The cult section of the literary world

Thirsty Thursday: McMenamins Copper Moon

by Ross E. Lockhart

I’m on the road this week, driving to Seattle for the 2012 Locus Awards. I’m also taking my niece and nephew to a Giants/Mariners game while I’m in town. Should be a whole lot of fun. Night Shade have a couple of horses in the Locus Awards race, notably first novels God’s War from Kameron Hurley and Soft Apocalypse from Will McIntosh, and the outstanding (if I do say so myself) anthology, Eclipse Four, edited by Jonathan Strahan. So I’m cheering on the home team, and any excuse to watch a ballgame is a good one.

Midway between the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle sits Roseburg, OR, a town that had an eight-block section leveled in 1959 by an exploding dynamite truck. Fortunately, they’ve been free of further dynamite truck explosions for fifty-three years. So after eight hours on the road, I’m spending the night at a hotel that has also been slept in by (if the autographed 8-by-10 glossies in the lobby are to be believed) Joan Jett, a bunch of country-western stars, and a handful of NASCAR drivers. Rock and/or roll. I’m a big fan of the credo, “act globally, drink locally.” So with that in mind, tonight I’m having a Copper Moon at the McMenamins Roseburg Station, a converted Southern Pacific train depot. McMenamins also run the Edgefield Resort near Portland, host hotel for BizarroCon. If you’re a fan of good beer and better books, BizarroCon is a must-attend on your literary social calendar.

Copper Moon pours deep golden amber, with a thick, white, fluffy head that clings to the glass, leaving lovely clumps of lacing. Floral on the nose: orange blossoms, caramel, nuts, hops. Malty and crisp on the tongue, sweet, but with a nice, bitter, hoppy bite. A pale ale with just enough of an IPA kick. Full-bodied, with a piney, resiny aftertaste. Refreshing. Well worth the drive.

Recommended Literary Pairings, including three Locus Award nominees and one book I simply enjoyed the hell out of:

God’s War, by Kameron Hurley. Nyx had already been to hell. One prayer more or less wouldn’t make any difference… On a ravaged, contaminated world, a centuries-old holy war rages, fought by a bloody mix of mercenaries, magicians, and conscripted soldiers. Though the origins of the war are shady and complex, there’s one thing everybody agrees on–There’s not a chance in hell of ending it. Nyx is a former government assassin who makes a living cutting off heads for cash. But when a dubious deal between her government and an alien gene pirate goes bad, Nyx’s ugly past makes her the top pick for a covert recovery. The head they want her to bring home could end the war–but at what price? The world is about to find out.

Soft Apocalypse, by Will McIntosh. What happens when resources become scarce and society starts to crumble? As the competition for resources pulls America’s previously stable society apart, the “New Normal” is a Soft Apocalypse. This is how our world ends; with a whimper instead of a bang. New social structures and tribal connections spring up across America, as the previous social structures begin to dissolve. Locus Award finalist and John W. Campbell Memorial Award finalist Soft Apocalypse follows the journey across the Southeast of a tribe of formerly middle class Americans as they struggle to find a place for themselves and their children in a new, dangerous world that still carries the ghostly echoes of their previous lives.

Eclipse Four, edited by Jonathan Strahan. Eclipse Four delivers new fiction by some of the genre’s most celebrated authors, including Andy Duncan’s tale of a man’s gamble that he can outrun a bullet; Caitlin R. Kiernan’s story of lovers contemplating the gravity of a tiny black hole; Damien Broderick’s chronicle of a beancounter who acquires a most curious cat; Michael Swanwick’s tale of the grey man who pulls an unhappy woman from the path of an oncoming train; Nalo Hopkinson’s story of ghosts haunting a shopping mall; and Gwyneth Jones’s story of an alien priest who suffers a crisis of faith…

Red World, by Carlton Mellick III. “This story tells the tale of a recovering junky trying to save his 8-year-old brother from a life of prostitution in a surreal version of New York City — a place where street kids mutate into fish-like creatures, the homeless stilt-walk through oceans of insects, and the only colors left visible to the human eye are shades of red.” Limited edition of 100. Order direct from White Belly Press.

Ross E. Lockhart is the managing editor of Night Shade Books. A lifelong fan of supernatural, fantastic, speculative, and weird fiction, he holds degrees in English from Sonoma State University (BA) and San Francisco State University (MA). In 2011, he edited the acclaimed anthology The Book of Cthulhu. He lives in an old church in Petaluma, CA, with his wife Jennifer, hundreds of books, and the conspicuous absence of dog. Visit him online at http://www.haresrocklots.com.

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