Playboy Fiction: Heirophant

An excerpt from 'The House of Rumor' by author Larry Arnott

Playboy Fiction

Playboy Fiction: Heirophant

The Mañana Literary Society. There was an impressive group of writers at Robert and Leslyn Heinlein’s house in Laurel Canyon on that fateful night when Mary-Lou and I attended. Jack Williamson, my great idol, shy and diffident in person; Leigh Brackett, one of the few women writing SF back then and a great inspiration for Mary-Lou; Cleve Cartmill, a newspaperman crippled with polio who had just started writing for Astounding; Anthony Boucher, who was more of a mystery writer; and L. Ron Hubbard, a prodigious jack-of-all-trades of the pulps who, it was said, could write 2,000 words an hour without revisions. Looking back, I’m liable to put aside the sense of how starstruck I was in the presence of all this talent. Me, Larry Zagorski, a 19-year-old kid who had just sold his first full-length story to Fabulous Tales. I even tend conveniently to forget the miserable way (for me at least) the evening eventually concluded. Now I’m inclined to remember it as the first time I ever met Nemesio Carvajal.


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