Friday, December 25, 2015
Thursday, December 17, 2015
The psychotropic germ of Cortez on Jupiter, “Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song” is in Stories for Chip along with other fine writings in honor of Samuel R. Delany.
My recombocultural post-steampunk romp, “Pancho Villa's Flying Circus” is in Lost Trails: Forgotten Tales of the Weird West.
Yakuza on the Moon face viral invaders in “Skin Dragons Talk” in Mothership: Tales From Afrofuturism and Beyond.
The Mexican masked wrestler genre gets plugged into cyberpunk in “Novaheads” in Super Stories of Heroes and Villains.
Meanwhile, enjoy all those holidays, and make it a fantastic new year!
Friday, December 11, 2015
Catch some views of my art and artifacts on display in Josh Rios and Anthony Romero's Is Our Future a Thing of the Past?, Part 3 installation at Harold Washington College in Chicano in Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga.
There's an Afrofuturist connection:
And then there's me:
By the way, Latino/a Rising is now scheduled to come out in February of 2017.
I can be such a stammering geek who's nervous system can't process all the high-powered weirdness being generated by his twisted brain:
A new edition of High Aztech is coming out soon. Stay tuned for details.
And check out Latinopia while you're at it.
Meanwhile, things are starting to look like this, again . . .
Monday, November 30, 2015
There it is, behind the reflection of Josh Rios, a copy of High Aztech. And there's the back cover of Smoking Mirror Blues, and a couple of my articles, that I also illustrated, from Different Worlds. All on display, behind glass. What is this? Rios and Anthony Romero are putting together a display they call Is Our Future a Thing of the Past?, Part 3. It's all about Chicanafuturism. What's that? Maybe I should just give you the official version:
Is Our Future A Thing Of The Past
As part of their artist residency at Harold Washington College Anthony Romero and Josh Rios curated a set of glass cases on the 8th floor. The publications on display feature the work of Chicano illustrator and sci-fi novelist Ernest Hogan along side other artifacts and media that address ideas of Chicanafuturism in general.
Chicanafuturism, which Catherine Ramirez describes as fictive kin to Afrofuturism, attempts to make sense out of the relationship between the Chicana/o, science, and technology. As Ramirez points out, an increasingly key part of this framework is the ability to rethink brown cultural production through the lens of technology. If we read the Chicana/o as “a science fiction state of being,” which Hogan suggests, Ramirez asks us to consider the implications of such a reading for the overall “concepts of science, technology, civilization, progress, modernity, and the human.”
In addition, Romero and Rios organized a selection of drawings by Ernest Hogan to be on view on the 11th floor. These drawings feature a variety of images that celebrate and investigate the role that the Chicana/o has to cyberculture, technology, counterculture, and history. Each drawing is paired with a text, written by Hogan, that both describes the drawn scenes and opens them up to wider spheres of interpretation.
As part of the project Rios and Romero worked with a group of students to imagine various cosmologies, which were then used to produce images that functioned as ostensible book covers for novels not yet written. These cosmologies also served as the ground for a collaborative print project between the students and Romero and Rios. Based on their cosmologies, students submitted abstracts of the unwritten books that were then superimposed on the back of a pulp novel and printed for display. These images appear in both the glass cases on the 8th floor and on the 11th floor.
Opening reception: Wednesday, December 2, 2015 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm
Harold Washington College
30 E Lake St, Chicago, IL 60601
Check it out. It's the way the world is going. If your future is becoming a thing of the past, you better start building yourself a new one.
Also, anybody interested in buying any of my drawings, please get in touch.
Friday, November 27, 2015
Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga, celebrates Día de los Guajoletes with a with a tribute to the Go Go Gophers. Here's some leftovers from my research . . .
The depiction of Native Americans in early cartoons often went beyond stereotypes into raging surrealism:
This Popeye cartoon crystalizes the American myth of colonization into the grotesque:
Just for fun, here's some Chuck Jones for your guajolete hangover:
And to be truly perverse, this twisted masterpiece from Tex Avery:
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Ernest Hogan's reprint, the mindbending psychedelic fantasia "Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song," explores the Delanyesque theme of artist and muse in a tale that itself could be classified as a psychotropic drug.
That's from Elizabeth Hand's review of Stories for Chip in Fantasy & Science Fiction. It puts a twisted grin on my face, and gets me wondering if this stuff I keep doing is legal. What will my work do to my poor, innocent readers who pick up Stories for Chip because they want to honor Samuel R. Delany? “Guerrilla Mural” is also still available in Alien Contact, which is aimed at more conventional sci-fi enthusiasts. It's also the story that I exploded into my first novel Cortez on Jupiter, which no doubt has its own psychotropic effects.
