I keep getting asked if klava is real, and if so, how do you make it?

No, it isn’t real, but people have been working on it. The problem is the wood chips, which tend to increase the bitterness, and the whole idea behind it is to remove the bitterness (I’m one of those unfortunate people with an over-sensitivity to bitter; it’s why I hate most of the really good beers).

Now, one individual says he’s actually made it work, and even sent me the recipe plus all of the ingredients to test it out, and, to my shame, I got lazy and never got around to it. But if that person wants to come forward, I’ll put that recipe here, and then stick this post onto the sidebar.


Baron of Magister Valley Chapter 16 Support Group

There are going to be SPOILERS for MAGISTER VALLEY here, but I’ll keep them in the comments.

So, you’ve read chapter sixteen, and you’re ready to yell at Steven about it?

Readers of Dragaeran historical romances will be familiar with wishing to yell at Paarfi and Steven. But this one is really going to cause some wailing and gnashing of teeth. Comments here for us to commiserate together.

The Police and the Army: A Question

I’ve been having some trouble explaining this, which always means I don’t understand it well enough.
History tells us these institutions are not at all the same, particularly when entering a revolutionary period. The army will inevitably be shaken by whatever social crises have precipitated the revolutionary upsurge. In the worst case, only the most courageous soldiers will break away to join the masses. In other cases, whole units will set down their rifles and “come over.” Sometimes they will “come over” with weapons in hand, in formation, banners flying, bands playing, led by their own officers (usually at gunpoint). The success or failure of an insurrection is determined above all by to what degree it is supported by the army (which, of course, is determined by a number of factors that are beyond the scope of my question).
So far as I can tell, there has never been a case of a cop doing anything except either throwing support to the ruling class, or, at best, running and hiding. Certainly history has never shown us units doing so. By the time society has entered into a revolutionary crisis, the police are hated, loathed, despised by the masses. Every time. And they return these feelings with interest.
And yet, if we ignore social and historical context and simply line up factors in a purely formal way, they’re so similar: Both drawn largely from the toiling classes, both used as instruments of repression by the state, both turned against their own people as soon as there are signs of social unrest.
So, comrades (I’m looking at you, Don Barry) , what are the social and historical factors that make them so different? We know they are different; we’ve both read about it and many of us have had personal experience of the difference; it’s easy to talk to soldiers, we have nothing to say to cops. Why?

Forthcoming Vlad Books

Steve has been asked more and more what he’s going to do once he’s finished the Vlad stories, but he’ll never tell. I, however, have the secret insider knowledge of what cometh next. I think the fans deserve to know. So don’t tell skzb, but I’m going to reveal to you the general outline for the sequel cycle.

—Your obedient servant,
J. Phalian
sQuirrelCo Textbenders, Inc.


Jhereggeddon — Vlad must assassinate his biggest target yet: an asteroid.

2 Yendi 2 Furious — Carriage racing makes a comeback on the streets of Adrilankha but no one could have known the political consequences!

Teckla of Dreams — If you build a robust urban society, hardy but cheerful members of the peasant underclass will come.

Taltos Family Values — They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky. They’re altogether hard-bitten assassins… the Taltos Family.

Phoenix 2: The Empire Strikes Back — Vlad survives a frozen wasteland, trains his witch powers in a swamp, then finds out who his father really is.

The Athyras of Eastwick — Vlad grants the wishes of three single ladies of the Athyra. Hijinx ensue. Then he kills them.

Orca 2 — Vlad uncovers a deep-laid conspiracy to evade imperial taxes on vast amounts of wealth, but breaks it wide open using postage laws.

How to Train Your Dragonlord — Teenage Vlad has a charming coming-of-age story, co-starring a large floppy black kitty. He defeats the House of the Dragon, brings peace to the village, and actually kisses a suitable romantic partner, for real.

Mrs. Doubtssola — HELLLLLLOOOOOOO! Vlad hides from the Left Hand in the last place they’ll expect: as a lady nanny for his own son.

Mrs Doubtissola 2

Dzur Hard With a Vengeance — The Dzur do some Dzuring around Dzurtown and things just might get Dzurtabulous!

Jhegaala 2 — Consists of three books written at once in collaboration with another Steve, accompanied by four wide-release feature films, following Vlad’s adventures on an alien world where he discovers a society where everyone is taller than him and also blue-skinned.

Legally Iorich 2: Red, White, and Blonde — Vlad becomes a voice for the voiceless when he helps an Iorich friend save cute dogs from cruelty.

Tiassas of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 — Vlad and friends have a psychedelic adventure in far-flung regions of space. They steal a guy’s prosthetic eye. Vlad finally finds out who his father is, again.

The Wrath of Hawk — A mysterious Hawklord that Vlad previously defeated turns up again wearing a cool barbarian space vest and puts creepy mind-control worms into everyone’s ears. Vlad has been, and always shall be, your friend.

Pride and Prejudice and Vallista — Vlad teams up with Lizzy Bennett to fight a new foe: architects gone mad with power. Meanwhile, Vlad’s sisters are excited about the marital prospects offered by the new tenants of the mansion overlooking the ocean-sea.

Tsalmoth 2: Electric Boogaloo — Vlad competes in the dance-off sequel we deserve and finds out who his father really actually totally is, for real. Jesus tap-dancing Christ.