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The Best of the Philippine Speculative Fiction: 2005-2010

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Between these covers are the best short stories of fantasy, horror, science fiction, and genres in-between, selected from the first five years of the Philippine Speculative Fiction annuals. Step through the portal and explore worlds old and new and experience the power of the literature of the imagination as crafted by Filipino authors.


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Between these covers are the best short stories of fantasy, horror, science fiction, and genres in-between, selected from the first five years of the Philippine Speculative Fiction annuals. Step through the portal and explore worlds old and new and experience the power of the literature of the imagination as crafted by Filipino authors.

30 review for The Best of the Philippine Speculative Fiction: 2005-2010

  1. 5 out of 5

    Led

    Alfar's outstanding The Kite of Stars and Other Stories was the force (spurred by 'add to cart' convenience) that permitted a copy from UP Press to arrive at my door. Of thoughts in reality, I'm not one to entertain what-if's but it is a different case reading fiction. Anticipating the takes on these 30 SpecFic stories, I expected some to set aswang and encanto loose in the modern world – and it did! Plus more others. A few themes now exploited in screens (consider, stories were published ca Alfar's outstanding The Kite of Stars and Other Stories was the force (spurred by 'add to cart' convenience) that permitted a copy from UP Press to arrive at my door. Of thoughts in reality, I'm not one to entertain what-if's but it is a different case reading fiction. Anticipating the takes on these 30 SpecFic stories, I expected some to set aswang and encanto loose in the modern world – and it did! Plus more others. A few themes now exploited in screens (consider, stories were published ca. 2005-2010) while several others were arousing, they better be extended narratives. As stories vary, like flavors suit different palates, here were those that I found affecting in either their theme or writing, or both: The Sign of the Cross (friars), Six from Downtown (self-preservation; also found in The Kite of Stars), A Retrospective on Disease for Sale (alibis), Keeping Time (dystopia), The Flicker (disappearances), The Sparrows of Climaco Avenue (climate crisis), Sidhi (faith), Just Man (affection; a fascinating finale!) As the well-written and compelling preface did so accentuate: "The literature of fantastic existed in these islands, long before the term 'speculative fiction' was used... We are a people of mountain, sky, and sea, and our oldest stories took in elements of the other cultures that came to our shores. We are, and will always be, a nation of story tellers, no strangers to the strangeness that is part and parcel of what it means to live in these islands."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lew