As Alexandro Jodorowsky said:
I ask of film what most North Americans ask of psychedelic drugs. The difference being that when one creates a psychedelic film, he need not create a film that shows the visions of a person who has taken a pill; rather, he needs to manufacture the pill.
I ask the same of science fiction. I prefer it to be psychedelic rather than narcotic.
Maybe I am in the drug business.
And before the DEA knocks down my door, I must explain that I do not use drugs for recreation or inspiration. I haven't touched any of that shit since way back in the Ninteen-hundreds. And even then, I was just a dabbler on the ragged edge of the drug culture, checking things out so I could write with authority about it later. I never courted brain damage with the unholy lust I've seen in blood-shot, dilated eyes of hardcore druggies.
Ah, research! What it lets you get away with!
But still, why do I create all this stuff that messes up people's minds?
I guess it's because people need their minds messed up. Plug into your favorite news outlet, see all the stories about people doing horrible things because they think it's normal, or going to preserve or establish normalcy. Some wild and unpredictable monkey wrenches need to be thrown into all the infernal machineries out there.
So, like Salvador Dalí said:
Like the drug companies, I have to ask that you use my writing, and art, responsibly. Do not drive, or operate heavy machinery while under its influence. You shouldn't make any important, life-changing decisions, either.
Maybe tune into a popular corporate franchise. Let your brain cool off. You wouldn't want your life to become exciting, would you?
Friday, November 13, 2015
Of course, there's Donald Trump:
And the border:
And business as usual:
Thursday, November 5, 2015
My eye was snagged by a Tweet about an novel with an ancient high-tech civilization in Africa that was written in 1902 by a black woman. I clicked on the link and investigated right away – and it was a good thing, because, even though I retweeted it, time has gone by the social media has been vomiting up stuff for about a week, and I can't find it! Good thing I've somehow become savvy enough to download the ePub version from Archive.org with the OCR-generated typos and the snippets of other stuff from the magazine because this was an unedited scan.
Even though it was a static-encrusted signal coming in on a weird fuzzed out station, I was hooked. I read and enjoyed and otherwise had my mind properly blown by Of One Blood, Or, The Hidden Self (yes, the sci-fi is plugged into identity) by Pauline E. Hopkins. It was only later that I found out it was available in an edited form.
The best things seem to come to me wrapped up in a weird adventure. Either that, or I'm just doomed to do everything the hard way.
Of One Blood was originally serialized in The Colored American Magazine, the first African American monthly, "devoted to literature, science, music, art, religion, facts, fiction and traditions of the Negro Race," from December 1902 to January 1903. The magazine was established by Pauline E. Hopkins in 1900. She was the editor until 1904 when Booker T. Washington purchased it in a hostile takeover. Seems that some folks thought that Hopkins was too much of a radical.
Hopkins was a journalist, playwright, and historian as well as writer and editor. She pioneered using what would now be called popular genre fiction to explore social and racial themes, not just in Of One Blood, but also in her other novels:
All four of which are available in one volume.
Of One Blood, being over a century old, has a steampunkish appeal, is proto-Afrofuturist, dealing with mesmerism, mediumistic powers, a cataleptic trance, and astral projection (we'd call these paranormal these days, but this was before the term science fiction was coined) and a fantastic, advanced lost civilization in the city of Meroe, in Ethiopia.
If that doesn't sound sci-fi enough for you, there's telepathy-powered television!
It begins with Reuel Briggs, “a young medical student interested in mysticism” who sees Dianthe Lusk, a Negro singer and “the owner of a mysterious face” and falls in love with her. I hesitate to tell much of the plot, or identify some characters by race. Some are identified as white in the beginning turn out be what we'd now call black. This is a “lost race” story, the subgenre pioneered by H. Rider Haggard in King Solomon's Mines and She, but in this case, the lost race is the entire human race, originating in Africa. Blacks and whites are all of one blood.
Which allows a love triangle to turn out to be both incestuous and interracial.
This was over a generation before José Vasconcelos published his mestiaje manifesto La Raza Cosmica.
Of One Blood is a novel from the past that can still shake things up in the 21st century.
For more information, check out the Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins Society.
Friday, October 30, 2015
Just in time for Dead Daze, so get your ofrendas done, amiga/os:
And, of course, there's José Guadalupe Posada:
Meanwhile, catch an old favorite for the 'Daze:
And watch out, this one may case some tears:
Monday, October 26, 2015
Look out, amigo/as! You will get another chance to look at my artwork, up close and personal. Anthony Romero and Josh Rios will be using some of my drawings for an upcoming installation at Harold Washington College.
We're just working things out now, so keep checking. I'll post all the details as soon as I have them.
Meanwhile, remember the words of Marshall McLuhan: “Culture is our business.”
Friday, October 16, 2015
The future is now, so get into your spacesuits:
Even if you're a calaca:
Sci-fi is getting Mexicanized:
And old spacesuits don't die, they just float away:
Monday, October 5, 2015
Hang onto your nalgas, carnalito/as, my “Chicanonautica Manifesto” is in Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, Volume 40, Number 2, Fall 2015!
It's part of special section called “Dossier: Latino Speculative Literature, Film and Popular Culture.” They even used some of my drawings to illustrate the introduction.
Along with my manifesto is an essay: “From Code to Codex: Tricksterizing the Digital Divide in Ernest Hogan's Smoking Mirror Blues” by Daoine S. Bachman.
Also discussed are Chicanafuturism, Latino@futurism, Jamie Hernandez's comics, Afro-Latina and Mexican immigrant heroines, Chicana/o cyberpunk, Gloria Andzaldúa's sci-fi roots, speculative rasquashismo, and Chicano@futurist visual art!
Order yours now!
Friday, October 2, 2015
Chicanonautica continues the Zen and the Art of Interstate Highways over at La Bloga. Here's some videos I shot on my trusty iTouch . . .
We're talking about the Wild West, amigos:
We mostly stayed in Truchas:
And visited Española, “the most dangerous city in New Mexico:”
And got wet in Valles Caldera:
This is where the buffalo roam. Or bison, if ya wanna get technical:
Thursday, September 24, 2015
I'm on newsprint again, and being of my generation, it feels good. (You kids that need to can Google “newsprint.”)
Copies of News from Sector 2337, No. 2, Summer & Fall 2015 have made their way to me. It features a piece by me, “A Calaca in a Spacesuit: Confessions of a Sci-Fi Artist” – that will appear as a Chicanonautica entry at La Bloga in the near future – illustrated by damnear life-size reproduction of my drawing “Inner Space Man.”
There's also an interesting article, "Chican@futurism, Ernest Hogan's High Aztech, and Tenochtology” by Josh Rios and Anthony Romero, that says a lot of nice things about me and my most infamous novel:
Chicano sci-fi novelist and short story writer, Ernest Hogan, is a future schemer par excellence who maniacally produces at the intersections of speculative fiction, Afrofuturism, amateur anthropology, and technoculture.
Hogan, not unlike his protagonist in High Aztech, is a vehement cartoonist, doodler, note-taker, and writer – or better put, an amalgamation of all these.
As for tenochtology, it's:
. . . a word and concept created in the tradition of High Aztech's Esperanto language – a mixture of slang, Spanish, and Nahuatl – is meant to give credence to a varitey of Chicano/a activities and resulting objects.
. . .All Chicano/a practices, objects, and forms of knowledge count as tenochtologies: the application of Chola style make-up and its attendant devices, Zoot suit draping, monumental murals, masa and salsa, conjunto and norteño, cowboy boots, Ballet Folklórico, and pack trains. What kinds of futures do these objects offer up?
It does kinda sound like what I do. Maybe I should put tenochtologist on my résumé.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Friday, September 18, 2015
Thursday, September 10, 2015
You go on vacation, and things keep happening and piling up, until instead of a series of neat little news items, you a have a wad of interconnecting stories. I better get along with this before something else comes in and demands to be included:
Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany edited by Nisi Shawl and Bill Campbell is out, and it's chock full of interesting essays and stories, including my own “Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song” that may not have had its freewheeling style if not for Chip's influence.
It's also the story that I later exploded – I went around saying I stuck a stick of dynamite up its ass and took notes about how it came splattering down all over the place – into my first published novel, Cortez on Jupiter, that can now be purchased in ebook or trade paperback, produced by Digital Parchment Services.
And yes, their edition of High Aztech is coming soon, stay tuned for details!
TFFX, the ten year anniversary anthology from The Future Fire, is coming. I wrote what I thought was a commercial for it; they called it a short story. “A Low Ride with Victor Theremin.” (I sure wish the Victor Theremin story I'm working on would stop trying to turn into a novel.) I also wrote a piece of flash fiction, “Xiomara's Flying Circus,” that will be in the anthology, and they put it up on their blog.
“Xiomara's Flying Circus” is a sequel taking place ten years after my story “Pancho Villa's Flying Circus” that originally appeared in their anthology We See a Different Frontier.
Soon “Pancho Villa's Flying Circus” will be available in another anthology, Lost Trails: Forgotten Tales of the Weird West -Volume 1, edited by Cynthia Ward. After all, I did write the story as a spaghetti western.
Pancho seems have become my Santa Muerte/Juan Malverde-style patron saint, because Pancho Villa's Flying Circus will be the title of a collection of my short fiction that will come out from Digital Parchment Services in the near future.
And now that I'm back in the saddle, I'll keep sending out updates as the news comes in.
Friday, September 4, 2015
Ponce de León searched for the Fountain of Youth:
Coronado was after Seven Cities of Gold:
Aguirre went mad over El Dorado:
And Cabeza de Vaca went on a different trip:
Thursday, August 27, 2015
After The Transhumanist Wager, and The Turner Diaries I continued my reading to get ready for election year madness with Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book. I didn't have to steal it, you can get if for free online, or download a free pdf. It's almost as good as stealing.
This is an oldie, from way back in the Nineteen Hundreds. I was in high school when it came out. The world was downright dystopian back then, America required all males over eighteen to sign up for a lottery, and if you were selected, you got sent over to fight in a real war.
Abbie Hoffman was part of a group called the Yippies that were protesting the war and struggling for other things that kids take for granted these days. He wrote Steal This Book in prison.
It's not science fiction, but could easily fit in on a shelf of New Wave sf (that's the way we wrote it back then, standing for either science fiction or speculative fiction, in lower case so people know you don't mean San Francisco). No plot. A lot of lists. This instruction manual for a do-it-yourself utopia kit, that takes the leap from nonfiction into spec fic in that it's about setting up an alternative reality, a new Nation. He had earlier tried to brand Woodstock Nation, but apparently some corporate entities had the rights to Woodstock . . .
Oh, that's right, these days corporations are people, too.
Hoffman and the Yippies were an experiment in living your science fiction instead of writing it. Or as artist Ron Cobb said, “Science fiction has always been a verb to me.”
In fiction, such things are the work of mad scientists, and it's dangerous. Look at what happens to the mad scientists in all those stories and movies. It's not surprising that Hoffman ended up in prision.
As the title indicated, the book is all about the virtues of stealing, and even suggest that it should be stolen. Big time publishing was repulsed. It had to be self-published.
As Hoffman said, “Sacred cows make the BEST hamburgers.”
And: “To steal from a brother or sister is evil. To not steal from the institutions that are the pillars of the Pig Empire is equally immoral.”
I never tried to live this way. My parents taught me that thievery was low. And because of my skin color I was harrassed from an early age by security agents in the comsumer zones.
From the book: “The first duity of a revolutionary is to get away with it.”
Some members of my generation tried to live according this book's advice. This usually lasted until they had an encounter with law enforcement. Also, running around, pulling scams takes a lot of time and energy; getting a straight job can actually be easier.
When I worked for Borders I found myself going mano a mano with later day Yipsters who didn't remember Hoffman's advice about respecting employees, and committed an error that isn't mentioned in the book: Don't get greedy. You can do a quick, subtle grab or run a customer service scam and get away with it now and then, but if you come back and try it every week, somebody's going to figure it out and shut you down. Of course, this makes it hard to pay your bills.
Borders hired a couple who were trying this lifestyle, and I worked with them. The male had blond dredlocks and mostly walked around with a beatific expression, waiting for someone to tell him he looked like Jesus. The female went on about how she was raised on dumpster diving, and was regurgitating Steal This Book-isms. They were attempting to work long enough to become eligible for unemployment. A nice scam, but you shouldn't go around telling your co-workers – and your boss . . .
They were fired, called us all fascists, and said that they were running off to Nicaragua because Bush was building concentration camps where he was going to put anybody who was against the war.
I wonder where they are now?
Technological advancements, and the arms race between the rip-off and the sellers, have made a lot of the book obsolete. I now read about print media, pay phones and coin-operated machines, and feel nostalgic. It would be an excellent reference for writing about the period.
What makes it still worth reading is the manic energy devoted to a utopian vision – we don't see much of that anymore.
Of course, the whole Steal This Book/Free Nation is totally dependent on an out-of-control, wasteful, planet-raping consumer society spewing out goods and services all over the polluted, overpopulated landscape. The Anti-Establishment needs the Establishment in order to exist. It's the yin/yang merry-go-round of doom.
It's also full of a lot of crazy (and some not-so-crazy) ideas, another alternate reality for sale – or maybe you should steal it – in the 21st century poitical marketplace. Want something other than what Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are selling? Do you know what you want? Or have you just been conditioned that way?