A New Edition From Strange Particle Press . . .

Friday, May 25, 2018

CHICANONAUTICA FACES UGLY THINGS FROM MEXICO



Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga, is all about Isaac Ezban's Cosas Feas.

Here's an example of his filmmaking:



Cosas Feas includes scene from this capitalist propaganda cartoon:


And this classic of adolescent agnst exploitation:



He's also a professional, who's done commercials:

Thursday, May 17, 2018

HOW TO WRITE MINIMALIST REVIEWS



One thing you can do if you want to support writers is review their work. Some of you are intimidated by it, but we realize that you aren't professional writers. We don't need masterworks of literary criticism on Amazon and Goodreads, or even Facebook and Twitter. We need help spreading the word.

My advice is to go minimalist.

And minimalist may sound highfaluting, but it's just a way of saying keep it short and simple. And it doesn't have to be long. One liners are okay!

My novel Smoking Mirror Blues got a five-star (see, you don't even have to use words) masterpiece of this genre.

D.S. White simply quoted from the book:

She was supposed to be some kind of neomythical recombocultural chimera. Real sumato, as all the recombozos and recombozoettes say.

Then added:

"Classic Hogan has returned!"


Yes, it can be that easy. And fun, too.

Bad reviews, often done by malicious folks who want to drag down your ratings are often minimalist. My books have gotten “Save your money,” and “Terrible.” But they can be countered by more minimalist positive reviews.

Get creative. Use emojis if you want.

So, review away!

Right now I could use some for the new edition of Smoking Mirror Blues and my wife's Medusa Uploaded is just out.

It's a way to make writers happy.


Friday, May 11, 2018

CHICANONAUTICA SURVIVES ANOTHER CINCO DE MAYO IN TRUMPTOPIA


And you can read all about at Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga.

Remember, it's all about the Battle of Puebla:


They celebrate it differently in Mexico:


And it's mutating:


And going global:
 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

MEDUSA UPLOADED AND ON SALE



My wife, the fabulous Emily Devenport's new novel, Medusa Uploaded is available, online, and in bookstores. It's about class warfare on a generation starship—perfect entertainment for our times. Go get it!

And while you'll out there, pick up the May/June 2018 Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. It's got a story by Emily, “10,432 Serial Killers (In Hell).”

Things are getting busy here at Hacienda Hogan.

Friday, April 27, 2018

CHICANONAUTICA GOES FROM MEXICO CITY TO MARS




That's thanks to Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Prime Meridian, in Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga:

It's about a young woman from Mexico City:


Who dreams of moving to Mars:


With references to the old days of Mexican cinema:


Who know's where this could lead:



Thursday, April 19, 2018

THE LOST ART OF SMOKING MIRROR BLUES


To celebrate the new edition of Smoking Mirror Blues, I shuffled through my mound of battered sketchbooks, and ran across the stuff I did for publicity for the original edition.


Suddenly, another one of those creative lightning bolts hit me. I was going to need art for my own social media publicity campaign. These files were generated (I had Corel Draw at the time) in black and white to be flyers that never got made. It was 2001, the War on Terror had broken out, my wife and I had just moved into a new house and were working full time at Borders, not leaving much time for conventions and such niceties.


So I ran 'em through GIMP and colorized and further augmented them, along with the cover of my self-published ebook. I love fooling around with art and/or technology. Especially when it gets wild and woolly in spite of itself. 


I also did some clipped, cropped, colorized, and distorted pieces, because—yes, dammit!--sci-fi ain't nothing but mojo misspelled.


And half of a Tezcatlipoca face can be a portrait, a landscape, and a starscape at the same time, as well as an homage to Max Ernst, and a reminder that all literature is space opera because the entire universe is inside outer space.

Friday, April 13, 2018

CHICANONAUTICA SEES THE BROWN BUFFALO



Chicanonautica reviews the new film about Oscar Zeta Acosta, over at La Bloga.

He was real:



Then he was made into Dr. Gonzo, and put into a movie:



Then another:


Now he's the whole show:



Thursday, April 12, 2018

Thursday, April 5, 2018

SUGGESTED AFROFUTURIST READING

While waiting for a friendly corporation to come up with another big Afrofuturist product, why not read some sff-ish stuff by black authors? Go and grab some of the works of Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany, Steven Barnes, Tananarive Due, Bill Campbell,Nnedi Okorafor, Nalo Hopkinson, Nisi Shawl, Nora Jemisin, and others who I’m probably forgetting, but can be found in bookstores.

