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

Friday, March 26, 2021

CHICANONAUTICA FACES THE LIVING DEATH OF STEREOTYPES

 

Chicanonautica finally discusses stereotypes at La Bloga.


And what happens when cultures collide:


 

Cancellations happen:


 

What ever happened to this guy?



And what about when stereotypes get double reversed?


Thursday, March 18, 2021

STARFARING AGAIN


Starfaring, a role-playing game by Ken St. Andre has been republished, including the original art and cartoons by yours truly. It was my first paid publication. As usual, I let my imagination run wild.


These cartoons, and a comic strip that appeared in the zine, Supernova, inspired my first (sadly unpublished) novel Nwatta-Nwatta-Nwatta. Eventually, I extracted a short story out of it, “Love Nwatta-Nwatta-Nwatta Style” that was published by Kristine Kathryn Rusch in the second issue of Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine.



Here’s the first paragraph:


After a while, Fredd figured he wasn’t going to vomit anymore, so he unwrapped himself from the toilet, got up and tried to walk around. His knees, like most of the rest of him, were wobbly. He staggered around the bridge, which was empty but still cramped. He was the only one left on the ship, left as a sort of hostage to that disgusting spider. He touched his neck, it was still a little swollen and bruised around the two mandible-holes.  It was horrible, would be even if he wasn’t afraid of spiders. The way she held him close, clamped on, and lapped up his blood with those horrid sucking noises, and she insisted making him rub her silky hair, her exoskeleton and sensitive areas, long after she was finished with the drinking, clinging to him, whispering things in his ear like: “Oh, my hot-blooded little sac of delight! My tasty mammalian morsel! I want to consume you! Absorb you! Suck you totally into my being!’


Ahead-of-its-time bestseller material if you ask me. I’m still sure I’ll find a publisher for it one of these days. Any of you publishers out there interested?


 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

¡VIVA LATINOPIA Y LOS SAN PATRICOS!


I was going to post a link to Latinopia's St. Patrick's Day tribute of Irish Mexicans, but Facebook thinks their URL is against their community standards. They once did this with La Bloga. Do they hate Mexicans? Or the Irish?


Anyway, use the above link to foil Facebook, and, oh yeah, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

Thursday, March 11, 2021

CHICANONAUTICA ON OTHER ODYSSEYS IN 2021

 

Chicanonautica looks at 2021 and where Latinx lit is going, at La Bloga:


It’s been a strange year so far:



And we’ve come a long way:




And we’re getting hip:




So keep dancing pachucxs!


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

UFOs, the GOAT, and the NOI


I can always depend on Ishmael Reed to expand my mind. He does the job in these times when most stuff packaged as “science fiction” is really just comfort reading for nerds. His play, The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda, is a perfect antidote for the corporate-produced, revisionist/feelgood vision of alternate history for a post-racial America that’s singing and dancing its way into your psyche. As powerful NeoHooDoo as ever.


It was also a very short book. Left me wanting more, so I ordered Reed’s The Complete Muhammad Ali, that I had been meaning to read for a long time. It took me to worlds I had never dreamed of: the bizarre place of black athletes in American society, politics, culture, Ali’s real life (presented in accounts from primary sources), contradicting the Ali Scribes' desire to make the Greatest of All Time into a saint instead of a complex, flawed man, even before we get into the influence of organized crime on it all.


I gobbled up this fat, dense book, and found some things that made me want to study further. Ali considered Elijah Muhammad to be deity. The Yacubian myth was mentioned. And the Mother Plane. I had heard of them, didn’t know much about them.


Turns out that the Yacubian myth tells that a black scientist named Yacub, who lived 6,600 years ago, created the white race. The Mother Plane is mile-wide, saucer-shaped vehicle that a man identifying himself at the Supreme Being showed Elijah Muhammad in 1930, in an experience that led him to found the Nation of Islam. Both are central to their beliefs. I didn’t really know much about the NOI, but this got me curious . . . 



I soon found myself ordering UFOs and the Nation of Islam by Ilia Rashad Muhammad, a scholarly researcher with extensive knowledge of UFOs, history, the Bible, the Holy Qur’an, and even science fiction.


I’m fairly well-read in ufology, so I can tell that this book challenged everything while referring to recognized sightings and encounters. Elijah Muhammad is said to be the person who introduced the whole concept of UFOs to the modern world, though he doesn’t call them that, he calls them “wheels.” They aren’t from other planets, though the word “interstellar” pops up, but were built on Earth on “the islands of Japan” in the 1920s. The pilots of the craft are human beings but have been trained to be “angelic scientists” from early childhood. They are also telepathic, telekinetic, and have the power to do other mind tricks that make Obi-Wan Kenobi look like an amateurish dabbler. Their mission is to help God’s chosen people—the black folks of America--which could be done with powerful bombs on wheel-shaped baby planes.


As a science fiction writer, I’m impressed. Nice world building, there. Lots of details weave into history and religion. We’re talking serious scholarship here.  


I’ve run into Christian versions of the angel/UFO theory, but like most UFO religious constructions are flimsy and depend on the “well, you just gotta believe” argument, using flying saucers as new delivery system for an ancient product.


The book brims over with more amazing stuff than I can mention here. I recommend it. It could inspire some powerful Afrofuturist visions. Maybe some religious conversions, too.


We have to consider all this in a world where Muhammad Ali’s sainthood could very well be amplified into godhood in a generation, and Disney is busy convincing young people that African culture was invented by Marvel and that Alexander Hamilton was a savior to black people. Plus, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump is being worshiped as a golden idol as Hiroaki “Jay” Aeba, leader of Happy Science, a Japanese cult that believes he is an alien from Venus, speaks.


So, is Elijah Muhammad alive and well on the Mother Plane?