Dean Alfar, Kevin Lapeña and Barbara Jane Reyes on Io9

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 18 - 2009

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Io9, one of the most popular SF sites on the web, just ran a post on Dean Alfar, praising his story “Six from Downtown” (which you can read here at Charles Tan and Mia Tijam’s Philippine Speculative Fiction Sampler):

“Six From Downtown” definitely reminds me of Link at her best, with its stark, dreamlike imagery. But it’s more brutal, with a host of images including a man fishing for mermaids (and then grilling them), and another man working as an exotic dancer and showing off his prehensile tail (and then using it to strangle a customer). The exotic dancer segment is also reminiscent of Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, for obvious reasons. And in the last section, a man comes home to find his wife’s upper half has flown away.

The post also features artwork from Usok 1 cover artist Kevin Lapeña (and pointed me to a keen interview with Kevin at The Design Inspiration), and cites a discussion by Filipina poet Barbara Jane Reyes on Magical Realism (something I’ll comment on in a post all its own, since it mentions Usok. Yay!) For now, let me just congratulate Dean, Kevin, and Barbara, and thank Charlie Jane Anders of Io9 for shining a spotlight on some deserving individuals.

Chained Links: 12 November 2009

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 12 - 2009

Fell a bit behind on the news linking this week, so  here’s a handy grab bag of some interesting links from this week, for your weekend reading pleasure:

How to Read the Next Generation

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 12 - 2009

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Kyu of Philippine Genre Stories attended the recent NBDB talk (in the Galing Pinoy, Basahin! Lecture Series) entitled How To Read The Next Generation (Fiction), which featured Dean Alfar, Angelo Lacuesta, Edgar Samar, Tara FT Sering (moderated by Charlson Ong) and he’s posted a summary of the event on his blog. Here’s an excerpt:

Jun Balde raised some interesting publishing figures. He cited that millions of books are sold each year in the Philippines (I forgot the exact number he mentioned, but it was a considerable amount), so it’s not right to say that Filipinos don’t read. Rather, it’s more interesting to parse just what kinds of books are being bought. The bulk of books that are being bought are paperback romance novels, humor books, how-to’s, and textbooks. Jun Balde said that fiction actually ranks in the top five of the types of books being purchased and read, and if any type of book-type has not been selling well, it’s poetry.

And on the topic of workshops and the writing process:

There, too, was an interesting question about the creative process of each writer, and another about the role of workshops and classes to improve one’s writing. All the panelists spoke of discipline and setting aside time to write. Sarge mentioned that writing for him is an obsession; it is something he has to do, wants to do with a passion, and that’s something anyone who really wants to write has to ingrain. With regard to workshops and classes, Dean made a good analogy about the Pinoys who sing well: some are trained, some are self-taught. Some from each group go on to become world-class talents. Those who are trained learn a bit more technique and craft, but that’s not to say that those who don’t can’t perform. The same, for writing. Ed Samar mentioned his staying up till the wee hours of the morning just churning out words, implying the amount of work and effort involved.

You can check out the rest of the post here.

Galing Pinoy, Basahin! (Lecture Series)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 9 - 2009

Via a post from Kyu over at Philippine Genre Stories, it seems that the National Book Development Board is holding a series of lectures in honor of Book Development Month. Quite a few of the featured speakers are Spec Fic authors so for those interested, here’ s the post:

The National Book Development Board is hosting a series of lectures this month, beginning tomorrow, as part of the 13th Philippine Book Development Month. The November schedule of activities for the series, Galing Pinoy, Basahin!, can now be seen on their website. The lectures will be held at The Filipinas Heritage Library. The details:

How To Read The Next Generation (Poetry)
Featuring: Mesandel Arguelles, Mikael Co, Conchitina Cruz, Joel Toledo; Moderator: Gemino Abad; Nov. 10, 2009

How To Read The Next Generation (Fiction)
Featuring: Dean Alfar, Angelo Lacuesta, Edgar Samar, Tara FT Sering; Moderator: Jose Y. Dalisay; Nov. 11, 2009

How To Read The Next Generation (Non-Fiction)
Featuring: Louie Cano, Vlad Gonzales, Carljoe Javier, Luis Katigbak; Moderator: Tony Hidalgo; Nov. 12, 2009

Reading Nick Joaquin; Nov. 16, 2009

Click on the above links for all the details, and to see how to reserve a place at the lectures. They are free and open to the public. The rest of the schedule for the month can be seen on the NBDB website.

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Rocket Kapre is an imprint of Eight Ray Sun Publishing Inc. (a new Philippine-based publisher), dedicated to bringing the very best of Philippine Speculative Fiction in English to a worldwide audience by means of digital distribution. More info can be found at our About section at the top of the page.

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