Thursday, May 17, 2018
One thing you can do if you want to support writers is review their work. Some of you are intimidated by it, but we realize that you aren't professional writers. We don't need masterworks of literary criticism on Amazon and Goodreads, or even Facebook and Twitter. We need help spreading the word.
My advice is to go minimalist.
And minimalist may sound highfaluting, but it's just a way of saying keep it short and simple. And it doesn't have to be long. One liners are okay!
My novel Smoking Mirror Blues got a five-star (see, you don't even have to use words) masterpiece of this genre.
D.S. White simply quoted from the book:
She was supposed to be some kind of neomythical recombocultural chimera. Real sumato, as all the recombozos and recombozoettes say.
"Classic Hogan has returned!"
Yes, it can be that easy. And fun, too.
Bad reviews, often done by malicious folks who want to drag down your ratings are often minimalist. My books have gotten “Save your money,” and “Terrible.” But they can be countered by more minimalist positive reviews.
Get creative. Use emojis if you want.
So, review away!
Right now I could use some for the new edition of Smoking Mirror Blues and my wife's Medusa Uploaded is just out.
It's a way to make writers happy.
Friday, May 11, 2018
Remember, it's all about the Battle of Puebla:
They celebrate it differently in Mexico:
And it's mutating:
And going global:
Thursday, May 3, 2018
My wife, the fabulous Emily Devenport's new novel, Medusa Uploaded is available, online, and in bookstores. It's about class warfare on a generation starship—perfect entertainment for our times. Go get it!
And while you'll out there, pick up the May/June 2018 Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. It's got a story by Emily, “10,432 Serial Killers (In Hell).”
Things are getting busy here at Hacienda Hogan.
Friday, April 27, 2018
It's about a young woman from Mexico City:
Who dreams of moving to Mars:
With references to the old days of Mexican cinema:
Who know's where this could lead:
Thursday, April 19, 2018
To celebrate the new edition of Smoking Mirror Blues, I shuffled through my mound of battered sketchbooks, and ran across the stuff I did for publicity for the original edition.
Suddenly, another one of those creative lightning bolts hit me. I was going to need art for my own social media publicity campaign. These files were generated (I had Corel Draw at the time) in black and white to be flyers that never got made. It was 2001, the War on Terror had broken out, my wife and I had just moved into a new house and were working full time at Borders, not leaving much time for conventions and such niceties.
So I ran 'em through GIMP and colorized and further augmented them, along with the cover of my self-published ebook. I love fooling around with art and/or technology. Especially when it gets wild and woolly in spite of itself.
I also did some clipped, cropped, colorized, and distorted pieces, because—yes, dammit!--sci-fi ain't nothing but mojo misspelled.
And half of a Tezcatlipoca face can be a portrait, a landscape, and a starscape at the same time, as well as an homage to Max Ernst, and a reminder that all literature is space opera because the entire universe is inside outer space.
Friday, April 13, 2018
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Thursday, April 5, 2018
While waiting for a friendly corporation to come up with another big Afrofuturist product, why not read some sff-ish stuff by black authors? Go and grab some of the works of Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany, Steven Barnes, Tananarive Due, Bill Campbell,Nnedi Okorafor, Nalo Hopkinson, Nisi Shawl, Nora Jemisin, and others who I’m probably forgetting, but can be found in bookstores.
And there are others, coming out of older traditions, whose books you’ll have to hunt for, but are well worth it.
Originally serialized in Colored American Magazine (that Pauline Hopkins also edited) from December 1902 to January 1903, Of One Blood has a steampunkish setting, mesmerism, mediumistic powers, a cataleptic trance, astral projection, and the scientifically advanced lost civilization in the city of Meroe, Ethiopia. Yes, a precursor to Wakanda. It also presents some ideas of race and family--the one blood/Raza Cosmica thing-- that allow the novel’s central theme to be both incestuous and interracial.
A long, long time ago, before George Lucas' dream of a galaxy far, far away infected Western Civilization, I read a story in an anthology African fiction that blew my mind. It was called “The Television-Handed Ghostess” by Amos Tutuola, a Nigerian. Turns out it's part of a novel (okay, it’s not a novel as we’re used to in what’s left of Western Civilization) called My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. I tracked it down and was astounded by the strange world of bizarre spirit beings that live in modern times, with television-hands, machine-guns, and such, told in style and structure that owes more to oral storytelling than the commercial New York book biz.
Between 1936 and 1938, the black-owned Pittsburgh Courier ran two serials, The Black Internationale: Story of Black Genius Against the World and Black Empire: An Imaginative Story of a Great New Civilization in Modern Africa--later published together as Black Empire--that allowed George S. Schuyler, known as the Black Mencken, to let his imagination run wild, creating the first example of pulp science fiction written for a black audience. Dr. Henry Belsidus gives Fu Manchu a run for his money, and there’s a cynical, satirical edge to the pulp mayhem. It deserves to be republished with proper, sensationalistic packaging.
Chester Himes is father of blaxploitation (two of his novels were adapted into the first of that movie genre) and urban crime fiction. His Harlem crime novels feature detectives Coffin Ed Johnson and Gravedigger Jones, and blazed a trail that led to Afrofuturism. His work got imaginative, since he was writing them for a Parisian publisher, and the French were willing to believe anything about America. His masterpiece, Blind Man with a Pistol, shows a Harlem like a Hieronymus Bosch composition full of sociological nightmares beyond the wildest dystopias. And his demonstration of how racism spawns seemingly random violence is chilling.
Frank Yerby, the first African American bestselling author, wrote The Dahomean, with idea of blasting open the minds of young black militants. Based on Melville J. Herskovits’ 1967 anthropological study, Dahomey: An Ancient West African Kingdom, it presents a world that makes most commercial fantasy look like cheap knock-offs of warmed-over fairy tales. There are Dahomey Amazons, different versions of marriage and family, and a number of things that will probably disturb even twenty-first century readers. After reading it, you’ll never think of Africa in the same way.
I have to say it: Afrofuturism is just a reboot/rebrand of Neo-HooDooism, and Ishmael Reed has been doing for over half a century. Mumbo Jumbo is the great Neo-HooDoo novel. I think I’m overdue re-reading it, which I do often.
Friday, March 30, 2018
Meanwhile, here's some facts:
And something else the Russians never paid me for:
Monday, March 19, 2018
When I found out about a Nigerian Wakanda movie, released two days after Black Panther, I had to check it out.
Turns out its not the obvious rip-off that the article painted it to be. The W-word is never uttered. There are no Marvel references. It is copyrighted 2015.
It could be a re-titled re-release intended to cash in on a global, corporate phenomenon. I admire that kind of chutzpah.
It's faster paced than most Nollywood fare, and is loaded with heaps of outrageousness. I enjoyed it. And it'll probably be a good intro to Nollywood.
I hope the legal goon-squads don't close in to shut it down. We have to remind the world that Disney Marvel did not invent African culture, or culture in general.
Meanwhile, The Prince of Wakanda 1 has shown up. And other Nollywood movies with Wakanda in the title. Hooray for the underdogs!