I have never seen a single copy of Philippine Genre Stories ever. Well, I think I glimpsed it during one meet-up of the Filipino Book Bloggers, but I’ve never seen one up-close. I’ve read about it from a status update by a former co-worker who guest-edited an issue, but aside from that, I was totally new coming into the book. I had no expectations.
The fact that the issue was about crime was actually interesting. I think my eclectic choices in the books I’ve written about here goes to show that I don’t have a particular genre that I limit myself to. I tend to favor fantasy and adventure books, but for the most part, I’d read anything. So when Kenneth, the publisher of PGS, offered advanced copies of the crime issue, I thought ‘why not?’
I enjoyed reading PGS: Crime. Immensely. It was not at all hard to read, as the five stories included in the collection were (almost) all written in a conversational manner, even though they are works of fiction and are not in first-person.
The only story I’ve had a problem with was the last one, Alexander Osias’s Blogcaster, which wasn’t so much a problem with content as it was, I think, about layout. The content was great, especially after I figured out where one part ends and the next one begins.
My favorite has to be Crystal Koo’s The Last Time I Saw Uncle Freddie though. It’s a powerful enough story on its own, but the way the author weaves the tale, from end to start, makes it even grander in scale.
A bit of confession: when I first opened the book, the first thing I read was the letter from the editor, followed by the word from the publisher. I’m a little sad that this might be the last physical release of PGS, as this is the first one I’ve actually held with my own hands. But I understand the need. If only there were more people who have access to books such as these, and if only there were more interest being generated by the local reading public. Then I think PGS could flourish more.
But we have to accept the economy of things here in the Philippines. Reading is still a luxury for those who can afford the time. Or are willing to give the time, as the case might be. So we adapt for survival. And if PGS is going digital, I guess I would just have to follow it to wherever it goes, now that I’ve seen how wonderful it is.
For this last physical issue though, publisher Kenneth Yu shares that it will join the launch of another local book, the Philippine Speculative Fiction 6, on the 28th of May, 5 in the afternoon, at Fully Booked Serendra.