Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On The Philippine Speculative Fiction 6 Launch (With The PGS Crime Issue Tagging Along)

The event last Saturday, May 28, 2011, was a raucous event, and in a good way, the way loud, noisy parties can be fun in a good way.

My thanks to all the PGS Crime Issue writers, and the issue's guest-editor, F.H. Batacan.

My thanks to the publisher of PSF 6, Dean Alfar, and the editors of the anthology, Nikki Alfar and Kate Osias.

My thanks to all the writers of PSF 6, and all those who attended the event.

And for write-ups, photos, and videos of the event, we can all thank Paolo Chikiamco, Charles Tan, Eliza Victoria, and Vida Cruz.

Don't forget the call for submissions for PSF 7!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Call For Submissions - Philippine Speculative Fiction 7

PGS contributors Kate and Alex Osias are the new editors for Philippine Speculative Fiction 7. Their call for submissions is here. Deadline is September 30, 2011. Mark the date on your calendars!

Writer Urges Internet Junkies To "Switch Off" And Think

It takes concentration to read or write. The internet, according to a writer, could be robbing us of it. He wrote an article which I linked to in 2008, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?", and he's warning us again. An excerpt:

Like tens of millions of others, US technology writer Nicholas Carr found the lure of the worldwide web hard to resist -- until he noticed it was getting harder and harder to concentrate.

He set out his concerns in a celebrated essay headlined "Is Google making us stupid?"

And his latest book "The Shallows" explores in depth what he fears the Internet is doing to our brains.

"The seductions of technology are hard to resist," Carr acknowledges in that book, which has sold an estimated 50,000 hardback copies in the United States alone. But he thinks it's time to start trying.

In a speech at last week's Seoul Digital Forum and an interview with AFP, Carr restated his concerns that IT is affecting the way people think and feel and even the physical make-up of their brains.

Every new technology in history -- like the map and the clock -- changed the way people think but Carr sees special dangers in the Internet.

He got his first PC back in the 1980s and was an avid net user until "a few years ago, I noticed some disturbing changes in the way my mind worked. I was losing the ability to concentrate."

While the Internet has enormous benefits in delivering incredible amounts of information at incredible speed, it's also a distracting and interruption-rich environment.

Carr said it encourages quick shifts in focus -- and discourages sustained attention and the ability to think deeply and creatively about one topic and to challenge conventional wisdom.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

"The Many Flavors Of Paz del Rosario" by Kate Osias

PGS contributor Kate Osias has a new story out, "The Many Flavors of Paz del Rosario", in the May 30, 2011 issue of Philippines Graphic, available at bookstores and magazine stands. Congrats, Kate!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Philippine Speculative Fiction 6 Launch (With The PGS Crime Issue Tagging Along) -- Updated

Philippine Speculative Fiction 6 is going to be launched on Saturday, 2011 May 28, 5 p.m. at Fully Booked Bonifacio Global City. The anthology was edited by PGS contributors Nikki Alfar and Kate Osias. Kate has provided us with the lineup of stories, of which I consider myself fortunate to be a part of with my tale, "The Kiddie Pool"; and in which we can also find other PGS contributors such as Charles Tan, Ian Rosales Casocot, Andrew Drilon, Vincent Michael Simbulan, Elyss Punsalan, Crystal Koo, Paolo Chikiamco, Dean Alfar, and Alex Osias.

Tagging along and playing the supporting role to PSF6's lead, is the PGS Crime Issue. It's ironic that this will be the first time PGS will be formally announced/launched, given that this issue will be the last foreseeable PGS issue to come out in print. But hey, better late than never, and my thanks to Kestrel, the publisher of PSF6, for allowing PGS to be present on Saturday. It's worth noting that both Crystal Koo and Alex Osias have tales in both PSF6 and the PGS Crime Issue. The other writers in the PGS Crime Issue are Maryanne Moll, Xin Mei, and Dominique Cimafranca, and was guest-edited by F.H. Batacan.

Come and join us on Saturday, 2011 May 28!

Update: Here's an interview with the editors, courtesy of Rocket Kapre. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Taking A Break Blogs About The PGS Crime Issue

My thanks to Taking A Break for sharing his thoughts about the PGS Crime Issue.

I enjoyed reading PGS: Crime. Immensely. It was not at all hard to read, as the five stories included in the collection were (almost) all written in a conversational manner, even though they are works of fiction and are not in first-person.

The only story I’ve had a problem with was the last one, Alexander Osias’s Blogcaster, which wasn’t so much a problem with content as it was, I think, about layout. The content was great, especially after I figured out where one part ends and the next one begins.

My favorite has to be Crystal Koo’s The Last Time I Saw Uncle Freddie though. It’s a powerful enough story on its own, but the way the author weaves the tale, from end to start, makes it even grander in scale.

Click here to read all that he wrote.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Kapre: A Love Story" by Erin Chupeco

Live now is "Kapre: A Love Story" by Erin Chupeco. :

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"Controller 13" In The May 2011 Issue of Rogue

Please check out my story, "Controller 13", in the May 2011 issue of Rogue.

With all due respect to the other publications my work has had the good fortune of being included in, this magazine with my story probably has the most gorgeous cover of them all. :P. (That's model Teresa Herrera on the front).

My thanks to Jade Bernas for referring me to features editor Vani de Sequera.

The very kind blurb for "Controller 13":

Big Brother is watching. Kenneth Yu's "Controller 13" envisions a future of superconnectivity where microchip implants in the brain allow people to communicate ideas directly to one another instead of using computers. Told from the point of view of Li, a young man programmed from birth against his will as his country's panopticon, it's a heart-wrenching tale about freedom and the measures individuals take to regain it.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

An Interview With Charles A. Tan (Part One)

Here's an interview with PGS contributor Charles Tan, The Bibliophile Stalker, by Paul Clemmons. An excerpt:

In March of this year, I was lucky enough to sit down to dinner with speculative fiction writer, blogger, and scholar Charles A. Tan (known to those of us at RSF as “Charle Satan”). Family business necessitated a trip to the Philippines, and meeting up with Charles was a highlight of my trip.

Charles and I met up at Shangri-La Plaza (link: http://www.shangrila-plaza.com/ ), which is the sort of mall where you can drink a Starbucks coffee and shop for Louis Vuitton luggage while a pair of half-starved teenagers repair your laptop and hack your blackmarket GPS in the carpark. While this isn’t representative of the Philippines as a whole, this yuppy-cyberpunk fusion is very much representative of what could be the future of the Philippines.

Charles’ excellent blog is at http://charles-tan.blogspot.com/, where you can read more about the upcoming Philippine Speculative Fiction Sampler #6.

So tell us, how did you become Asia’s best-known spec-fic fan and blogger?
Well, I am the ‘whole geek package’, so it is only natural. I love the novels, movies, comics, and gaming. I started blogging in 2001, but it wasn’t until 2007 that I started focusing on genre work. It was, probably 2008 that I started doing interviews—that was when Wizards of the Coast started its “Discovery Series”, and I was very interested. J.M. McDermott was the first person that I interviewed, and from that point I started approaching new artists and writers if I could interview them, and help promote them.

What was your first interview like?
It was mostly email. Even a few months before then, he was already talking to me about his work. He was not yet an established writer, this was just after “The Last Dragon” (link http://www.amazon.com/Last-Dragon-Discoveries-J-M-McDermott/dp/0786948574 ), his debut work, so it wasn’t really intimidating. He was telling me that Jeff VandeMeer was planning to feature him for his Omnivoracious blog at Amazon (link http://www.omnivoracious.com/2008/02/a-brilliant-new.html). It was fun. I do all my interviews by email, because it would take too long to write all this down [mocking laughter, no doubt at my dictaphone].

How out of place have you felt in the Philippines, being the “whole geek package”, with science fiction still a developing art form here?
Well, it depends. In high school, for me, I was out-of-place because not a lot of people were into “geek stuff”. I only found out later on that there were a lot of people into “my kind of books” [laughs]. With the rise of the internet, it has been much easier to find people with common bond, and that’s why I started my blog to find people who share the same interests as me.

Click here for more.

Charles is also the current guest-editor for the first four stories of Philippine Genre Stories (two of which are already up).

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Call For Manuscript Submissions – Vee Press

Here's a call for local manuscripts between 60k and 75k. An excerpt:

Vee Press is accepting submissions for our upcoming e-book line. We are actively seeking talented writers who have completed a novel-length manuscript or have written more than 10 chapters of an ongoing work. Writers who are willing to work with us through our fast-paced publishing cycle are especially welcome.

We are considering both popular non-fiction and fiction titles on any topic, with a great preference for plots or subjects that concern the Philippines and its culture. Both non-professional and established authors are welcome, but any work submitted to us must not have been previously published, including self-publishing, in print or online. Self-published works are considered published.

We are looking for:

  • Manuscripts with a projected length of between 60,000 and 75,000 words. We are currently not considering works that go above the maximum word count, but we will consider pitches for potential series.

  • A fresh premise that can be conveyed as a paragraph-length (5 sentences maximum) pitch.

  • Non-fiction that takes a popular (mainstream, non-academic) approach on their subject matter.

  • For fiction, works in any genre that mix engaging storytelling with exciting plot and compelling characters.

Further guidelines:

  • Please make sure the copyright and publishing rights are not owned by other parties. Unpublished manuscripts optioned by companies or organizations are not up for consideration.

  • Works that are based on material (television, literature, etc.) that have not entered public domain are not accepted.

  • If excerpts of the work have been previously published, we ask the authors to include this information upon submission.

Click here for more information.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

PGS Online: "The Departure" by Marianne Villanueva

After the first PGS Online story some two weeks ago ("What You See" by Ian Casocot), we now bring you "The Departure" by Marianne Villanueva.

Pakinggan Pilipinas Episode 11: "Reunion"

PGS contributor Elyss Punsalan has uploaded her latest podcast on Pakinggan Pilipinas: "Reunion" by Eliza Victoria. Head on over to listen to her podcast! Congratulations to Elyss and Eliza! (Hey, that has a nice ring to it!)

Oh! And I missed linking up to Episode 10, an unabridged version of PGS guest-editor Yvette Tan's "The Bridge"! (An "unabridged Bridge", nyuk nyuk).