philippine genre stories: christmas

Oh, I knew I did something wrong. I should have read the Philippine Genre Stories Horror issue first, in time for Halloween. Ah, well. At least the Christmas season is nigh, and this review is a better fit. (But I’ll review Horror in a future blog post anyway.)

The PGS Christmas issue was published in 2008. Christmas! Personally I wouldn’t dare touch the Christmas story, but authors Erica Gonzales and Dominique Cimafranca do a good job of offering us  alternative stories to the famous birth. In Gonzales’s “Jumper Cable: Crossing”, Jesus is a biological entity that has crossed over from a more advanced dimension, and the angel Gabriel is a Dimension Agent sent to the “vessel” Mary and her partner Joseph just so they won’t run around and panic. Written with the matter-of-fact tone of its bored protagonist, this is hands down my favorite story in the issue.

Cimafranca’s “Twilight of the Magi” features the Three Magi, but with the special powers of fire, wind, and lightning. The central question is: If the Magi’s magic is for the fight against evil, what will become of their powers once the Emissary arrives? Will the Magi be obsolete, useless?

M.R.R. Arcega’s “The Magic Christmas Box” reads like a parable. Quite sweet, and I ended up enjoying it, even though I’m sick and tired of Christmas parables. Michael Co’s “Off-Season” is a crime story, but I found it frustrating because it didn’t go all the way. Give me a murder, not a stolen bike. After the big reveal, I just shrugged and flipped the page.

Andrew Drilon’s “Noche Buena” is a romance story featuring Fiesta Ham and Quezo de Bola. Seeing the character names, I thought this is a humorous story, or a satire, or an existential story featuring talking ham. It’s not. It’s a straight romance with a tragic end that I just can’t take seriously because of the character names. There’s really something wrong if you find the Author’s Notes more heartbreaking than the actual story.

The Mighty Reading List!

Hunger Games

The Unnamed

Catching Fire


We Are All Welcome Here

The Year of Fog

now reading: The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint

Notes on Extinction

Wild Mind

The Spooky Art

20th Century Ghosts

on the side: Twisted 8 1/2, Storm of Swords, Scott Pilgrim, PSF V (last few stories!), 100 Bullets

new! Showbiz Lengua, Our Story Begins, Feast for Crows, PGS Horror and Christmas issues

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