Friday, August 19, 2016

CHICANONAUTICA SEES LATINOID CONTINUUM FLASHES


As in Chicanonautica reviews Frederick Luis Aldama's Long Stories Cut Short, over at La Bloga. 

It's a collection of what they used to call short shorts:


What they now call flash fiction:


They cut across a lot of borders:


Into a lot of lands, and a lot of dances:

Monday, August 15, 2016

MIDSUMMER ZIGZAG THROUGH FURTHEST ARIZONA



Large, colorful bug-splatters decorated our windshield as we drove out of a Route 66 sunset partially obscured by a rainstorm – that also blotted out one sun dog – as we arrived in Flagstaff. We had planned this getaway some time ago, by coincidence we got out of Phoenix as the political conventions were ending, and the fallout was settling in. Just in the nick of time . . .


The parking lot of the Mountain View – that actually had a view of a mountain – triggered déjà vu. Then Ganesha seals in the office proved it. We had stayed there before.


We had Zipburgers at Miz Zips, a little further along the Route. The other customers were Latino/Indianish guys in baseball caps, and French tourists. We hear a lot of French in Flagstaff.




The next morning we had breakfast at the Galaxy Diner. Flapjacks! Fabulous edible saucers. We didn't give them the opportunity to fly away.


We keep ending up back at the Galaxy. Maybe it really is a galactic hot spot, with travelers from all over the Milky Way chowing down on authentic American food among the Hollywood and Rock 'n' Roll memorabilia. The hot rods and motorcycles are really timespace vehicles.


Then we headed north up Highway 89A.



We stopped a the Cameron Trading Post, where I overheard Nordic tourists trying on Stetsons: “Sömething sömething sömething BUFFALO BILL . . . sömething sömething sömething PEW! PEW!


The nearby Little Colorado River Bridge was nicely decorated, suggesting a futuristic native society.



By the Navajo Bridge, sacred datura was in bloom.


At Jacob Lake Inn, very white people served tasty sandwiches while the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was piped over the sound system.

Back on 89A, it was quite relaxing. “The Big Empty," Em called it. No sign of political turmoil, so far . . . A dead porcupine bristled on the median. Then a live deer scurried across the burned-out, growing-back forest. In the distance, rain came down in misty, gray shafts. We almost ran over a chipmunk. Finally, we hit the rain, and a sign warned us of bison.


Then we reached the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. A little boy said, “I can't wait to go back to flat, safe Texas.” The Canyon was more than the human brain can take in, as it should be.


On the way back, I took pictures of the rural murals on the shacks on the Navajo reservation until the light went bad.



We had dinner at the Galaxy Diner, with live country music from yodeling, fiddle-playing cowboys.


And the next morning we had breakfast at the Galaxy. Nick Drake's “Black Eyed Dog” played as we came in. We got the same table – three times in a row! Could it be some kind of mystic mumbo jumbo?


Then we visited the ruins at the Wupatki National Monument where signs warned: The removal or disturbance of any natural feature is prohibited.


There's also a preColumbian ball court. Research for that gonzo fantasy novel. All roads lead to unfinished projects – or new ones.


Near the Citadel, colorful collared lizards hung out. The mating season must have still been going on.


In Sedona we grabbed mochas to go at the Java Love Cafe, which is hippy-dippy and across the street from the Coffee Pot.


We tried to have lunch at the skeleton-festooned Haunted Hamburger in Jerome, but there wasn't any parking on the twisty, mountain streets, and it was packed. “Funny thing about paradise,” said Em, “it's always crowded.”


So we had burgers at Bill's Grill in Prescott, on Montezuma Street, that is also Whisky Row and Highway 89. I got an idea for a Trump cartoon. Could a combination skull & crossbones/mushroom cloud work? Is it too subtle for propaganda? The problem is Trump is already such a cartoon, you can't really lampoon him.


I was thinking about that as we drove through Prescott, and Em noticed how white it all was. Another town where all the favorite corporate franchises have been installed so retirees from the American heartland can move in and feel right at home. Someday there will be such places on Mars if we don't watch out.

Friday, August 12, 2016

PRE-ORDER LATIN@ RISING!



Latin@ Rising is available for pre-order! Do it NOW!

It will feature my new story, "Flying Under the Texas Radar with Paco and Los Freetails," which tells the origin of Paco Cohen, Mariachi of Mars.

As Paco's mother would say, "Mijo, don't be a yutz!"

Friday, August 5, 2016

CHICANONAUTICA MEETS THE ORIGINAL NEW MEXICO GANGSTER


We look at an old account of the New Mexico bandit Vicente Silva in Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga.

One of the sources of the infamous stereotype:



Hollywood did it's part:



In quite a few movies:


And it's great gimmick for selling food:


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.