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Dead Neon

Tales of Near-Future Las Vegas

Todd James Pierce, Jarret Keene

Publication Year: 2010

Published by: University of Nevada Press

Front Cover

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Title Page

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pp. vii

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pp. ix-x

To many visitors, Las Vegas is a din of dirty money, the sound of power and sex clanging together like a slot machine paying out a jackpot. It is the sound of taxicabs, hustlers on a street corner, and police sirens screaming in the distance. It is the sound of the American dream struggling for its last breath...

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pp. xi

The editors wish to thank Avenger of Blood, close to Modern, curl Up and die, dreaming of Lions, doom snake cult, drainage X, eleven thousand, goatlord, guttural secrete, Hallowed Butchery, Halloween town, Hemlock, in the Flesh, Frank Klepacki, Las Vegas Club, Love Pentagon, Minor...

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Sin’s Last Stand

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pp. 1-12

They’ve asked me to explain what happened. I’ll do the best I can. Fact is, I don’t know how I got from the person I was back then to the person I am today. If you had asked me before it started, I would have said that I wasn’t capable of such things. Even though I’m a nongod, I know the difference...

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Kubla Khan

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pp. 13-23

I’ve arrived in Las Vegas. Where must you be now? It’s half past midnight here, and raining as it always does nowadays. My hotel room feels as dank and empty as our house. By the time you read this email—tomorrow morning, or in the middle of the night if you can’t sleep (though I doubt that)...

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Nuclear Wasted Love Song

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pp. 24-32

Under my feet, I could feel the club below me. I locked the door. I knew they couldn’t hear me, and I wanted to stay inside forever. I could hear the thumping through the walls—the nonstop taps of trip-hop, strange record scratching, and strong drum and bass. The room shook little earthquakes...

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pp. 33-57

Gloriana stepped carefully through the warehouse office, avoiding the pressure alarms in the floor. Kison, her partner, had hacked the system diagram from the files of the security company that installed it, and Gloriana had memorized the pattern. There was a motion detector in the wall, but her...

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pp. 58-66

Tara didn’t remember hearing the explosions, but just before the firestorms came every shadow in her yard disappeared. After the attacks, in the absence of a plan, she headed back to Vegas where she could at least spend her end days with people she knew. By the time she arrived, the city...

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Your Recent Acquisitions in the Neonesque (Microfables)

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pp. 67-80

For seven years, the Highgate was an enigma wrapped in scaffolding and silver tarpaulins. Naturally, its concealment fed a growing speculation about what would present itself on the day of unveiling. There were rumors of a central spire constructed of gold-veined jade; its point would hook passing...

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Kirby and the Portal to Hell

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pp. 81-96

When they discovered that the portal to Hell actually was in Las Vegas, no one in town really was all that surprised. “I mean,” said a local in one newscast, “where else would it be? I just hope it doesn’t hurt the housing market too much.” And in fact it didn’t. After years of a steadily declining economy...

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pp. 97-101

Cities built on sand are by nature ephemeral. Vegas was no different. It was always a kind of mirage that you could move into. The hotels played it up big in the old days before the town got uppity and became one of the world’s “great” cities. Think about it. Before Wynn was the Mirage, before Excalibur...

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Mirrors and Infinity

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pp. 102-113

Steve looked through the chain link of the fence with longing. He knew the way home was there, sitting on the black asphalt. All he had to do was get there and they would take care of him. He was in pain. Hurt shot through his lung every time he breathed. Maybe he was dying. He remembered...

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Gray Matters

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pp. 114-117

Deep in the valley of night, between its rising walls and falling edges, toward dawn, but not yet so close as to be anything but dark still, they come. Sometimes you hear them first, the sound of the ship that isn’t a ship like the sound of thunder that isn’t thunder. And under that, a feeling, like the first...

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Monsieur Dombo in Glitter Town

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pp. 118-128

I lived then in downtown Vegas near a small tattoo parlor. Those weren’t exactly palmy days, and I was trying to make ends meet as a security guard. Monsieur Dombo (as he was called then) owned the parlor, and never failed to acknowledge me whenever I passed his place on my nightly rounds...

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A Girl and Her Cat

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pp. 129-134

A bang and a whimper. And fire and ice. That is how the world ended. Then came the cockroches and canibals. Mr. Teacher Fella—Your talking cat Mr. Henry Miller wanted me to tell you what happened. Yes he is still alive!!! Me too! But you’re dead. Unless you’re reading this. If you are reading this that...

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Time Machine

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pp. 135-139

Five a.m. The casino bar was busy with regulars as the night was over and the new day had yet to unfold, a time to decompress for many in this 24/7 town. Strippers, cocktail waitresses, and craps dealers blowing off steam after a long night grinding out the gratuities upon which Las Vegas is powered...

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pp. 140-180

The worst of it had been over for some time. The noises had died away—the screaming and shouting, the clang of metal against metal, the racking back and forth of the steel-barred doors. Eventually, like the slow digging out from under a dream, there had been silence again, through all the long...


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pp. 181-183

E-ISBN-13: 9780874178357
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874178289

Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2010

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Las Vegas (Nev.) -- Fiction.
  • Dystopias. -- gsafd.
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