Just reminding everyone that the (previously extended) deadline for submission to the SHINE Anthology, “an anthology of optimistic near-future SF, edited by Jetse de Vries, published by Solaris Books” is fast approaching.The deadline was originally June 30, but this was moved to August 2.
Submission guidelines are here. Remember, Mr. de Vries has stated that he is very keen on getting submissions from beyond the United States. He’s been providing a lot of helpful tips with regard to what kind of stories he’s looking for, and I thought I’d index a few of them here, for those authors whose spirits are willing, but whose muses are weak (like myself *sob):
Good luck everyone!
(cover by Andrew Drilon)
Just received word that Yvette Tan’s first collection of horror (mostly) fiction entitled “Waking the Dead” will be launched on August 15, 2009 from 4-7 pm at Powerbooks Megamall. Yvette’s stories have been included in Philippine Speculative Fiction III and IV, Night Monkeys and A Time for Dragons, as well as magazines like Rogue, Uno and the Philippine Free Press. If you want a taste of her storytelling abilities, she has links to works that are available online at her site.
I wonder what she means when she says the stories are “mostly” fiction though… *shivers*
Found myself at Market! Market! this evening, and caught an announcement for a Book Fair of sorts there next week from 27 July to 1 August; I’d be a bit more excited if there were a Fully Booked or Powerbooks or Different Bookstore there… but hey, they might participate anyway, and any book fair is reason to celebrate. Besides, maybe Buy-the-Book will have further reductions on their secondhand books.
There are a few other activities as well, including book donations for Children’s Hour for those more interested in giving than receiving. Anyway, here are the details, courtesy of an image pulled from PH Best Deals:
Recently spotted a news article, courtesy of the ever dependable Bibliophile Stalker, that the Carl Brandon Society was looking to find/spotlight POC Artists, and what better way to help out than to do a new post (the sequel to this) on excellent Filipino artists on deviantart. A bit pressed for time so only have thirteen this time, but each one is worth checking out. The great thing is, I think I’ve barely even scratched the surface of the wonderful Filipino presence in the deviantart community, and I’m looking forward to finding more–so if you know of any, drop me a line!
I love art exhibits, although to be honest a lot of the more popular contemporary styles are a bit too abstract for my tastes–or too boring: I can see and respect the artistry that was required to paint a photo-realistic picture… but if it’s just another beatified pastoral-rural scene my eyes glaze over. I guess my cousin is the one who got all the high-end artistic appreciation skillz.
Still, I do love art exhibits and Manilart 09 seemed to boast a wide enough variety of styles and mediums of artwork to entice me and my wife to brave the possibility of gale force winds last weekend for the NBC Tent. I’m glad we did-there was a lot of stunning and (to my uncultured eye at least) innovative art on display. Here are some of my favorite pieces that contained elements of the surreal and the fantastic:
“Let’s Save the World” by Anthony Palo: Anyone for a high-art RPG? I love the feeling of eerie whimsy I get from this piece. Strange how it’s the humans who look the most alien to my eye… if they are humans that is.
“Claws” by Lotsu Manes: There’s just something striking about a Superman costume being the prize in a traditional pabitin - especially when you realize that, upon a close inspection of the grasping hands, those children aren’t human.
“Guardian of Patrimony” by Randalf Dilla: What I like here is the way the different elements are structured in such a way that the layered/tiered canvas gives the impression of depth.
[More favorites from Manilart 09 after the cut]
Over at Lou Anders’ Blog, the esteemed Pyr editorial director has a post on “Building a Comprehensive SF & F Collection” (he’s soliciting any suggestions for “fantasy books every library should have” so head on over if you want to help out) and that, along with the Strange Horizons review of Little Brother, got me thinking: not necessarily about genre classics, but stories which have an importance to me, not just because they are well-made or entertaining, but because they taught me something about life or simply about what makes a story something I enjoy.
I’d probably easily name dozens upon dozens of stories, but for the sake of brevity let me limit myself to six for now from my early years-not necessarily the best things I read/watched, but all of which opened my eyes to a new aspect of reality; some are books, some are shows, all taught me something about storytelling or simply about living:
Wizards, Warriors and You: This series was my first introduction to prose fantasy of any sort, and my first taste of interactive entertainment. I always played the Warrior first, because he was a more sympathetic character to me-and yet I always found the Wizard’s storylines to be more interesting. What I Learned: Fantasy is awesome-but it’s even more awesome when I have a say in whether or not the lead character gets eaten by a crocodile.
Flight of the Dragons: Apparently the film is a bit obscure, (my first google search showed a hit on “unknown movies.com”) but I think a lot of the Filipinos of my generation remember it. I think this was literally the first movie-length animated feature I ever chose to watch (as opposed to being subjected to *cough* Bambi *cough*) – yes, before Transformers the Movie or G.I. Joe the Movie (Although if I were doing a list of influential characters and not stories, I’d have to put Sgt. Slaughter there). The movie was also my first exposure to the Everyman/Geek hero trope, and , not coincidentally, the first story I can remember where the hero triumphs by using his mind (or rather, in this case, scientific name-dropping). What I Learned: You can be a hero without being an athlete; the magic vs. science dichotomy; animated movies can be about more than helpless fauna.
