Friday, March 25, 2011

The Kritika Kultura Anthology of New Philippine Writing in English

The Kritika Kultura Anthology Of New Philippine Writing In English is now up and available. An excerpt from the intro:

The Philippine literary community has a relatively longstanding tradition of releasing anthologies focusing on young writers. However, it can be gleaned that the notion of the “new” remains unarticulated, as recent anthologies simply focus on the “young,” and what becomes apparent is the persistent maintenance of an aesthetics solidified in various creative writing institutions and workshops, a notion that is rapidly rendered inaccurate by a healthy production of writing that these anthologies do not include.

What this issue of Kritika Kultura intends to accomplish is to represent the kind of writing that is rarely published, the kind that is not often legitimized by mainstream publications. The kind of writing that we, as editors, can confidently call “new.”

The FFP 24 Hour Read-a-thon

The reading group Flips Flipping Pages is going to hold a 24 Hour Read-a-thon at Libreria in Cubao on April 8-9, 2011. Click here for more details and sign up if you want to join!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Cherry Clubbing" In D.O.A. -- Extreme Horror Collection (Updated)

Hooray! More good news for me. :)

D.O.A.--Extreme Horror Collection from Blood Bound Books, is now available! The blurb:

This anthology contains 28 horror stories taken to an extreme you've never read before. Author Kenneth Yu will introduce you to a disturbing interest that two men in the Philippines share, while Edward R. Rosick reveals the true location of the soul. Readers will journey from plague-ridden ships off England's coast to the viscous barrios of Mexico. You'll even meet a vampire who hungers for something more than just blood. But remember, this book is not for the easily sickened or offended. You've been warned.

I blogged about this last year, and now it's finally out! My story in this anthology is "Cherry Clubbing", the same one that won co-3rd place at the Fully Booked and Neil Gaiman-sponsored 3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards. My thanks to publisher Marc Ciccarone for accepting "Cherry Clubbing" into the anthology.

If you want to order, you can click here. :) It will also soon be available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Updated: It's now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

"Spider Hunt" In Aurora Wolf #3

Pretty excited to see my byline in the above anthology, Aurora Wolf #3, Aurora Of The Sun. The publisher, Michael Pennington, sent the physical copy of the anthology to my relative abroad, and that relative photographed and emailed me the above byline for my story, "Spider Hunt". I'm also excited about its upcoming release as a podcast at The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine.

If you want to buy the anthology, click here. There's a discount code, too (9RWWE4QP), and it's good for any Aurora Wolf press book.

My thanks to editor Linda Manning and publisher Michael Pennington for printing "Spider Hunt" in their anthology! :D

NYC Judge Rejects Google Books Settlement

Interesting news on the digital library Google has been trying to set up: NYC Judge Rejects Google Books Settlement. An excerpt:

A federal judge in New York City has rejected a deal between Google and lawyers for authors and publishers to let the gigantic search engine make money presiding over the world's largest digital library.

U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin said the creation of a universal library would benefit many but would "simply go too far."

He said the settlement of the class-action lawsuit challenging the right of Google ( GOOG - news - people ) to scan books and display snippets for online searching would "grant Google significant rights to exploit entire books, without permission of the copyright owners."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

PGS -- The Special Crime Issue


Guest-edited by F.H. Batacan

Cover art by Josel Nicolas

"Less Talk, Less Mistake" by Xin Mei
He opened a bag of watermelon seeds and one by one popped the seeds into his mouth. He cracked them open with his front teeth and then spat the shells onto the floor. She held onto the ends of her skirt and tried to avoid being spattered with the shells.

Then, his hands, so much stronger than hers, removed hers from her skirt. He moved his hands up and down her legs. She tried so hard to keep her eyes on the screen, to read the English subtitles of the Chinese movie. The words came and went faster than her mind could comprehend them.

He whispered, “Beautiful, she is so beautiful. Ya sui.

Something excited her, something she could not understand. She looked at the actress and wondered what made her beautiful. She portrayed a Chinese princess, dressed in a Chinese empress costume, and she could not see her face because his heavy arms blocked her view.

“Look at her jewelry, her tsiu siak. You want jewelry, too? How beautiful!” He whispered again.

She looked at the princess and thought she was decorated like a Christmas tree. She heard his voice but refused to look up. He repeated the words, “beautiful, beautiful,” until she looked up and saw the face of her grandfather. She cried out loud.

"God Is The Space Between" by Maryanne Moll
I remembered myself covering the full-length mirror with the sheet years and years ago, crying through the pain in my head, which had just been rammed into a wall, and remembered, all of a sudden, all the tiny details of the past eleven years--torn lips, hard slaps on the face, cuts on my thighs, punches in the stomach, kicks on the legs and hips, being locked in the bedroom until my visible bruises had healed.

"Grenadier" by Dominique Cimafranca
It happened so quickly. He really only had time to slam the brakes.

The brown Nissan Sentra had been following them since that intersection at Lobregat Street. On Ruste, just before the school, the Sentra zoomed forward, cut him off, and forced him onto the curb. Two men came out from the passenger side.

One carried an M-16, the other a .45-caliber.

He fumbled with the gear stick, tried to put the car in reverse. But when he looked behind him, a beige Mitsubishi L-300 was blocking the way. Its side panel door was open. He saw two men in the van. One man stood near the front of the van, pointing an M-16 at the onlookers. Another man with a .45-caliber walking towards them.

"Lock the doors!" was all he could think to say.

"The Last Time I Saw Uncle Freddie" by Crystal Koo
The insignia of the Hong Kong Police consists of the Admiralty waterfront framed by a garland of thirty-six leaves and topped with a bauhinia flower. Below is a blue scroll with HONG KONG POLICE printed in English and Chinese.

I have been sitting in the waiting room staring at the banner behind the empty desk for nearly an hour. They have been passing me around ever since I stepped into the Tin Shui Wai Division Station and asked if my elderly uncle had been murdered in the Wang Chau reservoir three months go.

I wrote Uncle Freddie's name in Chinese but no one had ever reported a Wong Shing Hang to have drowned there and no one recognized the name. The sergeant told me that it wasn't very uncommon for bodies to be fished out from there, given that it was part of a popular nature trail. Their records were off-limits to me and that was the end of the matter. The best I could do was to file a missing person report and to wait.

I had refused to leave and he led me into the waiting room and left me for an hour. When you're left by yourself with no one to contradict you, you become more doubtful of your position. It was possible Uncle Freddie had never drowned. It was possible he had never been murdered. In fact, it was possible that he never met up with the person waiting for him there. Maybe he had gotten lost along the way. He was pushing seventy and he had been traveling alone.

"Blogcaster" by Alexander Osias
Some friends of mine went missing the other week. They were real journalists, protégés of my lolo from his days with the Times. That's the reason I chose the term "blogcaster" over the more popular and more difficult to pronounce term blogjournalist. Not only does blogcaster sound better--it's more accurate. There's no art in my writing, no effort in my research, no real danger in my anonymous (though factual) posts.

They told me that an informant had suddenly called for an emergency meeting scant days after their last tête-à-tête and didn't even haggle over price. I warned them that it sounded suspicious, but Erlinda scoffed at my paranoia. "Death will come for us in the night," she said with a fatalistic glint in her eye, "not from some coffee meeting with an aging bureaucrat." Louis laughed and slugged back the remainder of his beer.

Now, two days later with no responses to texts or calls, all I can do is hope for the best.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ghost Stories Shared At Asian Supernatural Lecture

PGS contributor Alex Paman shared his love for ghost stories at Sacramento State, his alma mater.

Paman's fascination with the unknown began in the Philippines, where he grew up in two haunted houses. Paman later wrote about his supernatural experiences in two books, "The Asian Supernatural: Including Hawaii and the Pacific" and "Filipino Ghost Stories."

Pat Chirapravati, Sac State professor and director of Asian studies, said the recent popularity in ghost research has led to renewed interest in the paranormal. While most people in Western culture are familiar with stories about vampires, zombies, ghosts and werewolves, few are aware of the vast supernatural realm that exists in Asian and Pacific cultures.

"Supernatural figures and stories have always been in my culture," said Chirapravati. "Coming to America, I've noticed it's not part of the Western culture as much as it is in Asian cultures. I can definitely see the difference. However, I am trying to expose the many aspects of Asian life to the Western audience so they gain a better understanding of different cultures' beliefs."

Being a Sac State alumnus, Paman was eager to present a lecture at his alma mater. He was even more excited to discuss his passion for the Asian supernatural and its different entities.

Paman said he designed the lecture to be intriguing and informative for students and faculty who are from Western culture. He said because the Asian supernatural culture is so diverse, it should be shared with people of Western cultures to inspire all cultures to embrace their traditions.

Read the article here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Young Adults Write!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Cost Of Book Piracy

Here's an article from The Guardian that makes clear what piracy does to writers, especially to those who don't make a lot of money. An excerpt:

A campaign is needed to educate the new wave of e-reader owners that downloading illegal ebooks from torrent sites is theft, amid signs that the piracy of books is increasing, authors claim.

Crime writer David Hewson, author of the Italy-set Nic Costa novels, said a campaign along the lines of "People Who Love Books Don't Steal Books" was urgently required – because readers who consider themselves his fans are downloading pirated copies of his ebooks and audiobooks.

Hewson's latest hardback The Fallen Angel was available online on torrent sites within a week of its publication in February. His agent, Carole Blake of Blake Friedmann, confirmed that "every day without fail" she receives Google alerts of pirated editions of her authors' work. "It's like a war on many fronts," she lamented.

Victoria Lustigman, spokesperson for the Publishers Association, said there were signs that copyright infringements of books, though not on the scale of those in music or film, "are on the increase". The PA has issued "thousands" of take-down notices to ISPs each year, she added, "with success in the majority".

Hewson, who said he has seen a "dramatic" increase in book piracy over the past year, argued that publishers and authors need to tell the readers with new devices they've been given for Christmas, "Authors do this for a living, and if you take their work for nothing you are depriving them of a living."

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Pakinggan Pilipinas Episode 9: "Adrift On The Street Formerly Known As Buendia"

PGS contributor Elyss Punsalan has uploaded her latest podcast on Pakinggan Pilipinas: "Adrift On The Street Formerly Known As Buendia" by PGS contributor Nikki Alfar. Head on over to listen to her podcast! Congratulations to Elyss and Nikki!