MY FIRST STORY COLLECTION! OVER 40 YEARS IN THE MAKING!

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

GUERRILLA MURAL REVIEWS AND REACTIONS



Ever since Tor failed to send out review copies of High Aztech for mysterious reasons, I get anxious about reviews.


Seeing reviews, like holding a copy of a book in your hands, is more solid proof that, yes, this chingadera actually has been published. I’m a “real” writer, not some loser scribbling away for my own deranged amusement.


So far, there has only been one review of Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song: 15 Gonzo Science Fiction Stories, on Amazon, and it’s a good one:

 

Ernest Hogan is one of the best fiction writers you've probably never read; which is tragic, since you inevitably need more of what he has, guaranteed.

This is one of the best single author short story collections in the past decade.

There's cyberpunk, werewolves, Aztec gods, culture recomboid nuttiness, and just plain wild flights of imagination.

Non-stop fun, not a boring story in the collection.

Cheap at twice the price; Ernest makes fiction fun again!” 

- Paulie

 

My favorite kind of review, a string of quotable sentences. You’d be surprised how academics can write an entire paper, and not come up with one phrase that I can exploit.

 

Just one review, and two ratings on Amazon, and one rating on Goodreads. I need more. . .


Yeah, I understand that it takes time for professional reviewers to get around to something, but reactions are important to me. Writing isn’t alive until it’s touched someone.


Thank Tezcatlipoca for the social media. Just while I start feeling down, I get feedback.


Here are some from Facebook:

 

Like a Madhatter’s guided trip thru a kaleidoscope!

 - Laura Crawford


Congratulations to Ernest Hogan on his new collection of 15 gonzo science fiction stories, Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song. And I would be remiss not to mention the first edition of his novel, Smoking Mirror Blues, is still available through Wordcraft of Oregon. Read him and find much delight. 

- David Memmott 


 

I ordered this 3 days ago. Two days ago it was created in Monee IL and shipped, and it arrived today. Great stuff!  

- Chris DeVito


In case you were unaware, Guerrilla Mural of A Siren Song is on the BSFA Award longlist for Best Collection. 

Just bought it so I can read it before I make my nominations.

- Ole Andreas Imsen

 

I used the title story, "Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song," in my Alien Contact anthology, which was published by Night Shade Books in 2011. 

- Marty Halpern

 




I love it! Fun, offbeat tales from a Mexican future. The old Gods are made new, the old haters find new tricks, and the vatos always find a path forward. Beautiful lush prose and crazy diversity in the storylines and characters. Thank you for enlightening and entertaining me. Your intros offer a revealing look into your twisted mind and in themselves are worth the price of the book.

 - Tom Banger

 

It's apparently Ernest Hogan day at the US Latinx Science Fiction Collection, and why not? His collection arrived among new books bought for archiving. It's been longlisted for Best Collection by the British Science Fiction Association and the stories I already know here are excellent--you should get your hands on it! I was also responding to edits on a chapter I wrote for Los Angeles: A Literary History, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press, on Science Fiction in SoCal. I was happy to point to native son Hogan’s achievements--his novel Cortez on Jupiter (1990) is the first US Latinx sf novel from a major genre press--beside local sf luminaries from the LA Sprawl like Octavia Butler and Ray Bradbury. I'll be teaching his funny and profound "Chicanonautica Manifesto" next week in my Afro- and Latinxfuturisms course this term. And I know a student will pick this book for an assigned end of term video review! I advise you to check this book out! 

- David Sandner


Meanwhile, keep those comments coming.



Thursday, February 22, 2024

CHICANONAUTICA ZOOMS INTO THE MEX FILES



Chicanonautica is about me on Gómez-Peña’s Mex Files, at La Bloga.


Chicano . . .



Latino . . .



Futurismo:



The Other Sci-Fi!


Wednesday, February 14, 2024

GONZO AND ME



The whole 15 Gonzo Science Fiction Stories thing in Guerrilla Mural of a Siren’s Song was a surprise. My publisher got inspired down in San Miguel de Allende.


Sure, why not? I was gonzo before it was cool. In fact, I was gonzo before I ever heard of gonzo. Guess I’m just warped that way. 


I have a perverse relationship with labels. As an Irish Chicano who lived most of his life as a fish out of water, people tend not to know what to make of me. Which means I get called a lot of things. Some of them insulting, what they usually call aliens, outsiders. You name it, I’ve probably been called it.


Some people feel sorry, that I must have been traumatized. No, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words . . . I eat them with every meal, chew them up an spit them out in new, distorted forms, all over the landscape. I survived by cultivating a nasty attitude.



And I laugh at the concept of political correctness.


So, I don’t care what people call me. Those poor bastards, their limited knowledge and experience hasn’t prepared them for encountering a creature like me. Their vocabularies fail them, so they reach for the something they know, that doesn’t fit, but will make a handy placeholder for now . . .


I often let them live with their misconceptions. It gives me the power to, when the time is right, give them a taste of my reality, and blow their minds. I also don’t care that I’m known as a cyberpunk, even though I am not now, nor have I ever been a card-carrying cyberpunk. It gives a rough idea of what I write and gets attention. Once the conversation is started, we can go on from there. 



I was writing things that could be considered gonzo, long before I discovered Hunter S.Thompson. I experimented with creative nonfiction in my notebooks (these days they would be called journals, but I find the word used that way a tad pretentious), inspired by Norman Mailer’s Of a Fire on the Moon when it was serialized in Life and Harlan Ellison’s The Glass Teat as it appeared in the Los Angeles Free Press.


When I finally got around to reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, I had been at it for years.


No wonder academics keep seeing me as a successor to Oscar Zeta Acosta.


Eventually, I started using gonzo style and techniques—observing and taking notes on the real world, then reconstructing them into something quite different from straight reportage—in my fiction. It manages to let some truths become self-evident that would have otherwise been missed. It’s also a special kind of vicious fun.



Hell, I’ve even called myself gonzo on occasion. I called my early online serial Brainpan Fallout a cybergonzo thriller in my own flyers.


Another more recent, deliberate experiment in gonzo science fiction appears in Guerrilla Mural of a Siren’s Song: “Uno! Dos! . . . One-Two! Tres! Cuatro!” It’s probably the most gonzo thing I’ve written—so far.


So, yeah, I can be Señor Gonzo Sci-Fi, and teach my online “Gonzo Science Fiction, Chicano Style” class.


The only problem is some people are going to think I’m on drugs, but then if it sells more books . . .


Thursday, February 8, 2024

CHICANONAUTICA LISTENS TO LABORATORIO 75 EFE EME, TIJUANA



At La Bloga, Chicanonautica discovers Laboratorio 75FM, Tijuana.


Maybe the hippest radio station on the planet:



Available online via radio.garden




These revolutions were not televised:


 


You may need to get up and dance:


Wednesday, January 31, 2024

ERNESTO NEWS 2024

And suddenly, it’s 2024 . . .



What? My new book, Guerrilla Mural of a Siren’s Song: 15 Gonzo Science Fiction Stories is not only out, but on the long list for British Science Fiction Association award for Best Collection. I do have friends and fans in the United Kingdom but wasn’t expecting this.


And there was a bump in sales—which is the important thing—and something else to use and go around self-promoting with extreme prejudice.



Speaking of which, I was on Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s radio show Mex Files. I read the beginning of the story, “Uno! Dos! One-Two! Tres! Cuatro” which actually is an experiment in gonzo science fiction. It will be available as a podcast soon. Stay tuned for details.



Speaking of gonzo, I will be teaching an online “Gonzo Science Fiction, Chicano Style” class for the Spring 2024 Palabras del Pueblo workshop, Somos en escritos’ way of encouraging writers in the Latinoid Continuum to go stark, raving sci-fi across our troubled planet.



I also picked the winners in the Somos en escrito Extra Fiction Contest. Once again, it was a close race. All of the finalists deserve recognition.



Meanwhile, I’m trying to get help peddling my new novel, Zyx; Or, Bring Me the Brain of Victor Theremin, to a big time publisher. I have these mad dreams of making money and retiring from my day job and devoting more time to writing all these book and stories that are festering away in my twisted brain . . .


Meanwhile, people keep getting back to me about pending projects. This will be a busy, crazy year.



To be continued . . .

UPDATE: The Mex Files episode podcast is available!

Thursday, January 25, 2024

CHICANONAUTICA GOES HOME THROUGH PLANET NEVADA

 

 

The last leg of an epic road trip in Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga.

 

Back through Planet Nevada:



Cattle country:



The Valley of Fire:




And there are plastic skeletons:


Wednesday, January 17, 2024

UNDER THE RAINBOW AND SILLY INTERSECTIONS



At Wallowa Lake, in Oregon, while taking pictures, we saw a rainbow.



Then Emily saw lightning.



Then thunder—that I could feel—rolled all the way across the gray, overcast sky. We got out of there just in time, as it started to rain—gentle at first, then it pounded, soaking the mountain landscape.



Next stop was Hell’s Canyon. 



Mossy trees and mountain bones sticking out at the top of the world.



There was another rainbow.



That kind of day, and more Halloween yard art. 



Yeah, art. Not just decorations.



Who knows about what looked like a dead body in a black garbage bag hanging from a tree . . .



After some confusion on the roads that twisted through the mountains, it got dark and the half-moon rose. It lit our way as we crossed the bridge over the Snake River into Idaho.



That night I dreamed that I was traveling on a colonized Mars. It was a lot like the 21st century Wild West. The view out the window could have been from my dream, or one of my stories. What planet was this?



The next morning, it was still dark at 7:12 AM. What time zone was this?



It was another Super 8, this time in Idaho.



It was decked out for Halloween.



An ornament–or maybe it was an offering–that resembled a dead child tied up in a bloody sack hung by the door . . . 



Plastic skeletons and other store-bought items were all over. Even a lone calavera in the rafters.



One dummy in skeleton pajamas sat on a swing. I had no head. I took a picture of it. A woman appeared with a head and attached it. I told her that I thought it looked better without the head. She avoided eye contact and pretended she didn’t see me.



And they had soy milk in the breakfast room.



Cascade, Idaho, had murals celebrating the logging industry at a bar,



a rock and roll scarecrow,



a wonderful neon hotel sign that blazed in broad daylight,



and a quaint sign for a park.



For some reason, a truck stop past Boise had an impressive variety of decorative skulls. Maybe a Halloween thing, but there were so many of them. Was there some arcane reason the truckers needed such accouterments in these parts? Maybe to appease a local deity . . . Could be that the occasional bagged dead adult or child wasn’t enough . . .



Further along Highway 20 the classic wide-open spaces



were  accessorized with relics and ruins—some with graffiti—



abandoned cars,



ovens, and washing machines that gave it a post-apocalyptic feel.



One spectacular tableau was fenced off with a gate, but there was no lock, just a sign asking to close the gate, so’s not to let the livestock out. We didn’t see any livestock.



We rode the edge of a storm for a while. When it caught us, we stopped and ran out into the rain to get some shots of more rusty mechanical monsters.



They are all over rural America. Monuments to dying technologies. Wonder what will come to replace them?



Soon we were heading homeward.



I dreamed of dealing with all kinds of people and technical difficulties. The real, workaday world looms, chewing on my subconscious.



In the news I read about the discovery of another lost world: Zealandia, or Riu-A-Māui in Māori.Things like that make me happy.



Later, we were behind a truck with two stars and bars decals—something from another lost world. I tried hard, but just couldn’t get a shot of it and Michael in the stars and stripes sunglasses he found at one of our sightseeing stops all in focus. Some things are not meant to be, I guess . . . 



And I should mention that in Idaho, gas was mostly below $3 a gallon.



When we asked for directions, a gas station attendant said, “There’s a lot of silly intersections around here.”