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Whoops. The Great Las Vegas novel has already been written

More than one writer has opined that the Great Las Vegas novel -- if it wants to be true to the surreal vibrance of this town -- must of necessity be fantastic -- perhaps irresponsibly so. A recently blogged-on pulp novel from the '80s just might fit the bill!

Big Wally takes Trench into Vegas, which operates much the same, even in the post-apocalypse: people come to the neon-lit streets to wager bets and make "n-bucks," however now they bet on various life-or-death contests. The city is controlled feudal-style by "The Sheik of Las Vegas," a former con who now rules the roost from his penthouse suite in the battered Caesar's Palace. The biggest event the Sheik runs is the Murder Marathon, patterned after the chariot races of Imperial Rome, only with armed and armored muscle cars replacing the chariots. This race goes on between Vegas and the outlying cities, a veritable joust that determines which city reigns supreme. Losing his best racer in a barfight, the Sheik catches wind that the already-legendary Phoenix is in town, and determines to draft him as his new racer in the Murder Marathon.

As a longtime journalist in Southern Nevada, native Las Vegan Andrew Kiraly has served as a reporter covering topics as diverse as health, sports, politics, the gaming industry and conservation. He joined Desert Companion in 2010, where he has helped steward the magazine to become a vibrant monthly publication that has won numerous honors for its journalism, photography and design, including several Maggie Awards.