The Lamp Post Motel, a novel

Grad students from the future research sexual anthropology at a tacky Tucson motel

Students from Saturn's University of the Rings sneak back 2,000 years to conduct sexual anthropology field research back on old Mother Earth.

They come to a tawdry motel at the butt end of present-day Tucson, Arizona. Here they encounter owner Elmo Skinner, who watches his customers on hidden cameras—until the time travelers drop Elmo's mind into the people he's watching.

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Slightly irregular
science fiction by

Joe Gold

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What does go on behind all those locked doors?

Most people come to the Lamp Post Motel to hide out, shack up and party down. Some find it a cheap getaway from Tucson’s merciless summer heat. And a few tattered souls are there because they’ve stumbled and there’s nowhere else to fall.

Elmo Skinner is a painfully shy technogeek who lost everything, and bought the Lamp Post Motel from the ashes. He turned the property into an automation project, addeing hidden cameras to keep a little too close an eye on his clientèle.

Meanwhile, 2,000 years in the future, a couple of grad students from Saturn's University of the Rings sneak through a hole in time to the Lamp Post Motel for sexual anthropology field research. They send Elmo mind-hopping on the ride of his life.

The author

Joe Gold is a Pulitzer-nominated journalist, technology marketing consultant, and web content writer in San Francisco. He lived in Tucson for 29 years, some as desk clerk, some as a manager of the Lamp Post Motel. He is a longstanding member of the National Writers Union.   more >>

The motel

Morris Gold built the actual Lamp Post Motel in 1970. The only "camera" on the property was an empty box with a red light to ward off theft, which it failed to do. After he passed, the Gold family ran the business until new owners joined a chain and changed the name. more >>


Press clippings

"Reminiscent of Charles G. Finney's famous urban fantasy, The Circus of Dr. Lao, also set in Tucson almost 75 years ago. ...Gold has a nice ear for dialogue and clearly wants to say a lot."
J. C. Martin, Arizona Daily Star

"The scorching heat of a Tucson summer keeps this story hurtling along to a rather surprising, but certainly in line with the underlying premises, ending. Well written, with believable characters and credible aliens/alien technology, this book is science fiction for those who dislike endless space battles and prefer a deftly written novel about internal human conflicts and their resolutions."
Carolyn Frank,

'It's no wonder he became a novelist: "Successful career in journalism" is an oxymoron, like "aspiring poet." Even so, Gold said it's hard breaking into novel writing, "because the publishing business these days is mostly about people who are pretty surefire best-sellers."'
—Don Francis, Mountain View (CA) Voice


 A few characters

  • Elmo Skinner, shy, geeky and in the hospitality business
  • Loretta Lipps, a professional woman
  • Xaq Hobesian Arbidor, a student of sexual anthropology at Saturn's University of the Rings
  • Thea Nikolas, radical lesbian separatist author
  • Phil Stein, owner of the bar and porn shop up the block
  • Capt. Melvin Putnam, a hot dog Air Force pilot
  • Lydia Cosgrove, private eye to the Lesbian left
  • Plus a scintilating supporting cast featuring cheating spouses, maidbots and an entire congregation of Voojews

Buy all means

If you have the supra-rational urge to acquire a copy or two of The Lamp Post Motel, drop into an independent bookstore run by wise beings and ask for it. That's how we break into bookstores in the first place. For best results, purchase many copies and send everyone you know to do the same.

Order online right this minute from the good folks at Small Press Distribution in Berkeley.

If you own a bookstore, order dozens of copies (ISBN #09773676-8-9) for your ravenous public through Baker and Taylor or Small Press Distribution. Use the covers as tasteful decor pieces where your enlightened customers can pounce upon them immediately.


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