Monday, October 5, 2015
Hang onto your nalgas, carnalito/as, my “Chicanonautica Manifesto” is in Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, Volume 40, Number 2, Fall 2015!
It's part of special section called “Dossier: Latino Speculative Literature, Film and Popular Culture.” They even used some of my drawings to illustrate the introduction.
Along with my manifesto is an essay: “From Code to Codex: Tricksterizing the Digital Divide in Ernest Hogan's Smoking Mirror Blues” by Daoine S. Bachman.
Also discussed are Chicanafuturism, Latino@futurism, Jamie Hernandez's comics, Afro-Latina and Mexican immigrant heroines, Chicana/o cyberpunk, Gloria Andzaldúa's sci-fi roots, speculative rasquashismo, and Chicano@futurist visual art!
Order yours now!
Friday, October 2, 2015
Chicanonautica continues the Zen and the Art of Interstate Highways over at La Bloga. Here's some videos I shot on my trusty iTouch . . .
We're talking about the Wild West, amigos:
We mostly stayed in Truchas:
And visited Española, “the most dangerous city in New Mexico:”
And got wet in Valles Caldera:
This is where the buffalo roam. Or bison, if ya wanna get technical:
Thursday, September 24, 2015
I'm on newsprint again, and being of my generation, it feels good. (You kids that need to can Google “newsprint.”)
Copies of News from Sector 2337, No. 2, Summer & Fall 2015 have made their way to me. It features a piece by me, “A Calaca in a Spacesuit: Confessions of a Sci-Fi Artist” – that will appear as a Chicanonautica entry at La Bloga in the near future – illustrated by damnear life-size reproduction of my drawing “Inner Space Man.”
There's also an interesting article, "Chican@futurism, Ernest Hogan's High Aztech, and Tenochtology” by Josh Rios and Anthony Romero, that says a lot of nice things about me and my most infamous novel:
Chicano sci-fi novelist and short story writer, Ernest Hogan, is a future schemer par excellence who maniacally produces at the intersections of speculative fiction, Afrofuturism, amateur anthropology, and technoculture.
Hogan, not unlike his protagonist in High Aztech, is a vehement cartoonist, doodler, note-taker, and writer – or better put, an amalgamation of all these.
As for tenochtology, it's:
. . . a word and concept created in the tradition of High Aztech's Esperanto language – a mixture of slang, Spanish, and Nahuatl – is meant to give credence to a varitey of Chicano/a activities and resulting objects.
. . .All Chicano/a practices, objects, and forms of knowledge count as tenochtologies: the application of Chola style make-up and its attendant devices, Zoot suit draping, monumental murals, masa and salsa, conjunto and norteño, cowboy boots, Ballet Folklórico, and pack trains. What kinds of futures do these objects offer up?
It does kinda sound like what I do. Maybe I should put tenochtologist on my résumé.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Friday, September 18, 2015
Thursday, September 10, 2015
You go on vacation, and things keep happening and piling up, until instead of a series of neat little news items, you a have a wad of interconnecting stories. I better get along with this before something else comes in and demands to be included:
Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany edited by Nisi Shawl and Bill Campbell is out, and it's chock full of interesting essays and stories, including my own “Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song” that may not have had its freewheeling style if not for Chip's influence.
It's also the story that I later exploded – I went around saying I stuck a stick of dynamite up its ass and took notes about how it came splattering down all over the place – into my first published novel, Cortez on Jupiter, that can now be purchased in ebook or trade paperback, produced by Digital Parchment Services.
And yes, their edition of High Aztech is coming soon, stay tuned for details!
TFFX, the ten year anniversary anthology from The Future Fire, is coming. I wrote what I thought was a commercial for it; they called it a short story. “A Low Ride with Victor Theremin.” (I sure wish the Victor Theremin story I'm working on would stop trying to turn into a novel.) I also wrote a piece of flash fiction, “Xiomara's Flying Circus,” that will be in the anthology, and they put it up on their blog.
“Xiomara's Flying Circus” is a sequel taking place ten years after my story “Pancho Villa's Flying Circus” that originally appeared in their anthology We See a Different Frontier.
Soon “Pancho Villa's Flying Circus” will be available in another anthology, Lost Trails: Forgotten Tales of the Weird West -Volume 1, edited by Cynthia Ward. After all, I did write the story as a spaghetti western.
Pancho seems have become my Santa Muerte/Juan Malverde-style patron saint, because Pancho Villa's Flying Circus will be the title of a collection of my short fiction that will come out from Digital Parchment Services in the near future.
And now that I'm back in the saddle, I'll keep sending out updates as the news comes in.
Friday, September 4, 2015
Ponce de León searched for the Fountain of Youth:
Coronado was after Seven Cities of Gold:
Aguirre went mad over El Dorado:
And Cabeza de Vaca went on a different trip:
Thursday, August 27, 2015
After The Transhumanist Wager, and The Turner Diaries I continued my reading to get ready for election year madness with Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book. I didn't have to steal it, you can get if for free online, or download a free pdf. It's almost as good as stealing.
This is an oldie, from way back in the Nineteen Hundreds. I was in high school when it came out. The world was downright dystopian back then, America required all males over eighteen to sign up for a lottery, and if you were selected, you got sent over to fight in a real war.
Abbie Hoffman was part of a group called the Yippies that were protesting the war and struggling for other things that kids take for granted these days. He wrote Steal This Book in prison.
It's not science fiction, but could easily fit in on a shelf of New Wave sf (that's the way we wrote it back then, standing for either science fiction or speculative fiction, in lower case so people know you don't mean San Francisco). No plot. A lot of lists. This instruction manual for a do-it-yourself utopia kit, that takes the leap from nonfiction into spec fic in that it's about setting up an alternative reality, a new Nation. He had earlier tried to brand Woodstock Nation, but apparently some corporate entities had the rights to Woodstock . . .
