The University of the Philippines Press is launching “The Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2005 – 2010” this Thursday, February 28, at 5:00 p.m. at Balay Kalinaw, UP Diliman, Quezon City.

The book is a selection of some of the best short stories from the first five years of the nationally- and internationally-acclaimed annual anthology series, Philippine Speculative Fiction. PhilSpecFic, as it is affectionately referred to, is the centerpiece of one of the most vibrant movements in contemporary Filipino literature, nurturing and encouraging Philippine authors to ply their craft in the realms of fantasy, horror, science fiction, magic realism, folklore, alternate history, and other related ‘nonrealist’ genres and subgenres.

“The Best of…” is edited by Dean Francis and Nikki Alfar, who have shepherded both the annual anthology and the Filipino speculative fiction movement from their inception. The husband and wife are recipients of multiple Palanca and other literary merits, and have been gratified to see several pieces from the PhilSpecFic series garner recognition as well—notably FH Batacan’s ‘Keeping Time’ (first prize winner of the Philippines Free Press award) and Asterio Gutierrez’s ‘Big Man’ (first prize winner of the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature).

For a consistent eight years now, Philippine Speculative Fiction has been drawing yearly submissions from both literary luminaries and fledgling writers. As a representation of the anthology’s first half-decade, The Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2005 – 2010 comprises:

‘The Secret Origin of Spin-man’ by Andrew Drilon
‘An Introduction to the Luminescent’ by Pocholo Goitia
‘The Sign of the Cross’ by Russell Stanley Geronimo
‘The Singer’s Man’ by Rebecca Arcega
‘Carbon’ by Paolo Chikiamco
‘The Ascension of Our Lady Boy’ by Mia Tijam
‘Parallel’ by Eliza Victoria
‘Feasting’ by Joshua L. Lim So
‘Reclamation’ by Angelo R. Lacuesta
‘Pedro Diyego’s Homecoming’ by Apol Lejano-Massebieau
‘Six from Downtown’ by Dean Francis Alfar
‘Sky Gypsies’ by Timothy James M. Dimacali
‘A Retrospective on Diseases for Sale’ by Charles Tan
‘Revenge of the Tiktaks’ by Noel Tio
‘The Maiden’s Song’ by Kate Osias
‘Keeping Time’ by FH Batacan
‘Sink’ by Isabel Yap
‘Frozen Delight’ by Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon
‘Brigada’ by Joseph F. Nacino
‘The Flicker’ by Ian Rosales Casocot
‘Bearing Fruit’ by Nikki Alfar
‘Dino’s Awesome Adventure’ by Carljoe Javier
‘The Sparrows of Climaco Avenue’ by Kenneth Yu
‘The Death and Rebirth of Nathaniel Alan Sempio’ by Alexander Osias
‘Sidhi’ by Yvette Tan
‘Mang Marcing and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ by Vincent Michael Simbulan
‘A League of Champions’ by Ronald Cruz
‘Hopscotch’ by Anne Lagamayo
‘All We Need is Five Meals a Day’ by Jose Elvin Bueno
‘Just Man’ by Rica Bolipata-Santos

The book will be launched alongside nine other titles from UP Press, including “Hoard of Thunder”, a fiction anthology edited by Gemino H. Abad and also containing stories by the Alfars. The launch is open to all.