From the ezine MetaStellar: Speculative Fiction and Beyond's Long Lost Friends program, E.E. King and Andrea Goyan talk to me about my relation to cyber and other kinds of punks. The first of three episodes.
Friday, May 6, 2022
This was triggered by my being close to finishing my new novel:
And being a Chicano:
Gotta get ready to show it to some publishers:
So I need a pep talk:
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
So, there I was out of the house, in a theater, enjoying what was coming at me on the screen. Yeah, I was right not to wait for it to show up on a streaming service.
I knew Michelle Yeoh was wonderful, but Everything Everywhere All at Once is. . . Words failed me. After a while I thought, I gotta review this, but how? I couldn’t think of what I would say, the way I usually do with most entertainment these days.
Eventually, synapses fired, thoughts
bubbled up in my overstimulated brain . . .
What we have here is a genuine case of Twenty-First Century Genre-Meltdown: sci-fi, action/martial arts, slapstick comedy, rom-com, all at once. I laughed my head off and was in tears at the end.
But wait—there’s more.
More than just a blast of endorphins you could also get from jabbing your brain’s pleasure centers with an electric cattle prod. Thoughts, ideas start coming along with the mayhem. Some in the dialogue, but most of them actually come through action. This is a masterpiece of showing rather than telling. Aspiring writers take note.
All the gut-level entertainment is about one of the great existential problems of our times: living with science, and our technologically enhanced access to information making the multi/universe larger and us and our place in it smaller. And it’s funny.
It also handles the whole concept of the multiverse better than Marvel, or any of the other corporate franchises.
I’m reminded of when I first encountered the word multiverse, in a scene from Michael Moorcock’s 1969 Jerry Cornelius novel, A Cure for Cancer:
‘The multiverse. All layers of existence seen at once. Get it?’
‘Philosophy isn’t my bent.’
‘This is physics, dear. Get in.’
And of course, most of the audience thinks it's all just sound and fury signifying nothing but a temporary lapse in the boredom that is an essential part of the pre-packaged lives they’ve bought into.
I think pop culture has finally caught up with us avant-garde spec fic wise guys. Wonder if I can cash in on it? Or at least have fun trying.
Friday, April 22, 2022
Chicanonautica is seeing sci-fi self portraits over at La Bloga.
A new dimension in Chicano art:
And self portraiture:
Redefining the identity:
Revving up the Latinoid imagination:
Thursday, April 14, 2022
Looking for alternatives to the corporate sci-fi franchises lulling you into a false sense of security, not to mention reality? They are out there. I just ran into one that has my jaded mind, that’s been soaking up the infernal genre for more than half a century, dripping from the ceiling.
The title is totally misleading, but then the whole universe is misleading. Be misled, get lost, and find your way, or a way, somehow . . .
Hmm . . . maybe Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway is a totally appropriate title after all . . .
What I’m babbling about is a movie with the above mentioned long, problematic title. It stars Daniel Tadesse and was written and directed by Miguel Llansó. Tadesse is a dwarf, and there isn’t much about Llansó on Google. They also collaborated on another film, Crumbs, a poetic post-apocalyptic vision that beats the crap out of every other such film made so far in this century.
Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway is different, more post-cyberpunk Afrofuturism than heart-felt-if-ironic lyricism, filmed in Ethiopia, Estonia, Spain, and other places where ordinary objects look strange and suggest a sci-fi future or alternate universe. Things about it are like video games, but not contemporary ones, all retro with the taste of obsolescence.
At first, Tadesse seems to be a secret agent. His partner is named Palmer Eldritch as in Philip K. Dick’s classic alien invasion novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. Dick seems to be a key to understanding it.
Back in the Seventies, I recall Star Trek/Twilight Zone/Logan’s Run author George Clayton Johnson saying that if you wanted to know what the future will be like, read Philip K. Dick.
So, are you a CIA agent in the future, or a guy in 1997 trying to make some cash? Do you want a pizzeria or a kickboxing academy? Do you dare to demand both?
Turns out that Jesus ain’t Jesus, Batman ain’t Batman, and Stalin ain’t Stalin. But anthropologists say that in so-called primitive cultures, when a person plays the part of a god they become the god. I’ve seen that it’s also true in our so-called modern civilization. All the newfangled technology just makes it more so. Cosplayers, please take note.
When I started writing this, I thought that I should include a warning that it is not a Christian film, but some Christians may interpret it as one. Others will just get their minds blown. Either way is a good thing.
Hey! Is that another new reality coming our way?
Friday, April 8, 2022
Thursday, March 31, 2022
The last few springs have been weird. First there was the one where Covid broke out, then there was the one where politics went wacko and Covid still hadn’t gone away. Now Covid hasn’t quite gone away, but there’s also a war that just may turn into something BIG.
Here in the Metro Phoenix Area, the natural tendency to charge directly from winter into summer has been disrupted. We get a summery heat wave, then icy winds blow in rain clouds, and it gets mild again, for a while. You’d think that the climate was changing or something.
So now the lizards climbing my walls are sporting bright mating colors. Purple and yellow flowers are everywhere. Pollen is triggering runny noses and post nasal drip. And I keep getting the desire to go out and frolic in the sun.
Which is nice, but I also want to finish the insane novel that I’ve been working on for most of this twisted decade. The process has gotten so complicated that talking about it is damnear impossible.Which is okay, because what I really gotta do is get it done, not sit around babbling about it.
Still, I can’t help feeling that something truly, and existentially WEIRD is out there, coming my way.
Meanwhile, I keep trudging on ahead, into the unpredictable future.
Friday, March 25, 2022
It’s called Seven Cities of Gold:
With Michael “Klaatu” Rennie:
Jeffrey Hunter, the original captain of the starship Enterprise:
And the fabulous Rita Moreno:
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, cabrones! Remember Damballah! And why not babble about my Irish heritage?
It’s all the fault of a cabin boy who jumped ship back in San Francisco back in the 19th century. He wound up in New Mexico.
Yes, the New Mexico Irish are a thing, thanks to the Spanish Armada and the Catholic Church. The most famous one is Billy the Kid,who spoke fluent Spanish, wore sombreros, and was killed in his Mexican girlfriend’s house, “Quien es?” for his last words. Members of my family rode in a posse after him and testified against him in court.
My Irish ancestor was back in San Francisco for the 1906 earthquake. Then nobody ever heard from him again. No proof or report of his death, just—poof!—gone.
He may have been one of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, but again, no documentation.
A monument lists a Hogan as being killed as a member of the Battalion San Patricia. No way of knowing if he was any relation.
Grandpa Hogan, who looked Irish until he started speaking Spanish, didn’t have a birth certificate. “The church burned down,” he said.
All these Hogan family mysteries! We have a long tradition not reporting things to the authorities. Maybe there are good reasons for remaining undocumented.
In honor of her children’s heritage, my mom learned to cook corned beef and cabbage, and would make it every St, Patrick’s Day.
More chingaderas to make life complicated for me. People get confused, and even disturbed when forced to confront a six-footer with brown skin, an Aztec nose, and an Irish name. It seems to be my mission in life to confuse the issues.
During my youth I grew to dread filling out forms. There was often no right box for me to check. I wasn’t black or white. “Other” is just too damn vague. When they started including “Hispanic” it was often amended with “Spanish surname only.” Why do bureaucracies keep trying to categorize me out of existence?
No wonder my dad would hold up his clenched fists and say, “This is how I proved I was a Mexican.”
I developed an attitude that scares a lot of people.
I feel that none of this makes me less of a Chicano. The word lets folks know where and when I’m from instantly. And the dash of Irish only makes me more of a mestizo. Forget my bandido flourishes, it’s the Irish hooliganism that you have to watch out for.
I also find it difficult to sort out the Irish from the Mexican. What is the difference between la Llorona and the Banshee? Who is that crying in the Aztlán night? Ask St. Patrick. Or Damballah. Or the powerful spirit of an Aztec woman who heroically died in childbirth.
And now, I’m gonna get me a cerveza . . .
Thursday, March 10, 2022
This film of Rudolfo "Corky" Gonzales is mentioned. You can watch it here: