Wednesday, April 12, 2006

summer reading

From the the April 9, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

Read Ahead

IT is the perfect time. The books await, lying in the cramped comfort of the darkness in handbags and backpacks, just longing to raise their opened pages to the imperious sun. The books are ready. Let the Sunday Inquirer Magazine provide the dead reckoning for your literary journeys as we present the season's most remarkable reads in our annual Summer Reading Issue. Time to open up. Ruel S. De Vera

Philippine Speculative Fiction Volume I
edited by Dean Francis Alfar Kestrel IMC

A WELCOME visitation, this collection of short stories from Filipino writers delves exclusively in the realm of fantasy and science fiction, yet the pieces in “Philippine Speculative Fiction” may have evolved into a different breed somewhere in between, which is a good thing. From Ian Rosales Casocot’s audacious investigation of Jose Rizal to J. Pocholo Martin B. Goitia’s vision of the Filipino’s future in the being Magenta, the stories here lace the future with the flavor of our past. New and old fictionists like Angelo R. Lacuesta, Gabriela Lee and Francezca C. Kwe lend their vibrant voices to this project. “To find the fantastic, we must create the fantastic,” Alfar writes in his introduction to this fantastic find.

I'm delighted that the antho I launched last December is part of the Inquirer's recommended summer reading list. Interesting note: Ruel de Vera cited two stories in particular - Ian's "The Pepe Report" and Cholo's "Introduction to the Luminescent", both scifi pieces. "The Pepe Report" went on to be published in one of the local magazines, and "...Luminescent" won the Ustetika Award last year.

I'll be sounding the call for submissions for Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol.2 next week or the week after that. I'm planning to launch the 2nd volume around the 4th quarter of this year, and am looking towards publishing more tales of wonder from a variety of authors. With Vin Simbulan's A Time for Dragons antho, that's at least two collections of genre fiction this year.

Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol.1 (and Salamanca, for that matter) is available at all branches of Fully Booked.


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