Thursday, December 28, 2023


Chicanonautica visits an info wilderness and finds out about a masked marvel at La Bloga.

The new wilderness is where there’s no cell coverage:

It’s where woodcutters have ancient wisdom:

And there are strange places:

And a masked marvel:

Wednesday, December 20, 2023


Like Mike says, the further north in California, closer to Oregon, the far edge of Aztlán, the more it becomes like Hobbiton. I must admit that the cooler weather, mossy, misty forests, and the relaxed, post-countercultural rural communities have a Middle Earth feeling. No hobbits, but images of Sasquatch are everywhere.

It definitely felt that way in Petaluma, though in places it was more like an abandoned Oz than one of the high-rent sectors of Middle Earth. There were murals,

a memorial to an arm-wrestling journalist,

and some funky stores

—including a bookstore where I found an old book that I was looking for, that often happens in these trips (really, it’s as if someone was putting them there for me to find), and the Thrifty Hippie,

where I saw the subtle flyer advocating the legalization of magic mushrooms.

Could that be the next step after cannabis culture in California? How long before classy shops will offer upscale, pricey, FDA-sanctioned psychedelic products that can do everything from warding off bad vibes to putting you in a kaleidoscopic intergalactic freefall for the weekend? And, of course, there will be unforeseen side effects . . .

Then there was the fabulous, abandoned Petaluma fairgrounds. Rusting fantastic sculptures towered over a wall with a weather-beaten sign calling for a movement to save the wonders while a winged lion and flying saucers rusted in the sun.

We arrived in Santa Rosa after their thrift stores had closed, but we did find a good Chinese restaurant. Then it was wine country, and into the redwoods, under the marine layer. The fog was thick. We finally ended up in a Super 8 in Fort Bragg.

Thursday, December 14, 2023


Further up the Cali coast in Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga.

Things are changing:

We saw a lighthouse:

Mayan cuisine is taking root:

And it’s earthquake country:

Wednesday, December 6, 2023


I passed on the free raisin snails at the motel, we went to a bagel shop in Carmel, where Clint Eastwood was once the mayor.

I thought I heard an elderly woman say, “A friend of mine got a new arm.”

(Later, Emily told me she heard it too.)

This was at the edge of an upscale shopping center. What kind of sci-fi lives did the people have around here? I’ve said that the SoCal I grew up in was like a collaboration between Philip K. Dick and the Firesign Theater spiced with some Cheech and Chong, the same seems to go for contemporary NorCal. How long before all of California starts to look like a backdrop for my stories?

The shopping center seemed to have roots that go back to the pre-mall era, kept up by a robust local economy. 

There were some thrift stores and a bookstore that Mike liked.

There were also signs announcing a prohibition on dogs relieving themselves on the premises.

This one place had a big sign: SYNCHRONICITY HOLISTIC. We wondered whatthehell kinda business that were in, then there was this slick, subtle, wordless sign: a marijuana leaf. Or should I say cannabis?

It was closed, but when I put my face close to the tinted windows, it looked like a bank: plush ultramodern furniture, plants that may have been artificial, and velvet ropes in front of a high counter where you could purchase high-price products that would make you feel synchronic and holistic.

It was right out of the New Wave spec fic I read in my youth. I imagine a time travel situation where I could show this to spaced-out hippies from 1969. Would they be delighted or horrified?

A short stroll away was another place: BIG SUR, CANNA + BOTANICALS.

Another place offered LASER AESTHETICS.

Who knows, the place that sells new arms was probably not far away . . .

Next it was historic Cannery Row, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Parking and getting in was a cyberKafka labyrinth. The bay area is a dense tourist area, and the parking meters were hard to figure out. You can’t just walk up and buy the expensive tickets to the aquarium and get in. Employees with hand-held gadgets told us we could only do it online, they helped, but . . .

The aquarium was a blast once we got in. Not just a bunch of fish tanks, but recreated ocean environments, deep sea, kelp forests, tide pools . . . alien environments with strange lifeforms, and they’re right here on this planet. In fact, most of this planet is ocean. We surface dwellers are a minority.

It was fun, but then, like the octopus clinging to the glass, gripping a piece of PVC pipe, not moving, I felt uneasy. Most of the jellyfish were swimming upside-down–was this normal, or a reaction to the unnatural situation? How long before all natural environments are locked up in artificial recreations like this? The creeping Disneylandization of the planet. Pay the high price for tickets, stand in line, be part of the crowd, a cell in the economic organism, consume what’s left of the ecosystem . . .

Or maybe we are already a worldwide zoo/aquarium, and alien tourists whizz by delighting in our crime, wars, and self-destruction . . .

Later, in a thrift shop in Pacific Grove, I a copy of André Breton’s Manifestoes of Surrealism.

Thursday, November 30, 2023


It’s earthquake ground zero and a new colony in Cali in Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga.

Will California be a new Atlantis?

Or is it a chunk of Lemuria crashed into North America?

There’s a Zapotec influence:

And new kinds of Mexican restaurants:

Sunday, November 26, 2023


Suddenly, I’m officially gonzo! As in Guerrilla Mural of a Siren’s Song: 15 Gonzo Science Fiction Stories—not my idea, but if the glass slipper fits . . . And it packaged as part of a series:

The footnote refers to a quote from the entry on me in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction:

There is a pleasing gonzo energy to Hogan's work, though not to date any sense of any outbreak into work of radical originality: but he continues to seem capable of storming into general view.

The only time it’s been said that I’m not radical enough. As for storming into general view, I’ve been beating myself bloody at it for decades. Maybe the time has finally come . . .

Gonzo is a good word to describe what I do. I’ve been doing stuff like this before I heard of Hunter S. Thompson. I also was surreal before I knew about Salvador Dalí.

I am doomed to forever be explaining myself. People need to label you.

But remember the words of Frank Zappa:

What will you do when the label comes off
And the plastic's all melted
And the chrome is too soft?

So, give the gift of gonzo this Holidaze, and check out my other novels. A reviewer did say Cortez on Jupiter was “like taking a stroll through the mind of a mad Mexican Hunter S. Thompson.”  And the hero/narrator of my underground cult classic High Aztech is a kind of gonzo journalist.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023


The day after the eclipse, we left Phoenix as the sun was setting, heading for Las Vegas. It was dark before we hit the strip of Highway 93 known as Bloody Alley because of all the accidents that happen there. 

My fantasies of a galactic highway system were tempered by my having watched the Mexican vampire gunslinger movie El Pueblo Fantasma before Emily got off work. 

She also brought some of her mom’s ashes, after all, we were carrying on the tradition of the Maggie Devenport Annual Road Trip. Em also brought an audiobook of Stephen Fry reading ghost stories, to set a spooky mood as we glided through the interstellar blackness of the dark desert void.

My writer’s brain noted that a vampire making this drive would be a good beginning for a vampire story. It would need more, though. Stuff to keep it from being a cornball, here’s-the-vampire-folks thing. Too bad that James Dean didn’t live to star in an R-rated, Seventies, “Vampire Run to Vegas.” Or maybe in the story, he became a vampire, who now drives these roads at night . . .

At one point a pair of headlights came straight at us . . .


We gassed up at Kingman. $3.95 a gallon. The Petro station was festooned in Halloween decorations. The gritty realities of 2023 C.E. were effectively blacked out. Dime store demons were welcome companions.

After a while, Vegas materialized as an ocean of urban lights, triggering my visions of a galactic civilization.

Spent the night in Mike’s Henderson (just out of L.V.) house, parked our Elantra, transferred our stuff–including Emily’s mom–to his Prius, and had no trouble getting to sleep even if a neighbor’s air conditioner played a mechaniod concerto just out our window.

Next morning we whizzed past Las Vegas. The illusions of a glittering, mulitcolored, neon Oz on the edge of decadent galaxy gave way to the sun-blasted, post-Apocalypitic deserts of Planet Nevada, its own world of gambler’s utopia, legal prostitution, atomic testing, Area 51 . . . Hunter S. Thompson was right, this is the American Dream . . . Ha . . . Ha . . . Ha . . .

Henderson, and other Nevada towns, are Mars colony-esque. As most of the arid Southwest–Aztlán, dammit!--is. This region is a dress rehearsal for what Terrestrial Civilization (if you haven’t noticed, Western Civilization is an obsolete concept) plans to do to the Red Planet. It’ll be like Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, only a lot more bizarre . . .

Somehow, I managed to get to California without taking any Planet Nevada photos. The westward journey mellowed into a different kind of weirdness. Then when it gets to California, the state of my birth, it becomes familiar territory, but then we were north of the SoCal of my youth, still another flavor of strange.

This popped into focus in Wasco, at the Jolly Kone Drive-In, now a postmodern archaeological ruin, boarded up with its wind and ultraviolet radiation-eaten sign, and a mural blending into graffiti in the back. What I’ve been talking, and writing, about. It could have been part of one of my Mars stories.

Then, in trying to find our way through farm country, a friendly highway worker pointed us to the James Dean gas station. It’s a local tourist spot, the last stop Dean made before he drove off to have his fatal accident. 

It was selling gas for $6.35 a gallon. There was also a gigantic store/tourist trap with all kinds of stuff for sale, and photo ops that weren’t necessarily on subject. 

Dean probably would have made a great vampire in his old age. Now one of the cutouts of him stands by the gas pumps, with bird shit dripping down his face.

Sunday, November 19, 2023



Things were looking good, Guerrilla Mural of a Siren’s Song was up and selling on Amazon, I was busy making noise about it on Facebook and Twitter, when Will Bayer, a friend from my old neighborhood in West Covina, pointed out that the cover was missing one of the Rs in guerrilla. Awk!

I took a few deep breaths, and a line from Alejandro Jodorowsky’s El Topo popped into my head: “Too much perfection is a mistake.” One of the wisest sentences uttered in any movie.


Ever see a happy perfectionist? Didn’t last long, did it?

So I shot an email to my publisher, and she got on it. Thank Quetzalcoatl for computerized publishing! The problem was soon fixed.

In the meantime, I repeated on the social media that the early print-on-demand copies with the goof were destined to become valuable collector’s items.

I even started an Instagram account.

If you ask me, it looks like another case of Tezcatlipoca reminded me not to act like somekinda chingón.