This was one of Hack’s infrequent attempts at a conventional romantic love story. As usual, he lost interest halfway through so the last 100 pages are just an angry rant against his abusive father.
When he heard that a young friend of his had proposed to the love of his friend’s life, Hack thought of the effect that his own six failed marriages had on him and wrote this sci-fi classic as a cautionary tale. For the record, his friend and his bride have now been happily married for about a year, surpassing the total of all of Hack’s marriages combined.
Hack’s obsession with the film “Titanic” and its star Frances Fisher is common knowledge and he wrote the story from the point of view of her character Ruth Dewitt Bukater to clear up what he felt were some inconsistencies in the story. For instance, when Ruth hooks up with a Hack Werker-like writer of pulp fiction while her daughter Rose is off doing who-knows-what with Jack, he tries to introduce her to the wonders of anal sex. She is so furious that she rips the door off her cabin closet and clobbers him over the head with it, breaking it in half with the blow. When the same door floats to the water’s surface after the ship sinks giving Rose something to ride on to safety, Ruth’s attack has rendered it too small to also carry Jack so he sinks to a watery grave.
Hack wrote this sequel to Clint Eastwood’s classic Western “Unforgiven” to tell the story of what happened to the town madam Strawberry Alice (played by Hack’s obsessive celebrity crush Frances Fisher). It begins just as the movie is ending, when Alice runs out of Greely’s Berr Garden and Billiard Parlour just before the climactic shootout with William Munny and Little Bill Daggett and into the waiting arms of her secret lover, a Hack Werker-like writer of pulp fiction. The rest is a tale of their perfect love as the male character (who Hack neglected to give a name) writes fabulously successful novels while Alice practices all the erotic skills on him that she learned from her years working at the billiard parlour. Nothing much happens until the end, when Munny inexplicably shows up and the male character tells him to move his ass to San Francisco, where he’ll prosper in dry goods.
His cover artist Jonny M.’s pug Winston had developed a worldwide following as an ascetic, so Hack was delighted when Winston was hospitalized with a growth on his penis which his veterinarian initially thought was from a sexually transmitted disease. “Now all those mindless simps will see what a phony he is,” Hack rejoiced. The ultimate diagnosis was something non-sexually related, which didn’t stop him from writing this libelous melodrama about a Winston-like pug contracting syphilis and seeing his legions of followers forsake him before he goes insane from the disease. The book caused outrage among Winstonites and when the gentle pug passed away a few months later, the group pulled the sleeping Hack out of his van, tarred and feathered him and ran him out of town on a rail.