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

Friday, July 12, 2024

CHICANONATICA SPIES ON THE WILD, WILD BORDER


Chicanonautica, at La Bloga, is about trouble at the border.


As fantasized in an old TV show:



The proto-steampunk, Wild, Wild West:



James Bond in the Old West:



With “Hispanic” villains:


Thursday, July 4, 2024

AMERICAN DREAMING ON THE EDGE OF THE ABYSS


Happy Fourth, folks! When you read this, I’ll be on a romp across the wilds of Arizona with Emily. A great way to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I’ll be taking photos and notes for a travelogue. Stay tuned.


But it’s kind of bittersweet now, with an especially bizarro election looming. What’s with all these people calling themselves patriots but wanting to trash the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights? Do they know what the words they’re throwing around mean? Do they understand English?


And it’s not just here. All over the planet, people are warming up to the dictators.


Raging ignorance. Cult thinking. Argh.



And the world is in the hands of people who can’t make up their minds. At this point the election is about winning them over. Working with people who don't agree with you. Y'know, democracy.


I understand. There never seems to be a candidate that is in line with my view, but I’m a wild and crazy vato with far-out ideas. I learned long ago that me and politicians aren’t going to get along.


I’ve long considered voting to be like a pinball game. You whack away, hoping the ball will go where you want. Sure, often it doesn’t, but if you don’t whack, the assholes win and you didn’t do anything.


I’ve already made up my mind to vote for Biden, or whoever  may be running against Trump, who does more to make me want to vote against him every day.


Yeah, I know about the wars, and Biden is starting to look like the new LBJ, but Trump–who ain’t no peace freak and hates protesters–is worse than Nixon ever was, and is promising a full-blown dystopian nightmare if he wins.



Did I mention that Democracy is teetering on the edge of the abyss?


I know about protest votes–I’ve done them. They don’t do any good. I’ve always regretted it afterward.


Don’t worship politicians–I honestly don’t believe you should worship anything–they are pawns in this important game. Vote for them, but you don’t have to follow them. More important, vote against them, don’t invite the batshit crazy vampires into your front door, much less into the White House (again). Sacrifices must be made, as the Aztecs knew well . . .


And the day after the election, feel free to protest your ass off. One shitstorm at a time. Think strategically.


It’s awkward, and difficult, but far better than letting the monsters run the world.


Meanwhile, try to have some fun. I’ll be back with some weird, silly stuff soon. I promise.


 What's that? Immunity . . .


Friday, June 28, 2024

CHICANONAUTICA HANGS WITH ALIENÍGENAS AMERICANOS



Don’t know how legal they are, but they’re out of this world, from a book reviewed in Chicanonautica, at La Bloga.


We’re talkng UFOs:



Over South America:



And Mexico:



Plus chupacabras, and more:


Thursday, June 20, 2024

THE GONZO SCIFIISTA TEACHES AGAIN!


Are you a writer in the Latinoid Continuum with a dangerous imagination who missed my “Gonzo Science Fiction, Chicano Style” class at the Palabras del Pueblo Writing Workshop in the Spring, or even if you know such a person, good news–I’m doing it again in the Fall!


It’ll be the first two weekends of October: October 5, 6 and October 12, 13 at 9am to 1pm Pacific. And it's on Zoom.

 


I’m sticking with the gonzo title because I figured I could keep plugging Guerrilla Mural of a Siren’s Song: 15 Gonzo Science Fiction Stories, and I can keep it freeform, centering it on what the students want.


I could even talk about creative nonfiction with mentions of my piece in Our Creative Realidades, and Chicanofuturism, as in the upcoming Chicanofuturism: El Porvenir, ¡Ya!  II that will feature a new story about Paco Cohen, Mariachi of Mars. Yeah, it’ll get weird.


Just another way to help encourage fantastic fiction from brains infected by the Lationoid virus, to make culture on this planet spicier!



Friday, June 14, 2024

CHICANONAUTICA CHERCHEZES THE WHITHER GOEST THOU AMERICA WEIRDENESS

 


What’s Chicanonautica cherchezing over at La Bloga?


The election in Arizona:



Remember Trent Franks?

 


Who the hell is Abe Hamadeh?



And meanwhile, across the border . . .


Thursday, June 6, 2024

INSTAGRAMED AND WIKIPEDIAED



A publisher once dismissed my audience as a “noisy minority.” Since then I’ve been advising all minorities to make more noise. I make a lot of noise myself.


The recent post here featuring Jan Karlo’s post about Guerrilla Mural of a Siren’s Song: 15 Gonzo Science Fiction Stories on Instagram shows how this can make things happen. Karlo has since posted another one about High Aztech, with another great quote:


Another great trippy sci-fi read that takes you to different cities and planets, painting a psychedelic world similar to blade runner. The virus that acts as the real main character is a great vessel for the theme and message of the novel.


When I put it on Facebook, it got more quotable reactions:


And it's true. You created an entire Genre! And will be remembered. Now if they could just heap that pile O cash at your feet now, that would be great! - Selina Phanara


And:


This novel is so f*&^%g good I once let two stoned guys at a Con talk themselves into believing that *I* had written it under my pseudonym of Ernest Hogan.- Don Webb


I will be exploiting them all soon . . .



And that’s not all, I’ve also been written into a Wikipedia article, Speculative Fiction by Writers of Color, in the section on U.S Latino Authors Contributions of Speculative Fiction:


. . . Ernest Hogan comments on how being Chicano helped his speculative writing because being a Chicano is a science fiction state of being, since Chicanos exist between two cultures. Hogan integrated his Chicano culture into his work to reflect how different worlds can collide into stories while highlighting the struggle of trying to feel connected to a specific culture.


