Thursday, December 17, 2020

Chicanonautica: COVID-19 Kills X-Fic


by Ernest Hogan


For months I’ve been pimping the 2020 Extra-Fiction Contest from Somos en escrito, The Latino Literary Online Magazine, but now it’s my sad duty to report that, at least this year, it ain’t gonna happen. There weren’t enough entries, so it’s been canceled. Another casualty of COVID-19.

It shouldn’t be such a surprise. Even when there isn’t a pandemic paralyzing the world and disrupting our personal lives, it’s not easy being a writer from the Latinoid continuum. There aren’t many markets willing to publish us--I don’t keep saying that New York treats me like the most talented leper they have ever met for nothing--and with the virus grinding away at what’s left of civilization (do I even have to mention the election?), just writing is hard to get around to. If we aren’t just struggling to survive, there's the funk of lousy times drying up the creative juices.

Even the incredible Latinx imagination is taking some brutal hits in 2020.

Not that I personally have that problem. For me writing is the way I deal with adversity, the weapon I reach for when the going gets tough. My novel Zyx is coming along fine, getting too big--it just may be a trilogy--which maybe more salable . . .

But I know that I’m not like everybody else, and the creative work is work, hard work. Even I have trouble fitting it in around the day job and living in apocalyptic times.

The good news is they’re not giving up. The Extra-Fiction Contest will be back in 2021, which gives you plenty of time to write something. I’ve told them that if they need a judge, I’m available. And I’m still hoping to get my mind seriously blown.

Somos en escrito is still doing great stuff. Check ‘em out.

Ernest Hogan is the Father of Chicano Science Fiction. His short fiction collection Pancho Villa’s Flying Circus & Other Fictions is coming soon.

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