Thursday, February 24, 2022



Chicanonautica announces a Zoom event for R. Ch. Garica’s Death Song of the Dragón Chicxulub, at La Bloga.

So, step right up, and see the show:

With a Mexican dragon (or should that be dragón?)

And Chicxulub:

Passing through Carlos Castaneda country, going beyond:

Wednesday, February 16, 2022



After slugging out a good chunk of writing, the brain can lock up and the body gets restless. When this happens, I get up and walk around; sometimes I cruise the garden, check out what the weird plants are up to; other times I walk up and down the hallway, into the kitchen and living room. There I can end up contemplating the masks and bookshelves, bringing back memories.

Recently my eyes got snagged by a tall, slim volume titled Understanding Maya Inscriptions: A Hieroglyph Handbook, Second Revised Edition, by John F. Harris and Stephen K. Stearns. It brought back no memories. Where did I get it? Why did I have it?

These questions could only be answered by grabbing it and flipping through the pages. There was lots of dull, academic text, Also pen&ink renderings of hieroglyphs. They were more than beautiful. If you look at them long enough, the visual rhythms seem to move, come alive, try to communicate . . .

I remembered saying that about twenty years ago, to the late Rick Cook. Yes! He gave it to me while we were working on the Obsidian Harvest, which was published in Analog.

Maybe I need to read the dull, academic text.

Then I saw it, a glyph like a dope smoking astronaut.

Okay, it probably wasn’t a countercultural Von Dänikenism. The text says it’s god GII, of the Palenque Triad.  The smoke could be the pre-Columbian visual shorthand for speech. The figure in the lounging position used to fit it into the glyph could be dressed to play the sacred ball game. It could be a talking ballplayer, or a depiction of a mask with a built-in megaphone-like device, similar to those used by actors in ancient Greece?

It was also pretty damn close to a Mayanoid dope-smoking astronaut on the upper left hand cover of a magazine called Proud Flesh: Fiction for the Last Millennium. Chris DeVito, the publisher, also used it on his letterhead.

Yes, that’s my name in the list of contributors on the cover. The main image is a drawing of mine called Monster Love. The one-shot magazine came into existence because DeVito loved my story The Frankenstein Penis, and I told him I had an idea for a sequel called The Dracula Vagina, that I would write if I could find a publisher crazy enough.

(I am purposely not reproducing my illustration for the story.)

My career, my life, keeps veering into the surrealistic.

I do need to read those dull, academic texts. There’s something lurking there that I need. I just know it.

Thursday, February 10, 2022


Chicanonautica proudly announces El Porviner, ¡Ya!, the first Chicano science fiction anthology, at La Bloga.

The full title is trilingual:

Nahuatl included:

Because that’s the Chicano way:

And the way of the future:

Thursday, February 3, 2022



El Porvenir, ¡Ya! Citlalzaznilli Mexicatl, Chicano Science Fiction Anthology—to use the full, trilingual title—has been released.


Here’s the official announcment.


Beside a preface and story by yours truly, there’s writing by Mario Acevedo, Frank S. Lechuga, Martin Hill Ortiz, Pedro Iniguez, Nicholas Belardes, Armando Rendón, Lizz Huerta, Emmanuel Valtierra, Rios de La Luz, Beatrice Pita, Rosaura Sánchez, R. Ch. Garcia, Ricardo Tavarez, Rosa Martha Villarreal, Carmen Baca, Scott Russell Duncan, Gloria Delgado, and Kathleen Alcalá.


You can order it from Amazon.


Or direct from the independent raza publisher.


¡Viva Chicanofuturism!


Wednesday, February 2, 2022


That’s right, there’s an obnoxious exclamation point in the title. Like a command, or a battle cry. I’ve been around writers most of my life, and have long been appalled by what happens to them as they get old and die. Rick Cook was another writer whose health began to fail him, and eventually stopped him, just as he was beginning to achieve a long fought-for success.

The cruelest thing is they usually get forgotten after they die. Wait a few years after the obituaries, then look for any sign of them. Most of us do not become immortal.

I first met Rick on one of my many trips to Phoenix while romancing Emily Devenport, who knew him from a local writer’s group. He thought my crazy ideas were interesting. I was impressed by his being able to make a living as a writer.

Granted, like most full-time writers, his money came through nonfiction, journalism and articles about computers and high technology, though, as he said on his Linkedin page: “Okay, I'll write about anything they'll pay me for.”

It was a hard, crazy life. He was always scrambling for gigs. He worked odd hours, round the clock, mostly at night.

Sometimes Emily and I (after I moved in with her and we eventually got married) would join him at a Denny’s that would serve as a second office for him. He’d order an IV of iced tea, making the waitress laugh (they would just keep the glasses coming), and have a lot to say about writing, the weird state of the world, and otherwise being the personality that made him a fixture in fandom. He would also listen to our struggles as two broke, but publishing, writers. He was a friend, mentor, and cohort. Often these sessions would go on until dawn.

They eventually evolved into the Full Moon Club–an informal gathering on those moonlit nights because Rick’s wife Pati would be holding Wiccan meetings at their house, and astronomer/writer Peter L. Manly (he died a while back, anybody remember him?) couldn’t observe the heavens when the moon was up. Later we were joined by G. Harry Stine, Michael Stackpole, and some fans and aspiring writers.

It was fun and didn’t last very far into the 20th century. It also gave Emily and me front-row seats to Rick’s fiction writing career.

It started with a multi-book deal with Baen Books. Out of this came Wizard’s Bane, the first of his popular Wiz Zumwalt series, Limbo System, and my personal favorite Mall Purchase Night. He also sold stories to Analog and a few other markets, most of which can be found on the Rick Cook (writer) Wikipedia page.

Oddly enough, one Analog story not mentioned there is Rick’s collaboration with me, Obsidian Harvest from the April 2000 issue, and The Year's Best Science Fiction, Eighteenth Annual Collection. I’m in eternal debt to Rick for getting me into Analog and have to admit that the story was mostly his–I was along for my knowledge of pre-Columbian cultures and helping with the surrealistic dream sequences. It also gave me insight into Rick’s eccentric writing process that was influenced by being a reporter working with word processors: He would start with notes, ideas, scenes, usually not in order, later there would be a lot of cutting and pasting. My writing has been affected by it ever since.

Obsidian Harvest is a great story. I’m going to do what I can to get it back in print.

Meanwhile, I struggle along with my own writing career, as I get old, too. 

Thanks for the conversation and the inspiration, Rick.