Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Summer 2022

 Here I am, right on time to catch the end of the season. 

I have a short story in Shadow Atlas (awesome cover, no?) which won the Colorado Book Award for Anthology. I think this was the sixth time an offering from Hex Publishers was in the running so the recognition was long overdue. 

Luther, Wyoming was also in the line up for Historical Fiction in the CBA and for Best Novel, Historical Fiction in the International Latino Book Awards, but as we say, in both cases, close but no cigar. 

Some of you might have known that during the pandemic, I sketched a daily cartoon called Cats In Quarantine that I shared on social media. I'm excited to announce that Hex Publishers will offer Cats In Quarantine: A Cartoon Memoir of the COVID-19 Pandemic received a Starred Review from Kirkus! Pub date of October 25, 2022. Pre-order your copies here. My cat cartoons were also picked up by Westword. Check it out.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Spring 2022

These last few months have kept me busy with the publication of three awesome anthologies, of which I'm proud to be in.

Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas is the latest offering by Hex Publishers. It's a layered and especially imaginative approach to speculative fiction, being the suppressed journal of the Umbra Arca Society who sought to unearth the ancient history behind fables and myth in the Americas. Though the mood was horror, the included pieces range from short fiction to flash fiction to poetry, lavishly illustrated by Aaron Lovett. My story, "Xipe Totec," draws from the Aztec migration out of Aztlán and a particularly gruesome form of ritual sacrifice. 

Denver Noir brings together many neighborhoods that make up the Denver metroplex with stories that drop their protagonists off a cliff, much to the reader's delight. I described my story "El Armero" in my last posting here and it's a tale I'm especially proud of.

El Provenir ¡Ya: Citlalzazanilli Mexicatl! gives a decidedly sideways look at the future from a collection of literary cholas and vatos. Definitely first-rate what-if and what-might-be cuentos. Mine, "El Chivo," gives chilling glimpse into a disturbing future. Imagine Basic Uniform Income as benefitting The Animator.

Speaking of the future, what's next in line? Something truly exciting, another book. Title? Cats In Quarantine: A Cartoon Memoir of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Winter 2022

My news this post is that I've got stories in two new anthologies. What the stories have in common besides their dark narratives is that they were both previously rejected by other venues. When "El Amero" was first passed over, I was bummed and conflicted over I should take it. That night I attended a reading by Stephen Graham Jones and he commented that he was in a blue mood because earlier that day he'd gotten a rejection on a submission. If someone as esteemed as him had been 86ed, then I shouldn't feel all that bad. A short time later, Cynthia Swanson asked if I had anything for her proposal to Akashic Books for Denver Noir. She said I'd have to set the story in a specific Denver neighborhood and I chose Globeville, an industrial barrio named after a smelter. Personally, it's the most noir place in Denver. Go visit if you don't believe me. Although my story takes place in the near future, the neighborhood descriptions aren't too far off. 

"El Chivo" had likewise been given the boot by someone else but I didn't feel as bad because that anthology never got off the ground. When the editors at Somos en escrito Literary Foundation Press contacted me for a submission about the future from the perspective of la raza for El Porvenir Ya, I had this story ready to go. With this narrative I got to amalgamate several ideas that had been percolating in my head for some time. The title, which means "The Goat," refers to the way my parents used to call my dad's paycheck. This was when government checks were printed on IBM punch cards. I also commented on future tech (always a challenge because tech moves so fast) and personal relationships in this Brave New World. But my story is mostly a reflection on Basic Uniform Income, that it's a trap to keep the lower class in poverty and where their best options are to do the ghastly bidding of the rich. So how is this different from now? Read my story and find out.