Tuesday, May 29, 2007


This Week:

Clockmaker's Requiem by Barth Anderson
Different Flesh by Claude Lalumiere
Zilkowski's Theorem by Karl Iagnemma
Meteorite Mountain by Cao Xue

Next Week:

How to Talk to Girls at Parties by Neil Gaiman
Bodywork by Hari Kunzru
Lucky Chow Fun by Lauren Groff
Why I Am Not Gorilla Girl by Daniel Starr

Last Week:

Balance by Mercedes Lackey
The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey
Feast or Famine by Naomi Novik
Attar of Roses by Sharon Mock

The story I enjoyed best last week was the Novik, written with intelligence, heart and craft. In the span of a few thousand words, she created an engaging scenario: hungry dragons who learn how to open a gate, and the interesting implications of that action - good enough reason to read her Temeraire books (the first of which, His Majesty's Dragon, is nominated for a Hugo). The McCaffrey, a classic, was a good read as well, though I found it lacking in certain parts. The Lackey is a good example of why I do not read her novels, and the Mock's excellent tone shows the author's great potential.

The LitCritters is a small reading and writing group based in Manila, as well as in Dumaguete. Every week, we read and discuss several pieces of short fiction from various genres from different writers with the goal of expanding our reading horizons, improving our ability to critique, and learning how to write from the good texts. In addition to speculative fiction, we read Philippine literature in English, as well as world literature.

Once in a blue moon, we are requested to conduct writing workshops (such as our recent 3-weekend stint at A Different Bookstore), and are planning to hold a more formal one, maybe next summer, as schedules and realities of life permit. For those who'd like to join us, we recommend participating in one of the workshops, or signing up for the LitCritter mailing list (which is basically me sending the readings once a week). We also accept the occasional sit-in (when we conduct sessions in restos or cafes). If you'd like to be on the mailing list or want to sit in on one of our sessions, email me at deanalfar(at)gmail(dot)com.



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