“The book American Gods wishes it was.” --Despina Durand

Thursday, April 2, 2020

ARIZONA IN THE NEW APOCALYPSE


Emily and I had both been home for about a week. The library where I work, and the museum where she works were both closed because of COVID-19. We were desperate to get out. A hike would have been nice. Get away from the Metro Phoenix urban sprawl even though we had been hearing rumors of martial law.

On Twitter, we had read about a guy whose lawyer told him that the next day Arizona was going into total lockdown, with the National Guard coming in to enforce it. He was rushing off to withdraw his money from the bank. Then what? Leave the country? But for where?


The other day, one of the trees in our front yard was uprooted by a microburst/mini-tornado. The next morning, we were coming home from a coffee/breakfast burrito run to Lola Coffee in downtown Phoenix,and there were guys in green suits and helmets, carrying rifles in our neighborhood. It said SHERIFF on the back of their flack jackets. They were just arresting drug dealers, fugitives, or some other ordinary criminality.


On TV, Andrew Cuomo felt that he had to remind everyone that, “This is not a science fiction movie.”

So, the next morning we went to another one of our favorite restauants, Kiss the Cook, picked up breakfasts burritos (the meal of the current crisis) to go, and headed down the I-17, that didn't look like there was a National Emergency going on, except for all the signs announcing that businesses were closed, possibly reopening sometime in April . . .


Possibly.

We're trying to keep getting takeout from our favorite places to keep them in business. A lot of them have gone belly-up under the current administration. Goddammit.

Lake Pleasant was too full for us to get out and hike, much less practice proper social distancing. It was a beautiful drive though, lots of yellow and purple wild flowers along the roadside. And the occasional sign telling of another business closure.

In Wickenburg, a gas pump radio reminded us about the coronavirus.


Finally, we got off on a dirt road near Vulture Peak. There as only one other couple there. We could walk down unpaved trails like the last two people on Earth. More like it.

Here natural beauty was mixed with apocalyptic décor. We found abandoned couches and mattresses, and examples of the quaint Arizona custom of taking old computers out into the desert, shooting them to pieces, and leaving the electronic debris to glitter in the sun along with the fragments of shattered liquor bottles.


There were also pretty flowers growing on dead vegetation. Death, rebirth . . . in the springtime when we either reproduce or are devoured. Or maybe both, at the same time.
Dare I use the word “apocalyptic” again?

But the Great Arizona Apocalypse has been going on for a long time, and may have a few centuries to go . . .


On the way back home, there was water flowing in the Hassayampa. Sometimes the River That Vanishes becomes visible.

Then we passed a place called Big Worm's Smoke Shop. I imagined a huge, fat Mongolian Deathworm-type creature behind the cash register, smoking a hookah loaded with a vile substance with a sickly-sweet smell that bit through the nasal passages into the frontal lobes.

It was that kind of day, in this kind of time. When it's over, it'll be a different world.

Friday, March 27, 2020

CHICANONAUTICA RECOVERS OUR MYTHS


It's all about mythology in Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga:

You know mythology:



But this time it's Mesoamerican:



Thanks to David Bowles:

 
And who knows where that could lead:

Monday, March 16, 2020

¡TICMOTRASPASARHUILILIS, CABRONES!


Almost thirty years after Tor didn't send out review copies for some mysterious reason, High Aztech is still getting rave reviews.

So, ticmotraspasarhuililis, cabrones!

This latest one is in The Nameless Zine written by Hal C F Astell. It's a good one, which for my purposes means there's material I can quote in my never-ending battle to promote the book.

Just check these gems out:

". . . I've never read anything quite like 'High Aztech' before!"

". . .This is paranoid gonzo cyberpunk, an amalgam of Hunter S. Thompson and Philip K. Dick, but phrased from a completely different ethnic background, which has led to Hogan being described as 'the father of Chicano science fiction'."

". . . gets weird, and Hogan is blissfully happy to make it as weird as he can."

