I've spent a lot of time over the last few months telling people about Alas Vegas, my recently Kickstarted RPG-and-novel project, set in a casino city in the desert, heavy on its mythic resonances and its game-mechanics powered by a form of Blackjack played with tarot cards. And the number one response I get back, straight off the block, has been, 'Is it based on Last Call by Tim Powers?'
No. No it fucking isn't.
Alas Vegas has its roots in the mid 90s—about four years after Last Call was published but well before I'd read it, and before Gilliam's adaption of Fear & Loathing, or before CSI was a thing—though back then it was called "Vague As Hell" and I thought it was a short novel. It turned out to be a couple of pages of notes in the Scrapped Ideas file and fifteen years of mostly writing fantasy novels and award-winning RPGs instead. And then I realised that the project should have been an interactive story all along and I started building some RPG rules for it and contemplating a Kickstarter. And then I finally read Last Call.
Fucking, fucking Tim Powers.