For the past five years, Desert Oracle has existed as a quasi-mythical, quarterly periodical available to the very determined only by subscription or at the odd desert-town gas station or the occasional hipster boutique, its canary-yellow-covered, forty-four-page issues handed from one curious desert zealot to the next, word spreading faster than the printers could keep up with. It became a radio show, a podcast, a live performance. Now, for the first time—and including both classic and new, never-before-seen revelations—Desert Oracle has been bound between two hard covers and is available to you.
Straight out of Joshua Tree, California, Desert Oracle is “The Voice of the Desert”: a field guide to the strange tales, singing sand dunes, sagebrush trails, artists and aliens, authors and oddballs, ghost towns and modern legends, musicians and mystics, scorpions and saguaros, out there in the sand. Desert Oracle is your companion at a roadside diner, around a campfire, in your tent or cabin (or high-rise apartment or suburban living room) as the wind and the coyotes howl outside at night.
From journal entries of long-deceased adventurers to stray railroad ad copy, and musings on everything from desert flora, rumored cryptid sightings, and other paranormal phenomena, Ken Layne's Desert Oracle collects the weird and the wonderful of the American Southwest into a single, essential volume.
“If you’re a fan of UFOs and insane heat, this is your book.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The desert is a powerful cocktail of breathtaking beauty, brutality, and mystery. Layne serves it straight-up in this collection of essays dedicated to his cherished, arid homeland . . . [Desert Oracle] is a soulful love letter to the rugged landscape of the American Southwest. Layne implores readers to preserve and protect the enigmatic and wild desert. Reading this book is like swapping tales around the campfire under a star-filled sky.”—Michelle Ross, Booklist
“With his succinct, descriptive, narrative-driven prose, Layne creates a fascinating homage to the beauty of an often unforgiving landscape.”—Publishers Weekly
Within these pages are many mysteries of the desert. Some are cruel and terrible, others sublime, and a persistent few remain inexplicable by our current metrics of understanding.
Desert is wilderness stripped...