Tuesday, June 07, 2011

More Random Thoughts on Philippine Speculative Fiction 2011

When I worked on The Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2009, I was limited by the fiction available that year. When I worked on The Philippine Speculative Fiction Sampler, I was able to cherry pick stories throughout the years, and that's important for me because not everything published (especially here in the Philippines where you can have a print run of a hundred copies or less in a limited location--such as a convention) gains the attention it deserves.

For example, it was only last year that R. Zamora Linmark (buy his latest novel) informed me that Jessica Zafra released an issue of Manila Envelope, a literary journal, which had a special section on speculative fiction back in 2006 (the only online evidence I have is this post by Budjette Tan).

It's exciting finding these discoveries but it can also be disheartening as you realize you can't share it with the world (and such publications or stories aren't eligible for consideration in Year's Best's anthologies because, well, their date of publication has passed). A story might have originally been published several years ago but as a reader, it only matters that I've encountered the story today for the first time (some stories of course date themselves but some stand the test of time, or at least the initial decade).

I bring this up because Heights, the literary journal of my alma matter (I never became part of the organization), has made some of its issues available online. It's a lot of material to go through but so far I've only read the 2011 issues and they're fantastic. (Of course I'm also interested in digging through previous issues and hopefully find notable stories from authors I've previously encountered like Fidelis Tan and Isabel Yap.) It's exciting discovering new and unfamiliar names (although it begs the question, how do I encourage and nurture them, especially since I'm a complete stranger) but at the same time, you also realize this is occurring everywhere (Ateneo is not the only university with a literary journal) and this is one of the problems of "world sf".

Anyway, tracking all of this seems futile as crowd-sourcing a database for local speculative fiction isn't that effective--at least coming from me, and I've been attempting to do so for the past three years--mainly because I'm unknown in this part of the world. If you're so inclined to help, here's the form and here's the list for 2011.

The Philippines Graphic as of late seems to be delinquent in updating its literary section which is a shame. Anyway, I hope you check out the archive of the Heights Folio, and here's the list of this week's recommended stories:
 (And some self promotion the reprint of my story, "The Jar Collector," up at Philippine Genre Stories.)

1 comment:

Ka-Blog! said...

excellent spadework as always, Charles!