A collection of science fiction that borders on science possible, Virtual Center and Other stories brings to you some brilliant, adventurous possibilities of our tech-dominant lives.
Virtual Center is the first in this collection and is the 2002 Palanca Awards first-prize winner for Futuristic Fiction. It tells the story of rich people who have chosen to live the rest of their lives virtually while poor people care for them–until a young anarchist attempts to disrupt the system. Hatchling refers to the monster tiyanak of Philippine supernatural lore. The Creator Defends His Creation is the testimony of a man standing trial for fraud for building an android and getting him elected as president. By the Light of the Moon introduces an alien figure from Venus who revels in being hailed as the goddess Haliya, protector of the timid moon god. The Sincerest Form of Flattery is the story of a girl who maintains a lifelong resentment against her younger sister, a clone of her grandmother. The Beautiful and the Whole is a post-apocalyptic story in which a nation, in an attempt to rejuvenate its population after a devastating world war, has instituted restrictive laws regarding marriage and reproduction.
The truth of her own origins, as well as the deep, dark secret that enveloped the lives of her parents will change her world. Srikandi—who prefers to be called by her nickname, Siri—is a globe trotting conceptual artist. She is shy, a little introverted and inquisitive. She is also worldly, intelligent, free-spirited and the loneliest woman on the planet. Siri’s personal life, however, defies even her own imagination. Married young but now a widow with an adopted daughter, Siri is forced to confront her beliefs and understanding of family, self, and the world. Will she be able to reconcile with the violence in her parent’s past to move forward in the changing world?