Oh, that's right, these days corporations are people, too.
Hoffman and the Yippies were an experiment in living your science fiction instead of writing it. Or as artist Ron Cobb said, “Science fiction has always been a verb to me.”
In fiction, such things are the work of mad scientists, and it's dangerous. Look at what happens to the mad scientists in all those stories and movies. It's not surprising that Hoffman ended up in prision.
As the title indicated, the book is all about the virtues of stealing, and even suggest that it should be stolen. Big time publishing was repulsed. It had to be self-published.
As Hoffman said, “Sacred cows make the BEST hamburgers.”
And: “To steal from a brother or sister is evil. To not steal from the institutions that are the pillars of the Pig Empire is equally immoral.”
I never tried to live this way. My parents taught me that thievery was low. And because of my skin color I was harrassed from an early age by security agents in the comsumer zones.
From the book: “The first duity of a revolutionary is to get away with it.”
Some members of my generation tried to live according this book's advice. This usually lasted until they had an encounter with law enforcement. Also, running around, pulling scams takes a lot of time and energy; getting a straight job can actually be easier.
When I worked for Borders I found myself going mano a mano with later day Yipsters who didn't remember Hoffman's advice about respecting employees, and committed an error that isn't mentioned in the book: Don't get greedy. You can do a quick, subtle grab or run a customer service scam and get away with it now and then, but if you come back and try it every week, somebody's going to figure it out and shut you down. Of course, this makes it hard to pay your bills.
Borders hired a couple who were trying this lifestyle, and I worked with them. The male had blond dredlocks and mostly walked around with a beatific expression, waiting for someone to tell him he looked like Jesus. The female went on about how she was raised on dumpster diving, and was regurgitating Steal This Book-isms. They were attempting to work long enough to become eligible for unemployment. A nice scam, but you shouldn't go around telling your co-workers – and your boss . . .
They were fired, called us all fascists, and said that they were running off to Nicaragua because Bush was building concentration camps where he was going to put anybody who was against the war.
I wonder where they are now?
Technological advancements, and the arms race between the rip-off and the sellers, have made a lot of the book obsolete. I now read about print media, pay phones and coin-operated machines, and feel nostalgic. It would be an excellent reference for writing about the period.
What makes it still worth reading is the manic energy devoted to a utopian vision – we don't see much of that anymore.
Of course, the whole Steal This Book/Free Nation is totally dependent on an out-of-control, wasteful, planet-raping consumer society spewing out goods and services all over the polluted, overpopulated landscape. The Anti-Establishment needs the Establishment in order to exist. It's the yin/yang merry-go-round of doom.
It's also full of a lot of crazy (and some not-so-crazy) ideas, another alternate reality for sale – or maybe you should steal it – in the 21st century poitical marketplace. Want something other than what Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are selling? Do you know what you want? Or have you just been conditioned that way?
Friday, August 21, 2015
LOM Book One, a novel by Frank S Lechuga is reviewed on Chicanonautica at La Bloga:
It's Xicano sci-fi that comes from this cultural tradition:
And this one:
Plus a technophilic lust for brave, new kinds of wheels:
And other techonmutations:
Monday, August 10, 2015
Amplified Tejano accordion riffs sprayed the neighborhood – unusual. I turned off the American-roots-music-with-an-attitude iTunes station and enjoyed. Then there was a frantic knock on the door. I quick saved the story I was working on and walked across the house, got a grip on a handy geological specimen, and squinted through the peephole.
Victor Theremin grinned on the other side. I recognized him by the crooked teeth.
I put down blunt object, opened the door.
“Victor! It's been ages! What's up!”
He looked around.
“Uh, can you go for a quick ride?”
He pointed to the source of the Tejano sonic attack. A huge lowrider modified from a Cadillac.
The back doors opened with a motorized whir. There was no driver, just a lot of LED-strewn gadgetry.
A plasma screen played recent performances female bullfighters.
Maybe there was something to his gags about being sponsored by AIs.
“Where did you get this, Victor?”
“I borrowed it from Doña Juana Colón – her underground garage in the Mojave is practically a Chicano space program.”
“So what do owe the pleasure of this experience?”
He twisted up his Pancho Villa mustache.
“I need some refocusing, Ernest.”
“Damn right. I can't tell where my life ends and the sci-fi begins anymore – which if fun, but it can get exhausting. I need to know, does science fiction even exist anymore? I mean besides, the puppy boys trying to take over the Hugos, Afrofuturism, and all those diverse young women, who will take over the world if we're lucky?”
My mind went blank. I stared at the screen, and young woman who was teasing a bull to charge.
“TFF!” I blurted.
“What's that? You've been getting into texting? Please, Ernest, speak English, Spanglish, or something I can understand.”
“TFF. The Future Fire. It's a science fiction magazine.”
He smiled. “I like science fiction magazines. Used to read 'em from cover to cover.” Then he frowned. “They just ain't what they used to be.”
“This one is different. It's subtitled Social Political & Speculative Cyber-Fiction.”
“Yeah, this is good ol' social science fiction back with a vengeance. The writers are young, from all over the planet, and they have all kinds of . . . issues. They also put out anthologies.”
“How long has this been going on?”
“Ten years. They're doing a ten year anniversary anthology, TFFX. With a Indiegogo campaign and everything.”
“Yes! Corporate publishing is no longer controlling science fiction!”
He was in the mood to go looking for trouble again.
He dropped me off back at my house. A drone buzzed around. Then the lowrider Cadillac took off into the sky. Soon that sky was full of helicopters, and jets zoomed across the upper atmosphere.
I reminded myself to check to see where my life ends and the science fiction begins.