Thursday, December 02, 2021

Chicanonautica: Notes on Extra-Fiction 2021

by Ernest Hogan

My life, writing schedule, and reading routine had all been disrupted for the last couple of months. Not just Latinoid Heritage Month, but I had to do my duty judging the finalists of Somos en escritos’ Extra Fiction Contest. It was a wild ride, and forced me to do some serious thinking about La Raza and writing, and was otherwise worth my precious time, as that monstrous, unfinished novel beckons.

After some serious consideration, I chose the winners:


First place is “Attack of the Quetas” by Toni Margarita Plummer. It combines the appeal of an old-fashioned monster movie with a folklorico feel and feminism in a modern setting and things anyone who has been to a Chicano family wedding will appreciate. It also packs quite a punch.


Second place went to “Beast of Cabo Roto” by Arnaldo Lopez Jr., and once again the monster movie sensibility rears its suitably ugly head, and it’s a good thing. Set in hurricane-ravished, contemporary Puerto Rico, it could make a good movie, or comic book--I’m thinking of a traditional, tiny Mexican one printed in that brown ink that had that pungent, uric acid smell when fresh


In third place we have “Sacred Evolution” by Carmen Baca, which is very original and unusual, especially with the viewpoints, getting into a new take on Native spirituality and environmentalism.

In both runners up, the folklorico meets the modern world--are we seeing a  trend, folkoricopunk, emerging? I ended up ranking them all in order of how much pizazz they had. Overall, I was impressed by the professionalism of the writing of all of the stories. They all deserve to be published and read.

Again, I advise the writers to keep sending them out and searching for markets.

Ernest Hogan’s latest story, “Those Rumors of Cannibalism and Human Sacrifice Have Been Greatly Exaggerated” is in Speculative Fiction for Dreamers: A Latinx Anthology. He is also helping out with the Kickstarter campaign for El Porvenir, ¡Ya! Citlalzazanilli Mexicatl, a Chicano Science Fiction Anthology that will also have a preface and new story by him.

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