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 www.latinospeculativefiction.com, 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!
at 11:00 AM
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.
DON'T WORRY, FLASH, said Califia. JUST KEEP DOING IT.
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:
Monday, October 13, 2014
© Ernest Hogan 2014
If only I could have seen my "X" scared face at that moment. Judging by the looks of horror on Vampiko and Lalaita's faces and the collective gasp from the audience, my expression must have been something else.
Something went C*L*I*C*K in my brain, in the Krell chip . . .
For a second, the lights, and all power in Global Delights went off.
For a second, the entire Undernet went offline.
For a second, I was in control. Wow!
CONGRATULATIONS, FLASH, YOU DID IT, said Califia.
I was aware of what was on all the computer monitors in the building, and could affect them. The cockroaches danced to my tune.
Broadcast TV feed: A popular right-wing talk show host is disturbed by digital insect images clogging his laptop screen, suspecting liberal sabotage, he turns it off, and changes into a giant cockroach. The studio audience is overcome with lust, scar-covered, erect penises spring out of the tailored pants, and from under modest dresses (all "female" audience members being transvestites due to the host's unfortunate allergy to estrogen) and soon break through the cockroach's carapace as he screams, "It pays to sodomize!"
I accessed the p.a. system, and sounded like an electronic god: "IT'S BETTER THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE. I MAY NEED A NEW HYPOTHALAMUS TO HANDLE IT. YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHING YET! WATCH THIS . . ."
I took control of the lighting system, and dazzled them with flashing light and color.
Cable feed: A famous televangelist suddenly grows pale, breaks out in heavy sweat, and masturbates live, and on the air. Afterwards he wipes the semen off his pudgy face, cries, and says, "The Lord made me do that. Send money -- lots of it, or He'll make me do it again."
It was all getting too good to keep to myself. I patched my Undernet scans into the p.a. System.
"What are you doing?" Vampiko looked deeply disturbed.
"Giving them what they asked for," I said.
"Dios mio!" said Lalaita.
"MAYAN REVOLUTIONARIES HOLDING AN AUCTION FOR VIRUSES BASED ON NEWLY TRANSLATED HIEROGLYPHICS NEAR THE RUINS OF PALENQUE."
Weapons systems were fired up all over the building. I overrode them.
Then individuals drew their sidearms -- which I couldn't control.
Friday, October 10, 2014
In Taos, the Jesus Sale at El Camino Real Imports was still going on. They had the Crazy World of Arthur Brown's apocalyptic Fire playing on the radio, making all the dazzling colors seem to burn brighter. This place makes me wish I was opening a Mexican restaurant or making a psychedelic spaghetti western. Oh, for a day-glo sombreo among the Zapotec wool coasters, and albrijes (fantastic wooden, painted animals).
As we headed out of town, a restaurant advertised CHICHARRON BURRITOS.
Last year, a helluvalot of the cow signs on the highways had UFO stickers on them. I marveled at what a tremendous project putting them up must have been. This year they were gone – getting rid of them must have been quite a project, too. But I did spot a few UFOs stuck on signs far from the towns. You can't keep a good myth down.
The rain had water running in the Rio Grande. It would be sad if the Rio went dry. Would they have to be called drybacks?
Modern day conquistadors, brothers to the Quijotes! The casinos are your Seven Cities of Cibola! Gamblers, offerings to Estevanico are in order!
Electronic cigarettes have taken off in New Mexico. Vapor stores are all over, with colorful signs, more of them than last year, more plentiful than casinos. Even thrift stores sell vapor flavors.
A lot of New Mexico businesses don't accept credit cards. Like the way Pancho Villa didn't trust cash – shot people who came to him with piles of paper – he prefered gold.
At an Española intersection, a bearded, bandana'd vato in a pickup that spewed country music mistook me for somebody named Harvey. He was a Quijote. No doubt.
One of the many murals in Española, a new-looking one, had a young, brown migrant working in the fields, wearing an iPod. This is the 21st century. The future is everywhere.
We visited the birdman and the petroglyphs at Bandelier National Monument The datura was wilted by the cliff dwellings. Having seen the acid western Greaser's Palace again recently, I realized that the Frijoles Canyon ruins were where Toni Basil's topless Indian maid scene was filmed.
