Exploring the Functions of the Novum: A Formalist Study of Selected Science Fiction Short Stories in The Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction: 2005 – 2010


Not Yet Published. Due: January 2018



Speculative fiction, despite being a growing literary trend in the Philippines, is relegated to the sidelines due to the common misconception that the genre is merely read to escape the burdens of life. This study attempts to counter this claim by exploring and analysing how science fiction, a specific strand of speculative fiction, precipitates the discussion of different themes and human experiences through the existence of the novum, a literary element that is unique to science fiction. Through the combined frameworks of Eric Rabkin and Darko Suvin, this study demonstrates how the novum permeates itself within the formal elements of the selected science fiction short stories. Moreover, this study shows how the novum has literary and social functions for it creates an organic unity within the text and it explores certain themes that can be described as “Filipino”, as proven by the stories’ similarities with selected sources of local media that are based on realism.

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No. of Pages


Publication Date

January 2018

Author information

Rafael Arri P. Morales, M.A. is a graduate from the University of the Asia and the Pacific with a degree in Humanities. In the hope of supporting the growing trend of Philippine speculative fiction, his research interest mainly revolves around Philippine science fiction.