Thursday, March 10, 2016


I keep saying it: I've kept one foot in the underground so when the going gets tough, I'll have a place to stand.

I've always liked “underground” culture. Way back in my youth, it was the only place you could find science fiction, fantasy and horror. Not to mention stuff that expressed the weirdness of my unnatural environment that just didn't come through – and wasn't allowed – in “real” culture (y'know the kind they give academy awards to).

My favorites tended to be the sort of things that caused teachers to twist their faces like the just smelled something rotten while they tried to talk me into something they considered classy. Meanwhile, most of my favorite culture, paperbacks, magazine and comics were sold at liquor stores – that these days only sell liquor.

And I would always be delighted to find something labeled underground – books, movies, comix (yeah, they used to spell it that way – we don't need no stinkin' dictonary!), newspapers, radio stations. Sure, what was meant by underground was debatable, but you knew it would get you into some stuff that the establishment was hiding from you, like sex, drugs, rock'n'roll, and a lot of other stuff that a curious young mind could revel in.

Establishment. Another word we've been hearing a lot of lately. Maybe it means something different these days, but I should deal with that some other time . . .

So, now in the 21st century, my novel High Aztech is being touted as a “Wildly Inventive Underground SF Classic” on Amazon. Most people agree that I'm wildly inventive. Anything from before the year 2000 that still has a following is considered “classic.” And by the way, SF in this case means science fiction, not San Francisco. But is High Aztech “underground?”

A lot of my works have been published in the underground, but this novel was published by a big time publisher from New York City. It was my chance at the big time. Unfortunately, the establishment in New York, as it always has, treated me like a talented leper. Mysterious forces in their midst tried to bury it.

It really is a good thing I had that foot in the underground . .

It's been good in the underground, even though it doesn't really pay much, if anything at all. It allowed me to get my stuff out there, to people who like it. Still, I keep up the struggle to break through the barriers into the overground.

Meanwhile, there's all kinds of political turmoil breaking out over the planet, again. The establishment is getting nervous. Something's in the air. The times they are a-changing. Welcome to the future.

It's scary. Maybe you need some ancient underground wisdom to help you through. I've got some for sale here . . .

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