Excerpt from Five to the Future: All New Novelettes of Tomorrow and Beyond By Ernest Hogan With a review by Scott Duncan-Fernandez
I didn’t have any real idea when I started. I thought the quote from Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs would make a good title. Then Donald Trump started running for president. It’s fun to take things that people say they want and make a sci-fi future out of it. But then, remember that your utopia is someone else’s dystopia and vice versa.—Ernest Hogan
“Testing, testing. . . Is this thing on? UNO! . . . DOS! ONE-TWO! TRES! CUATRO!”
Low-flying F-16s rattled windows and loosened fillings as they rumbled their way to and from Luke Air Force Base, as they did every day since the new president stepped up the war.
A camera perched on the security fence near Central Avenue in Phoenix, undergoing repair after a hole was blown in it, partially destroying the face of the new president that was painted there as part of the ongoing mural project. It swiveled, looking for action and finding it on the street below. A flash of light disturbed a chain gang of young brown and black women wearing striped jumpsuits. A hologram appeared: a figure in a spacesuit tricked out in intricate, colorful decorations like Mayan embroidery or a charro’s best suit. The helmet had DayGlo hot rod flames and an engine’s air intake sticking out of the top. The face was not human, but a papier-mâché skeleton painted for Día de los Muertos. It screamed like a rooster from Hell. “UNO! … DOS! ONE-TWO! TRES! CUATRO!” The chain gang panicked and tried to run, tripping on their shackles. An officer fired her gun, triggering a hail of gunfire from passersby and vehicles trapped in the perpetual traffic clog near the fence. People screamed. More shots were fired. Sirens wailed. Drones large enough to be armed buzzed in.
The hologram admired the mayhem. Its mask stretched and cracked into a grin. Something flew over the fence, landing near the hologram. The object exploded into a cloud of red smoke. When the smoke cleared there was a flash-painted portrait of the skull-faced hologram on the fence next to the hole. The hologram laughed like an over-amplified mariachi and disappeared. Two F-16s thundered low overhead, heading for Luke Air Force Base.
Later, back at the now partially repaired hole in the fence, bullet holes in what was left of the new president’s face had been patched with a white spray-on plaster. The portrait of the skull- faced hologram had been painted over. A young woman wearing a hijab and matching fuchsia designer combat fatigues posed where the hologram had appeared. She smiled like a pro. The high-resolution fairy drone flew a smooth path to the young woman’s dark brown face, remaining focused on her green eyes. “Hiya, hiya, hiya, babes of the world! Don’t adjust your devices! It’s me, Cha-Cha Chavez. I’m in disguised as Muslim for my latest Gonzomedia assignment—a daring investigation into the dangerous West Side of the Metro Phoenix area!” An F-16 roared overhead. “And, as you’ve probably noticed, I’ve had a melanin enhancement, too! My advance research crew advised me that a darker skin tone would be advisable in this Unsecure Zone. With no offense meant to the melanin-rich inhabitants of the Zone. Frankly, I think I look great! Makes feel more in touch with the Afro side of my Afrolatinidad! I just may keep it. What do you think, babes of the world?” The fairy zoomed up for a bird’s-eye shot. “Anyway, I’m here at this complicated tangle of streets where Phoenix intersects with Indian School Road near one of the main checkpoints that has been shut down after the recent guerrilla art bombing.” “Wait a minute there, Ms. Chavez, it was more like an act of domestic terrorism. I don’t see anything resembling art.” The fairy zoomed down to focus on Cha-Cha and a group of uniformed people. “As you can now see, it’s not just me and one of Gonzomedia’s state-of-the-art fairy drones facing the ragged edge of Phoenix’s Unsecure Zone—I’m accompanied by a team of Maricopa County’s new sheriff’s deputies, led by Deputy Billy Gomez.” “That’s Deputy Sheriff Public Relations Specialist First Class Billy Gomez.” The deputy tried to look humble. “And we’re proud to be here to serve you, Cha-Cha. We only wish that you’d let us go with you into the Zone.” “I’m sure exploring the Zone with you and these attractive men and women would be fun, but as a journalist I’ve undergone martial arts and combat training, and I have a licensed concealed-carry weapon.” “She’s armed!” All the deputies drew their weapons