The launch for the sixth volume of Philippine Speculative Fiction took place last Saturday, with the inimitable Dean Alfar once again serving as master of ceremonies and all-around entertainer–the PSF launches usually turn into roasts for the editors and contributors (and being absent is no defense) and a grand time was had by all. I’ll have videos from the launch and the earlier launch of the crime issue of Philippine Genre Stories later this week, but first here are some photographs from the event.
In spite of the rains, (and some *ahem* premature storm warnings), the UView Theater of Fully Booked was jam packed–this photo is from early in the proceedings, and by midway people were lining the walls, in spite of the addition of the monobloc cavalry. The downside to that is the volume sold out minutes after the launch was over–if you want another print run, make sure you make your voices heard!
Once you’ve been to a PSF launch, you’ll make it a point not to miss it–even if you live in Hong Kong, such as author Crystal Koo, who was also part of the PGS Crime Issue, who flew in just for the launches.
Of course, some residences are farther than others–Andrei Tupaz lives in New Zealand, so his mother graciously came to represent her son, and gamely helped Dean poke fun at him.
There were familiar faces from the spec fic blogosphere, such as Elyss Punsalan of Pakinggan Pilipinas.
And of course Charles Tan, whose name is practically synonymous with the spec fic blogosphere.
Some faces were familiar even if they were so young–
sixteen fifteen year old Joseph Anthony Montecillo has a story in this volume as well.
There were a lot of new contributors this year, such as Francis Gabriel Concepcion.
John Philip Corpuz, an avid tabletop gamer who used to write for me at Pinoy Pop.
Another new author is Arlynn Despi, here being playfully scolded by Dean and the editors for applying an earlier “last print issue” remark to the PSF series (that had been a reference to PGS).
Also new to this volume was a friend (!) of Dean’s from way back, Maria Elena Paterno.
Here’s Maria Pia Benosa, who I found out is about to set out on a path familiar to me. Best of luck Pia (but don’t forget my advice!)
Asterio Enrico Guttierez missed his first cue but came in time to be teased about his story’s title, “The Big Man”.
Of course, there were also veterans of PSF on hand: Andrew Drilon, storyteller exemplar in prose and komiks, has been in every volume of PSF to date.
Eliza Victoria, who Dean rightly described as one of our most prolific (and consistently excellent) authors today.
Poet and lawyer (what a combination) Tin Lao was also in PSF volume 5.
Vincent Michael Simbulan was a contributor in prior volumes of PSF and co-edited the fifth volume.
Kenneth Yu, who also launched the crime issue of the Digest of Philippine Genre Stories on Saturday.
Dean Alfar of course, who edited and published the first volume but who has since relinquished the editorial reins.
And Alex Osias, who will be co-editing the next volume of PSF…
… with his wife and PSF6 co-editor Kate Aton-Osias. Considering the very different types of stories they gravitate toward, this pairing could prove to be very… interesting, in the Chinese sense of the word.