Friday, December 26, 2014


Chicanonatica delivers a Christmas card from Coatlicue in La Bloga.

You know Coatlicue:

And the Aztecs know the Virgin of Guadalupe:

Is that a UFO or a drone over the Basilica?

And don't forget the tamales!

Monday, December 22, 2014


I grabbed the The Wizard and the Witch: Seven Decades of Counterculture, Magick & Paganism by John C. Sulak,  figuring it would be fun bit of nostalgia, but then it hooked me. In the early chapters, science fiction is mentioned on almost every page, more often than drugs. Turns out that Oberon Zell and Morning Glory, the founders of the Church of All Worlds were science fiction fans, influenced by Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Doctor Demento, the Firesign Theater, and later, even Star Wars and Harry Potter.

It's not just a book about an alternative lifestyle/religion; the narrative intertwines science fiction, fandom, and the development of home computers with the story of modern Paganism. They also make unicorns and search for mermaids, and pioneer social networking before and after the Internet. There's also the “it's complicated” soap opera of polyamorous relationships. And this kind of Paganism is so science-friendly -- even philic. These are people who didn't just consume science fiction – they lived it.

Ron Cobb, the underground cartoonist who designed the space hardware for Alien, once said that he considered science fiction to be a verb – something you do, rather than a product you consume. And it's amazing what people can do.

It's kind of sad to see how today's nerds compare to yesterday's fans. Kids don't really believe me when I tell them that in science fiction conventions back in the Seventies you kept finding yourself in scenes that looked like an indoor Woodstock. Now they all line up to get their chance to worship their favorite corporate franchises.

But there is something in the air these days. Maybe the discontent will save the nerd identity from becoming just another marketing strategy. This book could help. It's a wild read.

Friday, December 12, 2014


Chicanonauica reports on two essays from the book Black and Brown Planets over at La Bloga.

Cyber-Vatos unleashed!

Look out! They're in the movies! On TV! Online!

High Aztech is discussed:

Civilization – history takes a new direction:

Friday, November 28, 2014


Besides plugging the new Cortez on Jupiter, and it's looming publicity storm, in Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga, I ask what you, the audience, wants from me in the class I'll be teaching for UC Riverside's upcoming Writer's Week.

When ever I go near a classroom, I expect something like this:

Dr. Gonzo's advice to Raoul Duke is downright Felliniesque in Italian:

So, what's it like for Latino writers nowdays?

And remember what Harlan Ellison said:

Thursday, November 20, 2014


One of the perks of being a writer is being able to indulge in research. My wife, Emily Devenport, and I have made it into the art of the road trip. And yeah, it gets zen.

Like recently, when Em needed to do some research for the Grand Canyon for a post-apocalypse novel she was working on. We found ourselves driving up to Flagstaff as long shadows swept across the mountains and valleys. It was too long a trip to do in one day, so we decided to make a weekend out of it, heading north from Phoenix after I got off work.

Soon we were in Flagstaff, on Route 66, checking into the Luxury Inn. We stayed there the last time we were in town. The Ganesha decorations were still in the office. We even got the same room. Déjà vu all over again.

Sometimes you have to return places, reconnect, see what's changed, what's stayed the same.

The déjà vu continued into the evening when we ate at another one of our Route 66 favorites, the Galaxy Diner. It was packed; we had to crowd into overflow seating among swarming French tourists as a live musician played songs from the Sixties. And they still had the delicious Black Angus steak special. The Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit played as we paid our bill. Très Americano, amigos.

In the morning, a cloud shaped like a flying saucer hugged the mountains.

We returned to the Galaxy for breakfast. It was quiet; a few locals and some Europeans who were probably also heading for the Canyon.

There were murals on decaying structures on the reservations, mostly colorful images, plus messages: WATER IS LIFE and SACRED SITES NOT FOR SALE.

One thing I do on road trips – and life (hell, ain't life nothing but a road trip?) – is cherchez la weird. It's a way to do research even if you don't have a specific project in mind. Keep the senses open, take notes. Get enough of it rattling around inside your skull and they'll start bumping into each other, generating ideas. If you're lucky, some of them will be crazy.

The Grand Canyon is just too big for the human sense of scale. Too big to fit in a landscape, spilling over the horizon, like an ocean without water -- too big to fit on this little planet. Kind of like Jupiter, making me think of Cortez on Jupiter.

Then, a voice out my vision of Mars, spoke:

Whatcha wanna make the Big Valle into an ocean for? Whatcha need an ocean on Mars for? The Valle is a universe. It's the universe! Everything outside it is insignificant.”

