Thursday, March 11, 2021

Chicanonautica: 2021: Other Odysseys

by Ernest Hogan

Washington DC isn’t under attack, and Trump hasn’t been reinstalled as president, so it looks like I’ll have to write about something else . . . I will keep checking, in case we suddenly have riots, bombings, or a civil war . . .

On the other hand, to be irreverent and heretical, has anybody else noticed that Trump seemed to be good for the whole Latinx literature thing? A lot or my fellow Latinoid writers (a lot of whom are friends) have books coming out. More than I ever remember, and I’m getting pretty old. I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to afford to buy them all. Hell, even I have a book coming out—Pancho Villa’s Flying Circus & Other Fictions, if any news of it breaks, I’ll interrupt myself.

So why not give you Chicanonauts out there some advanced warning?

Guillermo Gómez-Peña already has two big, important books out: Gómez-Peña Unplugged: Texts on Live Art, Social Practice and Imaginary Activism (2008-2020) that mentions me, and La Pocha Nostra: A Handbook for the Rebel Artist in a Post-Democratic Society. El maestro Guillermo does in performance art what I try to do in science fiction, and in his field the interface between real life and sci-fi gets more intense. Reading him reminds me what I’m doing, gets me rethinking things and heading off in new directions.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia,who recently broke the bestseller barrier with her sensational novel that’s being developed into a TV series Mexican Gothic, has a new one out: Untamed Shore that gets noir in sunny Baja California in 1979, and coming soon is The Return of the Sorceress, her version of a heroic fantasy.

David Bowles, whose middle grade graphic novel (illustrated by his daughter Charlene) Rise of the Halfling King (Tales of the Feathered Serpent #1) and whose chapter book series 13th Street came out in 2020, will soon be releasing The Path, a “BIPOC-futurist space opera quartet.”

And Rudy Ch. Garcia, La Bloga co-founder and author of The Closet of Discarded Dreams, has announced Death Song of the Dragón Chicxulub, a YA fantasy that sends a contemporary chicano on an epic adventure that brings pre-Columbian fantasy to life.

And that’s not all. I’m sure I’ve seen announcements for more, but my overworked brain is having trouble coughing them up. There’s just so pinche much going on during this pandemic.

If you’re one of the Latinx writer coming out with sff-type book, I’m on Facebook and Twitter. It’s pretty easy to get in touch with me. I also have a tendency to review books that writers send me for free—especially if they deal with the subject at hand. I also need them for this column.

Meanwhile, there has been no insurrection, the political turmoil bubbles under the beauty of a sunny Spring day, and I remember to keep a bandido bandana handy to tie over my face when I go out.

Ernest Hogan is working Zyx, Volume One: Bring Me the Brain of Victor Theremin.

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