And there are others, coming out of older traditions, whose books you’ll have to hunt for, but are well worth it.


Originally serialized in Colored American Magazine (that Pauline Hopkins also edited) from December 1902 to January 1903, Of One Blood has a steampunkish setting, mesmerism, mediumistic powers, a cataleptic trance, astral projection, and the scientifically advanced lost civilization in the city of Meroe, Ethiopia. Yes, a precursor to Wakanda. It also presents some ideas of race and family--the one blood/Raza Cosmica thing-- that allow the novel’s central theme to be both incestuous and interracial.


A long, long time ago, before George Lucas' dream of a galaxy far, far away infected Western Civilization, I read a story in an anthology African fiction that blew my mind. It was called “The Television-Handed Ghostess” by Amos Tutuola, a Nigerian. Turns out it's part of a novel (okay, it’s not a novel as we’re used to in what’s left of Western Civilization) called My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. I tracked it down and was astounded by the strange world of bizarre spirit beings that live in modern times, with television-hands, machine-guns, and such, told in style and structure that owes more to oral storytelling than the commercial New York book biz.


Between 1936 and 1938, the black-owned Pittsburgh Courier ran two serials, The Black Internationale: Story of Black Genius Against the World and Black Empire: An Imaginative Story of a Great New Civilization in Modern Africa--later published together as Black Empire--that allowed George S. Schuyler, known as the Black Mencken, to let his imagination run wild, creating the first example of pulp science fiction written for a black audience. Dr. Henry Belsidus gives Fu Manchu a run for his money, and there’s a cynical, satirical edge to the pulp mayhem. It deserves to be republished with proper, sensationalistic packaging.


Chester Himes is father of blaxploitation (two of his novels were adapted into the first of that movie genre) and urban crime fiction. His Harlem crime novels feature detectives Coffin Ed Johnson and Gravedigger Jones, and blazed a trail that led to Afrofuturism. His work got imaginative, since he was writing them for a Parisian publisher, and the French were willing to believe anything about America. His masterpiece, Blind Man with a Pistol, shows a Harlem like a Hieronymus Bosch composition full of sociological nightmares beyond the wildest dystopias. And his demonstration of how racism spawns seemingly random violence is chilling.


Frank Yerby, the first African American bestselling author, wrote The Dahomean, with idea of blasting open the minds of young black militants. Based on Melville J. Herskovits’ 1967 anthropological study, Dahomey: An Ancient West African Kingdom, it presents a world that makes most commercial fantasy look like cheap knock-offs of warmed-over fairy tales. There are Dahomey Amazons, different versions of marriage and family, and a number of things that will probably disturb even twenty-first century readers. After reading it, you’ll never think of Africa in the same way.


I have to say it: Afrofuturism is just a reboot/rebrand of Neo-HooDooism, and Ishmael Reed has been doing for over half a century. Mumbo Jumbo is the great Neo-HooDoo novel. I think I’m overdue re-reading it, which I do often.

Friday, March 30, 2018

CHICANONAUTICA DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THE HUGOS, NEBULAS, OR SFWA


I tell it all in Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga.

Meanwhile, here's some facts:


Media coverage:


Confusion:


And something else the Russians never paid me for:


Monday, March 19, 2018

NOLLYWOOD APPROPRIATES WAKANDA



When I found out about a Nigerian Wakanda movie, released two days after Black Panther, I had to check it out.

Turns out its not the obvious rip-off that the article painted it to be. The W-word is never uttered. There are no Marvel references. It is copyrighted 2015.

It could be a re-titled re-release intended to cash in on a global, corporate phenomenon. I admire that kind of chutzpah.



It's faster paced than most Nollywood fare, and is loaded with heaps of outrageousness. I enjoyed it. And it'll probably be a good intro to Nollywood.

I hope the legal goon-squads don't close in to shut it down. We have to remind the world that Disney Marvel did not invent African culture, or culture in general.

Meanwhile, The Prince of Wakanda 1 has shown up. And other Nollywood movies with Wakanda in the title. Hooray for the underdogs!

Friday, March 16, 2018

CHICANONAUTICA SEES WEIRD MEXICAN BUS STATION SCENES


The weird scenes are from Isaac Ezban's incredible movie, The Similars, reviewed in Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga.

This doesn't begin to show how bizarre this it is:



Here's people talking about Ezban's first movie:



His other one also looks astounding:



And he knows how to give an an acceptance speech:



Monday, March 5, 2018

SMOKING MIRROR BLUES BULLETIN



I have unpublished my ebook of Smoking Mirror Blues from Amazon Kindle and Smashwords. It will unavailable for a while.

This is because a new, improved version, with the benefit of better copyediting, a new cover, and an introduction that lays bare the truths and mysteries of its publishing history, will be available soon from Strange Particle Press.

Old flyer, info may be obsolete. Please use link below.
If you desperately need a copy, the original trade paperback edition is still available.

However, Strange Particle will also be releasing a print-on-demand paperback.

Stay tuned for updates . . .

And may Tezcatlipoca be with you!


Friday, March 2, 2018

CHICANONAUTICA HEARS AFROFUTURISM IN ITS IDENTITY

 

Here's some music to listen to, while Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga, celebrates my novels being discussed in a dissertation, and the world goes Afrofuturist.

Sun Ra was out there:


Miles always sounded like the future:


King Sunny synched the system:


Kokoroko brings Fela back from the dead:

Thursday, February 22, 2018

THUS BEGINS THE VICTOR THEREMIN NOVEL



One of the things I'm determined to do in 2018 is finish one of the novels that I've been diddling around with for the last several years. There are several of them, and now that I'm over sixty, I'm more interested in doing what I want rather than beating myself bloody trying to figure out what some publisher would be willing to pay me an advance for. And it would be nice if I could finish these chingaderas before I die.

So I've decided to make a heroic attempt to finish Zyx; Or, Bring Me The Brain of Victor Theremin. Some of you may remember Victor as an alter-ego character that I created as I adapted to the brave new world of 21st century publishing. Of course, he got out of control and grew into something that doesn't resemble me very much. Honest.

He's a Chicano science fiction writer who's lost track of where his life ends and the science fiction begins. Mysterious AIs who have taken over his life complicate things. When in doubt, I sci-fi it up.

There are even some serious concepts woven into the madness.

Anyway, here's the first chapter:


Victor Theremin woke up in the middle of the night needing to piss. Ms. Mali’s lovely chocolate-colored hand was resting on his bladder. He had drunk a lot of Cerveza de Los Muertos Blonde Ale, and it was taking its toll. Careful not to wake her, he slipped out of the inflatable bed.

The electronic gadgets printed on the interior of the latest SmartTent – this one currently shaped like a geodesic dome -- sputtered and flashed. The AIs, as usual, tracked his every move. He grunted, flipped a middle finger, slid his feet into his chanclas, and quietly unzipped the door.

The Milky Way blazed across the sky. He bowed his head in almost religious respect. He had lived most of his life in places so light-polluted that he rarely got to see it – or very many stars. As a science fiction writer, he needed to see his own galaxy.

He made a mental note to put a scene like this in his current opus, Let ‘Em Suck Supernovas: The hero could have an epiphany while pissing and looking at the galaxy, imagining that he was pissing on the galaxy . . . and to piss on the galaxy was to become one with the universe . . . Where was that gadget that the AIs gave him to write with? Probably back in the tent with Ms. Mali . . .

This was an undisclosed part of Arizona, where geological anomalies made electronic surveillance difficult. Local tribes warned of a dense population of supernaturals. And UFOs were a common sight.

Victor saw a peculiar light streak across the star-choked sky as his urine stream disturbed a scorpion near his feet. His ragged chanclas offered no defense against a scorpion – or much else.

The scorpion hid under a nearby cholla – AKA jumping cactus. The spiny little chunks only seemed to leap out and attach themselves to your foot, leg, or whatever you were stupid enough to leave exposed. Victor contemplated that while holding his penis, taking careful aim, while singing, “Where the vegetables are green/and you can pee right into the stream . . .”

There was another flash of light. Victor looked up from the reflection of the Milky Way in his fresh puddle and scanned the real galaxy.

Below it, over the nearby, gnarly mountains, hovered a light, like a helicopter, except it made no sound.

His urine dribbled to halt as the thought of Ms. Mali. His penis became slightly erect as he shook it out. Maybe he wasn’t getting old after all.

Good golly, Ms. Mali,” he sang.

The light sent out a beam that swept over the desert, looking for something.

You sure love to ball,” Victor continued, as he pulled in his dick, and wished he had a zipper to zip, just for the illusion of security.

The scorpion dashed under some rocks.

The beam found Victor, and became blinding.
 
He cried out, “Hijo de la chingada!”

© Ernest Hogan 2018


Friday, February 16, 2018

CHICANONAUTICA MEETS MARSHAL ENRIQUE



Chicanonautica reviews Dogged Pursuit, the biography of Enrique “Henry” Garfias, over at La Bloga.

This was Phoenix back in the old days:


He was a marshal like Dillon:



And an Arizona constable like Valdez:


Of course, these days things are different:


Thursday, February 8, 2018

DREAMING OF A CENTRAL PLAINS BLACK REPUBLIC



I found it at the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall, among some vintage science fiction. The ancient paperback had a black man who looks like a disheveled, pissed-off Sidney Poitier raising a clenched fist on its cover. There was also a headline: AN EXPLOSIVE NOVEL ABOUT A NEGRO WHO SHOCKED AMERICA. On the back cover: “the black republic --thousands of square miles carved out of the Middle West, a new nation for America’s Negroes . . . And the day came when Elmo Baines’ dream shocked the country and brought him to the White House to demand its fulfillment.”

I bought it.

It was The Premier by Earl Conrad first published in 1960.

It’s told from the point of view of a white linotypist (do I have to explain that?) who befriends Elmo Baines, a Black Nationalist visionary, who later goes by Simba.

I had to check. Was Conrad black or white? Black writers used white viewpoint characters back in the 19th century, and the practice went on well into the 20th . . .

Turns out Conrad was white. And the surname was originally Cohen. He was the Harlem Bureau Chief for the Chicago Defender, and  wrote a lot of books on African American issues. No wonder he was inspired to write this three-dimensional portrait of a Harlem visionary detailing his struggle to create the Central Plains Black Republic, financing it with the invention and selling of Wondercream, a hair straightener.


Taking place from the Forties to a 1970 in a universe where the Sixties civil rights movement didn’t happen, it throws around and explores ideas and concepts that some would consider to be dangerous today. They send the mind soaring to places that modern commercial sci-fi avoids.

I suspect that the genius/tragic hero Elmo Baines was based on a real person, or maybe several. He and his ideas and thinking ring true. Conrad was a reporter, and a lot of this reads like journalism. This story could have happened.

It doesn’t quite break the speculative fiction barrier. The Republic doesn’t happen, making it more like Hank Lopez’s Afro-6, where black militants don’t succeed in their attempt to take over the island of Manhattan, than Sam Greenlee’s The Spook Who Sat By the Door, that ends in the creation of Black Nationalist nation, or George S. Schuyler’s Black Empire, in which Africa is taken back by blacks and Europe is crippled. But it still deserves a place as a proto-Afrofuturist classic.

There are flashes of the world Elmo Baines is trying to build. This is from a dream sequence:

Two huge white eunuchs stand on either side, and they are fanning me with newspapers on which are blazoned headlines about the latest exploits of Premier Simba.

Of course, transformation of a dream into reality is not easy; dreamers often die trying to make their dreams come true, and the novel shows this.

And the science fiction writer in me would like to see what would have happened if Elmo Baines had succeeded. The same with the militants in Afro-6. What would those worlds be like?

Imagine sequels for them, and Black Empire, and The Spook Who Sat by the Door, taking place a generation of so after their revolutions? 

Maybe some young Afrofuturist writers could take on these projects . . .

Friday, February 2, 2018

CHICANONAUTICA SEZ: UNO! DOS! ET CETERA!



Chicanonautica pimps an excerpt and review of my novelette, “Uno! Dos! One-Two! Tres! Cuatro!” over at La Bloga.

Inspired by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs:



We're talking Omygod-what's-the-world-coming-to sci-fi:



Based on a true story:


In that fine, Mejicano tradition: