Friday, August 19, 2011

Readercon Filipino Friday Week 1: Introduce Yourself

Time to enter the time warp. Wasn't able to join week 1 last week, so I'm joining now, starting from the beginning, and then posting for week 2 after I'm done with this entry. I'm glad for this online activity meant to buildup to Readercon!

My name is Kenneth Yu. I'm the publisher of The Digest of Philippine Genre Stories (PGS), a magazine (now ezine) that prints short genre fiction by Pinoys. The influence for PGS was the genre mags in the west, such as Asimov's, Hitchcock's, Ellery Queen's, F&SF, etc. I thought to myself, “Wouldn't it be nice to have a Philippine version of these?” Since I was in the printing business at the time, when I felt myself finally ready (which took a number of years), I put out the print version of PGS. The digest has transitioned from print to digital just this year. The goal, whether PGS is on paper or in digital form, is to get more people, especially younger ones, into reading the same way I did, which was through genre tales.

And that was how it started out when I was young. I fell into reading because of what is labeled now as “genre” fiction. Some of what comes to mind when recalling what I read when I was growing up are the aforementioned western genre digests, the crime and detective tales of A.C. Doyle and Agatha Christie, the fantasy stories of Lloyd Alexander, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien, science fiction by Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin and Madeleine L'Engle, horror by Stephen King and Clive Barker, and quite a number of YA books of all types (including realist) published by Dell Yearling.

Oh, and I read a lot of Peanuts, Tintin, and Asterix comics. ;-P

Today, I read pretty much anything, all kinds of fiction and non-fiction. I can't say I have a favorite genre anymore. Ironically, though I publish a small digest with the word “genre”, I really don't look at genre when I read fiction, and instead focus on the story, taking it for what it is. It's only when I have to “type” a tale for PGS that I have to be aware of whether it's a genre piece or not.

This year, I've read a number of YA dystopian stories (The Hunger Games trilogy, the Maze Runner series, Divergent). I'm trying to catch up with G.R.R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series. But what I'm currently reading is a book that came out some years ago, 1421, a non-fiction piece about the age of exploration during the time of the dynasties of the Chinese emperors.


Blogger Chachic said...

Dell Yearling! I used to collect those books because I wanted to read all of the Newbery-awarded books I could get my hands on. Couldn't even remember the first book that introduced me to genre fiction. Loved Lloyd Alexander, C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle and Urusla Le Guin too!

I'm not much of a dystopian reader but have you read the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness? I read the first book and enjoyed it. I fell in love with Ness' A Monster Calls so I'm definitely going to read the rest of his books.

10:30 AM  

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