So long ago. A more innocent time.
Past Los Alamos, along N.M. 4, there are lots of fenced-off secret lab-type places – called technical or tech areas. There are signs saying, NO TRESPASSING and EXPLOSIVES --KEEP OUT. Some folks say that Area 51 in Nevada is all disinformation, and the real, weird secret government bases are in New Mexico.
The volcanic terrain here would be perfect for such things. Underground bases could be dug around the caldera where signs announce ELK VIEWING ONLY, AREA CLOSED TO HUNTING.
Near the Indian kiva and Spanish mission ruins of Jemez, hidden by the roadside, there's Soda Dam that looks like the head of giant reptile with a waterfall in its mouth.
We kept seeing the sign: MANAGED BURN – DO NOT REPORT.
And we visited the bison/buffalo in Truchas again. They put up with us as we looked at them across their waterhole. I think the big male recognised us.
On a tourist stroll through Truchas, a grasshopper crashed into my face and flew on.
The Catholic church on the High Road to Taos was built in 1955, which makes it as old as I am. Shotgun shells and mini liquor bottles littered the street in front of it, the art galleries and old cemeteries.
There's also an historic mission build in 1764. Two guys listening to Tejano accordion music on their boom box seemed to be working on it. Or were they just having a few beers?
We also kept seeing exotic birds with long plumage. The hurricane, monsoon, and rains bring in visitors.
Back in Santa Fe they did their end-of-summer burning of Zozobra, or Old Man Gloom. A variation on the post-Easter Judas figures in Mexico and other Catholic countries. Zozobra is stuffed with papers on which people have written their worries, and they all go up in smoke. Not a bad tradition.
On the way back to Arizona, we saw two young Indians standing by a truck draped with a spray-painted banner that said ROBOT HEAD. Quijote business of some kind, most probably.
As we made our way down the roadkill-spattered highways, through the casino-studded deserts, I saw a billboard announcing COOL STUFF! Illustrated with an ornate Mexican skull, and I misread a sign: NAVAJO TIME TRAVEL PLAZA.
Or I think I misread it, Quijote that I am.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Past Sunset Point on the I-17, sacred datura was blooming, late in the season. Must be all the monsoon rain and flooding. By Black Canyon City, houses and other structures – it was hard to tell, they were badly smashed – had been washed into the riverbed.
I saw a huge scarb beetle at a the Yavapai-Apache Nation gas station near Cliff Castle Casino. I was about to pick it up and show it to Em, when I noticed that it was still alive . . . and being eaten by ants. Très Salvador Dalí, amigos.
Y Quijote tambien.
In Grants, New Mexico, we stood at the Motel 6 across Route 66 from a giant dream catcher.
Also in Grants we saw a bar with a WELCOME BIKERS sign, abandoned motels, gas stations, movie theaters, a Catholic Church with a shrine made lava rock and a statue of St. Theresa, the Lavaland Motel (abandoned), the Surf Shack Pizza Family Fun Center and Roller Rink, buildings with lava rock facades, a FROZEN GREEN CHILE sign, a discarded satillite dish, a white pickup with black flames, a USED TIRES POORBOY sign, and a busted up, rusted out Fifties finmobile in tall weeds. It was hard to tell the open businesses from the abandoned ones.
The next day the news warned of a “scientific balloon” being launched, pre-empting any UFO reports. On our way to the El Malpais National Monument – the Badlands, with lots of fantastic lava – I saw a shiny object in the sky. It hovered over the futuristic buildings and casinos. After all, this is the 21st century.
A sign announced DRONE LOVE. Wonder what kind of business they were in?
That night, in Truchas, it was so clear that I saw the Milky Way for the first time. Science fiction writers should see their own galaxies. Strange it took me so long.
On the High Road to Taos, I saw a sign with Cistobal de la Sirena – Christopher of the Mermaid? I made a note to look it up. Could it be another clue to the desert mermaid image? Turns out it was a reference to the Cristobal de la Sierra land grant. My eyes are making a Quijote out of me. Again.
Or maybe there was something else in the air. Taos is rather . . . countercultural, in a très Aztlán way.
