Sunday, December 11, 2022

Maybe this will last, maybe not...

 ...but there's only one way to find out. 

A bit less than six months ago, I and author, lawyer, and writing teacher, Christine V. Lao, tried a small experiment. Tinlao--as she is nicknamed--would select stories from among her students for potential publication on the Philippine Genre Stories website, essentially playing the role of editor, while I would hide backstage and play the more technical and logistical role of publisher. We had a mutual goal: she would like to encourage and see her students get their tales out there to be found and read, while I have always stayed true to the PGS goal of encouraging people to read more, and you can't do that if you don't have new content to read. 

Since then, we have published six of her students' stories, in order: 

"The Operation" by Andrea Mae Camacho

"Taste" by Joan Mary Floredeliz L. Rayos 

"What We Leave Behind" by Mika Soria

"Hypnos" by Monica Felizardo

"The Way" by Jamie Alec Yap

"The Fire At Dawn" by Jose Guerra Sison. 

Overall, I'd say this little experiment of ours was a small-scale success. For six months, PGS was active again at a story per month. I do hope readers will find their way to the site to get their fix of stories, especially those written by young Pinoys. 

Needless to say, I'm very grateful to Tinlao. The PGS site has long been dormant, and if she didn't take up the cudgels of editorship, I don't think I would have ever again found the time and energy to play the role of both publisher and editor. Looking back, I can't believe that I was able to sustain it for as long as I did, both in digital form and when it was published as a physical copy. Splitting the roles has definitely made it easier. Of course, there were moments in the past when I did have guest editors (Yvette Tan and F.H. Batacan come to mind, for the horror issue and the crime issue, respectively), but these were seen as one-time moments, and afterwards, I went back to regular programming. Then, when the website came around, I had writer and teacher friends like Exie Abola and others also help put up their and their students' stories, but eventually, the extremely limited resource of time got consumed by other matters, and the site became dormant. 

Much has happened since then: blogs have fallen by the wayside in terms of netizen consumption, replaced by social media. Cellphones have become the dominant way of consuming digital content, overtaking computers. There is a preference, especially among younger digital users, to be "always on", that is, always online and connected. But I would like to think that for the segment of netizens out there who are readers, especially genre readers, there is a place still for short tales like those pushed by PGS for them to find. 

I'm publicly expressing here my gratitude to Tinlao, because it has actually led to another positive development. After Tinlao's six month stint, I'm happy to say that writer/editor Mia Tijam and I have come to a similar agreement, and for double the length of time. Mia will be the editor of PGS throughout 2023, also at a story per month. She is already actively soliciting submissions. So for at least another year, PGS will continue to provide genre tales by Pinoy authors. 

I am quite pleased with this, because as a reader, I, too, benefit. 

Will it last beyond 2023? Well, like I said at the beginning of this blog entry, there's only one way to find out, and that's by completing 2023 and seeing what happens next. 

I did mention above that blogs have fallen by the wayside in favor of social media. So, just like the website, this blog has also been dormant for a long time. I doubt if anyone will be visiting here, but I figure I will make this blog semi-active again and post on rare occasions. It will still carry somewhat the same type of content as I had posted before, but probably not exactly the same. After all, time has changed me; I'm not the same writer/reader/person I was years ago (if I was the same, then whoa, that would mean I have not grown in any way, and all those years would have been wasted), so what I put here will probably reflect those changes. In the same way that I am excited to read the PGS website's coming content and how those new stories will reflect what is relevant for today's young writers, to a lesser extent, I am also eager to see what will come out on this semi-revived blog, to see what may be newly relevant to me. Whether people will visit here to read these entries, or not, doesn't seem to matter to me so much.  

Monday, August 03, 2020


“Once upon a time…”

…is a pretty nice way to start a post about genre stories, don’t you think?

Once upon a time–I think it was about a dozen years ago, more or less–Philippine Genre Stories started, first as a print publication (with this blog right here), evolving later on into digital on, though it had to stop due to the ravages of time (or rather, the lack of time to be ravaged).

I have to thank Celestine Trinidad, who reminded me via a tweet of a PGS story published in 2012, “Last Stand at Ayala Center” by EK Gonzales. The quote goes:

“And then the virus came, then the martial law order to stay indoors, the lock-down and the quarantine. The virus came, and like a vacuum it sucked up the future. Suddenly there was no time, not even to dream, not even to live.”

How apt and prescient, yes?

Locked up at home, do we have more time? Maybe, depending on your work-from-home situation. Are we running out of time? To dream? To live? Maybe also…

I posted about this quote just earlier this evening on my personal Facebook account, and then friends and former contributors Ian Rosales Casocot and F.H. Bataccan commented about how nice it would be if PGS could come back, and that a pandemic issue would be good, and suddenly the comments section of that post started getting populated, Dean Francis Alfar got tagged and so on and so forth until, well, here we are.  

Here’s the meat of this post: This is a limited call for submissions for a digital pandemic segment for the Philippine Genre Stories website. I, as publisher and editor of PGS, am opening up for submissions, in any genre or mix of genres, submissions of stories about the Covid-19 pandemic. This call is open only to former writers and contributors who have been published in PGS.