I'm not sure whose voice it was. Maybe a mountain man. Or maybe a valley man. A Valle man? Or maybe a woman? A person who lived outside of civilization and was comfortable with things beyond human scale. Like the Valle Marineris, the Grand Canyon, or the Unkar Delta down on the north bank of the Colorado River deep down in the Canyon, with its ruins of prehistoric and Pueblo occupations.

And once again, we were following in the footsteps of conquistadors: Signs reminded us that the Grand Canyon was discovered by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in the late summer of 1540. Later Garcia Lopez de Cardenas went down into the Canyon, led by Hopis.

Hmm. Was Columbus a conquistador? He was working for the same outfit.

Em took a lot of notes. I nearly lost my hat to the winds.

Soon we were on our way down a road with mountain lion crossing signs.

On the reservations, there were post-apocalyptic, abandoned-looking shacks with signs saying: WE'RE OPEN and INDIAN ART & JEWELRY. There's probably a story or two there.

There was lightning, and a rainbow as the afternoon sun blasted us. There were more rainbows near Flagstaff. For once they were chasing us.

We spent the night in Sedona, where the gas station convenience store has copies of What is a Vortex? next to the cash register.

Most of Em's research had to do with the Grand Canyon, so we mostly goofed off in Sendona, but I still found things worth taking note of:

As we checked out of the motel, a balloon hovered in the sky, and I picked up a brochure for UFO Vortex. They give tours of “a UFO hotspot.” “We provide the most powerful Military Night Vision Gear which amplifies the light 70K more than the naked eye sees” and “We ALWAYS see UFOs!”

We had breakfast at the Coffee Pot, Home of 101 Omelets with its dazzling New Age/Pseudo-Native American/psychedelic décor. They also had buckwheat pancakes. We ate on the patio next to the fake waterfall and a sign warning:


Some people want to make the entire universe into a Disneyland.

After some hiking, where we encountered mule deer and saw datura blooming late in the season in Oak Creek Canyon, we went back to Sedona (remembering what Tahir Shah said: “'Previous journeys in search of treasure have taught me that a zigzag strategy is the best way to get ahead.”) We returned to another favorite restaurant, Oaxaca, for tacos.

They had a new habanero salsa. It got my ears tingling . . . and my brain . . . the effects were antidepressant at the very least. If only medical science would study the mental effects of chili – but then maybe not – certain forces would have it criminalized.

We took the I-17 south, homeward. A dust devil manifested, and collided with el Troque.

When we got home, our windshield was thick with splattered insects, and our minds were buzzing with inspiration.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Things are happening on the publishing front:

Digital Parchment Services has started a new blog about me.

Why would they do such a thing? They're republishing my books, and want to publicized them. I'll also be contributing news and stuff.

The big news now is their press release about Cortez on Jupiter. It includes information on getting a deal on ebook, that a premier trade paperback edition will be coming out in January, 2015, and who to write about getting review copies.

There's more coming, and another place where you can keep up with it.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Chicanonautica reports on the election in Arizona at La Bloga.

Speaking of high-falutin', rootin'-tooting' son-of-a-guns from Arizona:

But, let's let Doug Ducey speak for himself:

Marx predicted contemporary politics:

Meanwhile, back in Arizona, it's busines as usual:

Thursday, November 6, 2014


The re-serialization of Brainpan Fallout is done. You can start with the introduction, and follow the links at the end of each episode to the end. You could even read it all in one sitting – though I don't advise it – there may be mind-altering side-effects.

Do not operate heavy machinery or make important decisions while under the influence of Brainpan Fallout. We want you to use Brainpan Fallout responsibly. We also aren't liable for anything that happens to you as the result of reading Brainpan Fallout.

[Note to self: Make sure there's a disclaimer if I do a book version. Of course it will have exciting extras about the exciting era and how I came to write it, too . . .]

Once again, considering the gonzo-disjointed way I wrote it, I'm amazed how it holds together. I guess all those years of writing stories built a diabolical story-machine in my brain: All I have to do is throw a bunch of random weirdness in there, shake well, and KERBLAMO! It's become a way of life with me. And because day jobs have taken up more or my life since then, I've become accustomed to being interrupted, and finding my way back on track.

It's also a prototype for Chicano science fiction, and Chicanonautica.

And yes, it's not quite science fiction, more like speculative fiction – but then, say “speculative fiction” to the average person on the street and you get a blank stare. If I was in a pretentious mood I'd call it magic realism, but it's just too funky for that.

The main thing I noticed was how much pain Flash Gomez was in. When I wrote it, I was trying to create something that would appeal to kids who hung out in the poetic coffee houses where The Red Dog Journal was being given away – trying to be professional, not expressing myself. Then it ended up on the Internet, and things spun out of control.

But I was in a lot of pain back then. My writing career had crashed after looking so damn promising. I guess my pain leaked out as I was trying to advise and amuse the younger generation. Some of them called me genius, because they were in pain, too.

Today's kids are also in pain. They see the future as all apocalypses, zombies, and dystopias. Those of us who have been around on this broke-down merry-go-round a few times can do our best to let them know that it doesn't have to be so bad.

Somehow, I've gotten over that pain. The world is in turmoil, and seems to be on the edge of doom (again), but now I see it as the way it is in a complex civilization. Maybe it's the wisdom of age, or the terminal warping of my sense of humor – or brain damage from my life-long quixotic struggle.

Monday, November 3, 2014


©Ernest Hogan 2014

The Krell chip must have been malfunctioning.

"What do you mean, I'm doing it?" I said out loud. "I can't fly a helicopter! I'm not even anywhere near the controls!"

Saguaros giggled out of cyberspace.

"With the chip you can do it with half your brain tied behind your back," Califia said as she removed the televoodoo war helmet, her obsidian eyes flashing like supernovae.

"Your mind isn't the only thing going on in your brain," Obie put his arms around her, "especially with you, now."

"The technology now obeys you." Vampiko leaned into me, flattening out her implants.

"I'm not sure where I end and the technology begins," I said taking hold of her for comfort.

"First you get a chip in your brain," Doc said as Lalaita decreetly swallowed and zipped up his fly for him, "then MTV does Dead at 21, in which their kid with a chip in his brain thinks someone's ripping off his life and making it into a comic book." 
"Maybe it's the wave of the future," said Obie, "the world filling up with kids with chips in their brains, running for their lives."

"That new black magic's got me in its spell,"  Lalaita sang as Doc gnawed on her shoulder.

"Maybe I should sue somebody." My hand was swallowed by Vampiko's artificial paradise. The chip rattled off entities that I could sue.

Obie took his tongue out from the hole in Califia's stretched-out ear lobe.  "Don't bother with governments -- they aren't in control any more."

"They haven't been for a long time."  Califia smiled.  She obviously had her teeth filed to points in Nigeria.

"There are more things on heaven and earth than talked about on the Internet," Vampiko whispered, her fangs brushing my ear.

I noticed that high above us, a spy satellite was tracking me. Reaching through the chip, I turned off its stabilizers, and could soon see it flaming past a porthole, disintegrating high over Phoenix.  With this I didn't need virtual reality. Like my father once told me:  "The street can be cyberspace for people who have lives.”

And did I ever have a life now.

"This is serious brainpan fallout," I said.

"Just what is brainpan fallout, anyway?" asked Vampiko.

"It's what's left after you blow your mind," I said.

"A tasty world," said the chip.

Nearby, saguaros giggled.

Friday, October 31, 2014


In honor of Dead Daze weekend, Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga, celebrates the evolution of La Catrina.

You know Catrina, don't you?

Posada drew her, Rivera painted her:

And you too, can look like her:

She was even in René Castillo's masterpiece Hasta los Huesos:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Latino/a Rising: An Anthology of U.S. Latino/a Speculative Fiction will only be funded if at least $10,000 is pledged by Saturday, Novemeber 1st, 2014, 8:59 PM MST.

It's getting close, and I'm getting nervous. I really want to see this project happen. I want my new Paco Cohen story to be published. I want to get paid.

You can pledge the minimum of $1, because we all know how it is . . .

There's also a lot neat stuff you can get if you pledge more, like a Latino/a Rising T-shirt with a Star Wars landspeeder being a bunch of aliens across the border.

And if you pledge $125 or more, you can get the T-shirt, get your name on the donor list at, a paperback copy of Latino/a Rising signed by the editor and one of the authors, an ebook copy, a super beautiful print by artist Javier Hernandez, and a landspeeder postcard in appreciation of your support AND autographed copy of the 2001 first edition of my futuristic Día de los Muertos novel, Smoking Mirror Blues!

Talk about a smokin' deal!

So, here's to Latino/a speculative fiction: Buy it! Read it! Live it!

Monday, October 27, 2014


©Ernest Hogan 2014

TRUST NO ONE! Cars parked in strategic locations around Global Delights exploded. SHOOT TO KILL! Blood from a severed artery splashed me in the eyes -- I wondered if I would need an AIDS test. NO PRISONERS! The chip informed me that it wouldn't be necessary. YOU KNEW THE JOB WAS DANGEROUS WHEN YOU TOOK IT! Something hot brushed my ear, which became warm and wet. I ENVY YOU! Giant cockroaches sodomized, devoured flesh, and shorted-out virtual reality remotes. I REALLY DO! Reptiles bit off fiber-optic cables and chewed on satellite and microwave dishes. YOU ARE THE FUTURE! A coyote walked in carrying a laptop in its teeth, put it down, popped the top, and started typing with its nose. AND SUCH A BRIGHT FUTURE!

