READ THE TERRIBLE TWELVES VIA TAPASTIC!

READ THE TERRIBLE TWELVES VIA TAPASTIC!
A YA fantasy by Emily Devenport and Ernest Hogan

Thursday, February 23, 2017

MY LATIN@ RISING STORY CALLED “A COMIC GEM”


The reviews are coming in for Latin@ Rising, and my story got three paragraphs in a Texas Observer piece, “In the Age of Trump, the First All-Latino Sci-Fi Anthology Hits Too Close to Home” by Roberto Ontiveros.


I plan doing my usual mining for exploitable quotes, but since that chunk about my humble effort is so good, here's the whole enchilada:


Ernest Hogan’s “Flying under the Texas Radar with Paco and Los Freetails” is a comic gem. The story envisions a Lone Star state of mind wherein a dissident rocker in a band named after the Mexican bats is exiled from the planet for not being Texan enough. The narrator, a “Jewish Tejano” living on Mars, details a future in which Texas has become a corporation run by a billionaire politician/entrepreneur named Billy-Bob Paolozzi. Cultural criticism and sarcasm are verboten and words are not so much banned as made palatable. Some Spanish, for instance, is acceptable, but not without the proper Texas twang.

Before bemoaning that his administration has yet to come up with a gene to define Texas purity, Billy-Bob offers his apologies for not going far enough. “It isn’t enough for Texas to be corporate and install me as the constitutional CEO — I think we need an official religion to go along with Texan as our official language,” he says. “The great nation of Texas Unlimited does not believe in racism. To be Texan is more about attitude than blood or skin color.”

The piece, which jokes its way through to isolationism’s terrible, logical end, would be frightening even if we didn’t have a president who was also his own brand. But we do, so it’s terrifying.

And I'll like to go on the record and say that Billy-Bob Paolozzi was not based on the current president of los Estados Unidos de Norteamerica. I wrote the story long before he expressed his lust for the office. It bounced around before I found a sympathetic market.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the rest of Latino@ Rising.


Friday, February 17, 2017

CHICANONAUTICA LOWRIDES TO MICTLAN AND BACK


Chicanonautica reviews Lowriders to the Center of the Earth, over at La Bloga.

There's even a book trailer:


In case you no sabe Mictlan:


And Mictlantecuhtli:


Ancient myth goes stark, raving lucha libre:


Thursday, February 9, 2017

THE ANCIENT CHICKEN THAT REFUSED TO DIE



Here we are, off and running in the Year of the Rooster. And there’s a rooster in my neighborhood, and it crows all the time, not just at the crack of dawn. The poor devil is time-warped. I’m not sure what causes it, but I’ve been running into time-warped roosters for a long time . . .



My family had chickens, and a coop in the backyard in West Covina. This wasn't a normal West Covina thing. My parents were concerned about the ecology -- as we called it back then. The chickens provided us with eggs. We also had a rooster.


He was a mean little bastard who would have terrorized the neighborhood if we had left the gate open. I named him Peckinpah because I was impressed by The Wild Bunch with its slow-motion deaths and cowboys who knew what chichis were. And encounters with Peckinpah were usually bloody.


One day we found Peckinpah dead. He just keeled over. He tore into his job as kamakaze sperm-delivery machine and backyard holy terror with more passion than his tiny heart could bear.


After that we got a series of replacement roosters. They all died. The same way. “Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse,” is basic rooster philosophy, except that sometimes their corpses get mutilated.


Finally, my dad said, “That’s it! No more roosters!” So the chickens were left to lay their eggs unfertilized, and we had to get up without any cock-a-doodle-do.


Until, one day, and not in the morning, we heard a cock’s crow again.

It was one of the chickens.


She -- he? it? the language fails me -- had grown a comb, and spurs, and took on the role of the rooster in the coop.


And she was time-warped, crowing at all hours.


I don’t know how complete this sexual transmogrification was. Peckinpah had trained me that if it strutted like a rooster and crowed like a rooster, don’t let it get too close.
Since then, I've learned that sexual reversal and gynadromorphism does happen in chickens – it just doesn't get talked about much. It's also why Emily and I knew that the T-rexes were reproducing when we saw Jurassic Park.


The years went by, and the chickens died off, one by one, long after they stopped laying eggs. All except for the Ancient Chicken. My full name for her/him/whatever was the Ancient Chicken That Refused To Die, referencing the classic film The Brain that Wouldn’t Die.


I was her (I always thought of her as a she, and was quick to tell her story when visitors mentioned “your rooster”) caretaker, feeding her every day while slaving away under a pile of rejection slips, trying to get my career going. She lived a long time. Eventually, she took to an un-chickenish lifestyle of mostly sleeping in a tree, perched on a branch over an ever-growing, pyramid-shaped mound of her own excrement.


I wondered if she had discovered the secret to eternal life, and wasn’t going to share.


Alas, her secret was of life extension, but not immortality. One day, I went out to feed her, and found her dead, face-down in her pyramid of poop.


I speculated about what may have kept her alive so long, and wrote to Emily – this was during our interstate romance: I HAVE DISCOVERED THE SECRET OF ETERNAL LIFE -- AND IT’S DISGUSTING!


Ever since, I keep running across time-warped roosters -- if it’s a sign of the Apocalypse, it’s taking an awful long time. Maybe it’s just the universe’s way of reminding us how fantastic it is.


Friday, February 3, 2017

CHICANONAUTICA TELLS HOW TO PULL STORIES OUT OF THE THIN AIR


In Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga, I tell how I pull stories out of the thin air

It's seems like magic:


But it happens:


It helps if something's in the air:



Mostly, you just have to do it:

Monday, January 23, 2017

ERNESTO STORY IN THE JEWISH MEXICAN LITERARY REVIEW


I've published another story (the second time I've been published this month, if anybody's keeping count), this time in The Jewish Mexican Literary Review's Insurrection-themed issue.

Just what is The Jewish Mexican Literary Review? It was established in Mexico City in 1935 by artist Rosa Alvarez-Pinot and poet Nahum (Eduard) Landmann now published online by editors Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Lavie Tidhar. It has “never let go of its ethos of international diversity, multilingual approach, affection for marginalia or, indeed, never paying contributors more than the cost of a bad cup of coffee.” 

My story is “Lunch in the Ruins,” inspired by recent political developments, starring myself, and my alter ego, Victor Theremin. Rather than attempting to explain it, I'll tease you with the first paragraph:

I like this place already,” I said when I saw the mural inside the restaurant. It depicted a gang of grinning cartoon pigs, merrily butchering humans who were hanging upside down. Seeing it warmed my heart. “You used to see ones like it in Mexican restaurants on both sides of the border, when I was a kid.”
 

Friday, January 20, 2017

CHICANONAUTICA WELCOMES YOU TO ARIZONAIZATION


Chicanonautica suggests that President Donald Trump is going to Arizonaize the U.S.A., over at La Bloga.

Looks like we're going to be in for a lot of this:


Businessmen getting into politics is nothing new in Arizona:


Sometimes it can get out of this world:


But, it's just the same old snake-oil:

Friday, January 13, 2017

ERNESTOIZING MITHILA REVIEW



To kick off the new year, just ahead of the unleashing of the Trump administration, I’m appearing in Mithila Review: A Speculative Arts & Culture Magazine. Speculative Arts & Culture? Is that what I’ve been doing all these years? And I thought I was just stirring up trouble . . .


I’m taking part in a Latin American Science Fiction Fantasy & Horror round table discussion with Carlos Hernandez, David Bowles, Sabrina Vourvoulias, Silvia Moreno-Garcia & William Alexander. They all have interesting things to say about the Latinoid speculative writing experience. And I shoot my mouth off, so don’t miss it.


But that’s not all!


They’re also publishing “Gringos,” a chapter from High Aztech that makes for a kick-but, stand-alone read, and that has taken on a stronger impact in light of recent political developments in the good old U.S. of A.

It's free online, available to read on iBooks, Android, and Kindle, and you can get it as an epub or mobi ebook if you support them through Patreon.

Monday, January 9, 2017

APOCALYPTOGENESIS NOW: THE SHORT STORY


Stephen Michael Barnes arranged some of my recent tweets into a short story:

"Why? Because I can. I dedicate this to you, Ernie, and Em, for your art, your imagination, and your quantum strangeness."

APOCALYPTOGENESIS NOW

So far, so good . . .
I dreamed that my grandparents were teaching blues guitar riffs to my wife and me.
Always a little more going on than I'm ready to deal with . . .
After midnight, the mariachis played until it started raining.
Upstairs, a homeless woman typed a frantic message on a counter-terrorism website.
At the library, a kid in a Mexican wrestler mask sat perfectly still in front of a computer.
Always a little more going on than I'm ready to deal with . . .
My afternoon was adventurous. Life is good. Crazy, but . . .The end of 2016 is near . . .
Was that a real gun that busboy was wearing? Could be. This is Arizona, after all . . .
I indulged my reading habit today. "APOCALYPTOGENESIS NOW."
Time to unwind . . . Okay, now back to whateverthehell was supposed to be going on . . .
The night smells like lighter fluid. . .

Friday, January 6, 2017

CHICANONAUTICA RIDES WILD INTO LOM


Chicanonautica reviews LOM Book Two at La Bloga.

It's beyond the latest lowriders:


Road warriorish:


Futuristic:


With that aldelita spirit!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

APOCALYPTOGENESIS NOW


I found a security breach as we were leaving. A snail had gotten inside the shutters of our living room window.


As we headed north, clouds brushed the mountain tops. The rain had created impromptu rivers and waterfalls. I kept expecting to see a yeti hitchhiking to Shangri-La.



We had breakfast under two Kent Bash prints at the Galaxy Diner. Kent did illustrations and covers for Amazing Stories when Elinor Mavor was editor, back when she bought my first published story. Make way for the Synchronicity Express . . .

We ended up in Flagstaff because we took a wrong turn turn as Em told me of her recent sacred apocalyptic kachina dreams.



There was foamy, café au lait water everywhere.



Later we had burgers at the Cowboy Club in Sedona. Was that a real gun that busboy was wearing? Could be. This is Arizona, after all . . .



In a shop window down the street, we saw Christmas lights made from shotgun shells. At the motel we caught the news that Trump wanted more nukes. What a brave, new world . . .



The wi-fi stopped working. A hard rain was a-falling.



The next morning we watched the sun slowly illuminate the fantastic view out our window. We sipped coffee and snubbed the news. Clouds caressed the red rocks. Colors grew more intense.



Clouds embraced the hills all over. Sedona had become Shangri-La. We had breakfast at the Coffee Pot, watched over by kachinas. Any yetis must have been in disguise.
Some of the busboys wore post-manbun poofs like the topknots in High Aztech.


We saw a big, fat rainbow. It ended in the middle of a street. There was no sign of a pot of gold.



On a twisty mountain road, we saw a white pickup that was flying a full-size American flag. But then, maybe it was something else – instead of red, white, and blue, it was black and white. A political statement? The banner of a new nation? A visitor from an alternate universe?



In Jerome there was a hand-painted sign saying GOD HELP US, and building labeled GRUMP TOWER.



We drove home under low clouds, taking a “scenic route” that was often totally obscured as we drove through the clouds, into a mysterious white void, to the future, and home.