Welcome to PGS Online!
It’s taken a while coming, but given the rising costs of producing and distributing in print, PGS, which began its existence in digest form on paper, has now made its move to the Internet.
I was a printer by trade not too long ago, specializing in offset printing. I am familiar and comfortable with the nuances and intricacies of producing a physical digest or book, one made of paper. There are many, time-consuming steps involved in doing so, from pre-press, to actual press work, to post-press finishing. Each of these steps has many sub-steps within them that take some effort to complete. Though some new and marvelous machines do allow for books to be created with the push of a button now, it is not so for offset printing, not the way I learned the trade. It is a source of frustration for me that many people not in the know think that producing physical books is as simple and easy as clicking the “print” button with a mouse and expecting the printer to spit out the document.
And so, I received my comeuppance.
It entered my mind to try a little experiment and take PGS online in the form of a free fiction website, similar to many other ezines on the web. I thought that, well, designing and making a site would be as easy as, um, copy-pasting the text and clicking a button with a mouse. Not so, not so. My mistake. There are steps within this kind of production, too. Thus, I apologize to the man who helped me make the transition to PGS online, a friend from the southern part of the Philippines, Dominique Cimafranca. He knows IT like I know offset printing, and he helped me with this website you see right now. The difference of course between us is that Dom’s skill with IT is much valued while my skill with offset printing is falling in demand. I’m very glad to know this guy. Thank you very much, Dom, for all the help (and do send him your greetings on his blog, as the poor guy is getting hitched very soon and time is running out so he must be convinced that he can still back out and escape before it’s too late as the lucky guy is going be blissfully wed to a wonderful woman next month).
I didn’t want to do PGS online alone anymore, which was the way I was handling the paper digest. I was getting tired and burnt out (which is why I’m grateful for the help PGS guest-editors F.H. Batacan and Yvette Tan gave me with their respective print issues). Just as with the digest, I still couldn’t afford to hire a professional editor, so what I did, on the brilliant suggestion of writer Dean Alfar, was to go the social-networking route (or the pyramid-scheme route, if you will), and enlist some of my closer friends among the Pinoy writing community to not only write stories for the ezine, but to ask three other writers they were comfortable working with to write under them. In other words, they would not only be my contributors whose stories I will vet, but guest-editors as well, who will read the work of those writers they solicit from.
What a fine idea! Spread the work! Then give it to Dom for all the necessary mouse-clicking! And avoid burn out! Works for me!
To launch the site, I have chosen to start with the three tales solicited by The Bibliophile Stalker, Charles Tan. I am pleased that he chose to work with writers Ian Casocot, Marianne Villanueva, and Erin Chupeco, because I don’t think I would’ve found a way to solicit PGS tales from them if not for him. After their three tales—made live every 2nd and 4th week of the month starting April 2011—we will then have a story from Charles, and from there, move on to my next guest-editor. You’ll hear from me again when that time comes.
PGS online (as with the print digest before it) is a work-in-progress. I hope to improve it bit-by-bit over time, and I’d also like to see how this site fares over the next 12 months or so. The goals are the same: To get more people—especially younger folk, most especially Pinoys, but anyone would do—to discover the pleasures and develop the habit of reading through fiction, fiction written by fellow Filipinos, in particular.
It was through genre tales that I came to love books and read pretty much anything. I’m hoping others will take the same road too. Even if the dead-tree medium of reading is falling in demand, doesn’t mean we can’t adapt, even belatedly, and find our reading material through other means.
Thanks very much. I hope you like the first four stories coming your way in the next two months. See you again once we reach the next set.