Thursday, January 27, 2022

Chicanonautica: Chicano Science Fiction Meets The Reality Dysfunction

by Ernest Hogan

If only I had known, when the pandemic started, I would have kept a list of the things I would do that I had never done before. Seems like it’s happening all the time now. Maybe it’s better that I’m not keeping track, just jump in, do it.

Like when I found an email from Somos en escrito, asking if I would like to participate in a podcast about El Porviner, ¡Ya! Citlalzazanilli Mexicatl: A Chicano Science Fiction Anthology next Sunday. This was great, except that the message was a few days old. Leave town for a couple of days in the middle of the week, and you miss something—I’ve got to get in the habit of checking email on my phone while traveling, as well as  working on novels. I sent a yes, and they got back to me, sending me the Zoom link.

Zoom link? Was it going to be video? I thought podcasts were audio only. Just in case, I cleaned up the background area behind my computer, and put on a nice shirt when the time came.

Turns out, you can record the sound of a Zoom meeting without the visual. Which is great, because the participants can see who they’re talking to. For me, it helps, and you can feel more like you’ve “met” these folks.

In this case, I would be meeting Ernesto Mireles, PhD, an aspiring filmmaker, organizer, and part of the faculty at Prescott College, and Co-Director of their Social Justice Community Organizing Program. He started the podcast, called The Reality Dysfunction, early in the pandemic, as a way of figuring out how we’re all going to get through this thing.

Chicano science fiction and futurism turned out to be a natural for them.

We were also joined by Somos en escrito editors: Scott Duncan Fernandez and Jenny Irizary–also Armando Rendón came in late to announce that El Porvenir, ¡Ya! would be coming out around the end of the month–be on the lookout, I’ll be making a lot of noise on my blog and in the social media . . .


There was also Rosa Martha Villareal, another Porvenir writer, a recently retired Adjunct Professor at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, California, and the author of several novels including Doctor Magdalena, The Stillness of Love and Exile, and Chronicles of Air and Dreams,and Somos en escrito columnist. She also has some very interesting ideas about time travel from a Latinoid/pre-Columbian perspective that have me rethinking a novel I’ve been thinking about writing.

In all it was a lively discussion of the current predicament, how we’re dealing with it, and teaser for El Porvenir, ¡Ya!  It’s well worth a listen.  

I think we impressed Professor Ernesto, planting a mutagenic seed in the tortured field of academia. Maybe we’ll do it again sometime.

Ernest Hogan, Father of Chicano Science Fiction, and author of High Aztech, Cortez on Jupiter, and Smoking Mirror Blues is struggling to finish his novel Zyx; Or, Bring Me the Brain of Victor Theremin.

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