Thursday, July 28, 2005

editing spec fic

A good number of submissions for the Philippine Speculative Fiction Anthology I’m editing have started coming in and I’ve begun to read through the entries. So far, I have a mix of realism, fantasy and horror, with science fiction surprisingly (to me, at least) dominating the initial set. The reason I’m surprised is because, despite what the Futuristic Fiction category of the Carlos Palanca Awards would have us believe, I think that the Filipino author is more likely to write fantasy than science fiction. I could be wrong (I remember one of Luis Katigbak’s essays on Filipinos writing science fiction) but we’ll see.

Not surprisingly, most of the initial submissions are from unpublished authors – the established ones like to submit by the skin of the deadline’s teeth. However, I’d like to remind everyone that I’m quite inflexible with the deadline, sorry. I know I’m going to have a big problem selecting stories to publish when the time comes, but that’s always a good problem to have (much better than the unhappy scenario that not enough of the stories are written well enough).

There are two stories that I think have a lock on the antho, both of them so finely written they make me green with envy and proud of the fact that they’re written by my countrymen. The killer? Both of them are science fiction pieces (which is rather telling, given my preference for fantasy). But I cannot deny excellent writing – and one of these authors is unpublished.

I would like to see more fantasy and interstitial/slipstream stuff. Strong modern stories that push a little harder in terms of craft, structure, ideas, storytelling, everything.

With slightly more than two weeks left before the deadline, I’m encouraging everyone with a story to tell to email their entries in, paying attention to the guidelines and especially the format requirements (the original call can be found here). Knock my socks off.

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