“The book American Gods wishes it was.” --Despina Durand

Friday, March 29, 2019

CHICANONAUTICA GETS INKED IN DYSTOPIA


Chicanonautica reviews Sabrina Vourvoulais's novel Ink, over at La Bloga.

It's about a society that uses tattoos for identification:



They can also can be used to for self-expression:


But it can get dystopian:



And your dystopia can be someone else's utopia:

Thursday, March 21, 2019

MORE SCENES FROM HACIENDA HOGAN


As a writer--also as an artist—I spend a lot of time sitting. They used to say that was to way to succeed, nail your ass down, and write, write, write. Unfortunately, I've known a lot of people who took that advice, ruined their health, and dropped dead just at it looked like all their years of hard work (and sitting) were going to pay off.


I can't really sit for very long. I've always been restless. After sitting and typing for a while, I get the itch to get up, and shake out my creaky skeleton, that get creakier as time goes by. And sitting too long actually hurts these days.


So, I regularly get up, and take a few laps around the inside of house. I also do yoga, stretches, some light weight work. Somehow it turned into an exercise routine. And it must work, because my doctor said I'm in “tip-top” condition for my age. Maybe I'll live long enough to see my hard work pay off.


But now, and then, the weather gets too nice to shuffle around inside, so I go out into yards, that here at Hacienda Hogan, are the gardens of my wife, the fabulous Emily Devenport. They are chock full of plants, artifacts, and geological samples. Wandering among them fires my imagination. Often, I end up grabbing my phone, and taking pictures.


I never liked traditional photography, with all it's fussing over settings and chemical complications. Digital with it's point-and-shoot simplicity is more my speed. “Photography is Zen Buddhism,” as William Burroughs said.


Maybe it's my art education, but where other people see snapshots, I tend to see more than ordinary reality. I come up with surrealist compositions, poetic statements, even cartoons.


It gets me in trouble when I try to do documentary realism, nonfiction, or mainstream anything, but it makes my life so much better.

Friday, March 15, 2019

CHICANONAUTICA MEETS KAIJU MEXICANA

Chicanonautica reviews Lords of the Earth, the first Kaiju Mexicana novel, at La Bloga.

Kaiju being the Japanese monster movie tradition:



And there have been Mexican monster movies:



And Hollywood monster movies set in Mexico, old:


And recent:

Thursday, March 7, 2019

A SUNDAY IN TUCSON


The crescent moon and Venus blazed over the predawn glow as we left Hacienda Hogan for the Tuscon. Soon the sun rose as we made our way down the I-10, sipping coffee with donut fallout all over our clothes. Emily was scheduled to be on two panels, about “Spaaaaaace,” and “Rebellion,” at the Tuscon Festival of Books. And talk about Medusa Uploaded and it's soon to be released sequel Medusa in the Graveyard.


We arrived early at the campus of the University of Arizona (for a guy who hated school, I keep ending up on campuses), as settled in to the Author's Hospitality Lounge in time to hear a distinguished professorial-type refer to the President of the United States of America as “that fuckhead.” 


The Student Union Area, a campus in itself, was like mall. I've been having dreams about college/mall hybrid places. Could this be the next step of post-urban evolution now that traditional, twentieth-century mall culture is crashing? The education and entertainment industries do seem to be merging . . .


The classroom where Emily's panels took place was at the bottom of an subterranean labyrinth with a lot concrete stairs leading to an underworld left over from another era.


The desks, really a long, bar-like structure, had electric outlet/internet jack fixtures built into it. Students asked questions about philosophy and morality. Another brave new world.

The festival was gigantic. Good to see thousands of people milling around in the sun, looking at displays of all kinds of books. Kinda civilized.


A even found an interesting statue to photograph: “Another Martyr #4” by Fritz Scholder. The ghostly native American figure loomed over the festivities. 
 

Afterwards, in anticipation of the two hour drive back to Phoenix, we cruised Speedway Blvd. in search of food. Strangely there we saw more Asian joints than Mexican restaurants—one was empty abandoned shell. What's happened to the Old Pueblo?


Finally we went to La Parrilla Suiza (“Authentic Mexico City Food! CALL OR STOP BY ANY OF OUR LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT ARIZONA!” according to their website). There were a lot of customers, most of them “Mexican.” And the tacos were good.

Like I've said, when I smell tacos, I know I'm in civilization.

Friday, March 1, 2019

CHICANONAUTICA GOES BEYOND THE SFF LATINX BUNDLE



The SFF Latinx Bundle deal is history, but Chicanonautica  goes on, at La Bloga.

It is the end of one trail:


But the journey goes on:



Latinx cultura keeps on selling:


And the future is looking good: