A New Edition From Strange Particle Press . . .

Friday, January 18, 2019


Chicanonautica reviews Tex(t)-Mex, over at La Bloga:

So, here's a touch of evil:

A look at Rita Hayworth's Latin roots:

What has Speedy been smoking?

And a Maoist report on the Frida Kahlo Barbie:

Thursday, January 10, 2019


Once again, the new year begins like crash-landing on an unknown planet. Only this time there's all kinds of weird apocalyptic shit around the smoking crater. The natives are too busy figuring out their new realities to notice me crawling from the wreckage.

There are a lot of new realities in 2019 . . .

So, what do I do now? If it wasn't for all the holidayization of the calendar, I'd just keep on, head down, full speed ahead, but culture puts its rituals in the way, interrupting my program.

Think I'll make a public spectacle of finishing my novel, Zyx; or, Bring Me the Brain of Victor Theremin. I've been thrashing away at it for a few years, and it's finally taking shape in brain, which should have serious effects on my behavior. I could use a excuse, and it could be entertaining.

I also should sit down at my drawing board, and finish drawing that Aztec Eagle (a masked, Mexican wrestler) comic based on the script that Claude Lalumière wrote for his Avatars of Adventure project. It keeps getting derailed my writing career, and getting tripped up on technical aspects. I should just get down to doing some old-fashioned cartooning.

Also, I should stop letting the drawing board get dusty. I need to draw more, if just for the way it makes me feel.

There's also some unsold short fiction. They've all reached the point where they've been turned down by most markets, so I have to go hunting in the outer reaches to find homes for them. As if I didn't have enough to do. But how are people 
supposed to read them if they don't get published?

I also have a Pancho Villa's Flying Circus, story collection
that I should start working on . . .

Funny, how I'm never short on stuff to do.

Also, I need to expect the unexpected, and invite inspiration, which is basically, the way I lead my life. I come up with these crazy ideas, and that's why it's so disorganized. Or is it just organized in an eccentric manner?

Is it possible to be a writer and an artist, and be normal?

Meanwhile, new things rain down. While driving back from Sedona last week, Emily told me about a dream she had that would make a good fantasy novel. I made a few suggestions, and she asked, “Would you like like to write it with me?”

Just what I need, another project.

But I could not resist.

Friday, January 4, 2019


Chicanonautica goes to Sedona, over at La Bloga. 

It's a gorgeous place:

With weirdness:

But there's no escaping some things:

So have a nice 2019:

Friday, December 28, 2018


Some Ed Wood fans will be disappointed with James Pontolillo's The Unknown War of Edward D. Wood, Jr. 1942–1946 because the myth of Battle Eddie, Fighting Transvestite, is debunked. The image/story of Wood as a U.S. Marine going into battle with a red (or was it pink?) bra and panties under his fatigues is too appealing to be true—always a clue that something is amiss. He changed the narrative to make a better story. That's what writers do. Even with our own life stories.

We have a lot in common with Walter Mitty, and Baron Munchausen. It is the nature of the beast.

After all didn't Harlan Ellison write a novella called All the Lies that Are My Life?

I'm actually amazed that people keep asking us to write our own bios. After a life of building a story-making machine in your head, it kicks in even when you aren't doing fiction. It's hard to resist your craft. And a little tinkering can make it better . . .

People keep saying I lead an interesting life. Maybe. It doesn't always seem that way when it's happening, but I know how to tell it to make it sound, well, like fiction.

All this doesn't mean that Unknown War isn't a fascinating read, and a valuable addition to the Ed Wood bookshelf. It fills the gaps in the story, and even makes it more interesting. Pontolillo used, and reproduces news clippings and Wood's medical and military records, and truths about the man, and World War Two, become self-evident.

All the mundane documentation. The military is good for that. They also documented Wood catching filariasis, that was cured before it caused elephantiasis, and his getting syphilis from a prostitute in California.

It turns out that Wood was clerk in the Marines, and never was in combat. Wars are mostly paperwork, or I suppose these days they'd say data entry. Office equipment is just as important as weaponry. Non-combat veterans tend to feel shame over their contributions, but they shouldn't. They did their part. They should be honored and thanked for it.

They also tend to tell tall tales about their service.

Actual combat vets don't, and it's hard to get them to tell their stories.

You can't actually blame guys like Wood for embellishing their experiences. He did lose his front teeth in the war, and saying it was the result of the rifle butt wielded by a Japanese soldier sounds better than the reality of getting injured during a ritual concerning his first crossing the Equator. And telling the Battle Eddie myth probably came in handy when people found out about his cross-dressing.

Also his hometown newspaper was cooperative in reporting fictitious combat experiences.

Besides, if you're going to make movies, write books, and become the Patron Saint of Creative Misfits—I imagine that by the end of this century, we will see a religion that worships Wood, along with Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson, and Vampira—you can't just accept the ordinary, in your work or your life.

Or your story.

Friday, December 21, 2018


Chicanonautica reviews The Camp of the Saints, over at La Bloga.

It's Steve Bannon's favorite read:

Could it be influencing recent events?

Is it invasion?


Thursday, December 13, 2018


As usual, I took a lot of photos on my recent San Diego trip. Maybe too many. So here's some of the overflow:

The above was in my room at the El Pensione Hotel.

Down India Street, in Little Italy, there's actually a Mexican restaurant called El Camino, with some great murals.

A beautiful lady smiles.

Some mariachis are ready to play.

And down the street, an artifact of a bygone age.

I had time to do a pilgrimage to Chicano Park.

Took a whole lot of photos there.

These aren't all.

And of course, S.D. is recombocultural tiki country.

So git along into the future, little dogies!

And happy trails to you!

Friday, December 7, 2018


Chicanonautica, at La Bloga, recalls my recent trip near the border:

To talk about High Aztech at San Diego State University:

As part of William Nericcio's English 220: Robotic Erotic Electrico class:


Thursday, November 29, 2018


I’m always on the lookout for science fiction from outside the Norteamerico English-speaking zone. Sci-fi pretends to span galaxies and has been flirting with Chinese imports and Afrofuturism, but in reality most of it is still by and about white people who are a fraction of the U. S. of A. How do people squeeze their minds into those cramped, little worlds?

So I decided to give H+ incorporated, the first novel in English by French author Gary Dejean, a go.
I’m also curious about what Europeans are thinking about the future, even though I’ve started to think of cyberpunk as an artifact from the twentieth century, but then these days it’s becoming a short term for the expanding world of transhumanism, and other developments.

H+ incorporated delivers the c-punk goods. We get humans incorporating technologies into their bodies--we might even say their souls--and young people struggling to survive in dystopian future, that shows the cyberculture is becoming global and there is a lot of resentment and anger about the mess the older generations (mine included) have made of the world.

There wasn’t any of the Francofuturism I was hoping for, but it is implied that the young people of France have a taste for marijuana as well as angst.

Also, cyberpunk that goes back to good ol’ 1984 has developed from a revolutionary movement into a venerable, even respected genre.

Dejean does give it a fresh slant, fusing transhumanist body augmentation with fast and furious action, and a gorehound sensibility that moves at a pace that will satisfy readers who grew up playing video games.

I admire the professionalism of it, even though I had some minor gripes, but then I read in the author bio that H+ incorporated was adapted from a screenplay that Dejean is trying to get produced. Again, professionalism.

What I took for lazy writing--characters who are only referred to as the rasta, the Latino, and the Japanese are questionable in a traditional novel, but common practice in screenplays. That and setting it Manila, in the Philippines, but not providing details to make the reader feel it is screenplayese.

This isn’t a traditional novel, but I do love the novelistic detail. It makes for a better reading experience.

Gary Dejean is writing for the brave, new improved world. Old farts like me should pay attention.

Friday, November 23, 2018


In honor of Día de los Guajolotes, Chicanonautuica reviews a book called Man Corn, over at La Bloga.

It's about mysterious activities around Chaco Canyon:

Involving disarticulation:

And body processing:

So be thankful!

Friday, November 16, 2018


I laughed when I saw it. Usually, books with titles like America 2034: Utopia Rising are awful--political tracts disguised as fiction. Sometimes they’re weird enough to be unintentionally hilarious. With the midterm election nearing and body count rising, I could some sicko laughter.

Then I read the blurb on the back. Futurist satire? Donald Jesus Trump? Force fields? The United Enterprises of America? I bought it.

After all, these are sicko times.

Besides, it begins with a character named Winston Smith (born in 1984) needing to take a piss. When I start a book with a scene like that, I’m setting that mood for irreverent shenanigans . But then that’s me . . .

I was bowled over by the torrent of craziness. I was reminded of my reading of new wave speculative fiction back in the Nixon years. Jonathan Greenburg has a wild imagination and keeps the weirdness coming hot and heavy.

Not only is there the United Enterprises of America, a Trump-centric, sociopathic fascist/corporate state, but also the United Peoples of America, a “Wetopia” held together by the telepathic effects of the hallucinogenic plant ayahuasca. A dystopia and a utopia--in conflict-- presented at the same time.

The Enterprises is a fiendish and brutal riff on what America under Trump could become. It's grotesque to the point that even a lot of Trump haters would be offended. Real policies and beliefs are taken to horrifying extremes. I won't go into any details, but it, like Trump, boldly goes into Adults Only underground comix territory.

Too bad he has no shame and is immune to satire!

On the other side, the Peoples seems to be based on conservatives fear and believe about liberals. It consists of the “Left Coast,” separated from the Enterprises by a force field technology and connected to a drug-induced We Are All One philosophy. Would Elon Musk, Larry Page, and Eric Snowden buy into what is essentially a mind-control cult?

If Greenburg is making a point about polarization and the dangers of cult-thinking--Trump’s appeal is that of a cult leader--it’s so subtle I missed it, and there isn't that much subtlety in this novel. 

I’m reminded of hippy-dippy naiveté circa 1969: “Like, wow, man, if we could just slip Nixon some acid, he’d see the light, and bring the troops back from ‘Nam, y’know?” I’m pretty sure that Hunter Thompson, William Burroughs, Abbie Hoffman, and even Timothy Leary would have laughed.

But I’m not sure if Greenburg is going for laughs here. His publisher is called Informing to Empower Media, which is straight out of the novel. Could it all be a “things go better with ayahuasca” commercial?

No matter. It's fucking bizarre. So much so that it manages be stranger than the latest headlines, which is quite an accomplishment.

I just hope that in a few years, we’ll be laughing at how outrageous it is, rather than being amazed over its accurate predictions. 

. . . I wrote the above before the midterms, and headlines are getting even stranger. There's a whole lot of meltdown and disintegration going on. My laughter gets even more sicko.