Note to the Mexica Movement: “Hispanic” applies in New Mexico. It was a Spanish colony without much connection to Mexico or the Aztec empire. The local tribes have their own languages and cultures. Like the works of modern folk artist Lloyd Rivera, who wrote a book: Grito de Aztlan.
Besides, we can't deny our connection to el Quijote. I feel it in my DNA.
On the road to Española, a datura bush flouished in a front yard. The flowers were extremely large.
I found a lot of books in the thriftstores. I'm at the age when my generation of readers are dying, and their books are ending up in thriftstores. For peanuts.
Rain from the latest hurricane blew in. No Milky Way that night. We woke up to a Shangri-La view of a cloud-filled valley, with more clouds brushing the tip of a distant peak.
Heading towards Santa Fe, we passed the Don Quixote Distillery and Winery. This is wine and Quixote country. I'm sure that modern day Quijotes patrol New Mexico's backroads in ancient pickups. I think I saw a few.
Not to mention all the windmills as you go from city to city through all the Indian reservations, pueblos, and nations.
The plaster brontosauri greeted us outside Santa Fe. They didn't seem to care that they weren't a real species.
At Book Mountain, I overheard, “The problem with books now in Santa Fe is that there is now no new bookstore that sells new books. We have to keep making trips to Albuquerque.”
Back in Truchas, I noticed the bar had a BIKERS WELCOME sign.
Back in Taos, at the Wired? Cafe, I gave a couple of bucks to a woman who had the look of a spirit or goddess manifestation. There was something about her smile.
There was also a mountain-man-looking, backpacking hitchhiker with a countercultural Wild West style. Mythologies hang out here, wander around, seeking new adventures.
To be continued . . .
Monday, October 6, 2014
© Ernest Hogan 2014
The oversized lizards close in on the Speaker of the House's microwave-safe bowl of pit-bull pituitary glands. His pale, pudgy hands suddenly grow into huge, razor-sharp claws, to go along with five-inch, outward-curving canine teeth that he uses to defend his precious brain-food.
There's a lot of static in these signals.
FLASH! It was Califia again, her signal was full of static, too -- was she still in Nigeria? DON'T WORRY. RELAX. SOMETIMES THAT STATIC IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE SIGNAL. SOMETIMES THE STATIC IS THE SIGNAL.
Just what I need, an in-your-face, online, blackwoman zen master.
I LOVE YOU TOO, FLASH, YOU CYBERGREASER, YOU! O-DA-LAY, O-DA-LAY!
The saguaros faded in and giggled in chorus.
More from Washington: Freshman congressmen get together to write a bill that would make masturbation a federal offense. They all claim never to have masturbated, except for once, who admits to trying it in college, but claims he stopped before reaching orgasm.
Back in Global Delights, in my body: My knees buckle. Vampiko and Lalaita hold me up. A question from the audience: "Does the Krell chip help in avoiding unfair, restrictive laws?"
I laugh. The saguaros laugh. The Undernet laughs. With static. Lots and lots of static. YES, FLASH, says Califia. IT IS FUNNY. VERY FUNNY. AND IT WILL GET FUNNIER. SOON.
Free! Self-replicating televoodoo software. Compatible with most operating systems. Extremely destructive. Get yours today! Fun! Fun! Fun!
"Do you feel that having more access to information has increased your control over your own life?"
I start to laugh, but something cuts me off, and I say, "Not yet -- but, it will soon."
Soon? But when?
DAMNEAR NOW, FLASH, said Califia. YOU HAVE THE POWER. YOU'VE HAD IT ALL ALONG.
What, all I gotta do is click my heels together three times and say, "There's no place like home?"
ALMOST. REMEMBER TECHNOLOGY IS JUST A TOOL. USE IT. TAKE CONTROL.
Our new, smaller rectal nuclear devices can get past state-of-the-art weapons detection systems, making nuclear terrorism possible for even low-budget, independent translegal organizations.
But how? Uh . . . Oh wow!
Friday, October 3, 2014
Actually, the full title is "Chicanonautica: Our Hijo de la Chingada Conquistador Heritage." You can read it over at La Bloga.
During the final days of the Vietnam/Nixon era, this was on the radio a lot:
I prefer conquistadors like Cabeza de Vaca:
And Estevanico (AKA Esteban), the black conquistador:
Though most conquistadors were more like this:
And the songs keep coming: