Disclaimer! I have stories in both volumes.
Writers and critics here and abroad have reviewed the fourth volume of the Philippine Speculative Fiction series, and Don Jaucian has written a review of PSF V, so I’ll keep this short: I like PSF V more than PSF IV. I was actually giddy while reading the fifth volume, excited by the new names and the sheer number of good stories that managed to make it into the book. PSF IV, unfortunately, had more misses than hits for me. There were stories that I didn’t like at all, and some of the stories I liked were just “okay”.
For PSFV IV, I couldn’t decide on my favorite story, but it would either be “The Secret Origin of Spin-Man” or “Breaking the Spell” or “The Paranoid Style”. Other stories I liked, in no particular order:
The Rooftops of Manila
The Sewing Project
The Dance of the Storm
Mang Marcing and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
A Retrospective on Diseases for Sale
Haya Makes a HUG
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For PSF V, “Embedding” is easily my favorite. Fast and fresh and exciting. I had fun reading that story.
Other stories I liked:
A New Hospital
A Yellow Brick Road Valentine – It was an enjoyable read, but I felt the references to the Wizard of Oz were forced.
Death and Noy
If We Catch Fire – I wasn’t too fond of the tedious back story and narration, though
The Left-Behind Girl
Very Short Fairy Tales
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The Mighty Reading List!
We Are All Welcome Here
The Year of Fog
The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint
Notes on Extinction
The Spooky Art
on the side: Twisted 8 1/2, Storm of Swords, Scott Pilgrim, PSF V (last few stories!), new! 100 Bullets