Monthly Archives: July 2009

Deadlines Ahoy! Shine Anthology (EDIT: August 2)

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!

Waking the Dead Book Launch

(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*

Market! Market! Mad About Books Bookfair 2009

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:

Deviant(art) Filipinos (July 2009)

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!

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Manilart 09: What Caught My Eye

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]

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Six Stories From My Youth and What I Learned From Them

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.]

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MANILART 09 is This Weekend

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)