My Book Birthday

20170928_160143

It was the book birthday of “The Infinite Library and Other Stories” last 28 September. If you would like to get an advanced copy, it’s available at the independent bookstore BooksActually ahead of the launch at the Singapore Writers Festival (on Tuesday, November 7 from 8.30 pm – 9.30 pm at the Gallery II of The Arts House).

Trivia time: What else shares my book birthday?

In 2015 NASA scientists announce the discovery of flowing water on Mars.

In 2008 SpaceX launches the first ever private spacecraft, the Falcon 1 into orbit.

In 1987 “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” debuts on syndicated TV

In 1965 Taal Volcano explodes in Batangas, Philippines killing around 100 people

In 1928 Juan de la Cierva completes the first helicopter flight over the English Channel

In 1901 Filipino patriots defeat 48 members of the US 9th Infantry in Balangiga, Samar

In 1066 William the Conqueror invades England, landing at Pevensey Bay, Sussex

20170928_160408

My first Short Story Collection – The Infinite Library and Other Stories

I am very happy to announce that Math Paper Press in Singapore is publishing my first collection of short stories. There will be 17 altogether plus a foreword by Lontar Journal founding editor Jason Erik Lundberg. The cover art is by Eisner-award winning artist Sonny Liew.

The Infinite Library and Other Stories will be launched at the Singapore Writer’s Festival this 7 November (Tuesday) 8.30 pm – 9.30 pm at the Gallery II, The Arts House. This will be a Festival Pass event.

“Victor’s keen observational eye represents the clarity of the outsider—the Filipino writing about Singapore, and about the Philippines while apart from it, and about the world and the universe as an emissary of humanity—and you can almost see his verbal abilities stretching with the languidness of a well-fed housecat. Whether through the Ellisonian stylistic gymnastics of “Dyschronometria, or the Bells are Always Screaming”, or the hallucinogenic Phildickian leetspeak of “I m d 1 in 10”, or the faux-academic jargon of “An Excerpt from the Philippine Journal of Archaeology, 4 October 1916”, he pushes the limits of form and trope, all in the service of telling us about ourselves, like a shaman guiding you through a fever dream.

Let his stories, both experimental and conventional, illuminate your way through the darkness, as only someone with a foot in two worlds can do.” – from the foreword by Jason Erik Lundberg,

20170718_163556

“Your Mythology is Much Like My Mythology” panel at #WorldCon75

Here are some pictures from my Mythology panel at the World Science Fiction Convention in Finland where I got to talk about ancient Filipino deities, sweet potato farming rituals and manananggals with authors and experts like Irish novelist Peadar Ó Guilín; poet, author and Classicist Jenny Blackford, Fantasy novelist Alexandra Rowland; and Elli Leppä from the University of Helsinki.

Mythology Panel 2017 (5)

Front row (L to R): Jenny Blackford, Peadar Ó Guilín (moderator), Alexandra Rowland. Back row me and Elli Leppä.

Mythology Panel 2017 (1)

The panel was more popular than I expected. They actually had to turn people away.

Mythology Panel 2017 (2)Mythology Panel 2017 (3)Mythology Panel 2017 (4)Mythology Panel 2017 (6)

All-in-all it was great fun and I was happy to raise the flag for Philippine and Southeast Asian mythologies.

Screenshot_20170725-104703

Introduction to Likhaan Volume 8

A big “Thank you!” to the editors of Likhaan Volume 8 — Gabriela Lee (Managing Editor), Rosario Cruz-Lucero (Issue Editor), as well as associate editors Heidi Emily Eusebio-Abad and Eugene Y. Evasco for the great intro to my story “An Excerpt from the Philippine Journal of Archaeology (04 October, 1916)” which I quote, in part, here:

“An Excerpt from the Philippine Journal of Archaeology” unfolds in the same way that an archaeologist sifts through the sand and dusts off the crust of soil stuck to a piece of ancient pottery. It adopts as its fictive mode an archaeologist’s report about a race of people whose remains are discovered on a slope of Mt. Pinatubo. Thus, one might mistake this piece of fiction as a handful of pages actually torn from a fieldworker’s journal. However the American archaeologists names allude to H.P. Lovecraft’s own fictional characters and an urban legend about Rizal’s kinship to Hitler.

And here is the very interesting cover –

Likhaan 8 Cover

 

“An Excerpt from the Philippine Journal of Archaeology (04 October, 1916)” in Likhaan 8

I am happy to announce that my Lovecraftian fantasy story (as told through footnotes), “An Excerpt from the Philippine Journal of Archaeology (04 October, 1916)” is scheduled to appear in Likhaan Journal 8 by the U.P. Institute of Creative Writing.

This work explores the deeply-rooted racism inherent in scientific circles during the American Colonial period. It also references the self-same Yellow-peril prejudice that H.P. Lovecraft held against those he disdainfully called “Asiatics”.  In fact the text directly uses phrases borrowed from Lovecraft’s own private letters.

Regarding the setting, having hiked through Mt. Pinatubo a few times, the place names and descriptions I used are based on my knowledge of the area, while the geological assessments came from the research papers of local mining companies. For those interested in a little mystery, the next time you visit the walled city of Intramuros in Manila, take a look at the plaque on Sta. Lucia Barracks. It will tell you the ultimate fate of what the research team of Pölzl and Ashley unearthed.

Lastly, in keeping up my recent (unplanned – I swear) theme of Creatures of Philippines Lower Mythology, this work may or may not feature one or more aswang.  As most Filipinos know an “aswang” is a demonic-looking bat-winged monster that flies off at night seeking to eat the liver and other viscera  of unwary humans.

I believe Likhaan Journal 8 will be coming out this December 2014.

Aswang

Picture above is a still from the NBC series “Grimm”, the episode “Mommy Dearest”