Thursday, April 27, 2017

Chicanonautica: Altermundos: Latinoid Culture Goes Speculative

by Ernest Hogan
Look out, world! Here's a manifestation of La Cultura that will give the President's absurd performance art, the design contest for the Border Wall, and the Mother of All Bombs some serious competition: Altermundos: Latin@ Speculative Literature, Film, and PopularCulture edited by Cathryn Josefina Merla-Watson and B.V. Olguín. It's got a cover that riffs on a classic Jesús Helguera painting, making it into sexy space opera. The UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center calls it “The first collection engaging Chicana/o and Latina/o speculative cultural production.” And it's over 500 pages.

You can even order it from Target for a 32% discount.

It includes my “Chicanonautica Manifesto” where I say things like: “I'm not interested in being puro Mexicano and only reaching the gente in the barrio. My roots embrace the planet, and reach out for the universe—the Intergalactic Barrio.”

There's also Daoine S. Bachran's “From Code to Codex: Tricksterizing the Digital Divide in Ernest Hogan's Smoking Mirror Blues” and other essays that discuss and mention my work. Makes me look like some kind of Latinoid literary chingón. Hmm, maybe there's something to this Father of Chicano science fiction stuff, after all?

And it's not all about me. Other essays discuss Gloria Anzaldúa's sci-fi roots, Jamie Hernandez's comics, Latin@ science fiction, Latin@ speculative fiction, Chicanafuturism, Chican@futurism, Sexy cyborg cholo clownz, a post-apocalyptic anarcha-feminist revolutionary punk rock musical, Matthew David Goodwin's notes on editing Latin@ Rising and mucho, mucho más, all reprinted from Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies.

This ain't no dull, academic tome. This is what's been going on as Latinoid culture rides the waves of future shock, sending fractures through Latinoid/Chicano art and science/speculative fiction. It's also the way the world is going, the culture of the 21st century and beyond. Civilization as we know it will not be the same. And it's good non-fiction companion to the other fiction anthologies that have been coming out lately.

Ernest Hogan has been published a lot in 2017. So far his work has appeared in Mithila Review, The Jewish Mexican Literary Review, Latin@ Rising, and Five to the Future. And a new edition of his novel Smoking Mirror Blues is in the works. Political turmoil seems to be good for Chicano science fiction. And the year just keeps getting weirder.

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