I couldn't keep up with it.  "Where am I?" I screamed.

"Where would you like to be?" asked the chip.

"My body would be nice."

My consciousness then sped through the Undernet. Occasionally, a saguaro would wave.  Digital chaos danced around the world.


Uh . . . doing what?

My eyes opened. I was being pulled into the gaping cargo port of a huge clunky-looking helicopter that the chip couldn't identify for me. Vampiko and Lalaita held me up. Doc and Obie were shooting random bursts from customized assault rifles with infared sights and laser aimpoints. 

And of course Califia was there, in a gravity-defying Carmen Miranda-style headdress that bristled electronic devices instead of tropical fruit -- rays shot out of her goggles, making nervous systems and electronic circuitry overload. She was the ultimate sci-fi televoodooistic goddess of doom -- complete with a skirt of lion tails and coconut shell breastplates. Her hips gyrated to some unknown polyrhythm.

Undernet blip: “The revolution will not be televised. It will not be online. It will be live.  In the street. When the street finds its own use for technology . . ."

". . . but, what happens when nature finds its own use for technology?" said the saguaro from inside my head.

The helicopter's door thudded shut. Califia, Vampiko, Doc, and Obie breathed sighs of relief.

Lalaita adjusted her/his implants and said, "Ay!  Civilization is an unnatural act -- look it up in the dictionary sometime!"

The helicopter then took off.

Who's flying this thing? I wondered.

"Why, you are," said the chip.

Monday, October 20, 2014


© Ernest Hogan 2014

My reflexes approached the speed of light. Grabbing Vampiko and Lalaita, I has us on the floor a few nanoseconds before the bullets whizzed by. If it wasn't for the chip we'd all be dead.

Then the chip fed it to me: Krell.  Brainboost. Monsters from the Id. They're from an old, cornball sci-fi movie that my parents always got a kick out of.  Forbidden Planet.  Oh no!  Could my parents be in on it?

"Let's get out of here!" said Vampiko, who split her lip with a fang. Blood dribbled down her chin. Somehow, it looked right.

"Never turn your back on your brain," said my mother's voice, " -- you never know who or what's in there with you." It was years ago. I was in my underwear watching MTV. She was in protective gear that looked like a spacesuit. My father was in another room, howling like a wolf. Overhead, helicopters slashed the night sky with their searchlights.

"This way," said Lalaita, pulling on my wrist.

A saguaro waved an AK-47, said, "Remember, your mind isn't the only thing going on in your brain," then sprayed a pockmarked Sicilian and a scarified Nigerian who locked in hands-on-throats dance of death with bullets.

Suddenly, I was on my feet, Vampiko and Lalaita had me by the arms . . .  

From the Undernet:  Haiti-trained mind-control technician with CIA and Hollywood experience seeks high-paying translegal work. Can even make a famous televangelist masturbate on the air.  Yes . . . it's still ticking . . .

"Mon dieu," said Vampiko, "what a mess."

"Yes," said Lalaita, "it is a good thing that these thugs paid up in advance, no?"

There was chaos all around, inside and out of my throbbing head: EMERGENCY! The tattooing around the wrist of a yakuza as he used his wakazashi to slash open the tailored suit of an effeminate, mestizo narcotraficante all the way down to the spleen.  EMERGENCY! Several on-the-take LAPD officers mercilessly beat an unidentified black man. REENCRYPT ALL SYSTEMS! A cute, little Filipina with large plastic breasts reached over and cut the penis off blue-eyed All-American boy. CLOSE ALL COMEONS!  A gang of homeboys mercilessly beat a man with long, blonde hair.  RELEASE DEFENSIVE VIRUSES! Troops in strange, unmarked uniforms appeared out of the shadows, and randomly opened up with automatic weapons. EMERGENCY! The Undernet flashed me the logistics on an air battle between several brightly painted Cruise missiles, four antique Huey Cobra attack helicopters, and a huge cargo copter of some unknown make. EMERGENCY! It was taking place just right over my head.  

Friday, October 17, 2014


Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga, is an announcement about the new speculative fiction anthology, Latino/a Rising, its Kickstarter campaign, and how it's going to feature a new Paco Cohen, Mariachi of Mars story.

What more do you need?

Okay, how about this: