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

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

RUDY RAGES, GHOSTS GET JUICY

 Juicy Ghosts by Rudy Rucker — Kickstarter


I started reading Rudy Rucker’s Juicy Ghosts in front of a Safeway pharmacy, waiting to see if my Covid booster shot was going to give me any side effects. This tale of Silicon Valley biohackers merrily running amok was just the thing to pass that time. As for side effects, I felt a little high for a couple of days, like I was at a party back in the old days and took a toke of whatever was being passed around.


The novel grew out of Rudy’s reaction to the political situation of the last few years, that last presidential administration, and what it did to America. Yeah, he wasn’t happy with Trump, and channeled his anger into writing. So, we get a book that begins with a presidential assassination and goes on into a revolution made possible by a new technology that save minds electronically and then plugs them back into bodies of various kinds. 


Like ghosts, but juicy. A solution to my complaint about science fiction tending to want to avoid the hot, throbbing, sticky stuff that makes life so wonderful. 


It takes place in what could be the present, but is kind of futuristic. Because the future always begins NOW!  “We wrote it while Watts was burning, man.” George Clayton Johnson about his bestselling, movie, and TV series-spawning collaboration with William Nolan, Logan’s Run.


The book made me nostalgic for cyberpunk, the New Wave, underground comix, and gives hope for the upcoming generation.


I not only highly recommend buying and reading Juicy Ghosts, but I'm recommending it not just to jaded old fans, like me, but to the kids. After years of dreary, formulaic YA dystopias, this is a welcome change.


And wait, could that be a vision of a hot and juicy, transhumanist utopia?


Maybe it is possible to change the world


As some young Parisians said in May, 1968 “Be realistic–demand the impossible.”


 Rudy Rucker (@rudytheelder) / Twitter


Thursday, January 13, 2022

CHICANONAUTICA UPDATES ERNESTO 2022



Chicanonautica does a New Year’s update, over at La Bloga.


Getting into 2022:



I’m finishing a novel:



Which is like demonic possession:



Did I mention that it’s about artificial intelligence?


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

HERE WE ARE, HERE WE GO


 

I like to pretend that the sign on the water fountain at work is a time machine. It took us through the entire 20th century, and got us into the new year a few weeks early. Then, it’s into the future.



Wheeeee! Like a zipline. Or is that a spider web? Gotta remember to take time to relax.



A sunflower looks like a mothership about to launch an armada of landing vehicles. Are they invaders? Colonizers? Explorers? Tourists?



Meanwhile, I hope we can be like the baby python who was left at a library backdoor, and eventually found a new home.


Thursday, December 30, 2021

CHICANONAUTICA READS TAIBO’S ‘68



Chicanonautica reviews Paco Ignacio Taibo II memoir of the student protests, and Tlatelolco massacre, at La Bloga.


They took place in 1968:



It was a big deal:



It’s a struggle to keep it in official memory:



Real life goes beyond the horrors of fictional dystopias:


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

2021: A WTF ODYSSEY



And suddenly, 2021 is coming to an end. What? Already? Didn’t it just start?


It’s been another year, and as the pandemic goes on I’m vaccinated and boosted, and the City of Phoenix has given me money for it. Who knows how long it will go on? How many variants are coming?


I’m having trouble keeping track of it all. I had to scroll through this blog to jog my overloaded memory, forgetting a few passwords in the process.


We did a lot of traveling again. Things just happened that way, the gods of the road guiding us. It may not be the same next year, with Emily working again, and things being different. The Angel of Death is no longer perched on our roof. And Maggie, Em’s mom is traveling through time and space.


Meanwhile, my writing career is alive and well and interrupting my plans. I’m getting interviewed on Zoom, learning to be more of a pro at it. A new world is forming in the chaos.



Starfaring, Ken St. Andre’s space opera role-playing game that I illustrated with cartoons was republished, with the cartoons. The past never dies. Especially in the age of the internet.



Speculative Fiction for Dreamers: A Latinx Anthology, finally came out, with my story “Those Rumors of Cannibalism and Human Sacrifice Have Been Greatly Exaggerated.” It was a long, hard slog, but things do happen if you don’t give up.



“Love Nwatta-Nwatta-Nwatta Style” that was inspired by the Starfaring cartoons was reprinted in Metastellar: Speculative Fiction and Beyond. Who knows? Maybe I’ll someday find a market for the novel that it’s excerpted from.



Within the week, the Kickstarter for El Provenir, ¡Ya! Citlalzazanilli Mexicatl, A Chicano Science Fiction Anthology failed. My feeling is that this was probably the exactly wrong time to be tin-cupping it. The world is in turmoil, everyone is begging for alms. The book will be coming out, though, thanks to some alternative resources. It will have a new story by me, “Incident in the Global Barrio.”


Meanwhile, I still haven’t finished Zyx; Or, Bring Me the Brain of Victor Theremin, but I am hurtling toward a bizarre, complicated climax. I have a lot of days off next week that I plan to spend working on it, while America, and the world, continue the process of transmogrification.


As for 2022, all I see is a big, fat question mark.


Thursday, December 16, 2021

CHICANONAUTICA REVELS IN MAYASPLOITATION



Chicanonautica review the novel Mayan Calendar Girls, at La Bloga.


A lot of people have the wrong idea about the Maya:




And their calendar:



These days, things are different in Mayalandia:



 

And then, there's dolphin sex:


 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

FUN, RASQUACHE, AND EL PORVENIR, ¡YA!



So why should you donate to the Kickstarter for El Porvenir, ¡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 Porvenir, ¡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.