I was given Filipino speculative fiction today. Therefore, it was an awesome day.
Charles Tan (from Bibliophile Stalker) most generously gave these books to me today. Thanks so much, Charles! I’m really thankful to have copies of these books because Filipino speculative fiction is hard to come by.
But thankfully, no matter where you are in the world, you can read two out of the three because of the magic of ebooks. Here are the goods:
A Bottle of Storm Clouds by Eliza Victoria
Genres: Speculative fiction, short stories, Filipiniana
Questions of morality in exploring alternate realities; goddesses of old, living in modern-day Philippine society; the flesh trade in a dystopic future; four childhood friends, taunting fate by crossing the line between life and death, and coming back again; a world where Justice is immediate, absolute, and therefore deemed perfect—these are but some of the ideas to have sprung from the mind of up-and-coming writer Eliza Victoria. In A Bottle of Storm Clouds, Victoria’s first compilation of short fiction, her subjects are a mottled bunch; her characters, of all walks of life; her approaches, from all directions. But her stories all boil down to one question: “What if?”
Seroks, Iteration 1: Mirror Man by David Hontiveros
Genres: Speculative fiction, short stories, Filipiniana, dystopian
Seroks, Iteration 1: Mirror Man, is the first in a series of short fiction collections set in the dystopic future world which was first seen in the Palanca Award-winning short story “Kaming Mga Seroks” by David Hontiveros.
In this Iteration, paired with the singular artistic sensibilities of Alan Navarra, Hontiveros continues to explore this clone-littered world where everything is a commodity, and everything can be pirated, even people. A world where the truth is ugly and a fake can be a hero.
Unfortunately I don’t think this is available as an ebook. Please correct me if I am wrong! But if you are in Metro Manila, you can purchase it from Fully Booked.
The Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2005 – 2010 edited by Dean Francis Alfar and Nikki Alfar
Genres: Speculative fiction, short stories, magical realism, slipstream, Filipiniana
The Horsemen of the Apocalypse are all born to a Filipino family; an aswang nanny passes on her powers to her young gay ward; a family’s freezer gets a surprise visitor; a young boy discovers how his brother turns into a superhero locked in an eternal struggle with the Forces of Chaos; a company makes a fortune selling diseases. The Philippine Speculative Fiction series showcases the rich variety of Philippine literature. Between these covers you will find magic realism next to science fiction, traditional fantasy beside slipstream, and imaginary worlds rubbing shoulders with alternate Philippine history—demonstrating that the literature of the fantastic is alive and well in the Philippines.
This anthology is a collection of what the editors consider thirty of the best stories from the first five volumes of Philippine Speculative Fiction, published from 2005 to 2010.
The ebook is available at Amazon. I don’t know where the paper copies are. Maybe at the book store of the University of the Philippines?