Taking our cue from SF Signal, in Rocket Round Table, we pose a single question to those who toil in the fields of Philippine SF. Our aim is to promote reflection and discussion, as well as to simply compare notes on the genre we know and love. This month we ask the question:
What is your favorite Filipino-created Speculative Fiction story?
Click here to read the answers!
mananaggal in Philippine mythology is a wonderful blend of old-school Western vampiric myths and native superstition. In myths, she’s a beautiful woman who can separate the upper half of her body from her lower half. The lower half stays rooted in one place while the upper half goes on a feeding frenzy – usually sucking the unborn fetus from a pregnant woman. If you look at the duality of such a creature, it serves as the perfect metaphor for adolescent hunger. - read the rest of the interview.
King of Sand and Stormy Seas by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Mexico)
Night Out by Eliza Victoria (Philippines)
Bhima by Ajay Vishnawathan (India)
When I was invited to contribute an essay on optimistic science fiction, I was struck with panic. While the Philippines is known as one of the “happiest” countries in the world, we’re actually a third-world country that’s fallen from grace. In Asia, we were once second only to Japan. Currently, we’re behind many developing countries such as Singapore. As for the state of the country, we’re plagued by crime, corruption, and pollution. If anything, the Philippine condition feels like a cyberpunk setting gone awry: pirated software and movies are being sold at readily-available kiosks, a good chunk of the population can’t afford computers yet we have an abundance of programmers whose skills are capable of creating programs like the ILOVEYOU virus, and there’s the ever-prevalent diaspora, whether it’s nurses and maids working abroad to fresh graduates being hired as call center agents for foreign companies. - Read the rest of the article.
"Let me clarify something though. It's not just Philippine speculative fiction that needs to be championed. There's a lot of other speculative fiction from other cultures out there, whether it's China, Korea, India, Russia, Poland, or some other country which we haven't heard of. I choose Philippine speculative fiction because it's what resonates the most, me being a Filipino, and this is where I can do the most good." - Click to read the rest of the essay.
As Tan writes in his introduction, "we selected various locally-published stories which might serve as a sampler of sorts. As much as possible, we avoided texts that were readily available online, and we looked through publications printed in the past four years to limit our scope. What we hope is a selection of stories that both Filipinos and readers abroad can appreciate."
The full table of contents:
Introduction by Charles Tan
Six from Downtown by Dean Francis Alfar
The Singer's Man by M. R. R. Arcega
Keeping Time by FH Batacan
Dreaming Valhalla by Douglas Candano
The Sugilanon of Epefania's Heartbreak by Ian Rosales Casocot
The God Equation by Michael A. R. Co
The Family That Eats Soil by Khavn De La Cruz
The Dues to the Unbound by Pocholo Goitia
A Ghost Story by Francezca C. Kwe
Pedro Diyego's Homecoming by Apol Lejano-Massebieau
The Forgotten City by Vincent C. Sales