Thursday, May 16, 2024

Chicanonauta: Read the 2023 Extra Fiction Winners

by Ernest Hogan

Those of you who read the italicized notes at the end of these columns may be curious about the Somos en escrito Extra Fiction Contest. I could go on about encouraging writers in the Chicano/Latinoid continuum to pursue the diabolical science fiction/fantasy/horror megagenre, but what better way to explain this than to give you a chance to read this year's winners? So here are some links and nifty graphics:

First Place goes to "Death and the Santa Ana Wind" by Salvador Ayala, a well-crafted Chicanoization of the classic mass-murder-at-a-summer-camp genre, given a lift with realistic location and characters.

Second place goes to "SOE: The Sword of the East" by Robert Martin, a sword-wielding post-apocalypse set in a futuristic barrio with a butt-kicking female protagonist.

Finally, "The Collaborator" by M.R. Subias is a cop story set in LA after Earth has been conquered by aliens—a different Conquest, dealt with in a different way!

I also liked the runners-up: “When a Flower Blooms in Hell” by J.R. Rustrian is a very original take on an afterlife; and the neorealistic/folkloric “Lechuza,” by Carmen Baca. It was a close race, and I had to make up some impromptu rules to come to my final decisions.

I encourage the winners, and the everyone who submitted stories, to keep on writing, and submit your work to be published.  

An interesting trend I’ve noticed is more stories with a pop culture/“commercial” intent rather than high brow/fine art ambitions. I don’t consider it to be a bad thing. These winners deliver as pulp fiction, and could do well in graphic or film adaptations. 

I do keep dreaming of our stories becoming bestsellers that change global culture. So let’s all keep doing it.

Ernest Hogan is trying to sell his latest novel. His reportage on the Trump years can be read in Our Creative Realidades: A Nonfiction Anthology. Guerrilla Mural of a Siren’s Song: 15 Gonzo Science Fiction Stories, his first story collection, has been called “A great introduction to chicano sci-fi from the Father of Chicano Sci-fi himself.”`



Anonymous said...

Congrats to winners👊This almost makes me want to write about chicano sci-fi😉

Anonymous said...

So cool Ernie👏👏👏👏👏👏👏