Sunday , June 24, 2018

Fiction authors engage local writers, readers

TWO fiction authors shared their experiences in speculative fiction writing with local writers and reading enthusiasts in a talk held Friday, June 16, at Mt. Cloud Bookshop.

Dean Francis Alfar wife Nikki, also an accomplished author, said it is a responsibility of Filipino writers to continue coming up with works and make these accessible to readers.

Speculative fiction, encompassing science fiction, fantasy, and horror, still has a limited market in the country.

The 10-time Palanca award winner, who’ve shared space in speculative fiction anthology books with Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury and Douglas Adams, said that in choosing stories for their self-published anthology they go with “description rather than prescription.”

“We do not prescribe for our writers to have this or that element in their works. This is how they used to teach us in school. When putting together our anthology, we wait for the submissions and describe the kind of works that were given us,” Dean said.

The Alfars then called on local writers for submissions for a new anthology, Kathang Haka: The Big Book of Fake News (working title).

“We live in the age of fake news and curative reality, and find ourselves on the receiving end. So, as writers and poets, what can we do? Create our own… Make it hopeful or disturbing, angry or humorous, comment on political reality or subvert it altogether, it’s your take on fake news,” Dean wrote in his published note on Facebook.

The guidelines may be viewed on
Dean’s Facebook page while their books, including Dean’s “The Kite of Stars” and Nikki’s “WonderLust,” are available at Mt. Cloud Bookshop.

Their call isn’t limited to already published and accomplished authors. They are encouraging first time authors to heed the call.

And looking at how far they have both come in their writing careers, it might not hurt to start praying to Zeus as well. (May Anne Cacdac)