The Brewery Connection

Anyone who knows me at all probably knows that I’m enthusiastic about beer. In fact my enthusiasm made it into Falling Sky in one chapter that’s essentially an ode to beer.

What I didn’t realize until after the book was out, was that there is a Falling Sky Brewery in Eugene, Oregon. I briefly thought about setting up a reading there when I was supposed to be heading out west.

While working on Rising Tide, I discovered that there’s also a Rising Tide Brewery in Portland, Maine. It’s a common phrase, I know, but I thought that was cool as well.

The weird thing, though, is that the tentative title for the last book, known only to me at this point, also shares a name with a brewery, something that I only discovered when I googled for it. Feels like it might need to be the title.

At some point I hope to be able to visit all three breweries, a copy of the namesake book in hand.

I suppose it’s too much to expect that all of my books will share names with breweries. Unless I’m very careful…

Oh, and if you happen to guess the title of the third book, confirmed by the presence of the brewery, by all means let me know. I’ll send you something if you guess correctly.


The Night Jeffrey Ford Read in Greenpoint

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing one of my favorite living authors, Jeffrey Ford, read at the WORD Bookstore in Greenpoint. Jeff’s stories are surreal, funny, poignant and personal to use just a few adjectives, and always entertaining. Last night was no exception. He read a story called “The Double of My Double is Not My Double”. The story is new and, I believe, unpublished. That’s one of the great things about Jeff’s readings – you usually end up with something you’ve never heard (or read) before. I think Jeff’s one of the finest short story writers I’ve ever encountered and if you’re interested in short stories as either a reader or a writer, you must check out some of his fine fiction. You can read some of them for free here, here, and here. Also here. Or you can hear me reading two of his stories at Podcastle – The Dreaming Wind and The Annals of Eelin-Ok.

Also reading last night was Felix Gilman who read part of a short story set in the same world as his most recent novel (which I’m dying to read), The Half-Made World. What I heard of “Lightbringers and Rainmakers” sounded great and the whole thing is available to read (for free) on

Which brings me just to one point. WORD has this thing, particularly for this Wold Newton series of readings, where they have musical accompaniment with the readers. It’s an interesting concept, but one I find ultimately problematic. While the band is great, and the music a pleasure to listen to, I find that it often competes with the author’s reading and, the way my brain works, I have to fight to focus on the words rather than the music. Last night, Jeff managed to be heard throughout his reading, but Felix, who is more softspoken, sometimes seemed drowned out. I wouldn’t have them ditch the music completely, but I think it would be used more effectively to intro and outro the readers and perhaps as people are coming in and in-between readers. Otherwise I, at least, find it to be somewhat distracting.

Afterward, we moved over to the nearby Lulu’s for a beer. I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised by the place. It’s a comfy, dark yet somehow elegant bar with a decent beer selection and with each drink you order after 6, you get a free pizza. I paid five bucks for a Captain Lawrence Smoked Porter, which I enjoyed, expecting a wilted, cardboardy slice of pizza to accompany it. Instead I got a fairly decent mini-pie that filled me up completely.  I have to admit to now being a fan of the place and I will certainly return.

All in all, quite a wonderful night.

The new site is live!

After about a week of trying to get things together, is now live. It’s not exactly how I planned it (I’m crap at dealing with WordPress Themes), but it’s simple and that’s okay.

Thanks to Allyson for designing the logo. I would have been lost without her.

If you have an interest in wine and beer, please check it out. I’ll be catching up with some old posts there in the next few weeks and then onto new adventures.

Loreley Beer Tasting – March 11, 2009

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Loreley was recommended to me as a good example of a German beer bar in Manhattan and I have to say that it didn’t disappoint. After checking their website based on the recommendation, I saw that they had a beer tasting with food for $29. Unable to pass that up, I went to check it out.

My expectations were low given the low price, but Loreley proceeded to blow them away. Not only did I sample nine German beers, but they delivered a three course meal that while fairly straightforward, was substantial and certainly more than the few bites I was expecting.

Here’s a list of the beers with some of my notes:

1. Reissdorf Kolsch: from Cologne, a very light, crisp and bitter ale, pale gold in the glass. This wasn’t very strong in flavor, not very developed. Like a better Coors Light.

