Friday, July 22, 2016

CHICANONAUTICA VACATIONS IN TEKNOCHTITLÁN



As in a review of Federico Scaffler's anthology Teknochitilán: 30 Visiones de la Ciencia Ficción Mexicana in Chicanonautica, over La Bloga.


Of course, Mexican science fiction has come a long way:




Though some folks have a problem when you mix sci-fi with Mexicanidad:



And that gets people going:



Then there are those who have other ideas:

Thursday, July 14, 2016

INDEPENDENCE DAZED ON AZTLÁNI ROADS



The head wound had stopped bleeding. What the hell – it was the Fourth of July. A nice day for an all-American road trip – put on the American flag/Route 66/hot rod shirt, and go . . .

The roads were kind of empty due to it being the last day of the holiday weekend. Rather relaxing, actually. The landscape unfolds. Signs of civilization melt into desert, and the desert melts into the mountains.

This is eroding in an interesting way,” Emily said.

There was the smell of skunk, and mutilated roadkill of a species that couldn't be identified. Chupacabras? The Mogollon monster? Did they ever find that meteor?



Our first spontaneous stop was at Montezuma's Well. It's actually an ancient sinkhole. Long before Montezuma was born, the Sinagua built summer and winter cliff dwellings around the edges and tapped it to irrigate their crops with the arsenic-rich waters where only a few hardy life-forms found nowhere else in the world survive.



Maybe some of Monte's ancestors passed through before the volcanic holocaust for the Aztlán World Cup.

These days towns bristle with solar panels. The future glittering in the sun.


They have a lot of spectacular Sinaguan petroglyphs at the V Bar V Ranch Heritage Site. We can only read a few things, and don't know most of how the images and their positions are synced up with the Sun, Moon, and stars. We aren't as plugged into things on the cosmic scale any more, even with smart phones. Maybe the archeoastronomers will figure it out some day.



When we arrived the Galaxy Diner on Route 66, Nathan's hot dog eating championship was on the screens. You can't have a more American lunch than that, especially with the old-time rock 'n' roll playing.

Further along on Route 66, near the edge of Flagstaff, we saw cement mixers with spiffy flame jobs.

And all day the stars and stripes were flying, on vehicles, shirts, and wrapped around buttocks – Abbie Hoffman would have been proud.



After that we went to Walnut Canyon. We hadn't visited that vertical city of Sinagua cliff dwellings in a while. This was probably one of the Seven Cities of Cibola that conquistadors searched for, and didn't appreciate. And I'm glad that I'm still enough of a mountain goat to trek that twisted up and down trail.

Down in Sedona, we got our usual iced cafe mochas at the place that keeps changing names. Since our last visit a wall has been torn down, and a Whole Foods had been surgically attached. 



You can't miss it, it's right behind a statue of a mountain man/wizard. According to the plaque, it's the work of John M. Soderberg, PhD., and his name is Merlin. I think he needs more of a downhome, Wild West moniker, like Brujo Bob or Hoodoo Harry.



Before heading back home, we stopped at the White Rooster – well, actually, it's officially Silver Son West, but Em has this habit of renaming everything. She bought a colorful Oaxaca-style painted frog.


On the way back we saw a lot of people were fixing flat tires at the roadside. Not everybody was having such a nice day. Little did we know that the summer was about to become a full-blown, shit-smeared, blood-spattered spectacle . . .

Friday, July 8, 2016

CHICANONAUTICA RUNS WITH DANGEROUS BEASTS IN THE SUMMER OF WTF


What a summer, Chicanonautica reports on at La Bloga!

And they're off and running in Pamplona:


And Denver:


Is Trump trying to make America one big Arizona?


We need some more civilized activities:

Monday, June 27, 2016

LATINO@ RISING IS COMING!



Looks like it's finally happening. I've gone over the proof of my story. They have a beautiful cover by Liliana Wilson of Austin, Texas. And they paid me.


So, Tezcatlipoca willing, Mathew David Goodwin's Latin@ Rising, “the first-ever anthology of Latina/Latino speculative fiction (and poetry, and art)!” as Bryce Milligan, the publisher at Wings Press put it, will be a real happening thing.


Among all the other Latin@ (does anybody know how to pronounce it?) speculative goodies, will be a new story by yours truly, “Flying Under the Texas Radar with Paco and Los Freetails.” It's another adventure of my character Paco Cohen, Mariachi of Mars, that is disturbingly close to certain political trends we see breaking out all over – damn, I really need to get back to novel about him . . .


They're shooting for an early 2017 publication date. I just hope that this sort of thing is still legal after the U.S. presidential election.

Friday, June 24, 2016

CHICANONAUTICA HEARS OLD GRINGOS IN PSYCHEDELIC SOMBRERO LAND



Really. Check it out in Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga.

Once upon a time in a Mexican restaruant:



In the Wild West:



During an election:


Things got weird:

Monday, June 20, 2016

LOOK FOR ME IN ALTERMUNDOS



Look out academia! In December, Altermundos: Latin@ SpeculativeLiterature, Film, and Popular Culture edited by Cathryn Josefina Merla-Watson and B.V. Olguin will reprint the Dossier from Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, Volume 40, Number Two, Fall 2015, including my Chicanonautica Manifesto, plus some of my artwork, and some essays that discuss my work. The concept of literature as we know it is in for a serious warping. Order yours now if you want stay on top of this cultural transformation.

Also, my academic allies, are you interested in getting my books into your campus bookstore? Let me know -- ernestohogan[at]gmail[dot]com -- and I'll enlist you in the conspiracy.

Friday, June 10, 2016

CHICANONAUTICA LOOKS AT L30, COSTA RICA, AND THE FUTURE


Chicanonautica reviews Luis Chacón Ortiz's novel Ciudad Radiante, over at La Bloga:

Of course, Americanos see the future as America:


In Costa Rica, things are different:


Ciudad Radiante is about L30, a far more advanced version of this:


Futuristic Latin America, gotta love it:

Thursday, June 2, 2016

LIVING DAMNEAR APOCALYPTIC ON A FLOTILLA



Another Young Adult novel. I'm not a fan of the category. Back when I was in high school, during the Nixon administration, the YA label meant you were in for a propaganda piece that was designed by parental authorities to make you see the error of your ways and cut your hair, stay away from drugs, study hard, and become a productive member of society. So, of course I would run like hell and find something like Dangerous Visions, Zap Comix, or Tropic of Cancer to read.

I didn't know what to expect from Daniel Haight's Flotilla. My prejudices had me hesitating. Then the author told me to prepare to have my mind blown.

I like having my mind blown. It's what I look for in good entertainment. This guy thinks he can blow my mind with his novel? Let's see . . .

Well, I'm happy to say that Flotilla is a certifiable mind-blower.

The teenage alcoholic hero, fresh out of rehab, goes working for, and with, his dad on Colony D, a mariculture complex of linked ships cruising the Pacific, both cultivating and harvesting fish. It's a fantastic world of its own, spawning rowdy subcultures. It's one of the most original and believable – you can practically smell it – visions of futuristic society I've seen in a long time, and I'm a bit of a junkie for these kind of things.

And it's all about people who work for a living. Not just the sort of jobs nice kids from good families have to dress up in nice clothes for; these folks get dirty, soaking wet, and risk their lives. Working class science fiction! I love it! Haight describes himself as a “working class geek” – we need more like him.

And if I can offer some advice to you youngsters out there, this is a good book to read right NOW. It shows how to survive in an ever-changing world, and deal with personal problems, and family. And when things get apocalyptic – it keeps happening, get used to it – you've got reflexes in place that will keep you from freezing up, maybe help you create a brave new world that's better than the one that's collapsing around you.

You'll need those reflexes. No matter who wins the election.

Friday, May 27, 2016

CHICANONAUTICA SEZ AZTLÁN IS THE WILD WEST


That's right, in Chicanonautica at La Bloga, and it's all because I've got a Aztláni western in Lost Trails 2: Forgotten Tales of the WeirdWest.

It really is:



And it's Chicano, too:



But of course, these are modern times:



No telling how far-out it could get:

Friday, May 20, 2016

A WAY-OUT WILD WEST WEEKEND

On the way up, the wide-open spaces did their usual psychoactive number on my head. Fragments of my new project -- another Aztláni western story/novel/whatever -- danced across my sparkling synapses. Fresh signs warned to watch out for burros and elk, and a huge flock of hawks patrolled near Black Canyon City.
 

In Sedona, the Bell Rock Inn was brimming over with funky western art. James Darum cowboys lined the halls, a print of Roberts Shields' Southwestern Robots hung in our room. There were also cartoony coyote cowboys, nearly-psychedelic desert/mountain landscapes, and much, much more!


In the bathroom of one of Sedona's many tourist information centers, I saw an example of Navajo graffiti: HÓZHÓ. I dutifully wrote it down and photographed it, figuring that I had some research to do. When I showed it to Emily, she knew it meant “balance.” Maybe it needs to be written on more walls.


I wondered what kind food they serve at Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill, but we had some favorite restaurants to visit, like the Coffee Pot. I had buckwheat pancakes the first morning, and huevos rancheros the next.

In Flagstaff antique stores Emily got a camel saddle – she'd been looking for one for twenty years – and a statue of an Asian deity of mysterious gender. I got an old bullfighting novel, The Brave Bulls, written and illustrated by Tom Lea, reminding me that I have to get back to my unfinished science fiction bullfighting novel.


As we went down Route 66 to the Galaxy Diner, Bob Dylan's The Times They are A-Changing leaked out of an open-air cafe.

Back in Sedona, we investigated a place with a giant white rooster in front of it. It's officially called Silver Son West, but Emily wants to call it the White Rooster. It had roosters, dragons, calaveras, buddhas, dinosaurs, and other things that would make great décor for an the wildest western of all time. 


I had a vision of a vampire being chased through such a place, crashing into a wall of ornate metal crosses, bursting into flames . . . now if I can just come up with a story or something I can use that in . . .


In Oaxaca – one of our favorite Sedona restaurants – there was a Mick Reber painting: Small Dreams of City Streetlife. I was surprised to see guns, in a contemporary setting, with a hint of social commentary, instead of props in Wild West myth. Maybe the times really are a-changing.

The next day, we took highway 89A through Jerome down to Prescott where we had lattes at the Firehouse Coffee Co. on what was known as Whisky Row. These days there are more antique stores than saloons. There was a wonderful Tom Mix mural, and I wondered what the hell is Dave's Total Insanity Sauce, and why would they be selling it.


In the footsteps of ancient cowboys, Emily found just the piece of furniture to go next to our front door, and just under the androgynous deity. I found a Buckminster Fuller book, a Hopalong Cassidy novel, two Bomba the Jungle Boy novels, travelogues about cannibals and head-hunters, and Christina Garcia's The Lady Matador's Hotel, a recent bullfighting novel that has been tempting me.


Could it be my own bullfighting novel is demanding to be finished?


And then there are all those other unfinished projects. Guess I better get to work.