Infinite Library Fan Art

I don’t often get fan art so I am really loving this work! Thank you @priscilla_yamaguchi for imagining this beautiful cover for my flash fiction piece “Too See Infinity In The Pages Of A Book”! This story functions as a coda to my short story collection “The Infinite Library And Other Stories”.

Boskone 59: My first con for 2022

Update: Thank you to everyone that came or tuned in to my panels and my reading session! I miss attending cons so much. I hope it was as exciting and informative for you as it was for me. Thank you also (and a big virtual hug) to all those who said that they would look for my book “The Infinite Library and Other Stories. In North America the book is available from Available from Bookshop.org , Amazon.comBarnes & Noble and other selected bookstores. The 10- volume LONTAR, The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction is available from the Epigram book shop.

Come and join me for my first speaking engagement this year. I will be a virtual (remote) panelist and reader at Boskone 59, New England’s oldest annual science fiction convention, an event entirely organized and run by amazing fan volunteers from the New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA). More info here.

My Schedule

VIRTUAL: Speculative Fiction from Multilingual Authors Format: Panel
18 Feb 2022, Friday 20:00 – 20:50, Westin Marina III (19 February 09:00AM Singapore time)

Instead of having their stories translated, some non-English authors have chosen to write directly in English. Their personal experiences and the many challenges they face are not well known to the international community, in general, as well as to fandom, in particular. This panel will uncover some of those experiences to provide a better understanding of their work.

With: Jana Bianchi , Vida Cruz, Cristina Jurado, Julia Rios , and Victor Fernando R. Ocampo

VIRTUAL: Brick by Brick: Worldbuilding Future Cities Format: Panel
19 Feb 2022, Saturday 18:00 – 18:50, Westin Marina III (20 February 07:00AM Singapore time)

It takes centuries to build a city; SF authors have less time. How do you write compelling futuristic cityscapes that feel real? Let’s consider how to give your Trantor or Diaspar, Gethen or Blackfish City, Enlivened Cincinnati or Teixcalaan or Silicon Isle new technologies and old buildings; sights, sounds, and smells; history, culture, and peoples. (Plus sanitation.) How much detail do you need? How much can you get away with making up?

With: Kelly Robson, Carrie Vaughn, Michael M. Jones, Victor Fernando R. Ocampo, and Larry Niven

VIRTUAL: Group Reading: Johnson, Martine, Ocampo Format: Reading
19 Feb 2022, Saturday 20:00 – 20:50, Westin Marina III (20 February 09:00AM Singapore time)

With: Les Johnson, Arkady Martine, and Victor Fernando R. Ocampo

See you there!

Mapping New Stars: A Sourcebook on Philippine Speculative Fiction: Update

It’s finally finished! So proud to be part of this seminal work on PH Spec Fic – “Mapping New Stars: A Sourcebook on Philippine Speculative Fiction,” edited by Gabriela Lee  and Anna Sanchez . Thanks for inviting me to be a part of this!

I spent the first half of 2021 working on this massive project and my poor editors had to edit out so much material. Please watch out for the launch later this year or sometime in early 2023.

Congratulations to all my fellow TOC mates!

My chapter on “The Roots of Speculative Fiction in the Philippines” grew from my initial stab at documenting the early days of local Science Fiction. This time, I attempt to identify the oldest known Filipino works of Fantasy, Horror, and of course, Science Fiction.

As a teaser, I shall be posting an updated and super-remixed version of the section on Philippine Science Fiction here on my blog very soon (Likely after my upcoming eye surgery). 

The beautiful cover below is by Hans Dimapilis

Check out the amazing , powerhouse TOC:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgements

Introduction: A Beginner’s Guide to Cartography

A Brief Visual Timeline of Developments in Philippine Speculative Fiction

“Waiting for Victory: Towards a Philippine Speculative Fiction” by Anna Felicia Sanchez

Reading Philippine Speculative Fiction

“The Speculative Impulse” by Michaela Atienza

“Sapantaha: Isang Tangkang Depinisyon” by Luna Sicat Cleto

“Ang Kagila-gilalas na Haka kay Mariang Makiling Bilang Bukal ng Paglikha” by Edgar Calabia Samar

“The Roots of Speculative Fiction in the Philippines” by Victor Fernando R. Ocampo

“Tracing the Trajectory of Children’s Speculative Fiction in the Philippines” by Gabriela Lee

“Free and Open Spaces: Komiks and Speculative Fiction” by Francis Paolo M. Quina

“Philippine Speculative Fiction on the International Stage” by Charles Tan 

Writing Philippine Speculative Fiction

“Where Do Stories Begin?” by Vida Cruz 

“Choosing Your Genre: The Novel or the Short Story?” by Eliza Victoria  

“Building Worlds” by Dean Francis Alfar 

“Character Creation, or How to Get Away with Murderers” by Nikki Alfar  

“Planning the Narrative Journey” by Isabel Yap  

“Setting Up a Magic System” by Christine V. Lao 

“First World Dreams, Third World Realities” by Emil Francis M. Flores

“Considering Speculative Poetry” by Kristine Ong Muslim 

“Publishing Like a Pro” by Nicasio Reed 

Works Cited 

End Notes

Further Reading

Author Bios

End Papers Reveal

It’s been a while since I last posted something.

Today, I want to share the artwork that graces the end papers of the North American edition of The Infinite Library and Other Stories. The digital artwork (below) is called “Panopticon”, 2019 and is by Filipino artist Marius Black (@manilaukiyoe), whose work is often inspired by Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints. The end papers actually use the black and white version of this work which you can also see as the new masthead of my author website.

You can get your copy of my book here.

Apart from scenes from the short story “Panopticon” (Trash anthology: Buku Fixi, 2016), you can see characters and elements from several other tales such as from “Mene, Thecel, Phares” (PSF: Kestrel, 2016) and Here Be Dragons (CANVAS, 2015).

Late Post: Futurecon 2021

FutureCon – The Future Happens Everywhere

If you missed our panel “POSTHUMOUS POSTHUMANITY: What’s Beyond The Human Species? Augmentation, Hybridization and Externalization; New Identities Arising in Contemporary Science Fiction” last 4th of September 2021, you can now catch it on YouTube –


I talked about the future of humanity with Aliette de Bodard (France), Stanley Chan Chen Qiufan (China), Daniela L. Guzmán (Mexico), Renan Bernardo (Brazil), and our wonderful moderator Leonardo Espinoza Benavides (Chile).

The Infinite Library and Other Stories (North American Edition) is launched in New York City

Thank you so much to Jee Leong Koh and the rest of the #GaudyBoy LLC team (Kimberly, Judy, Isabel and Emily) for making the launch of The Infinite Library and Other Stories in New York City last 9 October 2021 possible! ICYMI Here’s a recording of the the event on YouTube –

Thank you also to the Pushcart-nominated writer and 2020 Felipe P. De Alba Fellow, Jemma Wei for hosting the event ,and to the wonderful Monique Truong, winner of the 2004 PEN/Robert Bingham Award, and best selling author of The Book of Salt, Bitter in the Mouth, and The Sweetest Fruits for judging the entries to Singapore Unbound‘s first flash fiction contest (the prompt of which was the title of my book). Congratulations to all the winners:

First prize: “A Room with a Point of View,” by Masturah Alatas (Italy).

Second prize: “This Is a Nice Hotel,” by Olivia Djawoto (Singapore).

Third Prize: “Devotion,” by Shuchi (Singapore).

Honorable Mention: “How Fucky Am I To Be Loved,” by Aaric Tan Xiang Yeow (Singapore).

Lastly, thank you to all who submitted entries and to all those who spent their Saturday evening with us!

Gaudy Boy’s North American version of The Infinite Library and Other Stories is available from Bookshop.org and Amazon.com. In the United States and Canada you can also get it at Barnes & Noble and other selected bookstores.

Novel Writing Workshop at Yale-NUS

Thank you once again to poet Lawrence Ypil and the Yale-NUS Writing Centre for inviting me and Meihan Boey (co-winner of the 2021 Epigram Books Fiction Prize for The Formidable Miss Cassidy, and the author of a science fiction novella, The Messiah Virus) to conduct a novel writing workshop with selected literature students.

This is the third such workshop I have done and I always find it such a rare pleasure to read the first manuscripts of new writers.

Joint Letter About BooksActually from Math Paper Press Authors

All my thoughts are already articulated in this statement I have co-signed. There is absolutely no place for sexual harassment or exploitation in Singapore’s literary community or anywhere else.

As members of the literary community, we were angry and disheartened to read about the accounts of past employees at BooksActually. We do not condone any behaviour that is non-consensual or exploitative in any way. We acknowledge their hurt, and honour the courage of these people for speaking up. The bookstore has provided space for a diversity of writers for more than a decade. As authors who have been published by Math Paper Press, the publishing arm of BooksActually, we acknowledge the contributions that BooksActually has made to our literary scene.  Nonetheless, we believe that any wrong must be righted and perpetrators must be held accountable for their actions. We also acknowledge that our writing community should do better, and that scarce resources should never be an excuse for unacceptable behaviour. We commit to creating a transparent and safe community where no one should have to suffer in silence; we’ll actively work to welcome all into the conversation.

We urge BooksActually and its present owner, Kenny Leck, to account for past mistakes and work on guaranteeing a safe and healthy environment for its employees. We welcome the decision to transfer Kenny’s ownership of the bookstore to the team, and await to see how the transfer of ownership will transpire within the bookstore. If BooksActually wishes to receive the support of our writing environment, we need them to fulfil their promises of outlining and enforcing better procedures and policies, including an anti-harassment policy.

We hope that BooksActually emerges from this controversy and becomes a bookstore we can depend on and love.

Signed:

Alfian Sa’at
Ally Chua
Amanda Chong
Ang Shuang
Ann Ang
Ashley Ho
Audrey Chin
Christine Chia
Cyril Wong
Daryl Qilin Yam
David Wong
Felix Cheong
Jee Leong Koh
Jennifer Anne Champion
Jerrold Yam
Jon Gresham
Krishna Udayasankar
Loh Guan Liang
Mahita Vas
Mani Rao
Marc Nair
Meihan Boey
Ng Yi-Sheng
Nurul Amillin Hussain
O Thiam Chin
Qamar Firdaus Saini
Rodrigo Dela Peña Jr.
Sanjay C Kuttan
Shelly Bryant
Stephanie Chan
Tania De Rozario
Topaz Winters
Verena Tay
Victor Fernando R. Ocampo

On behalf of themselves and 6 other MPP authors.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=110865048023181&id=110848271358192

Embracing the Weird* : Writing Speculative Fiction

ICYMI: This Thursday,  17 December 2020, I  have an online speculative fiction workshop for budding writers aged 13 to 16. If your kids are looking for something different this holiday season. Space is very limited. Please check it out. Details here.

Embracing the weird in your writing means taking risks and breaking rules. It means being completely honest and not being afraid of judgement. It means having fun, trying experimental techniques and looking at things from strange angles. In this online course, we’ll explore how approaching writing in unusual ways can unlock your creativity. We’ll do some reading, lots of writing and break some writing rules while we’re at it.

This workshop, organized by the Singapore Book Council, is suitable for 13 to 16 year old kids who would like to understand speculative fiction and try their hand at writing hand at writing a piece that defies all rules.

This programme will be conducted via the Zoom platform. Participants do not need a Zoom account to take part in the workshop.

Kinokuniya members can enjoy 10% off the workshop fee for this programme. Please contact programmes@bookcouncil.sg for the discount code before online registration.


* Apologies to the wonderful and always benevolent Jason Erik Lundberg for almost, somewhat, but not actually meaning to nick the title of his famous work.

Future Currents: Philippines and Singapore

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who watched us last night! If you missed our panel you can still catch it on YouTube here.

This coming Sunday, the 29th of November, 2020, please join Eliza Victoria, Isabel Yap, Vida Cruz and I as we talk about Speculative Fiction from the Philippines and Singapore (okay, it’s essentially mostly me for the latter) at Future Currents: Philippines and Singapore.

4am: California/Pacific Standard Time (PST) | 6am: Mexico City | 9am: Brasilia | 1pm: Rome | 4pm: Dubai | 8pm: Singapore/Manila | 11 pm: Sydney (AEDT)

Language: English

Panelists:

Eliza Victoria (Philippines) – Eliza Victoria is the author of several books including the Philippine National Book Award-winning Dwellers (2014), the novel Wounded Little Gods (2016), the graphic novel After Lambana (2016, a collaboration with Mervin Malonzo), and the science fiction novel-in-stories, Nightfall (2018). Her fiction and poetry have appeared in several online and print publications, most recently in LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction, The Best Asian Speculative Fiction, The Apex Book of World SF Volume 5, and Future SF Digest. Her work has won prizes in the Philippines’ top literary awards, including the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. Her one-act plays (written in Filipino) have been staged at the Virgin LabFest at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Isabel Yap (Philippines) – Isabel Yap writes fiction and poetry, works in the tech industry, and drinks tea. Born and raised in Manila, she has also lived in California and London. She holds a BS in Marketing from Santa Clara University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. In 2013 she attended the Clarion Writers Workshop, and since 2016 has served as Secretary for the Clarion Foundation. Her work has appeared in venues including Tor.com, Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, and Year’s Best Weird Fiction. Herdebut short story collection will be published by Small Beer Press in 2021. She is@visyap on Twitter and her website ishttps://isabelyap.com.

Vida Cruz (Philippines) – Vida Cruz’s fiction has been published or is forthcoming from Strange Horizons, PodCastle, Expanded Horizons, and various anthologies, as well as been longlisted for the British Science Fiction Award. A Clarion graduate and a Tiptree/Otherwise Fellow, she is also a book editor with The Darling Axe.

She lives in Manila with her family and 10 memeable dogs.

Victor Fernando R. Ocampo (Singapore/Philippines) – Victor Fernando R. Ocampo is the author of the International Rubery Book Award shortlisted The Infinite Library and Other Stories (Math Paper Press, 2017) and Here be Dragons (Canvas Press, 2015), which won the Romeo Forbes Children’s Story Award in 2012. His play-by-email interactive fiction piece “The Book of Red Shadows” debuted at the Singapore Writers Festival in 2020.

His writing has appeared in many publications including Apex Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, Likhaan Journal, Strange Horizons, Philippines Graphic, Science Fiction World and The Quarterly Literature Review of Singapore, as well as anthologies like The Best New Singapore Short Stories, Fish Eats Lion: New Singaporean Speculative Fiction, LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction, Maximum Volume: Best New Philippine Fiction, and the Philippine Speculative Fiction series.

He is a fellow at the Milford Science Fiction Writers’ Conference (UK) and a Jalan Besar writer-in-residence at Sing Lit Station (2020/2021).

Visit his blog at vrocampo.com or follow him on Twitter @VictorOcampo