2. Bitburger Pilsner: Pale gold, crisp, with a strong honey aroma on the nose and honey on the initial mouth followed by hoppy bitterness. A good Pilsner.

3. Radeberger Pilsner: slightly metallic nose, bitter and hoppy. A mineral quality to the finish. I didn’t like this one as much as the Bitburger.

4. Hofbrau Lager: pale gold, more malt coming through than hops. Honey and orange on the nose and up front, hoppy on the finish.

5. Franziskaner Hefeweissbier: This one resembled orange soda a bit in the glass. Orange and clove on the nose, some grapefruit and spice. Creamy mouthfeel, citrusy, a little bitterness. Undercurrent of banana. My girlfriend predicted that this would be good with pancakes.

6. Schneider Weisse : Floral and spice aromas, poured a cloudy apricot color. Light and fruity, it reminded me of Blue Moon.

7. Erdinger Oktoberfest Weizen: Aromas of apple and pineapple lifesavers. Banana bread on the palate with hints of citrus.

8. Kostritzer Schwarzbier: Thick tan head with lots of bubbles, the color of sarsaparilla. Metallic odor, minerals. Hoppy and bitter up front with a smoky, malty finish. Almost has a hazelnut or walnut aftertaste. We snuck out a few of Vosges’ Barcelona Almonds (chocolate covered salty, smoked almonds) and they paired perfectly with the beer.

9. Spaten Ur-Marzen: Smelled…like a lager. Poured a reddish brown with a thin head. Malt up front, hops in the finish. For the ending beer it was a little unremarkable.

The food they served was simple as mentioned – a simple Caesar-like salad to start; beef, mashed potatoes and cabbage for the main course; and vanilla sponge cake with icing and jam for dessert. Still, we ate and drank well for what we paid. I would suggest that if they do another one, go check it out. Rudy also provided some great information about the beers and the regions. I intend to go back, just to have some beer and food next time. Brats and beer sound like a good combo to me.

At the Bar: Rattle and Hum 3/6

Rattle and Hum was a new experience for me, a place recommended by the bartender at Vol de Nuit. They have an impressive selection of beer and they will now be my go-to place if Ginger Man is packed (as it often is). They also have tastings and other events that I will surely be checking out. I had two beers there:

Flying Dog Oak Aged Gonzo – this beer was strong (9.5% ABV), dark and sweet as I expected. A good example of an Imperial Baltic Porter. Not much of a head  and very little lacing. Licorice and molasses notes in the taste.

Left Hand Jackman’s American Pale Ale – After the Gonzo, I craved something lighter and hoppier, so I tried this one. Poured a dark golden color, with apricot on the nose and fruit up front in the mouth along with some bitterness. Creamy on the finish. Very light and drinkable. The flavor of the hops became stronger as I drank. Not really a favorite of mine – not enough complexity in the flavors.

My friend, Devin, had the Southern Tier Backburner American Barleywine which I had a sip of. Strong, as expected with a barleywine (10% ABV), Belgian in style and flavor – aromatic and floral. What surprised me was how hoppy it finished. Definitely something I’d like to try myself on another trip.

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Raining Fire – Out now!

Raining Fire, the third and final book in the Ben Gold series, was released on July 18, 2017. This book concludes the story begun in Falling Sky and Rising Tide. Publisher’s Weekly said, “Khanna wraps up his postapocalyptic adventure series with a capable page-turner…the airships, slavers, cannibalistic Ferals, and visceral action scenes make this a worthy culmination to the series.”

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble now.

Rising Tide -Out now!

Rising Tide, the sequel to Falling Sky, was released on October 6, 2015. Publisher's Weekly said, "Khanna crafts a terrifyingly dismal picture of the future, raising the stakes by gradually stripping Ben of friends and support while throwing him into increasingly dire situations. His worldbuilding remains solid and unsettling, and he never loses sight of the human element. The cliffhanger ending is sure to leave readers on the edges of their seats, panting for resolution."

Falling Sky – Out now!

Falling Sky, my first novel, came out October 7, 2014 from Pyr. It's an adventure story set in a post-apocalyptic future with airships. Publisher's Weekly called it a "solid and memorable debut" while Library Journal gave it a starred review and named it Debut of the Month. For more information, please click here.

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