    As a kid, I grew up reading speculative fiction from writers who were predominantly white and European or American-centric: Anne McCaffrey, Agatha Christie, Harry Turtledove, etc. Never did I see characters like myself, a Filipino American, represented in the genres I loved so much. It's only recently that I've begun to discover Filipino/a and Fil-Am writers who have been blazing trails in western publishing, writers like Alyssa Wong, Isabel Yap, and the famous husband/wife duo of Dean Francis an As a kid, I grew up reading speculative fiction from writers who were predominantly white and European or American-centric: Anne McCaffrey, Agatha Christie, Harry Turtledove, etc. Never did I see characters like myself, a Filipino American, represented in the genres I loved so much. It's only recently that I've begun to discover Filipino/a and Fil-Am writers who have been blazing trails in western publishing, writers like Alyssa Wong, Isabel Yap, and the famous husband/wife duo of Dean Francis and Nikki Alfar. Dean and Nikki are the ones responsible for creating and editing the fantastic anthology series, Philippine Speculative Fiction, of which this particular book draws its stories from. And what a wonderful collection Dean and Nikki have curated. This volume has some well-crafted stories from all genres encompassing speculative fiction: fantasy, science fiction, steam-punk, magical realism, horror, fairy tales, and more. There's something for everyone in this collection, and whether or not you identify as Filipino/a, the stories are accessible and relatable. They explore universal themes: loss, love, survival, success, etc. However, as a Fil-Am, I find them especially exciting and refreshing because I get to finally see my culture represented in genres that I have read since childhood. While I enjoyed the majority of the stories featured in this anthology, the following were my personal favorites (some of these descriptions are quoted from my personal blog): "The Secret Origin of Spin-Man" by Andrew Drilon. If you like superheroes, this one’s for you. A pair of young brothers bond over their mutual love of comic books, but then Spin-Man changes everything. "Keeping Time" by FH Batacan. A strange plague engulfs the world, causing people to slowly starve to death. One man searches for a cure and a reason to keep living. "The Flicker" by Ian Rosales Casocot. Children in a small town begin to mysteriously disappear. I may have physically quivered while reading this story. "Parallel" by Eliza Victoria. This may be a “soft” science fiction story about parallel universes and the unbreakable bonds of family, but the ending hits pretty hard. "Brigada" by Joseph F. Nacino. I love a good adventure story, and this one delivers. There's all kinds of drama on the high seas in this re-imagined world where "The Flood" reduces the Philippines to a boat and flotilla-based country. A navy captain and his crew must work together to thwart a foreign threat with a unique set of weapons. "Sink" by Isabel Yap. A grieving mother must make a difficult choice. I'm being vague on purpose because this story has an emotional and powerful narrative that needs to be experienced. "Revenge of the Tiktaks" by Noel Tio. This is a horror story about strange noises that haunt a group of boys at a boarding school, with some surprisingly funny moments. "The Ascension of Our Lady Boy" by Mia Tijam. The narrator of this story, Lady Boy, shares her struggles on growing up transgender in a family unwilling to accept her gender identity. Lady Boy is outrageous, outspoken, and wonderfully blunt. Tijam uses humor as a tool to expose and dismantle prejudice against the transgender community in the Philippines, making it one of the most entertaining stories I’ve read in a while. There’s also an aswang and some subtle magical elements to round it all out. While most of the story is in English, there are a lot of Tagalog words and phrases. If you’re not familiar with the language, Google Translate will be your best friend and help you pick up some of the more crass humor. This is my favorite story in the whole collection, if you couldn't tell by my enthusiastic write-up. :) Overall, this is an amazing collection of speculative stories from a diverse group of writers who identify as Filipino/a. And thanks to the magic of licensing, this book (as well as all the other volumes of Philippines Speculative Fiction) is now available in the United States in e-book format. Check it out if you get the opportunity. Expand your perceptions on what speculative fiction is and should be.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Red Sea

    This is a reread from the first time I've read this through. This was my first official introduction to Philippine Speculative Fiction, not including that discussion we had of it in our literature class. I bought it initially because of the eye-catching cover, but I'll be rereading it throughout the years because of the stories between the covers. Definitely one of my favorite anthologies ever. This is a reread from the first time I've read this through. This was my first official introduction to Philippine Speculative Fiction, not including that discussion we had of it in our literature class. I bought it initially because of the eye-catching cover, but I'll be rereading it throughout the years because of the stories between the covers. Definitely one of my favorite anthologies ever.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jonah Leigh Ramos

    My cup of tea.

  5. 4 out of 5

    micah

    Keeping Time - 2.75*

  6. 4 out of 5

    S.B. Wright

    A very good collection showcasing the depth and versatility of the Filipino speculative fiction community. My full review will appear in the next issue of International Speculative fiction magazine.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Julie Ann

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cat Aquino

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ino Jev

  10. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Onte

  11. 5 out of 5

    PJ Gonzalez

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andy Reysio-Cruz

  13. 5 out of 5

    Inah Anunciacion

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pugugly

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karlo

  16. 5 out of 5

    Viola Marie

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carl Mucho

  18. 5 out of 5

    Wil

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jose Miguel Arguelles

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jc

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ronnie E. Baticulon

  23. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pat Bation

  25. 4 out of 5

    Wilfred Cabrera

  26. 5 out of 5

    Peter Immanuel

  27. 4 out of 5

    Angge

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lil Abner Aquino

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mikai Noble

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

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