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“Zymurgico-Lovecraftian” Tale Finished

Whew. There, I’ve coined the word. (Actually, I did it elsewhere, but this feels more official.)

I’ve mentioned this project recently, and now it’s done. The title is “The Homebrewer’s Consolamentum” and it takes two things that are fun and weird — zymurgy, ie. the science of fermentation, ie. making beer, among other things) and the Lovecraftian take on metaphysical/existential conspiracy by unimaginable, powerful beings — and puts them together.

The rough draft of this story was, when I looked at it again, somewhat disappointing, for I’d written it in a fit of passion — but then, I hadn’t quite come up with the whole Zymurgico-Lovecraftian angle, and the many other beer-related myths I’d researched and worked into the story did not quite lock together. But a mammoth rewrite/revision later, I’m happy with this story, and have submitted it to a beer-related anthology (the call for submissions for which in fact inspired me to try writing something like this in the first place). Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was found to be “too weird” but I’m pretty sure this story will find a home somewhere.

One really fun thing was applying Rudy Rucker’s notion of transrealism to both brewing itself, and the love of beer, as well as my local expat homebrewer community (as well as aspects of my personal life). Several of my homebrewer friends are mentioned, or play cameos in the story, and one of them plays a pretty big role indeed. It was also fun to try figure out how a bunch of beer-related myths I’d read about might interlock given just a slight shift in reality. And on some level, by playing with Lovecraftian/von Daniken-ish ideas, I was returning to part of what got me interested in SF in the first place. In a sense, I was returning to my own personal “primeval forest of story.”

There were a significant number of pieces that ended up on the cutting room floor, including retellings of a number of beer-myths. I think I might just post the best of those, and rework the worst of them. This blog could use a few posts about beer besides recipes and accounts of brewdays.

But as for the writing, I feel like I finally made a move forward: I’ve never written anything as bizarre as this, and it really does sort of feel like a surreal beer fantasy. It’s nowhere near as nightmarish as a Lovecraftian Cthulhu Mythos story, though: even if sentient beer yeast were a Lovecraftian being,  don’t think most of us would hold that against it, given all it has given to us…

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