The Las Vegas Art Scene – Sin City Goes Boho

Illustration by Joseph Watson

One interesting development in Las Vegas in these lean years is that the downtown area is turning into some kind of artists’ colony. There are galleries and poetry readings and street musicians and guerrilla theater and contortionists and coffee house hangouts and freaks carrying signs. It looks like Greenwich Village in the 1930s (like I was there), or SF’s North Beach in the 50′s (or there), or the Haight-Ashbury in the 60s (Yay!).

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Bizarro Fiction 101: Reviews of Works by Carlton Mellick III, Gina Ranalli and Athena Villaverde

In The Haunted Vagina, Steve is in love with his girlfriend, Stacy, and he loves having sex with her. But it disturbs him that he hears voices coming from her vagina. She tells him not to worry, that her vagina is haunted, that it’s been haunted for many years. No big deal.

Then, one afternoon, while Steve and Stacy are having sex, a life-size skeleton with a bad attitude crawls out of Stacy’s vagina. In a panic, Steve cracks its skull open with the nightstand and the creature dies on the bedroom floor. Freaked out, Steve is finally coming to the conclusion that it might be time to say adios to this babe. But Stacy doesn’t want him to leave. Continue reading Bizarro Fiction 101: Reviews of Works by Carlton Mellick III, Gina Ranalli and Athena Villaverde

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Quote of the Day, Carlton Mellick III

I refuse to be a slave to money, I refuse to accept clarification of the afterlife, or the beliefs others might swear to be fact, I refuse to speak/write proper language, I refuse to make up my mind, I refuse to remember all that I’ve learned, I refuse that one plus one always equals two, I refuse to compromise my happiness, I refuse to agree with popular opinion, I refuse to be good, because we are not sure about the definition of good just yet, and I refuse to become blind, lose my hearing, misplace my legs. . .

—  Carlton Mellick III, Satan Burger

 

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Not Exactly Winter Wonderland (a short story)

by Arnold Snyder

We almost didn’t go to the Ice Capades in 1960. Every year Dad took us, the big Family Night. Geezus, it was miserable. But on my thirteenth birthday, Rudy and I got into a fight, a physical fight. My lip was swollen. Worse yet, his tooth got chipped on the dresser when he lost his balance. Mom and Dad were upset. They threatened to cancel going to the Ice Capades the following week. It was supposed to be part of my birthday present.

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Announcing Vegas Lit: Seeking Fiction Manuscripts

After almost twenty years of doing absolutely nothing and getting paid handsomely for it since quitting my post office job in 1993, I have taken a position with Huntington Press, or more specifically, with Vegas Lit, the new Huntington Press fiction line that will be launched on September 30. I am the Executive Editor, Managing Editor, Senior Editor, Editor-in-Chief, Editorial Assistant, and Assistant to the Editorial Assistant for the Vegas Lit imprint. Which is to say, I’m the only one working there. I would have included Office Manager among my many titles, except I don’t have an office. I’m working out of my garage. Continue reading Announcing Vegas Lit: Seeking Fiction Manuscripts

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Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary – Only Fools Fall in Love

Whoever would have thought that Hunter S. Thompson had a soft, sensitive side, a deeply emotional side, pained by loneliness? The Rum Diary is a love story, the only love story Thompson ever wrote, and in my opinion, it’s his best work. Love without romance is not easy to pull off. Sex without romance is a piece of cake, which is what we usually get in dick lit. But The Rum Diary isn’t porno. There’s not much graphic sex in this book, just a bit at the end, by which time you’re aching for it. This is a love story. Continue reading Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary – Only Fools Fall in Love

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Hack Writing 101: The Lost Meat Spear Manuscript

My Brief Career Writing Porn Novels for Greenleaf Classics

It’s a dirty story
of a dirty man
—  “Paperback Writer,” 1966 (Lennon-McCartney)

I started my writing career in the early 70s, writing primarily fiction—pseudonymous and anonymous two-cents-a-word stuff. Mostly, I wrote porn novels, but also short stories for the women’s romance/confession mags—“My Husband Ran Off with the Babysitter”—that sort of stuff, and occasionally short stories for the cheapo men’s mags. Continue reading Hack Writing 101: The Lost Meat Spear Manuscript

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Quote of the Day, Hunter S. Thompson

I sat there a long time and thought about a lot of things. Foremost among them was the suspicion that my strange and ungovernable instincts might do me in before I had a chance to get rich. No matter how much I wanted all those things that I needed money to buy, there was some devilish current pushing me off in another direction—toward anarchy and poverty and craziness. That maddening delusion that a man can lead a decent life without hiring himself out as a Judas Goat.

—  Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary

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The Grifters by Jim Thompson – Robbers and Robbers

Jim Thompson is regarded in literary circles as a master of noir fiction. His books are published by Random House and many of them are available in hardback editions. It didn’t used to be that way.

The Grifters was first published in 1963 and I first read it in 1963. I got it off a rack in a dime store. The book was not what we call today a “trade paperback,” which is a larger format than the standard pocket-size pulp paperback, generally a book that is judged to have some literary merit; no, this was a pulp paperback, which at that time probably sold for 75 cents. I believe all of Thompson’s novels initially came out as pulp fiction. Read ’em and throw ’em away.

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Quote of the Day, Kurt Vonnegut

Where do I get my ideas from? You might as well have asked that of Beethoven. He was goofing around in Germany like everybody else, and all of a sudden this stuff came gushing out of him.

It was music.

I was goofing around like everybody else in Indiana, and all of a sudden stuff came gushing out. It was disgust with civilization.

— Kurt Vonnegut, Armageddon in Retrospect

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