Thursday, June 25, 2020


The important thing is not to fool yourself into thinking that things are returning to normal. What was normal? Did it ever exist? Can it come back? All important questions these days. Or should it be daze?

Still somewhat quarantined. But no one seems to know exactly what that means.

I'm back to work at my regular part-time schedule, but it's far from normal. All of us have to wear masks. No customers—er, sorry, patrons are allowed in the library. All the business is curbside. They request books online, we gather them up, then the patron (patrón?) comes in, calls on a special line to have the books, or DVDs, or CDs brought out in plastic bag by a masked employee.

Surreal? Sci-fi? Do we have a new word? All the old ones are seeming like clichés.

Behold, the new clichés!

On the home front, Emily continues to collect unemployment and proceed with her home improvement frenzy, uncovering strange artifacts, and even old artwork by yours truly. It's actually looking pretty good. Damnear civilized. The decay, chaos, and entropy have been knocked back for a while.

There's plenty of that stuff piling up in the outside world, clogging the streets, the news media, evolving into strange new realities. Upheaval. Revolution. Mutation. Hang on, kids, you ain't seen nothing yet . . .

There are interesting developments in the witches brew.

While I was sheltering at home, trying to finish my novel, Zyx, Or; Bring Me the Brain of Victor Theremin, my career has come back to life, taken off, dragging me off into the future. Editors and publishers have gotten back to me. Pending projects that have been in limbo are gonna happen. New opportunities come a-knocking on my electronic doors. Watch for more news. Soon.

Despite what people say about it messing up everything, I've got to admit that the social media has been very good to me. A creative weirdo needs to seek out and connect with, and sometimes create, an audience. And don't depend on gigantic corporations to do it for you.

What I recommend is to put on a mask—the pandemic is far from over, keep socially distant, and keep your eyes and ears open. It's raining bizarreness out there, so go and soak it up.

That's where the ideas come from. Take the jagged fragments of a shattered world, and reassemble them into something you want to live in.

We're seeing a collapse happening. A lot of people are going to sink into depression. Others are going to take advantage, and knock things in the direction of their choice. That's what I recommend.

No matter what happens, the new world—or should that be new worlds?--is going to be interesting. There's plenty of debris providing funky raw materials--new archaeology to build a new renaissance. Why not?

Guess I better get back to work . . .

Friday, June 19, 2020


Chicanonautica begins a three-part multimedia encounter with José Torres-Tama, over at La Bloga.

Who is José Torres-Tama?

He's a lot of things:

He's everywhere:

And he's something else:

Thursday, June 11, 2020


My method for writing keeps getting weirder. I usually outline with a lot of notes in brackets. Then I write and deleted the notes as I go along. It can get get complicated, as it has with Zyx, Or; Bring Me the Brain of Victor Theremin. The file has notes all over the place, making it look like a chaotic mess. Here's some from the front to give you an idea of how my mind works when I write:

[VICTOR: Losers always think the world is coming to an end.”
“Didn’t you used to be a world champion loser?”
He laughed, took a sip of beer.
“They beat me into thinking that for a while, but then I realize they were full of shit.”
“Look out, you’re going Zen master on me.”
“Grouchoid Zen.]

[for the IAMS chatroom scenes: make it a zoom type thing, only have a note explaining that special scrambling software has been used to obscure faces, add visual stuff . . .]

[diamond nanothreads:

[maybe work in reference to Michael Muhammad Knight]

[nanolattices - stronger than a diamond

[for the ayahuasca retreat scene the guru give them the drug, then locks them into a dark room, but first he lights a long string of firecrackers, and throws it in, locks the door, then gets into a waiting car, and drives off with his nonbinary lover - also he is an AI - also have followups where the CEO and his wife endorse the meditation - and similar retreat is held at MegaloCon]  

[Early morning brainstorm - Petra sees things in the wastes: cattle, llamas & alpacas, a burned zyx billboard graffitied HAYDUKE LIVES! - IAMS ufo drones doing a tribute to ed abbey - drones are from a renegade AI trying to hide what’s really going on . . .]

[moved a lot of the shit from up front, now need to do a go-thru of the main text, filling in the gaps, dealing with the inserted notes . . .]

[work in the idea of a dream of an alternate universe where cocaine is legal and tobacco is the forbidden drug - Charlie Carlos . . . no, better yet make it El Mess!]

[Concepcion, Lopez, other ancillary latinx gals, tend to be short, slightly plump brown girls that Victor had noticed seem to be talking over the world - Dona Juana is an older version, maybe have others behind computers at MegaloCon, taking care of business . . .]

[AND at one point, one of these girls unzips her face revealing her to be a reptile-insectoid-mechanoid]

[thinking of just making them insectomechanoids - there too much bullshit ufo stuff about reptiloid aliens . . .]

[THEN an reptile insectoid-mechanoid unzips its face and reveals it be one of the brown girls]

[Need scenes about his no longer needing glasses, la Catrina, feeling something is strange, but just thinking it’s part of the general sci-fi-ization of things . . . hmm . . .]

[the Megatrex/Zappi conflict is becoming a Cold War-like conflict, complete with nuclear weapons, contrast with the President wanting to use nukes against the monsters . . .need to mention that the AIs are making Victor’s books available - have people reading e and print on demand editions, maybe have them in above news broadcasts . . .]

[Hmm - since this is going to be another royal bitch to sell, think about pulling out sections/sequences that could be peddled as short stories, novelettes, or novellas . . .]

[military helicopters would be Apaches - maybe a John and Bob joke there]

[when is The Singularity 1st mentioned? Should it be sooner? P. 16 - hmm . . .]

[maybe mention the Sing earlier, perhaps combined with the abduction flashback]

[Bob has the cowboy hat. John has the braids. Put this note at the beginning]

[early, maybe in “just what is it” bit of dialog]

[“Zyx . . . rhymes with sex.” Could be a good ad line for the novel, also maybe introduce it in the novel as part of Zapoid ad campaign]

Friday, June 5, 2020


Read a chunk of my story from Latinx Rising in Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga:

It was formerly known as Latino/a Rising, then Latin@ Rising, but now is back:

My story deals with the future of mariachis:

Locura Tejana:

And going to Mars: