So, I went to this year’s Manila International Book Fair determined to only get one or two books, and scope out the lay of the land for another Spec Fic Guide to the MIBF (as I did last year). Our family is preparing for a new arrival, after all, so I figured I’d hold back a bit.
Believe it or not, that’s still me holding back. And hey, at least I got something baby related!
Now, while I have a bigger haul this year than last year, there’s actually less spec fic on the shelves of this year’s book fair: A Different Bookstore wasn’t present this year, which meant no bargain priced Jonathan Lethem novels for me. Visprint wasn’t there either, which surprised me, since I thought they’d want News of the Shaman and other recent releases to have a presence in the book fair. That being said, a lot of Visprint titles were available at the Rare Books booth. Vibal launched their digital book imprint, Vee Press, at the book fair (which will publish ebook versions of Carljoe Javier’s “Kobayashi Maru of Love” and Adam David’s “El Bimbo Variations”), but I don’t think that the ebooks are available until next week.
While there wasn’t a lot of new speculative fiction on the shelves, the old guard had a strong presence, particularly the Digest of Philippine Genre Stories, as copies of every issue were available at the Anvil booth: Yes, issues 1-4, and the special Christmas and Horror issues were all ready for the taking. BUT – as of this afternoon, they were shelved in the humor section for some reason, so try there first if you want to complete your collection. (I finally found the elusive 4th issue!)
While there was little fiction of interest to me this time around, there was a truck-load of non-fiction. First off, the perimeter bargain bins of National Bookstore had some ridiculously good bargains, although those were getting snapped up fast. (I also saw a rare copy of Stephen King’s “On Writing” guide for writers in the non-bin section.) The National Historical Commission/National Historical Institute booth also had a lot of good material – I hope they restock Religion of the Katipunan though, because I swiped the last copy ^_^ Not much new (of SF interest) from the UP and UST Presses, but Ateneo’s “Verbal Arts in Philippine Indigenous Communities” was an instant buy for me, as was “Oral Literature of the Ifugao” which I found at the Tradewinds booth.
One booth I would have really splurged on in days past was the Megatexts Philippines booth, which had a lot of very interesting books on very specific topics. Expensive stuff, but the older books were going for as much as 80% off, and there were a lot of topics that would be of interest to the SF writer or fan, such as “Manga from the Floating World“, “Leonardo on Flight” and “Strange Concepts and the Stories They Make Possible“.
That about does it for this year I think. Sumintheblue has a very detailed general interest guide here. Good hunting!