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High Aztech

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Xolotl Zapata, a poet and underground journalist, is running for his life in 21st-century Mexico. Since the Armageddon War, Mexico has become a world power, and science has developed artificial viruses that can "infect" the brain with religion--and Zapata is the carrier. Hogan is the author of Cortez on Jupiter.
Paperback, Ben Bova Presents, 256 pages
Published February 15th 1992 by Tor Books
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3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  66 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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K.J. Charles
Feb 09, 2019 added it
Shelves: latinx, sf
Well, that was unusual. A 1992 Latinx cyberpunk sort of thing, on the premise that nuclear war has turned the US into a crappy fundamentalist failed state, while Mexico is now thriving and in a wild Aztec revival. The book is absolutely peppered with invented Spanish/Nahuatl slang, to the extent it is quite hard to follow at points, in the way of Clockwork Orange/Riddley Walker. It's a fully bizarre extremely fast-moving story in which our MC is infected by a virus that make him believe passiona ...more
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Well, that was certainly a ride. Hogan throws us in deep in a Mexico City (Tenochtitlán) in a future where Mexico is one of the dominant nations following a limited nuclear apocalypse. Our rather passive protagonist is a writer/poet who gets caught up in a pretty crazy cyberpunk setting where the old Aztec religion has been revived (to the point where people get their hearts sacrificed to the gods... and replaced with artificial ones). A virus is released that can change someone's beliefs, which ...more
Feb 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this while visiting Mexico City for the first time, amidst social media driven US radical identity politics, and having conversations with Mexico City natives about the multiple positions one can exist in with regard to race and class and ancestry, this 1992 cyberpunk story made for an interesting read. Set in 2045ish, it's rife with themes of origin, racial purity, contradictions of mixed/mestizaje diaspora, and religion and nationality in daily life, taking place in a time when the Nor ...more
Jody Scott
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
A delightful satire of religious fanaticism, in fact fanaticism of every stripe, as protagonist Xolotl Zapata careens like a pinball between the various cultural, religious and criminal factions of a world-ascendant Tenochtitlán (aka Mexico City). Infected with one religious doctrine-believing virus after another, the ultimate solution just might be a reality-expanding embrace of them all. Very fun to read.
[There is at the end a glossary (totally not necessary) and a pronunciati
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This narrative is chock full of what the author refers to as “Aztecisms”. It’s a slang he’s developed. He does a surprisingly good job of giving it enough context that it makes sense, or at least close enough not to matter. There is a glossary at the end of the book–a rather long one–but I didn’t need it. I might not know what each slang term meant, but I had the feel and the rhythm of things regardless. It didn’t slow me down or confuse me.

The repeated kidnapping of Xólotl is ridiculous in a go
Kate Sherrod
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm temped to just use all the Esapañuhuatl slang I can but should aim to be understandable. This is the kind of post apocalypse I could definitely hang with, provided I made it south of the border in time. A small nuclear war in the Middle East has shifted the balance of power in favor of the formerly colonized peoples of the world. Africa is the center of cutting edge medicine, Asia is still pretty Asia, but Mexico is the place to be for technological and cultural dynamism (while the USA has b ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. Love the setting and language, plot wasn't too deep though.

The setting: year 2045, there's been an "armageddon" so the US is not a world power and Mexico has risen as a primary economic/scientific power in the world. There's been an Aztec revival of sorts, people embracing their roots etc, and thus there's a large amount of Aztec slang/colloquiualisms in the book. There is a glossary in the back and it's very easy to understand the meaning of these words through context, so it didn't
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. The plot is classic pulp SF, the use of language and structure is very smart and sophisticated, and the world building is excellent. The story is set in a future version of Mexico City, which has been renamed Tenochtitlan, where the U.S. is in decline and Latin America is ascendant. Much of the world building is based on the premise that Latin American culture is in the process of decolonization in terms of language and culture, including religion--ancient Aztec relig ...more
Booknerd Fraser
Jun 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
My God this was a drug trip. A good one, though. A little influenced by Clockwork Orange, but not as violent.
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Kinda tough to get through and was a bit much at times but still glad I read it
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Phillip K Dick in Future-Mexico. Frantic and crazy and brilliant.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mad, hallucinogenic, exciting and unexpected. This book is what "American Gods" wishes it was.
Dec 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
If you like sci-fi and religion, you'll probably enjoy this book..but I kind of didn't like the speed or the language, but it was different and it's worth to read it 'til the end.
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A TOP SHELF review, originally published in the March 25, 2016 edition of The Monitor

In the early 1990s, a Chicano from East L.A. published a pair of science fiction novels that would go on to receive considerable critical acclaim and make significant inroads into the genre for Latinos everywhere.

Hewing more closely to weird, gonzo pulp fiction and comics than to the more politically active realism preferred by the Chicano intelligentsia, he was for many years unknown to his hermanos literarios.
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed High Aztec. It was slow starting in the first few chapters and all of the slang terms were a little much and hard to keep track of at times. But, overall, it was a really good book.

It's an interesting premise. The narrative is first person and being told to the reader as if they are a third party interrogating Zapata. The first person narrative is interspersed with the interrogators' notes verifying or clarifying Zapata's movements. So, in addition to the main plot, the reader has an u
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An amazing cyberpunk thrill ride into Mexico's future where the Aztec cultural revolution flourishes and viruses are used to spread more than disease. At once humorous, suspenseful, and plausible, I really enjoyed this book.

Apr 12, 2011 marked it as to-read
I liked a short story of his, so I'm trying one of his novels. If there's one you would recommend instead, please tell me what it is!
Aug 29, 2016 added it
Shelves: gaveup
Could not get into the writing style.
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