"I adored this. It's not the most polished book I've ever read and it breaks most of the rules of fiction, but it's wild and weird and wonderful and I'm happy with that. It's also fiercely original, doing things that I've never seen done before between the pages of a book."

Besides, it's probably a good time to read a wacko book about viruses deconstructing civilization . . .

Friday, March 13, 2020

CHICANONAUTICA MEETS YELLOW HAIR IN RACIST ADVENTURELAND


Chicanonautica, at La Bloga, review Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold.

It's a weird old western:



With a half-breed hero:


With an interesting geopolitical context:


Or is just something to amuse the kiddies?

Thursday, March 5, 2020

PICTURES OF 2020



So, here we are in the sci-fi-esque (at least to an old boomer like me) year 2020. My front yard looks like another planet. But then that's business as usual at Hacienda Hogan


Like glowing flowers and blue jack-o-lanterns.


Haven't done much travel. I did get out to a local auto show.


In the casa, Aztec demons still watch over us from my old artwork.


We acquired a new mask.



Mexican comic books can still be found on the shelves of a Phoenix library.


Another story of mine is in print.


And the future is showing up in parking lots.

Friday, February 28, 2020

CHICANONAUTICA MEETS AMERICAN MONSTERS, DIRT, AND OTHER CHINGADERAS


It's chingaderas at Chicanonautica at La Bloga.

Like Trumptopia:


Monsters:


Dirt:


"And if he's still hungry, the whole country's doomed."

Saturday, February 15, 2020

FREE KINDLE UNFIT 3 (PEACECON INCLUDED) WEEK



Saturday, February 15, 2020, 12:00 AM PST and ending Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 11:59 PM PST, you will be able to get the Kindle version of Unfit Magazine Vol.3 FREE!


It includes my story, “PeaceCon,” a zany romp about mind control and social unrest starring my cyberpunk masked luchador, Steelsnake.

There are also has stories by Orson Scott Card, Robert J. Sawyer, Eric Del Carlo, David R. Grigg, Nathan Susnik, and John Koch.

What are you waiting for?

Friday, February 14, 2020

CHICANONAUTICA AIRS AMERICAN DIRTY SECRETS


Chicanonautica chimes in on the American Dirt pendejada.

It's making news:


And getting dirty:



And political:


But that's the book biz:

Thursday, February 6, 2020

ON NAVAJO SHAPESHIFTING HIGHWAYS



Took Highway 191, the Navajo Code Talkers Highway, to Twin Rocks. Just had to stay at the Kokopelli Inn, in Bluff, Utah, and have Navajo tacos at the Twin Rocks Cafe. The family seated across from us had soup, stew and chile that they scooped up with fry bread. Most of the customers and employees were Navajo.

Bluff is quite the Diné (what the Navajo call themselves) town.


The Southeast corner of Utah is more Navajo than Mormon.


The Kokopelli Inn is run by Navajo women. The young woman who checked up in told us about the Bluff Arts Festival, that was going on that weekend, and gave me brochure.


There was a DVD on sale in the lobby: Skinwalkers: Witches of Navajo Country. I bought a copy. A server at Twin Rocks Cafe had a Navajo Wolfman T-shirt, based on a local petroglyph. A few decades ago skinwalkers were a taboo subject, and it was even hard to get people to talk about them. This is another century, a new world.


The next morning it was 30 degrees in Bluff. Being from Phoenix, it was so long since we’d been cold, it felt good.


We headed home through Monument Valley. The wide-open spaces of the big rez became Daliesque vistas where a woman pulled a rickshaw down an endless highway . . . Hopi . . . the Painted Desert . . . abandoned structures along the roads, the new ruins decorated with fresh murals . . .


In a week we had visited so many different landscapes, different environments, different worlds . . . I wondered what world we were coming back to.

Friday, January 31, 2020

CHICANONAUTICA WHERE THERE BE MONSTERS



Chicanonautica links to a piece wrote for the blog of the publisher of American Monsters Part Two, over at La Bloga.

It's about weird, wonderful Aztlán:


And the weird creatures that live there:


And they're really weird:


And my story is also about a sexy luchadora: