Sunday, May 31, 2009


Some of you are probably confused already, so here’s some more self-explanation that will probably be more confusing than enlightening, but what the hell, it’ll be amusing:

I’m an Atomic Age baby, born in East L.A., way the hell back in the Fabulous Fifties. My heritage bubbles out of a Villaista curandero/Irish cowboy/Wild West mix. The Aztec god Tezcatlipoca acts as my spirit guide whether I like it or not.

I grew up in West Covina, California. When my family arrived there it looked like a colony out of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. It rapidly developed into something out of the works of Frank Zappa and Philip K. Dick, with overtones of Cheech & Chong. Without monster movies, comic books, and science fiction ,I may not have survived.

Like a lot of creative members of my generation, I wanted to be a cartoonist. The dystopian education system fractured me into an artist and writer. My writing has been published as science fiction. When I’m not being cartoony, my art is surrealistic and dadaistic in intent, even though my wife, the fabulous Em, describes it as "Aztec Cartoon Expressionism."

My creative pursuits have never been very profitable. I used to feel bad about that, but these days I’m more realistic about the wages of creativity. Still, part of it is my fault, in that I’m the slave of these bizarre things that grow in my brain and won’t leave me alone until I’ve written them down and/or drawn them up and set them loose into an unsuspecting world. The other side of the equation is that, even though fantasy is more popular than ever, the corporate world thinks that originality is dirty word. I guess I’ll have to go into the details later.

Somehow, I managed to become an International Cult Author. This mostly due to my three published novels, Cortez on Jupiter, High Aztech, and Smoking Mirror Blues, and some outrageous short fiction. Despite the perks, I don’t recommend this as a career choice – I still have to work as a Humble Bookstore Clerk to pay the bills.

In these troubled times, I live in house in the Metro Phoenix Area. It’s surrounded by a Venusian Jungle of my wife’s devising (she’s a writer, too.) I see this blog as me standing with a megaphone between a belly dancer and a fire eater, in front of a gaudy, painted backdrop. The whole idea is to make you curious about this sideshow.

So, step right up folks, see the Incredible Man with Sci-Fi Growing in His Brain! Watch out, slimey chunks sometimes fly out of his ears! Do not touch any of these chunks if they land near you – and for God’s sake, don’t eat them!

If we’re lucky, we may persuade him to bite the head off a live chicken . . .

Friday, May 29, 2009


Just when publishing-as-we-know-it is about to be flushed down the tubes, we get a hint of what the future might be.

Koji Suzuki, author Ring, the book that inspired the movies Ringu, and The Ring, has published a novella, Drop, that has been printed on toilet paper.

It reminds me of when I was being a pyramid-climbing fool, riding buses across Mexico. Little comic books were everywhere, being read by everyone. A handful of them was basic equipment for those boarding the buses. In the bus station bathrooms, I discovered that these comic books served another purpose: People tore pages out and used them for toilet paper! They were about the right size.

Pulp paper may have a future.


Aaargh! So the next morning, I took a look at my first post, figured I'd do some after-the-fact tweaking, 'cuz I'm a writer and we do that kind of thing, tried to put the links in, and -- Aaaargh! -- it disappeared!

What really has me feeling like an idiot was that it nuked the two comments that I got right away. Sorry about that, guys! I really appreciate that I got comments within hours of my first posting. I'll try not to screw things up like this again.

But then, my love/hate relationship with technology does provide a great deal of amusement for those who witness it. Now it can have a wider audience.

Anyway, after a break, and some food & drink, I got back on the horse and the post is back -- sadly, the comments aren't -- but I did figure out how to do links!

If you haven't figured it out, I'm one of those people who can't use computers without a lot of profanity.

Or, as Marshall McLuhan said in War and Peace in the Global Village:

"When one has been hurt by new technology, when the private person or the corporate body finds its entire identity endangered by physical or psychic change, it lashes back in a fury of self-defense."

Or: Aaaargh!

See, I'm just getting started and it's already gotten gonzo!


Believe it or not, I don’t like to write about myself. I’ve been me all my life, so I don’t find myself that interesting. Yet people keep telling me that they wished they led an exciting life like mine.

The problem is, I’m a writer. People read my stuff, get their minds blown, and have questions about what kind of twisted mind can come with stuff like Cortez On Jupiter, High Aztech, Smoking Mirror Blues, or “The Frankenstein Penis.” They figure I must be a really far-out character, like the ones I write about. Surely, I must get up in the morning, have dried peyote with my corn flakes, sharpen up my ceremonial obsidian blade, fire up my lowered ‘57 Chevy, and go hunting for virgins that I can sacrifice.

Actually, though most people find me “eccentric,” I tend to be a friendly fellow who tries to get along in this crazy world. People who only encounter me as my secret identity, Ernie, the Humble Bookstore Clerk, are disturbed when they meet Ernest Hogan, International Cult Author. I guess the fact that they can’t see what’s going in my head creates this discrepancy.

Rick Cook says I have a “weird field” around me. Again, since I’ve lived in it all my life, I don’t really notice it. What I am aware of is, what I find interesting or entertaining, other people find weird and disturbing. When I was younger, I went on Kerouacky journeys from the streets of San Francisco, to the deserts of Arizona, to the Mayan ruins of the Yucatan, and I must admit, I was seeking out weirdness. And I found it, too. In recent years, I find that all I have to do is sit in my living room, among the books, art work, and exotic masks, relax, and something weird will come out of my wife’s Venusian Jungle of a garden, crawl in the window and challenge me. Sometimes it’s mild amusement, other times I have to bash its brains out on the kitchen floor; if it’s really good, it causes something to start growing in my brain that will turn into a story, novel, cartoon, drawing, or something.

It happens just about every day. Some people call it weird. Others might call it research. It might just be an excuse for me to indulge my morbid curiosity. The result is I keep finding myself wallowing in things that tickle my joie de weird. It keeps me sane, and it’s where I get my crazy ideas.

I’ll try to keep it entertaining, and am presenting it for entertainment purposes only. Please don’t try to use any of this to attain any kind of enlightenment. I am not trying to save the world. I know a few things, I pass them on. Maybe you’ll get a few laughs.

And if something weird starts growing in your brain – well, I warned you.

Now, please excuse me. There are sacrifices to be made.