CCWLS holds This Spectacular Artifice: A Roundtable Discussion on Today’s Speculative Fiction

The UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies held “This Spectacular Artifice: A Roundtable Discussion on Today’s Speculative Fiction,” on October 19, 2016 at the Tanghalang Teresita Quirino, Benavides Building.

Guests for this roundtable discussion were Nikki Alfar, Karl De Mesa, Paolo Herras and Emil Flores.


De Mesa wrote what may be the first collection of horror fiction by a Filipino writer in English, Damaged People published by the UP Press in 2008, another short story collection, and two works of creative nonfiction.

Alfar has written enchanting modern fairy tales, including the book, Now, Then and Elsewhen published by the UST Publishing House in 2013. She has also edited the annual anthology Philippine Speculative Fiction for almost a decade, with her husband Dean Francis Alfar.

Flores taught the first courses in scientific fiction writing, writing for the comics, and detective story writing as part of the pioneering Creative Writing Program in UP Diliman. He has published speculative fiction, translated Filipino short stories in English into comic book scripts, and written the memoir Virginia Tech Memories (UST PH, 2012), which was included in the UST Publishing House’s “400 Years, 400 Books Project.”

Herras has published graphic novels, which fall within the spec fic category, such as Strange Natives and Noodle Boy. He is also the president and CEO of KOMIKET, INC., the Filipino Komiks and Art Market.

Aside from discussing their works, the four authors also talked about issues important to the genre, and expressed surprise and pleasure upon being informed that conferences and roundtable discussions on spec fic and graphic fiction are now being held.

UST CCWLS Director Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, Ph.D. – who writes modern fairy tales herself – gave the welcome remarks, while CCWLS Assistant Director Ralph Semino Galán delivered the closing remarks. Resident Fellow Ned Parfan was Master of Ceremonies and forum coordinators were Resident Fellow Dawn Nicole Marfil and Resident Fellow Chuckberry Pascual, PhD.

The participants included faculty members from UST, UP Diliman, Ateneo de Manila University, the University of Asia and the Pacific, Philippine Christian University and San Beda College, UST graduate students under the Creative Writing Program, John Patrick Allenegui, Maria Tanya Cruz and Andrea Albaña, the writing fellows from last summer’s UST National Writers’ Workshop.

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