 And in the Chicano Futurism Theme/Authors section:


Chicano futurism is an emerging and vibrant community within U.S. literature and media. Latino speculative fiction, in particular, has witnessed a remarkable surge in popularity and creativity. An illustrative example of this phenomenon is found in "Smoking Mirror Blues" by Ernest Hogan. This work not only captivates readers with its imaginative narrative but also delves deeply into the complexities of Western rationalism, which is deeply entrenched in the patriarchal history of modernity and colonialism.


Again, very exploitable, and fitting into my diabolical plans with my being in the forthcoming Chicanofuturism Now anthology . . .


Friday, May 31, 2024

CHICANONAUTICA EXPOSES POETRY AND/OR VIOLENCE IN LA GALLERA



A bold, new crime novel reviewed in Chicanonautica, at La Bloga:


It’s noir:




There’s cockfighting:




Cocaine:



In Spain:



Thursday, May 23, 2024

SOMEBODY LIKES MY BOOKS



You really know you’re a writer when you have these needs.


First, you need to write. Duh, but it’s amazing how many wannabes I’ve known over the years beat themselves up trying to become a writer without writing.


Next you need to get published. If I haven’t been published in a while, I get depressed. This year I’m feeling good, with a Guerrilla Mural of a Siren’s Song: 15 Gonzo Science Fiction Stories, “Lost in Trumptopia” in Our Creative Realidades: A Nonfiction Anthology, and (a drum roll please) “A Wild and Woolly Road Trip on Mars”—a new Paco Cohen, Mariachi of Mars story–coming soon in Chicanofuturism Now.


If I have a long dry spell, it can get pretty grim. I have to remind myself that I actually have a career. Blogging and social media help, but there’s nothing like getting published. Talk about addiction.



But, still, that isn’t enough. You need to have people read and react to it. It's nice to be called a genius, but I even like it when someone gets pissed off or offended.


And then, oh yeah, there’s making money, but that's a whole other pendejada.


I’ve been nervous about Guerrilla not getting “real” reviews, but meanwhile, I’ve been getting proof that people like it.


Like Jan Karlo, one of my students from the Gonzo Science Fiction, Chicano Style class He was impressed enough to go on to read Cortez on Jupiter, which was based on the title story of my collection and do an Instagram story on it. He also did one about Guerrilla.


I was delighted and put them both on Facebook and Twitter. And here at Mondo Ernesto.


Self-promotion. It becomes a way of life after a while.


It also makes me feel good, in the mood to get back to making my Paco Cohen stories into a novel . . .



Friday, May 17, 2024

CHICANONAUTICA PRESENTS THE 2023 EXTRA FICTION WINNERS


You can read them via links in Chicanonautica, at La Bloga.


Examples of the Chicano renaissance:



With Santa Ana winds:



Swordplay:



And aliens:


Thursday, May 9, 2024

CONFESSIONS OF A DOPE DILETTANTE, PART TWO


 

I left you hanging with a mention of another drug that I didn’t give up after the bad trip.

That was caffeine.


(I never got into tabacco products. Nicotine had no allure for me, but that’s another story . . .)


I wasn’t a coffee snob being persnickety over the specifics of a concoction with lots of milk products, flavoring and spices. This was drug abuse. My relationship with caffeine was what allowed me to write about addiction. Again, research. 


I liked it black—what the baristas these days call “cafe Americano”—and strong. I couldn’t imagine starting a day without a few bitter cups to get my nerves jangling.



At home, I would use instant coffee, which the current generation finds shocking, but when you don’t care about esoteric taste sensations, it provides a way to bring on a buzz that has near-hallucinogenic effects.



Another perk is that it’s legal, and socially acceptable, a psychoactive drug with an entire industry devoted to making it available. Imagine an alternate universe where addicts on the street consume supercharged crack/fentanyl-like caffeine products while law-abiding citizens enjoy cigarettes and chewing gum laced with coca and opioids. There but for the grace of Xochipilli . . .


After a while, I began to notice the jitters making me sloppy, in writing, and my day job at Borders, where they provided free coffee for the employees—fiendish, huh? At my yearly doctor’s checkup my blood-pressure was always a little high.


“Did you have any coffee today?” the doc would ask.


When I said yes, he’d tell me to skip it tomorrow and come back and I would be okay.


Then my dad died.



He had high blood pressure, and heart disease got him.


I remember a high school teacher saying, “For a lot of people, their first sign of heart disease is their death.”


I made some adjustments in my diet and decided to give up caffeine. And since my wife, Emily, had decaffeinated earlier, and was sneaking more and more decaf into my (now non-instant) brew, it was easy.


It hasn’t seemed to affect my writing. Most of the stories in Guerrilla Mural of a Siren’s Song were written under the influence. The later stories are different in that I’m an older writer who has managed to learn a few things. I must admit that my first drafts aren’t quite as messy as they once were, sort of . . .


I still drink coffee, decaf, and I seem to get a placebo-effect buzz off it.



Sometimes when in an outback areas where they have religious objections to decaf, I’ll down some regular–because I believe that Puritanism is a bad idea, never say never–and it’s . . . fun!


But whatever it is, the more you use, and the older you get, it gets less fun.


George Carlin in his old age would keep one joint in his house, and when he’d get stuck writing, he’d light up, take a toke, and get back to work. That’s the way I am with caffeine these days.


Because it’s the work that’s important. And who knows what kind of “research” it may require.


Speaking of which, I have more research I need to get back to . . .