Why am I limiting the call to former writers and contributors? Well, time is still short, for one thing, so I want to work with writers with whom I had already worked with before, who already know what PGS is about, and who I know can produce. You all know who you are, and I do want to give you all a chance again at getting a genre story out there via PGS. Just like old times, don’t you think? 😉

It is also limited because I do not see PGS moving on as an ongoing concern. Time, once more, is the opponent. I think I will have enough wherewithal to run and manage this for a limited period, for stories about the pandemic, and after that, PGS may need to “rest” again until such time as the ways and means come about for it to steadily continue again. How many stories will come out of this? I don’t know. I have the commitment of Dean, Ian, and Ichi, and that is something I value and am grateful for. I have tagged Celestine and EK here, so I hope they agree, too.

I am inviting all former writers who were published in PGS to send in your work. I won’t tag you all, but I do hope you see this, and I do want you to tell all those you know who have been in PGS to ask them if they will be willing to contribute a story. Please? 🙂 If you know any of them, please let them know.

Whether this runs just with Dean’s, Ian’s, and Ichi’s tales and be done, or if it gets to run on for just a bit longer with more former PGS writers sending in their work, I will be grateful. Whether this runs for just the very short period of a couple of months, or if it runs for longer, I will be grateful. But as F.H. Batacan said, it would be good to set these stories down as a record of these tough and challenging times in the form of genre stories. And maybe it will help relieve us of some of the stress of dealing with these times.

And, as usual, and paramount for me, it will give people a chance to read the work of Pinoy genre writers.

I will set the last day for submissions on October 31, 2020, but feel free to start sending in as soon as, say, August 15, 2020? And let’s see if I can start publishing online not long after that. The schedule will be flexible, but I will do my best to keep some steady flow of work going on You can email your submissions to And it would be great to be in touch with all of you again, after all this time. 🙂 Cheers to you all, I hope you are all doing well, and are safe and healthy.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Open Call For Submissions--Science Fiction: Filipino Fiction For Young Adults

Editors Dean Francis Alfar (publisher of the Philippine Speculative Fiction anthologies) and Kenneth Yu (publisher of Philippine Genre Stories), and co-editors for Horror: Filipino Fiction For Young Adults, announce an open call for short fiction submissions for Science Fiction: Filipino Fiction for Young Adults.
The Filipino Fiction for Young Adults is a new annual anthology series, with the first volume focused on horror, and launched in mid-2013. The second in the series is Science Fiction: Filipino Fiction for Young Adults.
Submissions must be:
1. in the science fiction genre or contain strong science fiction elements
2. written with the Young Adult reader in mind (from 10 – 18 years old) and feature a young adult character (or characters)
3. cognizant of the themes and concerns of Young Adult fiction (coming of age, identity, belonging, a sense of wonder, a love for adventure, angst, concerns over school, challenges of youth, family issues, relationships to authority figures, sexuality, experimentation, peer pressure, bullying, among many others) – without being didactic and/or boring.
4. written in English
5. authored by Filipinos or those of Philippine ancestry

Submissions are preferred to be:
1. original and unpublished
2. no shorter than 1,000 words and no longer than 7,500
In the case of previously-published work—if accepted, the author will be expected to secure permission to reprint, if necessary, from the original publishing entity, and to provide relevant publication information.
Submission details:
1. No multiple or simultaneous submissions—i.e., submit only one story, and do not submit that story to any other market until you have received a letter of regret from us.
2. All submissions should be in Rich Text Format (saved under the file extension ‘.rtf’), and emailed to dean(at)kestrelddm(dot)com with the subject line ‘FFSF: title (word count)’, where ‘title’ is the title of your submission and '(word count)' is the number of words the submission comes up to, rounded up to the nearest hundred (use the “tools” function of your word processor to find out.
3. Do not use fancy formatting.
4. Include a brief bio and publishing history (if applicable).
5. The deadline for submissions is midnight, Manila time, June 24, 2014. Letters of acceptance or regret will be sent out no later than one month after the deadline.
6. First-time authors are more than welcome to submit; good stories trump literary credentials any time.
Compensation will be Php500 for selected stories. We are still deciding whether to go digital or print (or even both). In the event that we publish a print version, each author will be provided with a contributor’s copy of the book. If the anthology is published in digital form, each author will be given a formatted e-copy of the anthology.
Dean Francis Alfar & Kenneth Yu

Science Fiction: Filipino Fiction for Young Adults

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Demons Of The New Year: An Anthology Of Horror Fiction From The Philippines

Demons Of The New Year: An Anthology Of Horror Fiction From The Philippines, is set to be launched on November 29, 2013. It is edited by Karl de Mesa and Philippine Genre Stories contributor Joseph Nacino. The cover design is by Oscar Bryan Alvarez and Wyxie Carolina, and the book is published by U.P. Press. Here's the table of contents:

The Magdalene Fist (expanded) by Karl de Mesa and illustrated by Gani Simpliciano
The Kambubulag by Catherine Batac Walder 
Salot by Eliza Victoria
The Different Degrees of Night by Don Jaucian 
K-10 Mushroom by Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon  
Dark Moving Houses by Tyron Caliente 
Best Served Cold by Rommel Santos
Demon Gaga by Carljoe Javier 
Uno Grotesquerie by Yvette Tan 
Little Hands, Little Feet by Kenneth Yu
Brother and Sister by Dean Francis Alfar  
More details on the launch will soon be announced by the editors. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Horror: Filipino Fiction For Young Adults (Front and Back Cover)

Here are the front and back covers for Horror: Filipino Fiction For Young Adults, edited by Dean Alfar and myself. (Click here for the Table of Contents). Stay tuned for the launch announcement! Cover artwork by Aletheia Rio. Published by U.P. Press.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Horror: Filipino Fiction For Young Adults Table of Contents

From this call for submissions by Dean Alfar and myself, to this: the table of contents for Horror: Filipino Fiction For Young Adults!

Honesty Hour by Gabriela Lee
Eat Me by Kally Hiromi R. Arsua
Mommy Agnes by Vince Torres
The Running Girl by Elyss G. Punsalan
Education by Ate Flora by Renelaine Bontol-Pfister
The New Teacher by Alexander Osias
Gago's Got Your Back by Andrew Drilon
Dan's Dreams by Eliza Victoria
Itching to Get Home by Joseph Anthony Montecillo
Lola's House by Fidelis Tan
A Yellow Brick Road Valentine by Charles Tan
Lucia, the Nightmare Hunter by Kate Osias
Frozen Delight by EK Gonzales
Misty by Isabel Yap

Congratulations to all the accepted authors, and our grateful thanks to all the writers who sent in a story. For those who couldn't be in this volume, please don't be discouraged; if all goes well, there will be more Filipino Fiction For Young Adults anthologies in the future. The worlds of fantasy, science fiction, and other genres need to be filled!

Stay tuned! Horror: Filipino Fiction For Young Adults will be launched very soon care of U.P. Press!

Friday, August 30, 2013

"Mouths to Speak, Voices to Sing"

Just a bit of self-promotion: I have a collection of my own short stories out, "Mouths to Speak, Voices to Sing" Stories by Kenneth Yu. It's an ebook available at:

Barnes & Noble
Weightless Books
Wizards Tower Books

For those in the Philippines, I recommend using Flipreads to get the book (but those outside the Philippines can still use the Flipreads website).

I can't thank enough the people who have helped me come through with this first collection, in spite of my being sometimes recalcitrant. Needless to say, thanks very much to all the publishers and editors who at one time or another accepted my stories for their publications, both online and in print. Thanks for encouraging this introverted writer with your acceptances, and I have emailed each of you the collection and my personal thanks.

Thank you as well to Flipside Digital Content, to the team of Honey de Peralta, Katz Navarro, Charles Tan, and surely many others in the company whom I do not know but who have had to deal with this old-fashioned dinosaur who came from the traditional offset production process and who is such a newbie to the ebook development process. Your patience with me is appreciated.

Last but not least, thank you very much to the multi-talented Andrew Drilon. It is safe to say that without him, this collection wouldn't have come into existence. It is he who not just designed and made the wonderful cover above, but who helped me with his advice and with a myriad of so many other issues and matters that I did not have the full focus for, given how full my plate is with work and personal obligations. Andrew, thank you very, very much.

My first collection! Didn't think I would ever reach this stage, but now that it has come to pass, I'm actually quite proud. :D

Table of Contents:

"Mouths to Speak, Voices to Sing", first published in Usok
 "The Sparrows of Climaco Avenue", first published in Ruin and Resolve, Philippine Speculative Fiction 5, Pakinggan Pilipinas (podcast), The Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2005-2010
"The Kiddie Pool", first published in Philippine Speculative Fiction 6, cited by Ellen Datlow in Best Horror of the Year Vol. 4 Honorable Mentions
"When You Let It Go", first published in The Philippines Free Press
"House 1.0", first published in The Town Drunk
"Cricket", first published in Lauriat: A Filipino-Chinese Speculative Fiction Anthology
"Oplan: Bleach", first published in Philippines Graphic
"Cherry Clubbing", co-3rd place at the Fully Booked and Neil Gaiman-sponsored 3rd Philippine Graphic Fiction Awards, first published in Revelations, then in D.O.A. Extreme Horror Collection
"The Concierto of Senor Lorenzo", first published in Innsmouth Free Press
"Spider Hunt", first published in Aurora Wolf: Aurora of the Sun, Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine (podcast)
"Little Hands, Little Feet", first published in AlienSkin Magazine
"Controller 13", first published in Rogue
"All That We May See", first published in Philippine Speculative Fiction 7
"One Morning at the Bank", first published in Philippine Speculative Fiction 8
"Lost for Words", first published in Fantasy Magazine, 2009 Halloween flash fiction contest winner
"Beats", first published in Philippine Speculative Fiction 4, Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2009