WITH MY STORY: "THOSE RUMORS OF CANNIBALISM AND HUMAN SACRIFICE HAVE BEEN GREATELY EXAGGERATED"

Sunday, December 5, 2021

FUN, RASQUACHE, AND EL PORVINER, ¡YA!



So why should you donate to the Kickstarter for El Porviner, ¡Ya!, the first Chicano Science Fiction Anthology? Does the world need such a thing? What’s in it for you?


Might as well ask me why I’ve devoted so much of my life to writing the crazy stuff that earned me the title of Father of Chicano Science Fiction. I could tell you that I want to change the world and/or make Great Art. I’ve said such things when the audience is right, but now—or should I say ¡Ya!—it’s time to be honest. 


I do it because it’s fun. Writing this stuff, publishing it, having it published, having it read, and hearing that people enjoy it, makes me feel better that I should be allowed to.



There’s something about the volatile reactions that happen when I plug sci-fi into my Chicano imagination. We call it rasquache, the wild and wonderful magic on how Chicanos put things together that isn’t “normal” and create our own worlds. It isn’t something I aspired to, it’s what I am.


And having read El Porviner, ¡Ya! in advance, so I could write the preface, I’m happy to report the anthology is brimming over with astounding sci-fi rasquache. There’s near future extrapolations,rip-snortin’ space opera, time travel (we are all about history, which is where the future begins), post-apocalypses, alternate universes, and things that don’t fit into the usual categories. 


Not fitting in to the usual categories is a Chicano thing, but you don’t have to be one to enjoy this book.


So, please, donate what you can, and spread the word.


And who knows, it might even change the world, make Great Art, and a rasquache future.

 

Thursday, December 2, 2021

CHICANONAUTICA TAKES NOTES ON EXTRA-FICTION 2021

 


Chicanonautica announces the winners of the 2021 Extra Fiction Contest, over at La Bloga.


The contest was for Latinoid writers:




Monster movie madness rears it’s ugly head:



Along with folkloricopunk:



And we’re getting professional:


Monday, November 29, 2021

“LOVE NWATTA-NWATTA-NWATTA STYLE” RIDES AGAIN!

 

 

Once upon a time, I published a bizarro love story about a man and a low-gravity spider in the most dangerous parking lot in the galaxy. It was called “Love Nwatta-Nwatta-Nwatta Style.” It was in Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine, Issue Two: Winter 1988. I wonder if anybody ever read it. Now it’s available to read online at Metastellar: Speculative Fiction and Beyond for those of you who are curious.


It was originally a sequence of my first, unpublished novel Nwatta-Nwatta-Nwatta. With Tezcatlipoca as my witness, in my countercultural youth, I thought that a cross between Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy would be my key to success. The book publishers who dominated science fiction back then disagreed, though one editor told me, “it could revolutionize the field” but it was “too zany.”



Not to be daunted, I cannibalized scenes and sequences and tried to sell them as short stories. The editors of the science fiction magazines recoiled in horror. More than one of them begged me to stop sending them these awful Nwatta-Nwatta-Nwatta stories. Maybe “zany” wasn’t a strong enough word.


“Love Nwatta-Nwatta-Nwatta Style” was the only one I could sell. Kristine Kathryn Rusch was only editor perverse enough for the dirty deed. I wonder whatever happened to her? Was it my fault?


I hope a lot of people read and enjoy it now. I still fantasize about publishing it and it becoming a bestseller. Talk about perverse.



Wednesday, November 24, 2021

GUAJOLOTE MUSINGS



According to our not-so-sacred calendar, this will be going up on Thanksgiving, so I should say some relevant things for you to read in preparation for your guajolote rituals. 


Guajolote is a relatively modern word. David Bowles says it's from Nahuatl, huehxōlōtl meaning wild turkey, and tōtolin meaning domesticated.


A Google search says that there are three terms in “Yukatek Maya” for turkey: úulum for the domesic, tzo' for the male, and kuutz for the wild or ocellated.


And I’m still dealing with the release of Speculative Fiction for Dreamers: A Latinx Anthology (buy it and read my story “Those Rumors of Cannibalism and Human Sacrifice Have Been Greatly Exaggerated”), and the Kickstarter for El Porvenir, ¡Ya! Citlalzazanilli Mexicatl Chicano Science Fiction Anthology (for which I wrote a preface, and “Incident in the Global Barrio,” to help them pay me and the other writers). To be a writer, writing is only part of the job . . .



And now we’re hurtling into what I like to think of as the Holidaze: My own personal temporal traffic jam of Thanksgiving, birthday, anniversary, that flows into the socio-economic sacrificial rites of the multi-holiday season. It usually turns into a weird blur.


I’m feeling good at the end of another pandemic-eaten year. Yeah, I know, it’s sick, with all the smoldering conflicts erupting into the streets, again, all over the world, but for me, things seem to be working out in my old age. I’m oddly confident with the illusion that I can do the juggling act of my life. Go ahead, cruel universe, toss another flaming chainsaw at me . . .



I’ve decided to do a gonzo run to finish the insane novel that I’ve been working on for the last several years!  That’s right, I’m talking about Zyx; or: Bring Me the Brain of Victor Theremin. (Don’t tell anyone that it’s part of a trilogy.)


Maybe after that, I’ll do my other bucket list novels: Paco Cohen is Alive and Well and Living on Mars, and my futuristic bullfighting novel, Our Lady of the Monsters. Dare I dream of seeing them published in my lifetime?


Meanwhile, I’ll amuse myself, imagining the recent dubbing of A Fitsful of Dollars into Diné, the Navajo language as part of La Reconquista Nueva, while remembering that the original Reconquista was a centuries long fight to retake the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors.


Transmogrification is the natural order of things.


And I thank you all.


Thursday, November 18, 2021

CHICANONAUTICA HELPS EL PORVENIR, ¡YA!

 

Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga invites you to contribute to the Kickstarter for El Porvenir, ¡Ya! Citlalzazanilli Mexicatl Chicano Science Fiction Anthology. Help up make history. There's even a video:



Do it now! ¡Viva Zazaismo!

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

SCENES FROM CLOSER TO HOME



 

Things are different and we get into the final months of 2021. Emily has a job. We aren’t going to be doing any epic road trips for a while.



Luckily, we have all kinds of interesting places within driving distance of the Metro Phoenix Area.



And a Fall that’s more like a faux Spring makes the garden fun.



As for the neighborhood, it’s giant spider season.



Insects are on the job.



You never know where you’ll find interesting art.



This elephant has been recently touched up.



A squashed skeleton blurs the line between animal, vegetable, and mineral.



Ants are out in force.



Red Buddha is fading nicely.



I’m still working at the library.



The sage has gone purple and carpeting the front yard.




We found out that what we’ve called our Martian cactus is a Cereus Peruvianus Monstrose.



Something is always happening at our house.


 

And then there are holidays.


What is that up there?

Friday, November 5, 2021

CHICANONAUTICA UNCOVERS THE LOST LEGACY OF SPACE COMMANDER JOSÉ DOMINGUEZ



Chicanonautica finds the only mention of La Cultura in Star Trek, over at La Bloga.


Does anybody remember Space Commander José Dominguez?



He was created by my friend George Clayton Johnson.



He was being deprived of chili.



Hope real astronauts don’t have that problem.



AND THIS JUST IN!











Thursday, October 28, 2021

STILL DRAWING AFTER ALL THESE YEARS


Damn right, I’m still drawing.




The visions keep coming.



I gotta make some kind of record of them.




It’s hard work.



And the pay is lousy most of the time.



But it keeps coming.




I don’t know if there’s some kind of message here.



Or just a mess.



It is what I am.

Friday, October 22, 2021

CHICANONAUTICA EXPOSES MY LIFE AS THE FATHER OF CHICANO SCIENCE FICTION

 

It’s happening in Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga . . .


Featuring Hispanic Heritage Month:




Latino lit:



Chicano sci-fi:

 


And the mysteries of self-promotion:


Thursday, October 14, 2021

ROAD TRIP FOR MAGGIE: PART THREE



As we got ready for the all-day cross-country jaunt from Hailey, Idaho/Sasquatchlandia to Farmington, New Mexico/Aztlán, Saigonesque scenes from Afghanistan dominated the TV. A cool wind from the east mixed with the smoke; maybe there was some fog in the haze we drove into.



A patch of naked, pale blue was devoured by the smoke as we headed back to Utah.



It cleared some as we came back to Moab. Without realizing it, while trying to get a picture of the smoke, I got a picture of some dinosaurs. While taking it Emily said, “Look! Dinos!” I didn’t see them until I looked at the picture later.



On the way to Cortez, there was residue of snow or hail in the ground.



And the Ute Mountain casino proudly announced that it’s OPEN 24 HOURS.



The next morning in Farmington, at the motel's complimentary breakfast bar, I overheard a hotel employee tell of how she’s afraid that doctors are using COVID as an excuse to harvest healthy people’s organs. As we left, I saw a sign: I MISS THE AMERICA I GREW UP IN.



We ran into similar sentiments in the nearby town of Aztec. It was cute and funky, with a store called Junque & Sister. Emily said we have to go back someday.



