Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘story sales

Sold a SF Story to “How Beer Saved the World” Anthology…and it’s Out

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Folks, a few months ago I got the delightful news that my science fiction short story “On the Making of Veffen” had sold to editor Phyllis Irene Radford’s HOW BEER SAVED THE WORLD anthology.  But, as per usual in this business, I couldn’t mention it until the anthology was officially either “on the schedule” at Sky Warrior Book Publishing with a definite release date, or when it was listed at Amazon.  (UPDATE: It’s also listed at Smashwords, if you’d prefer to buy it there.  Several overseas friends have already written to me and let me know that the first link, to Amazon, is “United States only,” so I really hope the Smashwords link will work for anyone who wishes to buy the anthology but does not live in the U.S.)

How Beer Saved the WorldAs of April 27, HOW BEER SAVED THE WORLD has been available at Amazon as an e-book.  Which is why I’m now free to discuss my story and the whole idea behind this fourteen-story anthology.  Containing stories by Ms. Radford, Brenda Clough, Nancy Jane Moore, and many others, it’s described over at Book View Cafe as:

Here’s a book that takes issue with the popular image of beer as the drink of sports-watching couch potatoes: How Beer Saved the World, an anthology of quirky short stories celebrating beer. Edited by Book View Cafe’s Phyllis Irene Radford, and including stories by BVC members Brenda Clough and Nancy Jane Moore, this is a collection of 14 different takes on positive outcomes brought on by beer.

Beer goes back to the early days of the human race. As it says in the introduction, “Fermented grains have been a mainstay of the human diet almost as long as we have been human.” So pour yourself a cold one and sit down with these stories.

Or, if you’d rather see the official press release put out by Maggie Bonham of Sky Warrior Books, here you go:

And on the Eighth Day God Created Beer.

Beer is what separates humans from animals… unless you have too much.
Seriously, anthropologists, archeologists, and sociologists seem to think that when humans first emerged on earth as human, they possessed fire, language, a sense of spirituality, and beer.
Within these pages are quirky, silly, and downright strange stories sure to delight and entertain the ardent beer lover by authors such as Brenda Clough, Irene Radford, Mark J. Ferrari, Shannon Page, Nancy Jane Moore, Frog and Esther Jones, G. David Nordley, and many more!

(Obviously, as a lesser-known author, I’m among the “many more” here.)

My story, “On the Making of Veffen,” concerns Terran Ambassador Betsy Carroll and her N’Ferran friend, the N’Ferran Scholar (and Fearless One), Asayana.  (Or as I call him, Scholar Asa for short.)  Asa is avian, but he loves veffen — every N’Ferran drinks veffen every day, including the infants — and he and Betsy have bonded over the years due to their mutual love of fermented beverages (among other things).  This story starts out with the two of them drinking a tall glass of veffen in the local tavern — veffen, of course, was described in the story as “…akin to a rich Irish stout, even though it had a taste all its own that was rich, nutty and bitter as all dark beer, yet with a hint of entrancing sweetness.”  (Do I know my beer, or what?)

Anyway, this meeting is bittersweet, because it’s the last time Betsy sees the elderly Asa alive.  Yet Asa’s disappearance and eventual death are mysterious.  So the questions aren’t so much as “whodunnit?” as “why did they do it?” as it’s obvious that the N’Ferrans as a whole want to keep something quiet — and that secret has a great deal to do with veffen.

Now, as the anthology is very upfront that beer saves the world, you can assume that what Asa does — which I refuse to spoil (go buy the book already in e-book format; it’s a steal at $4.99, truly) — is of vital importance, and that it, too, has a great deal to do with the nature of veffen.  And that it will, indeed, save his world of N’Ferra.**

The other authors here have stories that range from satirical to serious, from the ridiculous to the sublime.  All feature some form of beer.  And in some way, shape or form, beer saves the world.  Which is why it’s a truly different and special anthology, one that should be of interest to beer drinkers everywhere — most especially in my home state of Wisconsin, home of beer, cheese, and brats.

In my opinion, HOW BEER SAVED THE WORLD has a story to please every palate.  So if my story doesn’t interest you — though I really hope it does — go check out the anthology anyway, because something else probably will.


** A lengthy aside:  “On the Making of Veffen” was written in memory of my late best friend, writer Jefferson A. Wilson (1963-2011).  Jeff never managed to get a story published, but he kept trying, and his work had worth and value.  Unfortunately, his life was cut short before he could completely deliver on his promise.

As my story is about  unusual best friends and the enduring nature of friendship as much as anything else, I couldn’t help but think of Jeff.   But I couldn’t figure out how to dedicate the story officially to Jeff as the words refused to come.

Still, I dedicated this story to Jeff inside my head and heart, which is far more important.

Without knowing my friend Jeff, I doubt I would’ve written a story remotely close to this one.  And I have to admit that the reason my N’Ferrans are avian is because Jeff liked sauroids nearly as much as dragons (God/dess, did Jeff love dragons), and yet Jeff never wrote a story about avians as far as I know.  Which is why I wrote one instead, as it seemed remarkably appropriate.