Tuesday, June 07, 2011

PGS Crime Issue Reviews And F.H. Batacan's Message

My deep gratitude to Jason Lim of Taking A Break and Kristel Autencio of The Philippine Online Chronicles for sharing their thoughts on the PGS Crime Issue. I appreciate the time and thought you guys spent writing your reviews for it. Thank you!

First, Jason Lim's review.

Second, Kristel Autencio's, Tropical Noir.

And here's the message F.H. Batacan, the guest-editor for the issue, sent for the event last May 28, 2011:

Tonight rightly belongs to the writers--of PSF6 and of the PGS Crime Issue.

I want to thank all these writers--Xin Mei, Maryanne Moll, Crystal Koo, Alex Osias, and Dominique Cimafranca in particular, for their submissions to the PGS Crime Issue. Thank you for not writing about private eyes in trenchcoats, or gangsters in pinstriped suits. Thank you for writing stories that we can believe and understand, about things that do happen in the Philippines, or to Filipinos. Thank you for showing that crime fiction isn't always about whodunit, but why.

I would also like to give a big, big thank you to Kestrel for allowing us to piggyback on the launch of Philippine Speculative Fiction 6.

This is the Philippines, where 57 people can be massacred in broad daylight, where the perpetrators are clearly identified, where video footage of the crime exists, where witnesses have come forward, yet the case drags on for months and possibly years. Where convicted murderers serving their sentences can walk out of prison at their leisure to go where they please. Where resources, facilities and expertise are in short supply, and justice is perpetually elusive and always a negotiable target.

So these stories reflect exactly those realities. They will neither astound you with feats of deduction nor amaze you with scientific technique. Instead, they show a real understanding of motive--of the basic impulses that drive the human animal: greed, fear, hatred, love, survival, guilt. Their characters seem to know instinctively that there is little recourse to be found in our police stations, our courts, our halls of power.

As a final word: A publisher in the UK that specializes in worldwide crime fiction says that "to understand a culture, you need only to examine its crimes". This volume may be slim, but I hope it provides some encouragement for Filipino writers to explore the genre and its vastly untapped potential for portraying and examining our society. Thank you again and good night.

3 Comments:

Blogger dementedchris said...

Hi, Kenneth! Do you still have copies of the Crime issue? I live in Kalibo, Aklan, and the only bookstore in town is a small Booksale outlet. :)

5:01 PM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

@dementedchris: Hi! Try contacting Jasper Ong of Avalon.ph. He may be able to mail you a copy there. Thank you very much! I really appreciate your interest.

9:39 PM  
Blogger dementedchris said...

Thanks, Kenneth! Will do!

10:24 PM  

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