and aimed at Cha-Cha, who smirked as she raised her hands. “I’m afraid that you’re going to have let us see your weapon. Get it out, nice and slow,” said Gomez. “Your Muslim getup has gone some of my people here kinda nervous.” “Are you profiling me?” Cha-Cha got down on one knee in a graceful, ballet-like move. “No, ma’am, it’s just as members of one of the sheriff’s Elite Special Posse we’ve some bad experiences with Muslims.” Cha-Cha pulled up a pant leg, revealing a holster strapped to her leg just above the top of her boot. “Now get it out, real slow. Keep your fingers away from the trigger.” Using only two fingers, Cha-Cha lifted out an ornate, gold-plated .45 automatic. One of the deputies whistled. Cha-Cha winked. “Got it from a confidential source while doing a story about drug gangs in Mexico.” A pickup truck flying a full-sized American flag pulled up. A window rolled down. A white man in an AMERICA IS GREAT AGAIN! baseball cap leaned out. “Need any help, officers? I got a .44 Magnum here . . .” “No. We have the situation under control.” “Are you sure?’ “Yes.” “Damn. I never get to have any fun.” The pickup flowed back into traffic. “Put the weapon down on the sidewalk, ma’am,” said Gomez. “I have a permit.” “Let’s see it.” Cha-Cha pulled it out. The deputy scanned it. “I guess it’s all legit, but we still wish you would let us accompany and protect you.” “Sorry, but you’d totally ruin my doc. Nobody would want to talk to me. Like the way this fence doesn’t really do anything but slow down traffic since it’s never been completed. Some people have told me that’s all just a scam designed to bring in more federal tax money.” “We’re just trying to keep things secure.” “Security is overrated. Besides I’m going to meet someone who will watch over me and guide me through the Zone as an insider.” “And who would that be?” “None other than the famous lowrider, Xolo Garcia.” All the deputies groaned and grumbled.
“An infamous lowrider,” said Gomez. “He’s a very suspicious individual. Involved in all kinds of questionable activities. And he’s suspected of being involved with gangs, graffiti, guerrilla theater, and other things that are tracked by the NSA and the president’s new Department on National Unsecurity.” “And here he comes now!” The thrum-thrum-thrum on the base of a powerful sound system pulsed through the air, and the ground. El Xolomobile, a huge vehicle, Frankenkustomized beyond any hope of recognizing any factory make or model, cruised through the gap where the streets cut through the fence. The vehicle rode low to the ground, had a complicated array of chrome exhaust pipes, and was painted in a designed loosely based on the Aztec Calendar Stone and underground cybertoons. A pale young woman broke through the police barricades and dashed into traffic, causing horn honks and tire screeching. She was dressed in a fuchsia outfit similar to Cha-Cha’s, but without the hijab; instead, a frizzled mass of fuchsia hair bounced to her every movement. “Cha-Cha! Cha-Cha! Don’t do it! Everything west of Central is the ghetto! And it’s infested with illegals and immigrants! You could get shot! And I’m your biggest fan!” The deputies blocked her way and then grabbed her. “By the way”—Fuchsia-hair hardly seemed to notice the interference—“I love the new skintone! It really sets off your eyes. I’m saving up to get it, too!” Cha-Cha struck a superhero pose. “Sorry, but this story is too important. The social fabric of Phoenix, the United States of America, and the entire planet depends on people being able to figure out what the hell is going on, and I’m determined to help them.” The Xolomobile’s passenger door opened with a hiss. Cha-Cha leaped in, her fairy following after taking a wide-angle establishing shot. “For God’s sake! Don’t let them convert you to Islam!” Fuchsia-hair burst into tears and collapsed. The deputies consoled her.
The interior of the vehicle glowed with Huicholesque beadwork and light coming from the fringe of electric puffballs that dangled from the edge of the ceiling. The driver wore a python- skin cowboy hat, a bullfighter’s jacket, charro pants, vaquero boots, and a T-shirt that said something in colorful, ornate lettering “Xolo Garcia?” “My too-weird-to-live/too-rare-to-die self. And you must be the out-of-this-world-famous Cha- Cha Chavez! Glad to meet you! Welcome to El Xolomobile!” He held out a hand with a pachuco cross tattoo. The fairy zoomed in to capture the handshake. “Moi aussi,” said Cha-Cha. “So this is the infamous Xolomobile. Are you trying to be some kind of superhero?”
