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Showing posts from December, 2014

"You take up a summer job and trip into a conspiracy"

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Eliza Victoria has consumed me wholly this year though our love affair as authoress and admirer has been, on some occasions, an infrequent and most unsure relationship, but I take comfort in the private knowledge that our rendezvous point will always be located within the rich tapestry of  her stories. The gift of her prose and imagination has revitalized the way I look at certain areas in my life, and I'd like to believe that she is my own Neil Gaiman, since I'm aware that Gaiman is a lot to his fans simply magical, and Victoria is the same for me as well.

This is the third work of hers that I read and reviewed for this year and it's a science fiction novella that had a lot of promising potentials to become a full-length novel if Victoria ever decides to pick this up again and go in that direction someday because I believe it's not too late, and I know a lot of readers share this opinion. I also believe that some of them might criticize this novella's brevity, part…

"Just Orsk us!" says the beehive worker

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Since earlier this year, I have enjoyed and consumed a strange quantity of downloaded horror game walkthroughs from YouTube vidders who post their gameplays online for the general masses of people who can't afford or have the time and commitment to play such games, but are nonetheless interested enough to submerge themselves in another person's virtual world that are mostly filled with deaths, macabre and creepy backstories. I've enjoyed gameplays for Alice: Madness Returns, two Outlast games, five Silent Hill games, Among the Sleep, Slender Man the Arrival, and other delightful array of indie horror games. The reason I bring this up in a book review is because Grady Hendrix's novel HORRORSTOR is amusingly reminiscent of this type of games in the most disturbing way imaginable in prose form and that is why reading its content was hypnotic and spooky in a very visceral level.

This is the most appealing aspect about Horrorstor for me: Hendrix's precise and lush prose …

"Build replicas for your kingdom and pack for the moon"

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Just like with Eliza Victoria, I encountered Dean Francis Alfar with his story Strange Weather in the Philippine fantasy anthology The Farthest Shore which was also a collection he edited himself. One day, I was browsing through the shelves in my local bookstore when I came across this collection and I was very interested already at this point especially since the title has 'terra incognita' in it, which has been the name of my column in my college paper back when I was the literary editor, and I also kept that same title when I became the associate editor.

By definition, 'terra incognita' is a Latin phrase that means "uncharted territory" which was used in cartography to describe regions or lands that have not been or have yet to be documented on maps and geography. I decided to use it because my aim was to touch upon certain topics that have not been discussed before, mostly of the whimsical variety. I thought that such a phrase would be the most appropriate…