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Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books by Filipino Authors

Dive into the fantastical worlds of these fresh voices!

By Marie SinadjanPublished 8 months ago 7 min read
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Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books by Filipino Authors
Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash

Romance and poetry have been staple hits with Filipino readers for so many years. But did you know Filipino authors and books are beginning to make waves in the science fiction and fantasy (SFF) circles in the international markets, both indie and traditionally published?

If you’re new to these genres, fret not. Though you will have to suspend your disbelief and let your imagination fly when you dive into their fantastical worlds. Science fiction (or sci-fi) books have themes around science and technology concepts, including but not limited to space exploration, alternate universes, extraterrestrials, and even superheroes. Fantasy, on the other hand, centers on magic, with most stories drawing inspiration from mythology, folklore, or fairytales. These two can then be blended together to give us science fantasy, or even mixed with other genres like romance, horror, and thriller.

Filipinos are no stranger to SFF. We watch a lot of these on Netflix and in cinemas, after all. And they’re even a bigger deal internationally, especially books. Hop on over to Instagram (#bookstagram) or TikTok (#booktok) and you’ll be scrolling endlessly through recommendations, TBR (to be read) lists, bookmail reels, and memes.

The good news? The Filipino authors have arrived.

Here are some books by Filipino authors in the SFF genre, all of which are available in print in the Philippines, and internationally via Amazon and other online retailers.

TABLAY by Katrina F. Olan

MANILA, A HUNDRED YEARS INTO THE FUTURE. Beyond the hyper-technological fortress city of New Intramuros, a century-old war rages on between the Philippine Mech Force and hostile machine life called aswang.

As mech pilot Anya Valerio discovers a dark secret about the enemy, she and her partner—the reserved but brilliant engineer, Chino Jose—must stop the creation of a mega-weapon called Bakunawa before the consequences are irreversible.

Tablay is Filipino for electric charge. It is the soul of the city, the mover and shaker of machines, and the spark between two hearts. It asks us: what good is technology and progress if it is made at the expense of our humanity? It tells us: history might have dictated the present, but the future is what we decided it to be.

Reviews from international readers on Amazon:

  • “I really like how Sci-fi and Filipino Mythology are mixed in the story. I’m looking forward to a sequel, or a movie adaptation!”
  • “Finished it in less than a day or two, I didn't even realize I was already nearing the end.”

PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon | Shopee

OF MYTHS AND MEN (Of Myths and Men, #1) by Catherine Dellosa

Eighteen-year-old Ava has saved the world 152 times – ever since she got her hands on her first console. It’s all fun and games, but after a mysterious encounter with not-a-vampire Brad, she discovers that the mythological creatures she’s only ever seen in video games are actually totally real. Brad reveals they’re alien refugees living among humans – bonus points because Ava finds the guy really, really cute.

As she’s suddenly thrust into a quest with a surfer wendigo, a friendly manananggal, a telepathic nine-tailed fox, a Sudoku-loving centaur, and a huggable Bigfoot, Ava embarks on an actual mission to fend off an alien invasion – and she soon realizes that this time, she just might need to save the world for real.

Where’s a save point when you need one?

Reviews by international readers on Amazon:

  • “Cat Dellosa’s reimagining of (Filipino myths and mythological creatures) in this well-written book just brought something new to the table. This would translate really well into a live-action/animated movie/series. Gamers (and maybe non-gamers alike) would appreciate all the references to games and gamer life.”
  • “I wish to all that's good and holy that this book gets adapted into a movie or even an animated film or something - it's the right blend of action, adventure, wonder, and teenage love done right. It's the paranormal YA fantasy we all deserve.”

PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon | FullyBooked | Kinokuniya

FATE OF A DISTANT FUTURE by Renato C. Tranquilino

What does a senator targeted for assassination, a cargo pilot turned space pirate, a captain of a one-way colonization trip against all human government in the solar system, and a university lecturer that would revolutionize space travel have in common?

Four stories in four different generations, loosely connected, that trace southeast Asian characters that would contribute to their country’s evolution into a planet colonizing powerhouse.

This book was featured at the Hong Kong Book Fair and the Frankfurt Book Fair, representing #PinoyScifi.

PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon | 8Letters

THE KINDRED CHRONICLES: BETWEEN TWO WORLDS (The Kindred Chronicles, #1) by D.A. Chan

DEATHLESSNESS HAS CONSEQUENCES. In Chris’ case, it is his allegiance to the Dawnbringers - one of the ruling houses of the ancient kindred city of Demos Geras, whose daughter he has grown to love. But there is a trader from the capital, one whose plans involve the murder of the ruling houses to plunge all of kindredkind into war.

Born to kindred nobility, Elline’s life is one of duty and responsibility, and her betrothal to the Magister of Demos Geras might prove to be the saving grace in the coming chaos. But when she becomes responsible for Chris’ death and life thereafter, she cannot deny her growing affections for him as well.

With imminent danger ahead, Chris must choose to either pursue his love for Elline or preserve the peace between man and kindred, while Elline must decide to fulfil her vow to the Council before her feelings for Chris cause her to forsake her birthright.

Reviews by international readers on Amazon:

  • “The concept of David Anthony Chan’s book was pretty spectacular, and the action scenes were breathtaking. Chan deftly introduces the history and origins of his fantasy world through flashbacks and dialogue without being overt or boring.”
  • “The book pretty much impresses that D.A. Chan is a wonderful weaver of stories. Afficionados of anime, superhero flicks, and sci-fi fantasy genres like me would have a fun ride in this melting pot of various influences.”

PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon | 8Letters

FINDING KISMET by Mayumi Cruz

When does science end. . . and love begin?

Vaelteuria is a planet in the Andromeda Galaxy which is a thousand times advanced in technology than our own, where science rules over the lives of its people—even over their emotions.

Its Forefathers had created the perfect life system through a rare and supreme genetic code, the InceptOne. This enabled Vaelteurians to stop aging at age twenty, living a disease-free existence until the age of one hundred twenty-five, when they die peacefully in their sleep.

The InceptOne also established a perfect genetic match for each of its inhabitant, prescribing a lifemate for each Vaelteurian.

When a key element of InceptOne was stolen, its thief traced to Earth, a quest was ordered by King Reginald to find it.

Mavis, a neophyte but excellent soldier, is taken to task where all the others have failed, including her father.

But an unexpected obstacle in the person of a genius yet sickly human named Tristan distracts her from her mission and threatens to bring her to failure.

Will she be able to find the Octad disk before time runs out for her planet? Or will she discover another thing entirely. . . such as her true nature. . . her true purpose. . . her kismet?

Reviews by international readers on Amazon:

  • “This was great thriller from beginning to the end. The characters are well developed and engaging and the storyline is full of twists and turns making this an entertaining time.”
  • “I really enjoyed Cruz’s idea of science regulating everything, including love, for the Vaelteurians and Mavis’ struggle to break with that tradition. Cruz also interlaces a good thriller with the romance, blending both with fast paced and steamy description perfectly!”

PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon | 8Letters

HOTEL FEN (The Prophecies of Ragnarok, #1) by Marie Sinadjan (in collaboration with Meri Benson)

The Shining meets Norse mythology in this tale of star-crossed romances, ancient prophecies, and revenge. Are you ready for the vacation of a lifetime?

Victor has always had a passion for Norse history and mythology, but after hitting a dead end with his book on valkyries, not even that passion is enough to move him forward. Just when he's ready to abandon the project, he receives an email: he's won a free trip to Hotel Fen, a remote vintage resort in the Scandinavian Mountains.

Silje has always felt that her life was fairly unremarkable. She cares deeply about people and that has led her to find her purpose at a nursing home in Oslo. When a resident dies and leaves her an all-expense paid vacation package to Hotel Fen, however, she takes the opportunity to experience something different.

It all starts innocently enough, with a little meet-cute in the hotel elevator that takes forever to arrive on their floor. But the longer Victor and Silje remain together, the more dangerous the hotel becomes, and the more they question where reality ends and the impossible begins.

Reviews by international readers on Amazon:

  • “Wow. This book played out like a movie the entire time I was reading it. Almost a Norse version of Hotel California where the two main characters Victor and Silje are desperately trying to escape, with struggles abounding from the hotel itself as well as the secrets that get dredged up along the way.”
  • “If you're into books like Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief or mythology, then I would recommend you give this book a try. This was an interesting story, the way it mixed tales of Norse Gods with a supernatural element.”

PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon | Other Retailers | 8Letters

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About the Creator

Marie Sinadjan

Filipino spec fic author and book reviewer based in the UK. https://linktr.ee/mariesinadjan • www.mariesinadjan.com

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