Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Anticipating Philippine Speculative Fiction for 2008

The year is far from over yet so many events seemed to have happened for speculative fiction in the Philippines. First and foremost I think are the local publications. First are the dedicated fiction magazines like Philippine Genre Stories and Story Philippines. The former is a magazine devoted to genre fiction (most notably but not limited to science fiction, fantasy, and horror) while the latter is a more "general" publication and more than a few speculative fiction stories have managed to sneak into its pages. Then there's the more mainstream readership of Psi Com publishing, most famous for its line of True Philippine Ghost Stories but over the years it's managed to publish other horror collections and even a fantasy digest anthology Pinoy Amazing Adventures. There's also the magazines and broadsheets that publish fiction such as the mainstay The Philippines Free Press but we're also seeing short stories in other flashy magazines like Rogue (and hopefully other publications as well like Imagine). Last but not least are the actual books on speculative fiction, most notably the anthologies Expeditions (and the 2nd Graphic/Fiction Awards that accompanied it) by Fully Booked and Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. 3 by Dean & Nikki Alfar. Of particular note with the former was that Neil Gaiman himself came to the Philippines not only to give a talk at the Ad Congress but to launch the book. With regards to the latter, Dean Alfar also released his collection of short stories this year, The Kite of Stars and Other Stories, under Anvil Publishing, who just launched their new imprint, Anvil Fantasy. Salamanca, Dean's first novel published the previous year, was also short-listed for the Madrigal-Gonzales Best First Book Awards.

But the year isn't over yet and there's still 20 days left in the year! Philippine Genre Stories will be releasing its Christmas issue hopefully before Christmas while more than a few local authors have been published in foreign markets: Philippine Genre Stories publisher Kenneth Yu got published in The Town Drunk, Read or Die founder Kristin Mandigma got published in Clarkesworld Magazine, Lit Critters founding member Kate Aton-Osias got published in Magic Realism, and Nikki Alfar should be published in Fantasy Magazine soon.

As for next year, there's much to look forward to. Story Philippines should be launching its new imprint Story Philippines Junior and for now, it looks like there will be a 3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards and hopefully another volume of Philippine Speculative Fiction by the Alfars. I'm also looking forward to Vin Simbulan's A Time for Dragons: An Anthology of Philippine Draconic Fiction and another Filipino author will be published in Weird Tales.

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