Respected author and professor Isagani Cruz has been teaching a course about Speculative Fiction (“Specfict”is his chosen abbreviation) at the Ateneo de Manila University, and in a recent Philippine Star column he talks about his experiences teaching the course and trying to keep up with the latest developments and trends in the field by allowing his students to have a say in the works (movies and literature) that they will tackle. An excerpt:
I talked a little bit about how we can discover the essential qualities of something by looking at its most extreme form. All novels and films are about unreal characters and places, but in Specfict, these characters and places are meant to be seen as unreal (unlike in many works of literature or cinema, where the reader or viewer is lulled into a suspension of disbelief). By highlighting the artificiality, Specfict shows fiction for what it really is – a bundle of lies, as Plato and later critics liked to put it. (In theoretical jargon, this is known as “deconstruction” or showing that a literary text is constructed according to conventional rules and not a natural “mirror of reality.”)
You can read the article here.