My SWF 2017 Schedule

SWF_LOGO

The Singapore Writers Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and I am happy to be part of an event that includes such literary and genre heavy weights such as Gemino Abad, Dean Alfar, Simon Armitage, Aliette de Bodard, Shelly Bryant, Junot Diaz, Ken Liu, Marjorie Liu, Isa Kamari, Jason Erik Lundberg, Ng Yi-Sheng, Tony Parsons, Edwin Thumboo , Cyril Wong and JY Yang to name just a few.

The festival’s theme this year is the Tamil word அரம் (Aram) whose meaning embodies goodness, equity and justice. Used extensively in older Tamil literature, it is a word has rich connotation and an ideal of goodness and generosity for humanity to aspire to. It is today a quality much needed in our increasingly complex and difficult world.

Some of the best Science Fiction stories also share this normative, Utopian vision and I hope to  be able to talk about it in my panels. You can find my SWF schedule here:

Lastly Math Paper press will be launching my book The Infinite Library and Other Stories along with The Story of Number Nine by Josiah Ng. I hope to see you all there!

New Titles by Math Paper Press III:
The Story of Number Nine and The Infinite Library
7 Nov Tue 8.30pm – 9.30pm
Gallery II, The Arts House                                                                                                   (Free Event)

Polash-Rotator

 

 

Writers in Manila

Not quite the best pictures, but it was great to see old and new writer friends in Manila – Dean Alfar, Vida Cruz and Mia SN. Interestingly, Vida and I were in the TOC for Philippine Science Fiction Vol. 9, which was founded by Dean and his better half, Nikki. Mia is a very talented young artist/writer based in Australia.

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Me, Sophia and Dean @ Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

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Me, Sophia, Mia, Vida and Seb at Wooden Spoon

Call for Submissions: ‘Philippine Speculative Fiction 10’

It’s hard to believe that PSF is a decade old already. Pinoys abroad, we make up 10% of the Filipino people, let’s add our voices to this.

PSF Tile

From Dean and Nikki Alfar –

Call for Submissions: ‘Philippine Speculative Fiction 10’ – your atTENtion, please!
‘Philippine Speculative Fiction’ is turning ten this 2015! Yes, it’s been X years of eXtolling, eXploring, and eXpanding what Filipino writers have done, are doing, and can do in the realms of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and all things betwiXt, between, and beyond.
Editors Dean Francis and Nikki Alfar would love for you to be a part of this year’s landmark volume of this trailblazing annual anthology, which has repeatedly been shortlisted for the National Book Award, and multiple stories from which have frequently been cited in roundups of the year’s best speculative fiction across the globe.
First-time authors are more than welcome to submit; good stories trump literary credentials any time.

Submissions must be:
1. speculative fiction—i.e., they must contain strong elements and/or sensibilities of science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, alternate history, folklore, superheroes, and/or related genres and subgenres
2. written in English
3. authored by persons of Philippine ethnicity and/or nationality
Submissions are preferred to be:
1. original and unpublished
2. no shorter than 1,000 words and no longer than 7,500
3. written for an adult audience
In all cases, these preferences can be easily overturned by exceptionally well-written pieces. In the case of previously-published work, if accepted, the author will be expected to secure permission to reprint, if necessary, from the original publishing entity, and to provide relevant publication information.

Submission details:
1. No multiple or simultaneous submissions—i.e., submit only one story, and do not submit that story to any other publishing market until you have received a letter of regret from us. But we don’t mind if you submit to contests.
2. All submissions should be in Rich Text Format (saved under file extension ‘.rtf’), and emailed to philippinespecfic@gmail.com, with the subject line ‘PSF 10 submission’.
3. The deadline for submissions is June 15, 2015. Letters of acceptance or regret will be sent out no later than one month after the deadline.
Editors’ notes:
1. Please don’t forget to indicate your real name in the submission email! If you want to write under a pseudonym, that’s fine, but this can be discussed upon story acceptance. Initially, we just need to know who we’re talking to.
2. If you’d like to write a cover letter with your brief bio and publishing history (if applicable), do feel free to introduce yourself—but not your story, please. If it needs to be explained, it’s probably not ready to be published.
3. We advise authors to avoid fancy formatting—this will just be a waste of your time and ours, since we will, eventually, standardize fonts and everything else to fit our established house style.

Authors of selected stories will receive PhP500 compensation, as well as digital copies of the book.

Please help spread the word! Feel free to copy this and paste it anywhere you see fit that happens to be legal.

Thanks,Dean Francis and Nikki Alfar, co-editors

The first post won’t hurt at all

I never thought that I would ever get anything published.

As a kid in Manila all my stories were rejected simply because they were Science Fiction or Fantasy and publishers didn’t want them. The Filipinos that did read the “Literature of the Fantastic” preferred American or European Authors due to a lingering colonial mentality and/or because nothing else was actually available. Save for Japanese cartoons, half-forgotten myths and the occasional meanderings of local realist writers into the surreal, there were no Fantasy, Horror or Science Fiction authors in the Philippines. There were also no venues to read or to submit such stories.

I stopped writing for a very long time. Over the next few years I finished school, left the country and started a family. But I never stopped hoping I would find writers outside the Western mainstream, authors who would write Speculative Fiction with my voice, my experience and my point of view.

Then something magical happened early in the new millennium. Because of the efforts of people like Dean and Nikki Alfar, their Litcritters crew, Paolo Chikiamco, Joey Nacino,  Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Charles Tan, Eliza Victoria, Kenneth Yu and other pioneers,  venues like the Philippine Speculative Fiction anthology series, Philippine Genre Stories and Story Philippines started to appear and somehow, in a way I had not expected, Fantastic stories in all of their strange and delicious flavors became accepted, became (comparatively) popular, and most importantly, became respected.

My wife sent one of my stories to Nikki Alfar and Kate Osias without my knowledge (cheeky girl but I love her so).  To my great surprise it ended up in PSF volume 6 and I haven’t stopped writing (or submitting) since.

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Later on, I discovered that this renaissance of sorts was also happening (with various degrees of success and acceptance) in many parts of the world — including my adopted country of Singapore, where I was lucky enough to become part of Fish Eats Lion (Edited by Jason Erik Lundberg) arguably its first compilation of literary Speculative Fiction.

The Literature of the Fantastic in Southeast Asia is breaking out of the shadows and I am so happy to be part of to this evolving landscape.  I hope you like my stories (particularly the Science Fiction ones) and I would really love it if you dropped me a line at the comments box below or at  vrocampo (at) gmail [dot] com.

Thank you!

Artwork above by Jon Jaylo from the book “Here be Dragons”