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.

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 DalĂ­ 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?

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