[Teen detectives and transforming jets after the cut.]
Not strictly related to the speculative or fantastical, but awesome all the same: MANILART O9, the first international art fair to be hosted in the Philippines, will be taking place from 11 am to 8 pm on July 17 to 19, 2009 (that’s this coming weekend folks)–unless you’re a VIP with an invite to the opening gala tonight-in which case I hate you.
Admission tickets are priced at Php200. or US$5.00 each, although I heard over at the CANVAS Blog (which first clued me in on the event) that students and senior citizens with valid IDs can get a 50% discount (For details, call 531-6231, 0917-8511333). The official site describes the event as an affair in which the country’s leading art galleries and those of the Asian region will take part; it will be an event where art collectors and enthusiasts can view the finest examples of Contemporary Art today and gather together to exchange views and insights about the world of art. The site also has an FAQ page here.
If you’d like to see the list of confirmed exhibitors (and follow the links to their respective websites to whet your appetite) then the official site also has you covered.
Nothing like good art to get the creative juices going; see you guys there!
(Image from the Manilart web site)
Before I begin: you’ve all got copies of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother already right? It recently won (jointly with Ian MacLeod’s “Song of Time”) the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of 2009, and the Prometheus Award for libertarian SF; it has also been shortlisted/nominated for the Locus Awards and the Hugo Awards; it’s been praised by Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Bear, Brian K. Vaughn, John Scalzi and Scott Westerfield.
And oh, did I mention you can get the ebook for free?
I’ll be working on a more detailed review for POC, but for now I just want to let people know (or remind them if, like me, knowing it’s there and free makes them keep putting it off) and encourage everyone to give it a read. I wouldn’t place its craftsmanship and prose on my “Top” lists, but it is a stimulating, galvanizing read. As fiction it’s adequate, but as speculation, manual, manifesto and catalyst–it’s high, high up indeed.
Oh, and while we’re on the topic of Cory Doctorow, don’t forget that his latest book, Makers, is being serialized online free of charge by the good folks at Tor.com.
Slightly old news (and somewhat self-serving I know, but hey, I would have posted this regardless) but Joseph Nacino and Dean Alfar have announced “after much deliberation” the list of stories accepted for the “Farthest Shore” the upcoming anthology of Filipino secondary world fantasy (which you might remember from here). In no particular order, the stories and authors are as follows:
1. Balancing Darkness- Rodelle Santos
2. Hindsight- Paolo Chikiamco
3. Rite of Passage- Dominique Cimafranca
4. The Just World of Helena Jimenez – Eliza Victoria
5. Spelling Normal- Mia Tijam
6. Emberwilde – Nikki Alfar
7. Light – Kate Aton-Osias
8. They Spoke of Her in Whispers – Bessie Lasala
9. In the Arms of Beishu – Vincent Simbulan
10. Wildwater- Crystal Koo
Two more stories will be added, one from each of the editors, to bring the total number to twelve. “The Farthest Shore” is intended to be released in digital/online form sometime late August.
I’m really excited for this one, even setting aside for the moment that my story will be in it. Still, it’s good to know that all that toil and research was not in vain.
Sure, the Great Book Blockade is over, but the price of peace (or duty-free books in this case) is eternal vigilance–let’s not forget that even before the GBB, there were already people being taxed when they sought to bring books from abroad into the country. If you’ll recall, Chingbee Cruz shared her own experience here:
I’d heard that books were tax-exempt but didn’t know enough to have any conviction in making that argument, and so all I really wanted to do then was pay the right amount, official receipt and all. As I was fishing my hard-earned thousands of pesos out my wallet, I told CD that he made it very hard for people like me not to be corrupt. That his dramatic tossing of documents and convoluted explanations to my questions made it clear that he was discouraging me from doing the right thing. (When I asked him to please explain why his clerks were handing out tiny pieces of paper with the wrong tax amount for cheaper, resibo-less claiming of packages, he said he wasn’t at liberty to talk about such things. WTF?) Of course, he had nothing to say to all this. The only time he had something to say was when I mentioned that maybe next time I should keep my purchases to fifty dollars or less so I wouldn’t be charged taxes. “Ikaw bahala,” he said. “Kung may paraan ba lumusot sa rules, e, di ba’t di gamitin?” To which I quickly pointed out, short of biting his head off, that no, I wouldn’t be breaking any rule to begin with if I did my theoretical fifty-dollars-or-below purchase, and so no, I wouldn’t be getting away with anything.
UP Law Dean Marvic Leonen had a similar experience (as Chingbee narrates here) and RockEd Philippines has been trying to gather proof of similar cases of illegal taxation–receipts, or even simple narrations of the events–so that Atty. Leonen or another able lawyer might be able to file the appropriate legal suit. However, over at Twitter, in response to a query from @MLQ3, @gangbadoy of RockEd told me that people have stopped emailing such receipts and stories since the GBB was lifted.
[More after the cut]