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Sometimes I Actually Do The Research

Last updated on March 4, 2019

I was getting ready to do some promo for the “Thuggish Itch: Viva Las Vegas” collection I have a short story in, as one does, and noticed the collection has a review.

(Can you buy the book on Kindle or in print? Yes you can! https://www.amazon.com/dp/1718114443)

So I read the review, because I can’t not read a review, and the Amazon user, Paul Bailey, had some nice things to say about my story:

“THE
MEADOWS by Alex Zalben – After reading such a dark story as ALTERNATE
CUT the editors followed it up with a much more uplifting–but not any
less creative–story. THE MEADOWS is a quasi time-travel tale that
attempts to explain the origins of Vegas, but I have no idea if it’s
based on fact. The story does an even better job of explaining humans
and how most of us will always desire friendship. Nicely done.“

Thanks Paul! And to answer the question: yep, it’s based in fact. Or inasmuch as any history is based on fact, versus the records that folks left behind. But with that caveat, I was curious about the history of Vegas and went down a research hole to a few more reputable sites looking for info about said history.

I probably should have saved them in my browser, but best of my recollection, here’s some of what I used to (re)construct the narrative of a modern man meeting a key figure in the city’s past:

http://lasvegas.sdsu.edu/

https://www.lvol.com/lvoleg/hist/lvhist.html

https://lasvegassun.com/news/2010/nov/26/where-are-original-springs-discovered-rafael-river/

…and for Conquian, the card game they play in the story, I’m slightly ashamed to say I used Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conquian

Though in my defense they have a good rundown of how to play, which other sources backed up.

Anyway, there you go! And thanks again, Paul.

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