Monday’s Content

In Monday’s Original Content at the World SF Blog, I interview Paolo Chikiamco, editor and founder of Eight Ray Sun publishing. This in connection with the Alternative Alamat project.

At, this article on the first YA novel by a Filipino.  Tall Story by UK-based Filipina writer, Candy Gourlay was purchased by David Fickling books in 2009 and has been released in the UK, the US and just this month in The Philippines. A note of interest: Candy mentions how this book is influenced by the Bernardo Carpio myth. There’s a link to an interview with her by Tarie Sabido which gives more insight into the influences and the process through which Candy went through to get this novel published. Something that jumped out at me from the interview is this part:

But it was only when one agent told me, “Why are you writing about English characters? A first novel should reflect the author’s experience.” that I realized that I was not mining the wealth of experience and story that my heritage had to give. It was only when I started setting my stories in the Philippines and using Filipino characters that my writing really came alive. (click on those lines for the entire interview)

At the Rocket Kapre blog, Paolo Chikiamco has posted a Pantheon of Philippine Deities. Quite a comprehensive one. It takes time to read through, but it’s worth it.

The Philippine Speculative Fiction anthology which is going into its sixth year, has also opened for submissions and it looks like this time the anthology will be published digitally instead of in-print.

There are a good number of anthologies in the wings from Filipino publishers, but I just can’t seem to keep up.

From this distance, it looks like the Filipino Speculative Fiction scene is thriving. One would think that an increase in visibility and accessibility equates to an increase in readership. Last time I was home, I was told quite brutally at several bookstores that they rarely stocked books by Filipino authors as the demand for fiction/novels by Filipino authors was practically non-existent.*

With the release of Candy Gourlay’s book,  and with the increased visibility of the Filipino writer in the genre scene, I find myself hopeful. Hopeful that bookstores will start to stock more books by Filipino writers of genre. Hopeful that more Filipino publishers will open their doors to books written by Filipino writers. And most of all hopeful that more Filipinos are reading these publications and supporting our writers.

*It seems ironic but it is very typical Filipino to have this attitude that once it’s been published abroad it must be really good. Change comes very slow and we are still bound by that mentality.