Friday, March 24, 2023


Yup, all this in Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga:

Donald Trump:

John Wayne:

Mexican food:

And the impending election year:

Thursday, March 16, 2023



It is a time of demolition, reconstruction, and deception.

More than ever, sometimes the static is the signal.

The reptile goddess wants you to go for a ride.

Do you have enough eyes to see true beauty?

All landscapes become post-apocalyptic as time goes by.

Let’s go thataway and take care of business.

Thursday, March 9, 2023


It's a classic of Cinema Mexicana, in Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga.

Watch it if you want:

Not to be confused with the Texan headless horseman:

Directed by Chano Urueta:

He also directed this one:

Wednesday, March 1, 2023


Hey, all you Latinoid writers, in order to be inspire you to get out there and tackle the science fiction/fantasy/horror megagenre, Somos en escrito and MeXicanos 2070 has asked me to teach a class at their 2023 Palabras del Pueblo Writing Workshop, and I’ve agreed to take the job. 


Yeah, those of you who have been following me know I've shot my mouth off a lot about how much I hate workshops and didn’t want to be a teacher because me and school got along so good. Here’s an example:

I really don’t want to give advice on how to be a writer. Most of the advice that has been passed on over the last few decades was muddle-headed to begin with, and now it’s just plain obsolete, except for maybe the writing section of Paul Riddell’s Greasing the Pan. And the last thing I want to be is somekinda guru – what I’m trying to be is an anti-guru.


Unfortunately, I am a writer in a way that most wannabes can’t imagine. I have a lot experiences bashing my brains out against the stonewall of the writing life. They may not be very educational, but they may have entertainment value.


What makes some misguided folks think I may be qualified is that I’ve managed to publish enough to earn me a reputation as an International Cult Author. Just ask those people who’ve said nice things about me in Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Greek. Now, if I could just get them to send me some money . . .


It hasn’t made me rich. Then, to be honest, it’s rare for a writer to get rich. If you know of any writers who have achieved a comfortable retirement because of their writing, let me know. Don’t be insulted if I don’t hold my breath.


I have known, and greatly admired, a number of people who have been able to make a living by writing. This is usually done by writing dull, routine stuff – formula fiction, nonfiction that a particular market demands. I wish I could do that, but my perceptions are so twisted that straight reportage comes out like surrealistic constructions, and when I try to hack genre stuff I get called avant garde! This does not get you regular, paying writing gigs.


I used to fret over the fact that I had to get a day job, and was denied the life of a true professional, but as the years went by, to my horror, I noticed my friends who made money as writers were subjected to hard times, health problems (without insurance), and never seemed to get ahead enough to get comfortable. I’d think someone was a prime example of a solid pro writer, then discover that they were practically homeless.


Also, as bizarre as it may seem, what’s always been the easiest thing for me to sell is the weirdest, most offbeat stuff. No one has ever told me, "If you could just tone it down a little." It’s more like, "Hey, Ernest, ya got anything really sicko?"


This is because writing is a crazy business. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is some kind of civilized activity.


I once heard Kristine Kathryn Rusch mention "scary Zen writing stuff" that she didn’t want to talk about. Actually, it’s more like voodoo, but only if you’re doing it right. I’m willing to talk about it. It’ll be scary, but good for some laughs.


Come to think of it, except for the typos I corrected, I still stand by that. I don’t wanna be a writing guru. I don’t believe in gurus of any kind.


So why am doing this?


If you haven’t noticed, the world, especially when it comes to writing, has undergone some radical changes.


Also, one of the cold, hard facts of this brave new world is that you can make more money from talking to people about writing than writing.


Feel free to gasp here.


That and my getting old have me yearning for the day when I can retire from my day job and spend the rest of my life writing the books I want to write, and otherwise running amok.


It’s either that or make sacrifices to Tezcatlipoca, Xochiquetzal, and whatever other Aztec deities have been watching over me to arrange for my next novel to be a worldwide bestseller and get a great deal for the film and/or TV rights. 


I’m also brimming over with the Ancient Chicano Sci-Fi Wisdom that I’m willing to share. And l’m funny. I determined to give the students their hard-earned money's worth.


So sign up for Papí Sci-Fi’s Ancient Chicano Sci-Fi Wisdom, my fellow imaginative Latinoids. Let’s not just intrude into the fantastic genre, let’s take over!


Thursday, February 23, 2023


Modern corporate pop culture collides with the Maya at Chicanonautica over at La Bloga.

It’s about the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

Prince Namor, the Submariner:

The shaky Maya/Atlantis connection:


And more luchadores:

Wednesday, February 15, 2023


This is as much a note to myself as to all of you. A new edition of George S. Schuyler’s Black Empire is out! It’s fantastic! The earliest example of pulp science fiction written for a black audience. It’s the great granddaddy of Afrofuturism, NeoHoodooism, and chock full of dangerous visions. Not only that, it’s badass sci-fi like no other! I’ve got my copy and am wallowing in it now.


