Thursday, March 31, 2022


The last few springs have been weird. First there was the one where Covid broke out, then there was the one where politics went wacko and Covid still hadn’t gone away. Now Covid hasn’t quite gone away, but there’s also a war that just may turn into something BIG.

Here in the Metro Phoenix Area, the natural tendency to charge directly from winter into summer has been disrupted. We get a summery heat wave, then icy winds blow in rain clouds, and it gets mild again, for a while. You’d think that the climate was changing or something.

So now the lizards climbing my walls are sporting bright mating colors. Purple and yellow flowers are everywhere. Pollen is triggering runny noses and post nasal drip. And I keep getting the desire to go out and frolic in the sun.

Which is nice, but I also want to finish the insane novel that I’ve been working on for most of this twisted decade. The process has gotten so complicated that talking about it is damnear impossible.Which is okay, because what I really gotta do is get it done, not sit around babbling about it.

Still, I can’t help feeling that something truly, and existentially WEIRD is out there, coming my way.

Meanwhile, I keep trudging on ahead, into the unpredictable future.

Friday, March 25, 2022



Chicanonautica looks at an ancient Hollywood version of California history, at La Bloga.

It’s called Seven Cities of Gold:

With Michael “Klaatu” Rennie:

Jeffrey Hunter, the original captain of the starship Enterprise:

And the fabulous Rita Moreno:

Thursday, March 17, 2022



Happy St. Patrick’s Day, cabrones! Remember Damballah! And why not babble about my Irish heritage?

It’s all the fault of a cabin boy who jumped ship back in San Francisco back in the 19th century. He wound up in New Mexico. 

Yes, the New Mexico Irish are a thing, thanks to the Spanish Armada and the Catholic Church. The most famous one is Billy the Kid,who spoke fluent Spanish, wore sombreros, and was killed in his Mexican girlfriend’s house, “Quien es?” for his last words. Members of my family rode in a posse after him and testified against him in court.

My Irish ancestor was back in San Francisco for the 1906 earthquake. Then nobody ever heard from him again. No proof or report of his death, just—poof!—gone.

He may have been one of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, but again, no documentation.

A monument lists a Hogan as being killed as a member of the Battalion San Patricia. No way of knowing if he was any relation. 

Grandpa Hogan, who looked Irish until he started speaking Spanish, didn’t have a birth certificate. “The church burned down,” he said.

All these Hogan family mysteries! We have a long tradition not reporting things to the authorities. Maybe there are good reasons for remaining undocumented.

In honor of her children’s heritage, my mom learned to cook corned beef and cabbage, and would make it every St, Patrick’s Day.

More chingaderas to make life complicated for me. People get confused, and even disturbed when forced to confront a six-footer with brown skin, an Aztec nose, and an Irish name. It seems to be my mission in life to confuse the issues.

During my youth I grew to dread filling out forms. There was often no right box for me to check. I wasn’t black or white. “Other” is just too damn vague. When they started including “Hispanic” it was often amended with “Spanish surname only.” Why do bureaucracies keep trying to categorize me out of existence?

No wonder my dad would hold up his clenched fists and say, “This is how I proved I was a Mexican.” 

I developed an attitude that scares a lot of people.

I feel that none of this makes me less of a Chicano. The word lets folks know where and when I’m from instantly. And the dash of Irish only makes me more of a mestizo. Forget my bandido flourishes, it’s the Irish hooliganism that you have to watch out for.

I also find it difficult to sort out the Irish from the Mexican. What is the difference between la Llorona and the Banshee? Who is that crying in the Aztlán night? Ask St. Patrick. Or Damballah. Or the powerful spirit of an Aztec woman who heroically died in childbirth.

And now, I’m gonna get me a cerveza . . .

Thursday, March 10, 2022


Read the Chicanonautica review of Blood and Gold: The Legend of Joaqin Murrieta, over at La Bloga.

This film of Rudolfo "Corky" Gonzales is mentioned. You can watch it here:

Wednesday, March 2, 2022


There has been some good news lately: Rudy Rucker reports that his son had put all 13 issues of Flurb: A Webzine of Astonishing Tales online in a secure format. He also said it features “some of the best writers of the 21st C,” which is great because I’ve got two stories in there. And now you can read them.

I’m proud to be a Flubster, and a beatnik scifiista. I also like the way he illustrated it in the surrealist tradition with random selections of his own photos. As a tribute, I’m doing the same in this post with my own photos.

Sure, it didn’t pay, but the paying markets—especially the high paying ones—tend to be picky about what they hand their out cash for. They don’t want thing to be too far out, so they shoot for the lowest common denominator. So, with all due respect to Harlan “Pay the Writer” Ellison, if you write stuff that sends your imagination off to the further reaches, you have to realize that, of course, getting paid is always better, but getting published is better than not getting published.

The point is to get read. Which why venues like Flurb are so important.

I got my first story into Flurb after meeting Rudy at a science fiction convention. Since he had published my story The Frankenstein Penis in the Semiotext(e) SF anthology, I introduced myself.

He asked me if I would be willing to do a story for Flurb. He was interested in something about the political situation in my home state of Arizona. Then Governor Jan Brewer was being proto-Trumpian in her policies and was in my thoughts.

“You can make it as extreme as you want,” he said, then looked worried.

I laughed and explained that I was well aware how controversial I could get, and the problems it could cause. Then I proceeded to write Doctora Xilbalba's Datura Enema, a story that I wouldn’t have written if I didn’t know it had a guarantee of being published. You usually don’t get paid for your acts of aesthetic terrorism, so when an opportunity like this comes, jump on it.

Later Rudy contacted me about doing another story. I was busy at the time, looked through my files, and found story I had liked, but couldn’t find a market for. I sent it, and he got back, finding some problems with the story. I looked it over and realized that he was right. I did a rewrite, Xuanito, that was a lot better and wilder than the original.

Rudy is a damn good editor.

These stories, and everything else in Flurb are the sort of reading that will get you through these wacko times.

And both my stories will be in my first story collection, Pancho Villa’s Flying Circus, that is still in the works, despite all the global turmoil.