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SF, Ep. 3

September 19, 2007—Opium’s Literary Death Match SF, Episode 3 at The Rickshaw Stop shined bright, and left the cheering audience in stitches. For the first time ever, the LDM strayed from their writers-representing-literary journals model, and invited four of SF’s outstanding reading series’ to elect a past reader to participate.

The night ended with Bucky Sinister (Progressive Reading Series) toppling Regina Louise (Inside Story Time) in a heralded Serbian Off that featured Pulitzer Prize winning authors spelled out in Cyrillic. Tension mounted as each Pulitzer winner’s name was shown (and shouted out by the finalists)--but it was Sinister who celebrated after edging by Louise in a narrow 8-6 win.

But well before the king was crowned (and, of course, sashed), the night kicked off with Regina Louise belting out a beautiful story accompanied by her widening the audiences eyes with a brilliantly sung song. Her competition was Carol Queen (Writer’s With Drinks) who’s sex-filled and sexy story kept everyone in hushed anticipation. Judges Jesse McKinley (New York Times), Anika Streitfeld (Random House) and Matt Herlihy (Sweet Fancy Moses) had a difficult decision to make, but after a record-breaking three-minute judge pow wow elected Louise the night’s first finalist.

After a lightning quick intermission, round two brought Kelly Beardsley (Porchlight) to the stage where she wowed onlookers with a fascinating story about picking up the Rolling Stones in a bus. But the night’s best came last, as Bucky Sinister busted through back-to-back poems (one about Bruce Wayne in an alternate reality) which had the crowd hammering their hands together with appreciation. The judges acknowledged Beardsley’s charm and verve, but selected Sinister as the night’s second finalist.

Then the finale begun. As time ticked down, host Todd Zuniga flashed through a series of Pulitzer author’s names written out in Cyrillic (e-mail him for the “quiz”). Louise and Sinister both eschewed the Cyrillic cheat sheet and snapped out correct answers with shocking haste. The dramatic final went down to the wire, but Sinister ended the night victorious.

The event set the stage for possibly the greatest-ever LDM battle: October 12th’s Litquake Literary Death Match, sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle (which is also the Opium5: Bad Company launch party). Pre-order now for a seat at the sure to be legendary party!


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