Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It's A Brand New World!

... well for me anyway since I've never been to one of these. My impression is that the groups behind these conventions concentrate on Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek. Alas, my reading preferences don't go in those directions/anymore.

In any case, strangely enough, I've been invited to a panel forum at the New Worlds 5: The 5th Philippine Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention at the Forum Area of the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati this October 27 (2:30 - 4:00pm). Specifically, the panel will be about... well, let the text speak for itself:

Learn more about Science Fiction, and the specific joys, opportunities and challenges that it offers to writers and readers. Share your thoughts on the Philippines as a springboard for sci-fi stories, as distinct from the typical U.S.- or Japan-based settings. Discuss favorite examples of science fiction--foreign and local, established and obscure--and what we can learn from them.Are cybernetics, spaceships and robots required for something to be science fiction?Join us as we speak with Emil Flores, Luis Katigbak, Joey Nacino, Alex Osias, Mia Sereno, and Kenneth Yu, and hear their views, opinions and thoughts on these questions and more.This is a forum for writers and readers alike!

As you might have noticed, kyu and litcritter alex, as well as UP prof Emil Flores, will be there. Personally, I'm not sure why they invited me since I consider myself more of a fantasist or even a horror afficionado (though really, it's more of a hobby) before I can consider myself a SF expert.

Hopefully, they won't notice. *gulp*

In the meantime, drop by for the panel forum and we'll shoot the breeze for a while.


bhex said...

ayan at least i know your real name na :P

i hope i can make the NWA5 just for the forum. will be cheering you guys on, yey!

Vin said...

Haha! You'll do fine bc. After all, your story for Spec Fic. vol 3 is sci-fi! ;)

Jego said...

I think this is what our country needs: more sci-fi, less fantasy (no offense to fantasists). It'll make the younger ones more rooted in the 'here-and-now' (paradoxically). If a story can inspire the younger readers to look into science and technology while enjoying a good yarn, that would be ideal. Our country needs to be more creative scientifically instead of 'fantastically.' (Im not talking literature, of course, but in general--a general mindset more rooted in science.) I hope more Pinoy scientists start writing sci-fi. Ive looked at John Varley and Joe Haldeman, and they all had advanced degrees in science. The famous cosmologist Fred Hoyle was a prolific sci-fi writer. Do you know of any Pinoy scientist who also writes sci-fi? He should be in the convention, too.

Don said...

good. we'll set up the meeting there--if chiles is still available. :D

does this have any registration fee or something?

Charles said...

Jego: I beg to differ. A lot of sci-fi isn't necessarily science (if by science you solely mean physics, biology, chemistry, or math). An expanded note can be found here.

Don: Nope, usually it's free!

Jego said...

Good point on the distinction between the 'scientific' sci-fi and the not-so-scientific ones, charles.

So I'll rephrase my original statement: More science, less fantasy. Our country is a technological backwater. We need all the help we can get to get the kids more interested in science. And that's why I would like to see more professional Pinoy scientists write more fiction. We need the kids to be fascinated by science and writers can give them that. We certainly have enough talented fictionists writing science [fiction], why not scientists writing fiction?

Charles said...

Jego: I find several things wrong with your statement.

First off, our country is not in technological backwater. It's just that most people think it is--it's a public perception thing. We're not at the high-end of things but we're not at the back end either. We're the folk who has enterprising hackers/programmers, citizens who can reverse-engineer mechanisms and pirate them, and we've managed to make various contributions to science (do you know it was a Filipino who discovered that the white part of Jupiter was turning red?). It's a problem of awareness, not a matter of fact.

Second, if you want to spread propaganda, I honestly don't think fiction is the best way to go about it. I mean if reading books were that popular, we wouldn't need such a strong advocacy for it, right? It's a question of efficiency.

Third, not all scientists make good fiction writers, just as not all good fiction writers would make good scientists. Certainly there are exceptions and people who are capable of both, but I'd think that scientists would be more inclined to write papers and further scientific theory while fictionists will want to create more stories.

banzai cat said...

bhex: Hehe I can't hide anything from you, eh? Here's to seeing also at the NWA5! :-)

vin: Hah! Thanks! I still don't understand why I'm turning out to be a SF writer despite my allegiance. ;-)

jego: Well, like charles, I do believe that one doesn't have to be a scientist to write SF, else we'll really won't be able to produce that much sci-fi stories! ;-)

Moreover, there are a lot of writers who do sci-fi who aren't scientists. For example, one of the best SF writer is Ursula K. Le Guin and she's not a writer, going into French and Italian literature in college. However, one of her parents was a well-known anthropologist.

As for the idea of more SF, less fantasy, I'm not exactly sure that having more SF stories will encourage kids to find science interesting. Different times during the SF Golden Age and different times now.

charles: So will you be there? :-)

Charles said...

Bhex + Banzai Cat + [Identity Protected] = Stalker =)

skinnyblackcladdink said...

while i agree it would be a nice side effect to get readers interested in science and 'ground them in the here and now' through SF, i'm more concerned with the fact that pinoy writers seem less inclined to see the wonder in modern science enough to write SF than to take the 'easier' route and write straight fantasy.

this is one aspect of my intention behind the writing of Saint of Elsewhere and why it was written the way it was that people have missed entirely. (yes! shameless plug. sneaky bastard.) of course, admittedly that was probably more of a failure on my part as a storyteller than anything else, but i digress.

banzai cat said...

charles: aw shucks, you say that to everyone. ;-)

skinny: so it's a chicken and egg question?

skinnyblackcladdink said...

bc: nope. not my concern.

banzai cat said...

... and so the world turns. ;-)