*Please note: This event will take place live at Dynasty Typewriter. Purchase tickets here.

Desert Oracle, Volume 1: Strange True Tales from the American Southwest (MCD x FSG)

The cult-y pocket-size field guide to the strange and intriguing secrets of the Mojave―its myths and legends, outcasts and oddballs, flora, fauna, and UFOs―becomes the definitive, oracular book of the desert.

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.

Praise for Desert Oracle:

“If you’re a fan of UFOs and insane heat, this is your book.”―Kirkus Reviews

“With his succinct, descriptive, narrative-driven prose, Layne creates a fascinating homage to the beauty of an often unforgiving landscape.”―Publishers Weekly

“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. Recommended for Art Bell fans and naturalists."―Michelle Ross, Booklist

Ken Layne publishes Desert Oracle and hosts its companion radio show and podcast from a haunted old compound in the Great Mojave Wilderness, one of four American deserts he has called home.

He loves all the desert creatures, but especially the local gopher snakes, ravens, coyotes, and antelope ground squirrels. Find out more, if you must, at and 

Anna Merlan is a journalist and author of Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power. She is currently a senior reporter on the Features desk at Vice News. She writes frequently about conspiracy theories, actual conspiracies, crime, death, aliens, subcultures, sexual violence and women's lives. She has been accused of being both a lizard person and a CIA agent, but never at the same time.

Event date: 
Sunday, December 6, 2020 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
Dynasty Typewriter
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Desert Oracle: Volume 1: Strange True Tales from the American Southwest Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374139681
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: MCD - December 8th, 2020

Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250231277
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Metropolitan Books - July 14th, 2020