Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Issue Number 3

Coming Soon!

An excerpt from Tuko, by Miguel Escaño:
Jun throws up his hands. "I can't help but feel that it's all because I killed a gecko," he says. "The morning after, I learn that someone died of bangungot in my apartment complex. Soon after, the hallucinations start. I'm seeing a dead gecko everywhere I go. I'm hearing 'tuko-tuko' in the silence of my room. Sometimes when I open my mouth, croaking sounds come out."

Jun buries his face in his hands. "What is happening to me?"

"The mind is a powerful thing," says the doctor. "I've read about patients with illnesses that are purely psychosomatic. Their belief was so powerful that they showed disease-like symptoms.

"For all we know, bangungot begins in the mind," the doctor continues. "Victims experience a nightmare so frighteningly real that they believe they are dying."

The doctor scribbles a prescription. "A disturbed mind often causes hallucinations. To calm your thoughts, sleep is usually the best medicine. Take one capsule every night for a week and you will sleep better," the doctor says. He hands a slip of paper to Jun.

An excerpt from Homer's Child, by Paolo Chikiamco:

Muppet was an example of how belief in something could Manifest itself in reality, in this case a firm belief on the part of a much younger Basil Garcia--spurred on by one too many Calvin and Hobbes strips--that his stuffed animal was actually alive. By the time I'd become old enough to realize that this was somewhat lacking in truth, Muppet's consciousness had already become Manifest.

There were plenty of times I'd wished that I had imagined a mighty invisible dragon friend instead, but Muppet had his uses. For one thing, he's known me long enough that he knew me better than I knew myself--which was why I didn't win very many arguments with him.

"All I'm saying is let's be clear as to why we're here," Muppet continued, "There's no Story here. Not the type that would interest a homeridae anyway."

He was probably right. That still left my day job though, and so I started my car's engine and headed toward the school.

After all, even tabloid journalists earned more than storytellers nowadays.

An excerpt from Y, by Sharmaine Galve:
I don't think I can stand being married to a Grade A Minus. Not even Grade B. And definitely not Grade C. Grade C's are the worst of the lot. Bad traits of Grade C include insecurity and competitiveness. Precisely why they could have been A Minuses but aren't. Backstabbers and Machiavellians, those C's. It is their competitiveness that's dragging them down. Like they couldn't exist if they couldn't compare themselves with other people. Like everything is a race. Don't even have them on my staff. Only have Grade A minuses. The B's are wimps in my opinion. A Minuses are the cream of the crop. But not quite the best. They almost have my intelligence. But it will never be as easy coming for them as it is with me. Won't make it to that sharpest point. Will lose their minds before they reach it. Will help in the Achievements. May even be the original source of the Achievement. Dreamers, I used to call them when I was younger. Because they lack the capacity to achieve it. Grade A on the other hand does not lack any facility. It is his surroundings that are lacking for him. The way it is going I might be the only Grade A existing in this world. I'm the only one who can do this.

Good God.

But no time for this. Time is running out. I started smelling flowers an hour ago again. There are no flowers in this place.

An excerpt from Twinspeak, by Elyss Punsalan:
She hesitated. She smiled. "I meet a friend...who brings me gifts of all sorts every time." Rina dropped her head timidly, like she's part-ashamed and part-excited about what she remembered. "First it was a crystal goblet, very exquisite. But he realized soon enough that I had no use for it, so he brought me next a chest full of necklaces. And then Cuban tobaccos, a state of the art sound system, a Cosmo subscription, a Suburban, Crème dela Mer...Oh! There were so many things he gave me, I can't remember them all!"

"Incredible taste that friend of yours has. So, he good-looking? You like him?"

"I like him a lot, definitely. Handsome? Hmm..." She thoughtfully gazed into a picture frame, a shot of both of us on our tenth birthday; we were wearing ridiculous party hats. "He says he's lived since forever and that he's old enough to be my great-great-great-grandfather. He's not even human. He has a beer belly, four paws, and sharp nails. He's really short, and he has black shiny scales, would you believe? The scales aren't troublesome though. They're rather soft. In the beginning he looked appalling, but once I got to know him, he's such a sweetie. And he has lovely green eyes!"

An excerpt from The Devil Is In The Details, by Charles Tan:
Unperturbed by the man's apparent apathy, the Devil approached him with a confident stride (which is much harder than it looks when you have hoofed feet) and spoke to him in hushed tones, since people seemed to pay more attention to you when you're trying to be discreet.

"I want your soul. Name your price."

The soft proposal was like the ringing of an alarm clock to the man. After decades of informal training at eavesdropping, he heard every syllable (it didn't matter if the words were directed at him or not as his ears were attuned to catch every whisper). A part of his brain wanted to disbelieve all of it. It seemed like the plot of a badly written movie, radio drama,…or short story.

An excerpt from Dreamtigers, by special guest author, poet, and Rhysling Award winner, Robert Frazier:
(first published in the March 1987 issue of Amazing Stories)

No, she said. The doctor could do nothing. It was the bangungut that had him. Fenneman translated that as the nightmare syndrome, first studied in Philippine males. Victims would thrash and cough in their sleep and sometimes couldn't be resuscitated. In our studies we've called them dream deaths.

That noon, just as I was to leave, the young girl stopped me. Her touch lingered, her bronze hand on my black one. She had made herself very pretty, and said to come back that night.

My dreams were also disturbed. I saw a shadow, hers perhaps, stalking me along the veldt.

cover artwork and animation by: Andre Medina
cover and animation concept by: Jenny Peñas
interior design and layout by: Elbert Or

Friday, June 22, 2007

PGS on NU 107.5

Thank you DJ Pontry and Celeste for taking care of me, Vin, and Andrew during the interview for PGS on NU 107.5, Home of NU Rock. Thanks too to Andre for bringing us there. Again, thanks to Charles for transcribing the interview and putting it up on his blog. If you want to hear the interview, it's also been uploaded here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Special Thanks and An Announcement

Thank you very much to Ms. Tin Mandigma for talking about PGS on the Read or Die blog. She has a post there about fantasy that you might find an interesting read, as she ruminates on where the genre is at in today's world.

The same thanks also goes to Ms. Rebecca Arcega of the Philippine Speculative Fiction blog, who has posted about PGS on several of her entries. Much appreciated!

Thank you too to Mr. Rej Layug and Ms. Meann Ortiz of New Worlds for putting up our call for submissions on their site.

Dean Francis Alfar and the rest of the Litcritters will be at one of our partner distributors, A Different Bookstore, in Serendra this Saturday, June 23, 2007 at 4 p.m., to discuss short stories. Read about it here.

Interview on NU 107.5

There will be another on-air feature and interview for PGS on Thursday, June 21, 2007, on the radio station NU 107.5. Like last week's interview, it will start around 4-ish in the afternoon. We'll be talking about the Digest, genre fiction and Philippine literature once more, this time to the listeners of NU. This time, I'll be on-air with National Book awardee Vin Simbulan and writer/artist Andrew Drilon.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

On Comments and Feedback

One aspect of PGS is that it encourages readers and authors to interact with each other. That's why we have links to the authors' blogs here, and why we list down their blog and email addresses at the end of their stories in each issue, along with a brief biography and their writing notes.

We want you readers to tell the writers what you think of their work, and to ask any questions that you may have. In the event that you wish to remain anonymous, we encourage you to send your comments to us (you can use any of the email addresses for submissions we have listed on this blog) and we can forward your comments to the authors with your names deleted. Don't worry. Discretion is our watchword.

Thank you to all those who have emailed their comments directly to the authors or who have coursed their comments through PGS. Please continue to do so. I'm sure the authors enjoy hearing from you.

But then, there have been a few reviewers who have gone and posted their comments publicly on their blogs. They've taken the time, effort, and space, to tell their blog-visitors about PGS, it's contributors, and what they think of the stories. We are grateful for them, and we have linked to those blog posts below.

To those reviewers who've made their thoughts public, thank you very much! Please continue to do so, and we'll continue to link back to you from the PGS blog. And if anyone else does post their reviews publicly on their blogs, let us know, and we'll do the same for you.

Pinoy Penman: A Wonderful Thing
To the Tale, and Other Such Concerns
The Grin Without A Cat
On An Other Life
Pinoy Book Review

To the Tale, and Other Such Concerns
The Soapbox Barbie Connection 1, 2

Friday, June 15, 2007

PGS on Mellow 94.7

With much thanks to Mellow 94.7 (thank you Mr. Luigi Vera and station manager Drew Domingo) and the gracious hosting of DJ's Chris and Chloe, yesterday afternoon's radio interview with me, National Book awardee Vin Simbulan, and 9-time Palanca winner Dean Francis Alfar was quite enjoyable. What's more important is we are glad to have gotten more word out about PGS, and how we want Pinoys to get to reading more, especially the works of other Pinoys. Thank you Vin and Dean for guesting along and supporting PGS.

Thanks also to Charles Tan for providing not just the transcript of the radio feature, but a link to the actual interview itself. Thanks to him, you can listen to the three of us again on the internet.

In the final words of DJ Chris at the end of the interview: Be inspired.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Interview on Mellow 94.7

There will be a feature and interview tomorrow, June 14, 2007, on the radio station Mellow 94.7, for PGS. It will start around 4-ish in the afternoon. I'll be there, on-air, as will 9-time Palanca award winner Dean Francis Alfar and National Book awardee Vin Simbulan, both of whom are PGS contributors.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

PGS Is Open Early For Christmas!

We'd like to remind everybody that PGS is still open to short-story submissions.

Please feel free to send in your work to us. You can refer to this link to read our guidelines and see what we're looking for. Or better yet, pick up a copy of the issues already out in the market and read the types of stories PGS accepts. You can also check out this link for the proper manuscript format that we prefer to read your stories in.

In fact, we're planning a Christmas theme for the 2007 December issue!

Send us a Christmas-themed genre story for the 2007 Yuletide season. Consider it a challenge to write a horror, crime, suspense, humor, fantasy, alternate-history, sci-fi, speculative, ghost, romance, or mystery tale around the Yuletide season. Just to put some additional seed to thought: how would you weave the usual traditions we see, hear, and experience around Christmas into a genre story? You can use the holiday setting and place a crime in a department store at the height of Christmas rush for a detective story, for example, or you can even turn this on its head and place the crime in Santa's workshop ("Ho Ho...Hey! Who stole all the toys?") where the Detective who has to solve it is some diminutive, smart-aleck elf, or perhaps some sentient P.I. doll. Or how about: what would zombies eat for noche buena?

Well, you get the idea, I hope, and all the mixes and matches of ideas for a genre Christmas story--both merry and bright, and not so--are there. But of course, it's the writing and treatment of the author that will make the story worth the time for the reader.

Deadline is October 5, 2007.

Thanks, happy writing, and um, Merry Christmas!