Books, beer and barbarians

Home to fantasy author Ty Johnston

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 33 -- Space Viking

by H. Beam Piper

Started: Sept. 12
Finished: Sept. 23

Notes: Since I've been on something of a sci-fi kick of late, I thought I'd read more from an author I've generally enjoyed over the years.

Mini review: I have to admit to being disappointed with this one. With a title like Space Viking, I expected there to be a lot of action, but there really isn't. The story takes place in a universe not all that different than the original Star Trek series except instead of a Federation there are royals and pirates, and much of this tale is about world building. There's a rather dark scene at the beginning and a big fight near the end, but even those aren't all that interesting. Well, this was one of Piper's earlier works, and I know he gets better, so I'm not turning my back on him completely.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Beer of the Week: Blackened Voodoo

Beer score: 7.8

Company: Faubourg Brewing Co.

ABV: 5.5
IBU: 22

Once upon a time this fine lager was produced by the Dixie Brewing Co., but some years back there was a hurricane and apparently the brewing company didn't survive. But never fear! Through some twists and turns this beer has lived on with the Faubourg Brewing Co., all while keeping this brew in its home city of New Orleans.

It looks and tastes something like a porter, pouring a dark caramel color while smelling of toasted bread and more of that caramel.

In the mouth it does have that burnt maple taste common to many porters, but it's not quite as strong though it does have more than a few hints of sweet molasses. There's also a hint of fruit and more than a hint of a bread-like flavoring.

Quite an enjoyable drink. Dark beer lovers will want to try this one.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Beer of the Week: Sierra Nevada Wanderland Nectarine Ale

Beer score: 4.0

Company: Sierra Nevada

ABV: 7.5
IBU: 25

Has a light golden color in the glass. Smells like fruit, especially a peach-like fruit.

Tastes like bitter nectarines with more than a touch of that bitterness. Not a lot of sweetness here, though there's plenty of fruitiness.

This is a decent beer in quality, but I'm not sure who it is made for. Beer fans likely aren't going to enjoy this. And non-beer fans aren't likely to love this one, either. So, that leads me to think this is just a novelty drink that won't be around long though it'll probably sell some to those who just like to try something different. Like myself. This one is so bitter that I can't even imagine fans of nectarines wanting to drink this on a regular basis.

And no, I wouldn't purchase this again.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 32 -- Ender's Game

by Orson Scott Card

Started: Sept. 1
Finished: Sept. 11

Notes: I've read a couple of Card novels in the past and I didn't enjoy them, but this particular novel has proved so popular I thought I should give it a go.

Mini review: While this was written fairly well and an interesting enough story, I wasn't really pulled into it. Until the very end. The last 40 pages made me appreciate this novel of a child who is cajoled into interstellar war with an alien species. I'm still not feeling the love that has been poured upon this book over the years, but I did enjoy it much more than other works by Card that I've read. I might even seek out the rest of the books in this series.

Monday, September 06, 2021

Beer of the Week: Sierra Nevada Dankful IPA


Beer score: 6.7

Company: Sierra Nevada

ABV: 7.4
IBU: 55

Has a medium blonde, almost orange color in a clear glass with a touch of fogginess. Definitely lots of bitter hops in the smell for this one, with reminders of yeast and bread.

Quite bitter on the tongue, but wet and refreshing with a nice froth. There's a fair amount of breadiness in this one, along with touches of caramel and yeast.

Those who prefer sweet beers will probably want to stay away from this one. But if you like bitter beers, especially ones not overly heavy, then this should be right up your alley.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 31 -- Willful Child

by Steven Erikson

Started: August 27
Finished: Sept. 1

Notes: Erikson, author of The Malazan Book of the Fallen, has for some while now been my favorite of the modern fantasy authors, so I thought I'd see how he handles science fiction.

Mini review: Well, I have to say, this book was not what I expected. It was about as un-Malazan as a novel can be, and I suppose that goes to show the talent of the author. This was, obviously so, a spoof of the Star Trek franchise, especially the original series, down to individual characters and even particular episodes. It was all silly humor, sometimes even slapstick. And while I found it quite amusing, about halfway through the book it became a bit much. In my opinion, this would have worked much better as a long short story or novella.