by Ernest Hogan
Here we are, the year 2013. Are we futuristic yet? What’s a Chicano writer to do in this new spacetime configuration?
I began and ended Chicanonautica last year with the whole Mayanoid apocalypse bruhaha. Glad it’s over. Unfortunately, part of the fallout is that a lot ignorant pendjos are dismissing the Maya as stupid people who predicted the end of the world when it didn’t happen. Actually, the Maya never predicted the end of the world . . . I’ve said it before. Why do I have this feeling that we’re going to need some genuine ancient Mayan wisdom to get through Baktún 14?
I reviewed a lot of books that were of interest to La Bloga readers. I will keep doing that. Despite Junot Díaz getting a MacArthur Foundation genius grant, the traditional, New York-based publishing world is not presenting a lot of Latino writers to the world. Who knows what they’ll be hawking in this post-Harry Potter, post-Twilight, 50 Shades world? And their days as the center of the publishing universe are numbered.
Then there was the Spic vs Spec thing that Rudy Ch. Garcia started. I still say that Chicano is a sci-fi state of being. That goes for various forms of Latino and Hispanic. Did you know that according to U.S. Marshals, “Hispanic” is a skin tone? Welcome to dystopia. Se habla Spanglish.
Funky aspects of La Cultura continue to be my obsession. I will write about Mexican comic books, luchadores, narcocorridos, spaghetti westerns, Spanish-language UFO literature, and other glorious manifestations of Latin creativity. I probably should do more about music and food, which will probably conquer the world eventually.
2012 was another nonstop political firestorm with a lot of flaming caca aimed at La Gente. 2013 promises more of the same. Here in Arizona, Joe Arpaio is still the Sheriff of Maricopa County (where I live!), and we have a lot folks who are hysterical over Barack Obama’s re-election. Just going about my business here is going to present me with a lot material for fiction and nonfiction, and it’s going to be so strange that it’ll be hard to sort out the science fiction from the journalism.
Someday I may have to dedicate a book to the politicians of my home state.
One thing I’d like to do more of are Aztlán travelogues. If I can find any excuse for my wife and me to go off wandering these deserts and mountains, and to report back about the weirdness we find, I’m going to take it. It would be nice to be able to retire and do that kind of stuff full time . . .
And of course that will require funding, so expect more shameless self-promotion. Buy Cortez on Jupiter and Smoking Mirror Blues! High Aztech is coming! Support the Ernest Hogan Defense Fund!
And of course, I’m starting the year with a stack of unfinished business, and new projects that all are stark, raving Chicanoid, because I am who I am. I’m working on novels, a collection of my short stories, new short stories -- and no doubt the unexpected will come crashing in, sending me off in some new direction.
The Maya considered 13 to be a lucky number. We’ll see . . .
Ernest Hogan lives in Arizona. He is a Chicano with an Irish name. His writing is considered science fiction even when he is describing the world around him.