Thank you to the editors of the Quarterly Literature Review of Singapore for including my short story “As If We Could Dream Forever” in QLRS’ 17th volume.
Set 150 years in the future, this work deals with the concept of Free Will and using humans as receptacles for AI automation, teenage angst, and extending National Service to young women.
This story was inspired by three different, totally unrelated works – the comic book “Planetary” by Warren Ellis, Gregorio Brilliantes award-winning short story “The Cries of Children on an April Afternoon in the year 1957” and of course, Goh Poh Seng’s seminal novel “If We dream Too Long ” (from which the title of my story is derived).
A great big ‘Thank you!” to everyone who has read my book and and an even bigger shout-out to those who have sent me kind words over social media — especially to the three excellent folks below who took the time to write me reviews:
(1) First there is vlogger Rachel Tan who does her Rachel’s Now Reading reviews on Youtube. You can check out here video here .
“Father is the Blood, Mother is the Wine” appeared recently in the Philippines Graphic. You can also read it online at the Business Mirror. Thank you to Literary Editor Alma Anonas-Carpio and Editor-in-Chief Joel Pablo Salud.
“Lovingly spun and told with a keen eye on familial relationships, as well as the inexorable desires of humankind, these stories signal that Ocampo may well be becoming the gold standard in South-east Asian speculative fiction.” – Clara Chow
This represents one of the major milestones of my writing journey. My very first post on this blog was “I never thought that I would ever get anything published.’ Now I have somehow managed to produce two books — and one of them has been reviewed favorably on Singapore’s major broadsheet.
Thank you to fellow author Clara Chow and the editors of the Straits Times.
My proto “Anito-Punk” story “My Father Is Made Of Light” was recently published in the anthology Steampunk Universe edited by Sarah Hans. This is an older story which was the seed for a longer, later work called “Father is the Blood, Mother is the Wine” which originally came out in Lontar Volume 9. The anthology also features works by Maurice Broaddus, Ken Liu, Malon Edwards, Suna Dasi, Emily Cataneo, Matthew Bright, Pip Ballantine, Jody Lynn Nye, and Lucy Snyder.
Studio and Art Gallery and Kult Kafe invited Comic Book writer Kelly Bender, visual artist Howie Kim, and myself to discuss our process for conceiving and building science fiction universes over pizza and beer. This panel discussion was one of the companion events to Dune: A Sci-Fi Art Show which featured paintings, prints, virtual reality and projection mapping multi-media works inspired by Frank Herbert’s seminal novel Dune. You can watch a video of the panel Dune.
I ran a flash fiction workshop late last year which turned out to be a most interesting experience. There were about 12 participants who ranged in age from 12 to 71. Most had not done any serious writing previously. It was great teaching them the fundamentals of story structure and how to provide a complete prose narrative in a very concise and compact format. What I enjoyed the most was discovering the reasons why people wanted to write:
“I have so many stories inside me” – a 71-year old retiree
“I want to be able to communicate better in English.” – a Japanese expat’s housewife
“I want to surprise my girlfriend.” – a college student
“It will help me do my work.” – a business manager
“I want people to know who I am.” – a 12 year old girl.