What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, February 1, 2023



Luis Senarens, the Cuban American Jules Verne, keeps amazing me. Not only has he turned out to be a Latinoid pioneer of both science fiction and pulp fiction, but he introduced interesting ideas that were ahead of his time and were not what you’d expect from well over a century in the past. His Frank Reade Jr. Exploring Mexico in His New Air-Ship had me thinking about strange variations on steampunk.

So, when I saw that he had a book called Fighting the Slave Hunters; Or, Frank Reade Junior in Central Africa, I had to get it. And I was not disappointed.

It begins with a man named Van Dyke showing up in Readerstown, “No prettier town in all America,” where Frank Reade Jr. has workshops where he manufactures his inventions. Van Dyke tells the inventor that slavers are capturing a tribe in Central Africa and asks for help in ending their plight.

Frank, as always, brimming over with idealism, agrees to do it, bringing along Vendetta, an armored land vehicle that bristles with weaponry.

Could this be a prototype for Afrofuturism? We’ll, not quite, after all it was written in 1903 . . .

When they arrive in Africa, they have to use electric weapons against the M’bokis, “a fierce and warlike set who are hand in glove with the villainous Portuguese.” Rather like the cannibals Dr. Belsidus faces in George S. Schuyler’s  Black Empire. (Holy synchronicity! It’s about to be reprinted! Get it! It’s a real synapse scorcher!) 

However, they are not the people who Van Dyke wants to rescue. That would be the Mamboulis, who have “attained a point nearer to civilization than any other African tribe.” And are “far from being black. Indeed, their skin is almost as white as my own . . .”

Yes, we have here one of those mythical, light-skinned African tribes that were common in the works of H. Rider Haggard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and a lot of other adventure fiction. They can also be found in movies made as late as the 1950s. The reason for this melanin adjustment is probably similar to why Senarens wrote these stories under the pseudonym “NONAME.”

If this all wasn’t enough, they come across a new colony that are menaced by the M’Bokis. They are Irish. Their “New Erin” is described as an “Irish utopia.” Africa is seen as the Dark Continent, an unused, undeveloped void open to colonization.

When Frank’s Irish sidekick kids Pomp, his black counterpart, about what Africans would think about all these Irish crowding them out, the black man shoots back with: “All the educated culuhed people gwine stay back in the United States. We jus’ leaves our cast-off things fo’ de Irish people.” 

You’d think Pomp and Barney would have more to say about the situation, but the publisher–and the readers–were more interested in an epic battle between the slavers’ armada of pirate ships and Vendetta’s electric and pneumatic guns.

Barney does admit in the end, “I jes’ likes Africky, I does!”

And I can’t help but wonder, how the New Erinites, the M’bokis, the Mamboulis, and the descendants of the slavers would have gotten along over the next few generations. What kind of Central Africa would develop? What brave new worldbuidling . . .

Thursday, January 26, 2023


Chicanonautica celebrates V. Castro, over at La Bloga.

She wrote a novel about Tlazolteotl, the Goddess of Filth and Depravity:


And one about everyone’s favorite gal from Aliens:

Because a little Santa Muerte goes well with your dystopia:

Haven’t you noticed?  This stuff is taking over the world:

Wednesday, January 18, 2023


We started at Kiss the Cook. I had the special, a chili and beans omelet. Delish.

Having survived our Covid Christmas, we headed north. Snow dusted the mountain tops as a bomb cyclone closed in on the California coast, bringing rain that would catch up to us soon.

We stopped at Walnut Canyon. It was cold and snowy. The Island Trail was closed. No climbing down into the Sinagua cliff dwellings this time.

Then on to Sedona, which was below the snow line. Low clouds gave it a Shangri-La feeling.

Breakfasted at the Coffee Pot. Three buckwheat pancakes are enough for me these days.

Then it was to Prescott and the Hassayampa Inn. The clerk told us that our room was on her favorite floor, the fourth, where the ghost of a woman who killed herself in 1927 “lives.”

Down Whisky Row, I got a T-shirt at The Palace (“The Oldest Bar in Arizona”) where the likes of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday used to hang out.

No visit from the ghost that frosty night.

In the morning we had coffee in the lobby while Cab Calloway played on the overhead. We had the whole, spacious Art Deco joint to ourselves.

Soon we were back home, which, as usual, looked different in the new year.

Thursday, January 12, 2023


Chicanonautica unloads about the whole Chicano/Latinx pendejada over at La Bloga.

Because Chicanos ain’t what they used to be:

And Latinos are everwhere:

And what’s with these Hispanics?

And then . . . Latinx: