Wednesday, September 24, 2008

An Essay On Philippine Speculative Fiction (Updated)

The Bibliophile Stalker has an essay up on his blog, "The Term Speculative Fiction In Philippine Literature". He writes about genre fiction in the local scene as he sees it. Here's an excerpt from his essay where he mentions PGS:

Another example are the stories that are being published in The Digest of Philippine Genre Stories. Dominique Cimafranca's "Twilight of the Magi" and Vin Simbulan's "The Last Stand of Aurundar" are high fantasy, unabashed sword & sorcery stories that feature far-flung worlds and not a Filipino in sight. Yet these are, arguably, examples of Philippine speculative fiction. It might not be the type of stories that the literati or the critics might want to be published yet a) it's written by Filipinos, b) published by Filipinos, c) read by Filipinos, and d) appreciated by Filipinos. I'm sure there is still pressure among local writers to write something that is socially conscious but spec fic is breaking ground in the sense that its writers are starting to write what they want instead of writing what their professors, teachers, and mentors want. Now I'm not advocating responsibility-free writing but rather a widening of our borders. As I said before, Philippine spec fic can be socially relevant, in the same way that George Orwell wrote one of the most powerful political books via science fiction (1984) and fantasy (Animal Farm). But dominance of a certain style or agenda can lead to stagnation and spec fic simply enables us to explore other areas.

Update: The Bibliophile Stalker had an interesting discussion a few months ago with Kristel-- who made a comment on the PGS Multiply for this post. Kristel is the one who commented on "Excerpt From A Letter By A Social-Realist Aswang", which is mentioned in The Stalker's essay, and she made her current comment to clarify the context in which the one on the story was made.


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