“My dad always said we should all be our own superheroes.” “That would Popocatepetl Garcia, the cult hero/performance artist/political activist who is presumed dead after disappearing under mysterious circumstances a few years ago?” “Some of us don’t think it was so pinche mysterioso. And we prefer to use the word assassinated.” Cha-Cha giggled. “It’s hard to read in this light. What does your T-shirt say?”“Legalize Bullfighting Now!” “Wow! That’s controversial!” “Bullfighting is the mother of all artforms—life, death, and art all at once! After watching a good one, you feel you can take on anything that comes your way, and after a great one it’s like anything is possible! A culture that bans it is doomed. Besides, there’s something about it— especially when performed by a beautiful woman—that really gets to me.” “So, is there any truth to the rumors that you are romantically connected to the woman bullfighter Cihuachichi?” “Romantically is to put it lightly. What we have is more like afición beyond mad, existential passion.” Cha-Cha beamed at the fairy camera. “So you heard it here, folks! Xolo and Cihuachichi are an item!” “What we have is also real,” said Xolo. “Not media masturbation material.” A phone video appeared as a head-up display on the windshield. It was a tight close up of a beautiful dark-skinned woman with the features of an Aztec warrior princess—Cihuachichi. Her black-painted lips sent kisses to the lens. She wore skull earrings and her black hair was buzzed down the nub except for a long, braid that was wound from the back of her head around her neck and tucked into her cleavage. She didn’t seem to be wearing any clothes. She rubbed a bullfighter’s sword against her cheek. “Xolo, mi amor, have fun on your interview with this Cha-Cha chiki-chiki, but if you”—she licked and sucked on the tip of the sword—“use your sword on her I may have use this one on the both of you.” She jabbed the lipstick-smeared sword at the lens. Xolo and Cha-Cha realized that they were leaning on each other, their hands touching, and jerked apart. “Wow!” said Cha-Cha, “She’s hot!” “Don’t I know it!” “And you are also as passionate about legalizing bullfighting?” “Yeah, I know, some of the gente say we should be moderate, start out with decriminalizing cockfighting, then after a few generations legalizing bullfighting. Guess I inherited Papa Popo’s attitude. I want to see bullfights at the Glendale International Sports Arena—hopefully performed by Cihuachichi—in my lifetime.” “Which hopefully will be longer than your father’s,” “Pinche right, cabróna!” The fairy took a 360 of the vehicle’s spacious interior, then did a zoom out the rear window, catching the murals on the west side of the fence. “The art on this side certainly looks different,” said Cha-Cha. “Rougher, in an out-of-control gangster graffiti-style. No doubt indicating a cultural divide.” “The murals on the East Side are a publicly-sponsored project,” said Xolo. “Those on the West Side are spontaneous graffiti. Sometimes they’re done by the same artists. Like me.” “You’re an artist as well as a lowrider!” “Look around, El Xolomobile is a work of art, as is my life. Sometimes I have to do stuff for money.” “Would this stuff include illegal activities?” “What’s illegal today can be legal tomorrow. Besides, I’m not going to say anything that may incriminate me. As my sister, Xuana, who’s a lawyer, advised me.” “Aw, come on, how are we going to make this an interesting doc?” Xolo pointed to some of the many screens on the dashboard. “Right now there are seven drones following us. And a helicopter trying to be discreet by flying high. El Xolomobile has detected—and blocked—several attempts to hack into our conversation.” The fairy buzzed around, catching glimpses of the drones and helicopters. An F-16 blasted by. “My Gonzomedia techs assured me that my link with my fairy drone was secure.” “This is an Unsecure Zone, Cha-Cha. Always assume that everything you say and do can and will be used against you in a court of law.” Cha-Cha pointed. “Is that a mosque over there?” The fairy focused on it. “Yeah. We have them here. And churches of all kinds. I’ll cruise by the NeoAztecan temple later.” “Would you say this was a multicultural area?” A group of girls in colorful hijabs crossed the street on skateboards. “The whole world is multicultural, if you haven’t noticed. This is more like a recombocultural witches’ brew, cooking up the civilizations of the future. Like my dad said, ‘Utopias are do-it-yourself projects—dystopias are too.’” “But a lot of people are afraid of it,” said Cha-Cha. “Like the fan who warned me that this was the ghetto.” Xolo shrugged. “A victim of postpostmodern times. She probably spent her entire life in a suburban environment where all problems are instantly solved by dialing 911. Her coming here to warn you is probably the climax of her life. She’s probably rushing back home now to install herself in her mind-dissolving entertainment system and vegetate happily ever after.” “Most people prefer security.” “Police states claim to be secure.” “You can’t possibly claim this is a police state.” A siren blasted. Red and blue lights flashed. “Chinga!” Xolo pulled over. “GET OUT OF THE VEHICLE. PUT YOUR HANDS OVER YOUR HEADS!” Xolo rolled his eyes, and tapped a key near the ornate steering wheel, “WHAT IS THIS DEEP-FRIED PINCHE CACA, BILLY? YOU KNOW THEY SAID THEY DON’T WANT ANY MORE UNLAWFUL HARASSMENT SUITS!” The doors of the cruiser popped open. “THAT’S DEPUTY GOMEZ IN THIS SITUATION, XOLO.” The other deputies hopped out. “I THINK I’LL CALL MY SISTER XUANA. SHE HAS AN APP WHERE SHE CAN SUE ONLINE.” The deputies drew their weapons. Cha-Cha put her hand on her own gun. Xolo glanced at her, then back at the officers. “AND WE’RE RECORDING IN HERE! I COULD MAKE THIS A LIVE WORLDWIDE FEED.” Deputy Gomez frowned. “HOLSTER UP, PEOPLE.” The other deputies obeyed. “THE NEW SHERIFF HAS SPECIFICALLY TOLD ME TO WATCH THE PUBLICITY ANGLE, SO I’M GONNA LET YOU OFF WITH A WARNING THIS TIME, XOLO, BUT LET ME WARN YOU: IF SO MUCH AS ONE COLORFUL HAIR ON MS. CHAVEZ’S HEAD IS HARMED WHILE YOU’RE ON HER WATCH, I’M PERSONALLY GONNA MAKE YOUR LIFE A LIVING HELL.” Deputy Gomez crossed his arms and looked mad, holding the pose for all the cameras. El Xolomobile lurched into the flow of traffic. Xolo smirked. “Looks like our deputy friend has a bit of a soft spot for you, eh, Cha-Cha?” Cha-Cha mimed putting her finger down her throat. “Definitely not my type, and besides, he’s got to be almost thirty. I bet he’s just doing this to improve the sheriff’s department’s image with my target demographic.” “He’d like to target me, but can’t seem to come up with any charges that will stick.” “So you know Deputy Gomez?” “We got history, go way back. We’re from the same neighborhood.” “Interesting.” The fairy focused on the houses along the street. “Are those shrines to the Virgin of Guadalupe?” said Cha-Cha. “Yes, we have a lot of them around here. Them and Mexican food joints.” “It does looks kind of like Mexico around here.” “Aztlán. I prefer it to the corporate franchise decor of the East Side.” An ice cream truck playing “La Cucaracha” cruised by. The fairy locked on for a tracking shot. “A lot of people don’t know that ‘La Cucaracha’ is about a marijuana smoker,” said Xolo. Cha-Cha didn’t bat an eyelash. “Are you a marijuana smoker?” “Since Arizona is one of that states that stubbornly keeps mota illegal despite the new president’s strong-arm tactics, I am going to have to evoke the grand American tradition of declining to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me.” “Xolo, you disappoint me.” “Hey, keeping my ass out of jail is top priority.” “But you can trust me. I’m Cha-Cha! And we aren’t sending this live/online like amateurs. I’m recording raw feed that I’m later going to edit into a professional, artistic documentary that will be accessible through Gonzomedia with a worldwide promotional campaign.” He laughed. “A lot of people get arrested and deported because of raw feeds. Especially since the new president got elected.” “Still, Xolo, we need as many raw feeds as we can to create an awesome final product.” “Who’s to say that we aren’t that final product, Cha-Cha?” “Now, you’re sounding like your father.” “What can I say, Papa Popo raised me.” “And what about your mother?” “Along with the fabulosa Cihuachichi, mi madre, Doña Juana Colón, is a guiding light of my life.” “She’s very interesting. I tried to schedule an interview, but she refused.” “She’s old-fashioned, likes her privacy.” “You’d think a Latina involved in technical and business activities the way she is would be concerned with communicating with world at large.” Xolo frowned. “She’s very busy.” “Doing what?” “I am not permitted to say.” “I’ve heard some interesting rumors about inventions, strange vehicles being sighted on roads, and even on the sky.” “Like that?” The fairy focused on a drone glittering in the sun. Cha-Cha tickled a handheld device. Xolo barely glanced at it. “According to El Xolomobile’s brains, it’s been following us for a while.” “It’s not alone,” said Cha-Cha. The fairy did a sweep, and spotted two more drones of different designs. “Actually, Cha-Cha, this is normal when I go cruising around here.” “Does it bother you, Xolo?” “You can’t take a ride like El Xolomobile out without attracting attention. Why have style if you can’t show it off?” “Doesn’t being watched cramp this style of yours? He grinned. “Watch this!” Xolo gripped the wheel and stomped the accelerator. El Xolomobile sped down the street, making a few sudden, screeching turns. The drones scrambled, trying to keep up, and avoid each other. There were some collisions, and dogfights over ideal tracking positions. Onboard weapons were deployed and fired. Some drones fell to earth in pieces. Children rushed out of houses to fight over the pieces. And an F-16 made a low, loud pass. The fairy caught it all.
Ernest Hogan is a six-foot tall Aztec leprechaun who was born in East LA back in the Atomic Age. His mother’s name was Garcia, and his parents weren’t aware of Ernest Hogan, the Father of Ragtime. He grew up in West Covina, considered to be one of the most boring places in California. Monster movies, comic books, and science fiction saved his life. Because he is the author of High Aztech, Smoking Mirror Blues, and Cortez on Jupiter, he is considered to be the Father of Chicano Science Fiction, though there hasn’t been any kind of DNA test. His short fiction has appeared in Amazing Stories, Analog, Science Fiction Age, and many other publications, His story “The Frankenstein Penis,” has been made into student films. He is also an artist and cartoonist. He has been recently discovered by academia, which may bring about the end of Western Civilization, his “Chicanonautica Manifesto” appeared in Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies. He is married to the writer Emily Devenport. They live in Arizona, and enjoy exploring the Wild West. He blogs at mondoernesto.com and labloga.blogspot.com. Currently, he’s trying to finish several novels, but keeps getting distracted by all kinds of weirdness.
THE REVIEW Let's Not Be L7!By Scott Duncan-Fernandez
“Uno! Dos! One-Two! Tres! Cuatro!” is a cruise into the heart of the near future barrio. A place the author, Ernest Hogan, has taken us before, but this barrio—West Phoenix, Arizona—seems a future much nearer than before. So much so that it could be the barrio of the now. And it can be a confusing, violent, much watched place with a cacophony of voices and ideas on what to do, who to be.
Hogan is the father of Chicano sci-fi and much of his work has to do with media, underground-outlier representation, and of course, the crossroads of Chicanismo. He’s fond of aliens, AI, and Chicano style and rascuache know-how. Much of his work has a cyberpunk feel to it. That cityspeak talking detective with a limp, Eduardo Gaff, wouldn’t be too lost in Hogan’s novels,Cortez on Jupiter, High Aztech, or Smoking Mirror Blues. The latter was written about at length last year in the collection of critical essays on Latino speculative fiction, Altermundos.
Hogan’s barrios reflect the future and the present, and perhaps none more so than “Uno! Dos! One-Two! Tres! Cuatro!” In the story, we initially view the new president’s damaged state sponsored murals and see prison garbed brown bodies at work under tight surveillance. It is his program that walls off the barrios. Chicanos, Arabs, Muslims, Neo-Aztecans, and so-called “illegals” gather in the barrio, the receptacle for the fears of the mainstream the president feeds upon. What the president says later in the story shows his Trumpian repressive attitude:
“This all just goes to show that the Unsecure Zone program is the right thing to do…the people who live in them are a threat to the American Way of Life!...We need to finish and enforce all the Unsecure Zones and start building the Elimination Camps—I mean Centers!”
The text of “Uno! Dos! One-Two! Tres! Cuatro!” as read is actually the script of an underground video—we’ll get to that later—of the “mondo-journalist” Cha-Cha Chavez entering the Unsecure Zone of West Phoenix. She intends to find out “what the hell is going on” for her viewers. Cha-Cha is a mainstream celebrity journalist and dons a hijab and skin darkener to “fit in” to the west side. She seems like a pocha, a coconut, as her last name is Hispanic, yet she has a stereotyped view of Chicanos, or rather the many cultured people living in the barrio and the life of the pejorative other. She and her video, the text of the story, become a conduit—between mainstream America, the reader, and the scary modes of being and living in the maligned area, i.e. the Chicano experience. She takes the reader into what is the other as she herself learns…and eventually she chooses sides.
The story is dubbed a novellete. I might say “flash novella,” as it fits the quick, bursting style. It’s vivid and lurid with electric vaquero outfits, lady bullfighters (no hotels), and an interview with a gangster over messy tacos. There’s word play, jokes, even with the characters names, Cha-Cha Chavez, Cihuachichi. The innuendo, quick pace, obsession with media and eventual meta-fictional ending smacks of 80s New Narrative to me as well as the setting and topic. It could be that present day America smacks of the 80s with the nuclear threat, the (un)reality television actor president, anti-immigrant, and anti-Latino sentiments. After all, didn’t Blade Runner just come out like it’s 1982?
Hogan is taking the present right-wing rhetoric to the future conclusion of more walls and more suppression. And he is seeking answers, the answer is the look into the barrio, opening of minds and knowing the Chicano experience linked to our ancient culture(s).
Cha-Cha the mondo journalist has a guide to the barrio, Xolo Garcia. He is a quasi-wanted social minded self-declared superhero who rolls in a techo-lowrider—El Xolomobile—his scientist mom made him, much like a Chicano Batman (not the band). Batman, incidentally, is based off Zorro who is based off figures in Californio history. Xolo is a Batman returning to his roots with a techno update.
The barrio Xolo patrols is multicultural and enterprising—a place of loud expression. It’s a cacophony of voices—vato locos, revolucionistas, LGBTQ, and Aztlaners—all with a plan and demands. The mix of demands and plans with police lead to violence which leads Xolo to take Cha-Cha out to the desert.
Xolo himself is connected to his famous performance artist-scientist parents. Ultimately, after meeting his famous mother, inventor of the flying Xolomobile and Chicano Space Program, they connect with his father, who has been on a UFO. He contacted the aliens by taking peyote and opening his mind and hearing the world. This point of view brings time and space together and creates new possibilities to many ideas the ancients had as well.
The world and ancient cultures are recombined and this solution of altered consciousness of course brings the police and the military. The video shuts off and a message warns that you have watched outlawed material and that security forces are on the way to you. Within the context of the world of “Uno! Dos! One-Two! Tres! Cuatro!” whoever you are, you have this forbidden knowledge of the Chicano experience and possibilty. You, the reader, are now a character in this world, a part of the resistance (if you want or not, “they” the government is coming for you). Likewise, in the real world (whatever that may be for you reading the novelette) you are armed with the underground knowledge having read this story, have witnessed a new possibility, the mezcla of what being Chicano is.
I love this meta-ending, using the connection of knowledge and reader, fantasy and reality coming together, much like within the story. Xolo’s father might say that is how you process reality. Whether you want it or not, having read this you are in the know, are down, are cool, are no longer “L7.” And we should remember, though it has been overturned, that our real world government has banned Chicano culture very recently. In Hogan’s story—reality slips in and out of the page. For me, this connection to mind altering drugs and “new consciousness” of possibilities of Xolo’s father alludes to the new consciousness that the civil rights movement brought in the 60s. The Chicano solution to the barrio’s, the USA’s, and the world’s problems, as Cha-Cha puts it, is empowerment and new points of view that include our ancient “alien” and “native” cultures.
The title, which is the opening of “Woolly Bully” by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, comes into play a bit. It’s Xolo’s parents’ song. Hogan said he was just inspired by it, but I might say the counting off Spanish and English is an expression of Mexican Americanness. Not to go too much into it, but Sam the Sham, who is Mexican American, said he wanted to count off in “Tex-mex.” “Woolly Bully,” of course, has sexual innuendo and seems to be about accepting and dancing with something unknown. A good fit for a story about seeking out the other in a low and slow future.
Scott Russell Duncan, a.k.a. Scott Duncan-Fernandez, recently completed The Ramona Diary of SRD, a memoir of growing up Chicano-Anglo and a fantastical tour reclaiming the myths of Spanish California. Scott’s fiction involves the mythic, the surreal, the abstract, in other words, the weird. Scott received his MFA from Mills College in Oakland, California where he now lives and writes. He is an assistant editor at Somos en escrito. See more about his work and publications on Scott’s website scottrussellduncan.com