As we got back on the 550, a truck pulled a trailer with an AMERICA OR BUST sign.



When we got onto an Apache reservation, we documented a spectacular guerrilla mural in an abandoned structure. Nearby, past a hoodoo hill, was an elaborate shrine to a fallen biker who must have had clout with the tribe.



We went slow, and stopped for pics. That annoyed the hurried locals. Mike is an excellent cherchez le weird scout.



Eventually we checked in at the Inn By the Delta, where the streets twist around the Rio Grande, between a public library and tattoo parlor in Conquistador-founded Española. A lot of businesses sported bright, freshly painted signs.



The Mexican restaurant next to the Inn, La Fonda de Sol, doesn’t insist on dumping a mound of cheese on the entre. People get lunch while waiting to get their tattoos.



I read some of R. Ch. Garcia’s Death Song of the Dragón Chichxulub, part of which takes place in Española.



Later I dreamed I was trapped in a high tech yet satisfying theme park.



A walking stick (the insect) hung out on the window of Mike’s room. A snail made a trail across the sidewalk.



 And when we picked up brisket sandwiches for later at Rudy’s “Country Store” and Texas Bar-B-Q, the Jefferson Airplane's “White Rabbit” played.



In Albuquerque we got coffee at Blunt Bros. and bagels from Einstein Bros. I had the jalapeño bacon, and Emily had a spinach fortuna. Mike doesn’t eat breakfast.



It was around this time that we scattered Maggie’s ashes, in places I’m not mentioning, just in case there are some legal issues . . . It was magical. At one point some ashes went straight up and didn’t come down.



We also saw a lot of wildflowers, an old church, an abandoned bar, and a lot of the sights that she loved.


 

We visited Pie Town, which has shed the Trump paraphernalia it had last year. When we crossed the VLA it started raining. It always rains when we are there.

 


We also passed a place that sold books and ammo.

 


I got a Facebook message from Daniel Scott White with the email addresses of two interviewers that I made a point of getting in touch with. Gotta keep that self-promotion machinery running.

 


Highway 84 North is another road of geologic wonders. A wind blew in clouds that mellowed the light, thinning the smoke, cooling things down. Could we get rain? Snow?

 


A sign: WELCOME TO COLORFUL COLORADO, is redundant. Maybe it should properly be translated to “colored,” or “of color.”


 

In Pagosa Springs the signs announced MEE: HMONG CUISINE and KILL BLOCKS VIEW. I expected to see LAW OF GRAVITY STRICTLY ENFORCED.

 


Why now? Anything could be possible in a resort called Purgatory, and a town called Ouray. And in some of these Colorado towns, cannabis places outnumber liquor stores.

 


Some rain washed Colorado clean of the smoke, but there was still bug splatter on Zsa Zsa’s nose. The rain got so hard it was like being in a submarine.




Next day Mike led us through one of his “short cuts through a mountain pass” that twisted through a misty forest on a road strewn with potholes as clouds hung on the mountains.



In Vail, Mike set up at “Art on the Rockies Presents Vail Fine Art” which was in an upscale shopping mall.



Emily and I poked around some of the local towns, like Minturn and Leadville.



Lots of photographable funkiness and tourists, and weird vibes.



Emily bought some clothes.

 


Then she suggested we check out Aspen. Driving there was an adventure, as was finding parking. We finally put Zsa Zsa in front of a chi-chi supermarket with a homeless guy talking to himself, near a smashed and graffiti’d van.



The thrift store she found online turned out be too chi-chi, but I took a selfie in front of the Fat City Art Gallery.



I wonder what Hunter S. Thompson would think of the town now, where the only black woman on the street avoided looking at me, as if acknowledging my existence would harm her hard fought for status? Before we left we used the restroom down the kafkaesque hallway of the Chi-Chi Mart.



We eventually discovered that the window of our motel room looked out to a weird wall.



Then it was westward on Highway 70 through the -- haze? Smoke? Whatever it was, it wasn't as bad as it was before, and the landscape was getting pre-Grand Canyon-ish.



We took the 191 back to Moab. It seems that all roads lead to Moab.



We couldn’t resist the Dinosaur Museum in Blanding. Another place we keep coming back to. There’s so much in that one building.



Then we cruised over to Bluff, and the Kokopelli Inn that was empty when we got there, but more guests showed up overnight. Of course, we had Navajo Tacos.



Then we were homeward bound, through the Big Rez and Monument Valley, with the cinematic landscapes, abandoned structures, guerrilla murals, roadside shrines, people selling stuff.



And masks and social distancing were being enforced. After all, there was still a pandemic going on.



Then Emily said, “Quite a few deer sacrifices on this trip.”