More rumination on the current debate(s) on what Philippine Fiction / Philippine Speculative Fiction is, was, will be, will have to be, would have to have been, happily ever after, amen -
- has made me think that perhaps we're trying to cram two different things under the same label. What are these two things?
(1) Philippine Fiction as a body of work from a "defined" set of authors
(2) Philippine Fiction as a body of work under a "defined" genre
Philippine Fiction: the work of Philippine authors
Madali lang ito. Is the author a Filipino (natural born or naturalized)? Then his fiction work is Philippine Fiction. Easy.
Wala namang mga honorary Pinoys di ba? Wag na, that complicates things. Kung ganoon, honorary Philippine Fiction din ang fiction niya.
Philippine Fiction: the genre
Under here, we call upon set theory! If a piece of fiction matches certain criteria that we define, then it can be classified Philippine Fiction, in addition to all the other genres (horror, drama, melodrama, crime, mystery, comedy, accidental comedy, science fiction, fantasy, etc.).
This appoach is interesting because it doesn't REQUIRE someone to be a Filipino. ANYONE can write Philippine Fiction, provided you utilize some or all the genre conventions which are...
... er, well that's another debate / argument / rumble for another day.
And that's okay. After all, even current genres suffer the problem of variance or contradiction or further subcategorization in genre definition: Is this story Science Fiction or Science Fantasy or Space Opera or Baroque Space Opera? Is this story a mystery story or a crime story or a psychological thriller or a horror story? Is this story a romance or a love story or a chic lit story?