed copies of the trade paperback edition!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Martini of Destiny by Anthony St. Clair

The Martini of Destiny

by Anthony St. Clair

Giveaway ends January 07, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Thank You!

Can’t wait to choose the winners!

Obligatory Yadda Yadda: Giveaway open to everyone everywhere. One prize per winner. Void where prohibited. Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PT, Jan. 7, 2014 (not responsible for entries that get lost, are not transmitted, get eaten by trolls, etc.). Four winners each receive one signed paperback, one .mobi format e-book and one .epub format e-book. One winner receives one signed paperback, one .mobi format e-book, one .epub format e-book, and one gift certificate for US$25 to a bookstore of the winner’s choice. Value of gift certificate: US$25. Value of trade paperback and e-books: US$14.97. Winners will be chosen at random and announced by Jan. 10, 2014. The Goodreads Giveaway operates under separate terms and conditions.




New Stores for Paperback + on India’s Flipkart

The Martini of Destiny is available in 2 new stores!

Available on Barnes and Noble

The paperback edition is now at Barnes & Noble.

Flipkart

India fans, you can also order the e-book and paperback through Flipkart.com.




Happy Holidays from Snowgene!

Ah, my Trusty Reader, thank you for another year. As we head toward the holidays, I wanted to thank you for being with me on this journey through life, stories and good beer. Good company makes it easier to live the world—and far more fun.

I also wanted to let you know about a few things with the blog, Rucksack Universe stories, and giveaways…

(Eugene was recently transported to Wisconsin, apparently. As of this writing, last week’s snow is not only the most I’ve ever seen here, it’s also still on the bloody ground. Here are some pictures too of our own wee snowpacalypse.)

Santa's little-known friendly car and snow troll.

Santa’s little-known friendly car and snow troll.

The Martini of Destiny giveaway is open now through Jan. 7

You can win $25, free e-books and a free signed paperback.

Here’s how to enter »

There’s also a Goodreads giveaway going

Another perk of having a paperback edition of The Martini of Destiny? More giveaways!

Also through Jan. 7, you can enter to win one of 5 autographed copies at Goodreads. As of Dec. 13, over 200 people have already entered:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Martini of Destiny by Anthony St. Clair

The Martini of Destiny

by Anthony St. Clair

Giveaway ends January 07, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Holiday Breaks

Plump ripe snowfruit ready for harvest.

Plump ripe snowfruit ready for harvest.

The Eugene Craft Beer Roundup and the Oneword Postcards from the Rucksack Universe are on a break through the end of the year. They’ll be back in 2014.

The rest of my year

In addition to cooking, baking, and sharing the season with my wife and son, I’m going to be looking back over 2013, looking ahead to 2014, and planning the next Rucksack Universe novels and novellas. I’m really excited, and can’t wait to bring you on more journeys in this wee world.

Speaking of stories & 2014

Dates! The next Rucksack Universe novella, Home Sweet Road, should be out in e-book and trade paperback Jan. 28. Here’s what it’s about »

And…

The novel… you know, the one I’ve been working on for years? Yeah, that one.

Forever the Road should be out by the end of April. Here’s what it’s about »

Geronimo, slainte & happy holidays!

The fire hydrants love the snow and the holidays, and they have the hats to prove it.

The fire hydrants love the snow and the holidays, and they have the hats to prove it.

It’s going to be a good year, and I hope that your 2014 is twice as stupendous.

All the best to you and yours this holiday season. See you next year!




The Martini of Destiny: Now Available in Paperback

Trade Paperback cover for The Martini of Destiny

Now available in e-book and trade paperback wherever books are sold.

I love that new book smell.

I’ve been breathing it in ever since getting the first proofs of the trade paperback edition of The Martini of Destiny. And now, after much ado about printing and after many requests to bring this urban fantasy novella to paperback, I am so, so stoked to give you what you want.

Here you go.

The Martini of Destiny is available in trade paperback, right now at the stores below, and over the next few weeks pretty much anywhere you buy books (if you can’t get it or order it from your fave bookstore, please let me know):

More stores will be coming soon. You can always find the full list at The Martini of Destiny’s official page.

One more thing…

You also have a chance to win The Martini of Destiny. Now through Jan. 7, I’m running 2 giveaways:

Goodreads Book Giveaway – Win 1 of 5 signed copies »

Win $25 + Free Books (e-book editions, signed paperback & a $25 gift certificate) from the author »

Thank you for all your support, and for telling me what you wanted. I can’t wait to hear what you think. I also can’t wait to bring Home Sweet Road and Forever the Road to you in 2014.

Allons-y, Geronimo, Slainte, Enjoy!




Tomorrow, the Paperback. Here’s the Cover Now.

It’s almost here.

Tomorrow, Dec. 10, the trade paperback edition of The Martini of Destiny will be available at Amazon, Createspace, and bookstores online and all over the world.

In the meantime, here’s the full cover for you (click for a larger version):

Trade Paperback cover for The Martini of Destiny

Trade Paperback cover for The Martini of Destiny (on Flickr)




[Giveaway Closed] Win $25 + The Martini of Destiny

Enter the Giveaway by Jan. 7!

The Martini of Destiny, by Anthony St. Clair

The Martini of Destiny is available in both e-book and trade paperback as of Dec. 10, 2013. Enter the free book giveaway today, and you could win…

  • One of 5 free autographed and numbered trade paperback copies (retail price, US$8.99)
  • Free e-books for Kindle, Kobo, iPad and other e-readers (.mobi and .epub formats; retail price, US$2.99 each)
  • And… one US$25 Gift Certificate to a bookstore of your choice

So, YES, that’s a FREE book, FREE e-books and a FREE gift certificate.

4 lucky folks somewhere in the world will win signed paperbacks and free e-books, a $15 value.

1 extra-lucky folk somewhere in the world will win a signed paperback, free e-books and the $25 gift certificate. That’s $40 smackers worth of prizey goodness.

And, it couldn’t be easier to get in the running and get your first look at the Rucksack Universe, a new series readers are calling “cheeky, sophisticated debut fiction,” “funny without overreaching,” and “perfect for fans of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.”

Do any one of the following 8 things, and you’re in the running to win.

You get one entry per sharey-thingie, so feel free to do as many as you want, as often as you want.

1. Subscribe to my free email list

Click here to subscribe Sign up here »

2. Follow me on any of these social networks

Click here to follow @anthonystclair on Twitter Follow @anthonystclair on Twitter »

3. Share this on Facebook (copy & paste)

The Martini of Destiny – one drink changed the world. Anthony St. Clair’s first Rucksack Universe travel fantasy novella is now in e-book & paperback (Anthony St. Clair, Author & Copywriter) http://anthonystclair.com/martini

(Sometimes a privacy setting may prevent me from seeing these. So, if you share it via Facebook, please email me—writer@anthonystclair.com—so I can be sure to know about it.)

4. Share this on Google+ (copy & paste)

*One drink changed the world.*

_The Martini of Destiny_, the first Rucksack Universe travel fantasy novella by +AnthonyStClairAuthor, is now in e-book & paperback

http://anthonystclair.com/martini

(Sometimes a privacy setting may prevent me from seeing these. So, if you share it via Google+, please email me—writer@anthonystclair.com—so I can be sure to know about it.)

5. Retweet this on Twitter

Click to Tweet or copy and paste:

The Martini of Destiny @anthonystclair – one drink changed the world. E-book/paperback http://anthonystclair.com/martini

6. Add The Martini of Destiny to your Goodreads

Add to Goodreads

7. Comment on this blog post

Enter your comment below.

8. Share this blog post on your site, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Twitter: Click to Tweet or copy and paste:

Win $25 + The Martini of Destiny, an #urbanfantasy novella by @anthonystclair http://wp.me/p3zrGS-24L #travelfiction #bookgiveaway

Other social networks—copy and paste:

Win $25 + The Martini of Destiny, an #urbanfantasy novella by Anthony St. Clair http://wp.me/p3zrGS-24L #travelfiction #mustread

BONUS! Double your chances of winning

In addition to the giveaway on my website, you can also enter my Goodreads Giveaway for The Martini of Destiny! 5 Goodreads members will win signed copies of the trade paperback edition!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Martini of Destiny by Anthony St. Clair

The Martini of Destiny

by Anthony St. Clair

Giveaway ends January 07, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Thank You!

Can’t wait to choose the winners!

Obligatory Yadda Yadda: Giveaway open to everyone everywhere. One prize per winner. Void where prohibited. Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PT, Jan. 7, 2014 (not responsible for entries that get lost, are not transmitted, get eaten by trolls, etc.). Four winners each receive one signed paperback, one .mobi format e-book and one .epub format e-book. One winner receives one signed paperback, one .mobi format e-book, one .epub format e-book, and one gift certificate for US$25 to a bookstore of the winner’s choice. Value of gift certificate: US$25. Value of trade paperback and e-books: US$14.97. Winners will be chosen at random and announced by Jan. 10, 2014. The Goodreads Giveaway operates under separate terms and conditions.




Beyond the Pin: A Small Taste of Hong Kong

Over on The Martini of Destiny Pinterest Board, there’s this photo (outlined here in red):

The Martini of Destiny Pinterest Board

A street more clogged with little red top van-taxi-things than New York City is with yellow cabs.

Bright signs that I can’t read, hanging between buildings.

A sense of much going on in a very compact space.

It’s a street scene from Hong Kong, a city I visited only briefly, but that has a hold on me still.

It’s an image I like a lot. During 2003, on the way to India, I had a brief stopover in Hong Kong. A 12-hour glorified layover, really. Just time enough to get lost in the city for a while. I wandered those packed streets. I watched people walk through a park in the middle of a neighborhood whose buildings could’ve been cut out of London. I took the ferry across the harbor. I got a haircut (with free head massage!). I went down the alleys between the massive buildings, and wandered the temples and vendor stalls.

I got lost, and felt lucky to make my train back to the airport in time to catch my flight to New Delhi.

That small taste of Hong Kong has stuck with me for over 10 years now. I want to go back, wander those streets with my family. I want to see where the suit-and-tie businesspeople are going for lunch, and follow them inside another small streetside little eatery, where the noodles are fresh and the air gleams with the scents of chicken and pork. (Sadly, we wouldn’t be able to see the trippy, otherworldly Aw Boon Haw Gardens—they were torn down in the 90s for apartments.)

Hong Kong is a major city—but its vibrancy is beyond many other major cities. The world passes through here. And one time, long ago, I did too.

When I started working on The Martini of Destiny, it doesn’t surprise me at all that it had to be set in Hong Kong. It also doesn’t surprise me that, in my wee fantasy world, Hong Kong is a bit different from what we know today. For starters, in the Rucksack Universe, Hong Kong is an independent country.

The Martini of Destiny needed to be set somewhere not American or European, not Western—but with a touch of the West to it. Hong Kong is that. Chinese, British, Asian, American, European—and ever and always, itself. Which never stops changing.

This photo is just a small reminder of a place I’ve only gotten the tiniest taste of.

For now, that will do. But even if it’s just in another story, Hong Kong, I’ll be back for more.

Available now as an e-book, The Martini of Destiny comes to trade paperback worldwide on Dec. 10.




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.

FREE Sample

Check out this free sample of FOREVER THE ROAD

Anthony's third book, FOREVER THE ROAD, is a Best Books 2015 Fantasy pick from Library Journal's SELF-e, and a 2015 Oregon Book Award nominee.

Download your free sample to find out why Nth Degree's reviewer said this "high-stakes story, told with wit and compassion," left him "completely gobsmacked."

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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