Monday, September 29, 2008

A Reaction To The Essay On Philippine Speculative Fiction

Here's a link which will bring you to a post reacting to the essay on Philippine speculative fiction mentioned here. It's written by M.R.R. Arcega (author of "The Magic Christmas Box" from the PGS Holiday Issue). An excerpt:

Charles Tan wrote an essay here defining Filipino speculative fiction. He brought up a lot of good points and it is an essay well worth reading. However, I would like to call special attention to this passage:

Philippine speculative fiction, on the other hand, recognizes that fiction doesn’t always have to be socially relevant. Can’t we write stories simply to entertain? That’s not to say local spec fic isn’t socially relevant or doesn’t possess gravity. More than a few modern spec fic stories tackle that (spec fic is inclusive, remember?). But the biggest differences is that writers are now able to write and pursue their own agendas without feeling guilt about the lack of Filipino characters or Filipino settings or importance on how their work will change the face of Philippine literature while still being able to gain a certain amount of literary acceptance.

I have to put my two cents out there.

I’m not going to deny that we have realist writing traditions. We have celebrated literature that aims to represent our unique struggles, as people and as citizens, and even now we’re in dire need of skilled wordsmiths who aren’t afraid to reflect Filipino society, its glories and ills, in their fiction.

But, you see… as a writer of speculative work, I have never felt like I had to break off from or go against any traditions. Or felt guilty or scared because I wrote stories that other Filipinos might not enjoy reading.


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