Marching bands, kids' readings, poetry readings, theater, cooking talk, Spanish-language presentations and live music, appearances by celebrities and elected officials, it's all happening at this zoo of a book event. A couple of hundred thousand Angelenos attend each year, this festival hosted again by the Trojans of USC. What a scene. My own tent, "Santa Monica College – Santa Monica Review" # 974," near the LA Times Stage, was last year situated under the big trees between jolly atheists and a right-wing AM talk radio station. We used to be next door to the Scientologists, hustling their L. Ron Hubbard "fiction novels." You have not lived and died and lived again, friends, until you have spent two full days watching these sad insect people doing their proslytizing for their bizarre sci-fi Ponzi scheme cult. (Don't take the personality test!) I was
one year almost run over by Kareem Abdul-Jabar, being chaperoned in a golf cart back at the original UCLA site of the festival. I flirted with Arianna Huffington. She's fun. Joyce Carol Oates walked by, wearing her big dark glasses. She scared me a little. Come by our tent on either day for a free sample copy, the latest issue of the mag, this one with a complete novella and the usual excellent short fiction.