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Instructions on How to Disappear

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3.90  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  18 reviews
In Gabriela Lee's first book, she has meticulously and intelligently reworked numerous genre tropes. Set in future Manila, a gleaming metropolis where one's paranoia may not be exactly unfounded and whose lashing sings tribute to Philip K. Dick. "Stations" takes on the ethical trappings of high technology adoption. "August Moon" relies on a succession of flashbacks to unco ...more
Paperback, 226 pages
Published July 2016 by Visprint, Inc.
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Neil (or bleed)
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Average rating: 3.7. Rounding up to 4.

Instructions on How to Disappear is a collection of short stories that is somehow familiar yet offer a fascinating take on speculative fiction. The short stories are well-thought and compelling on each own.
Frank Eldritch
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it


Short stories can probably be considered the most underappreciated form of fiction writing these days, particularly those that belong in the genre of speculative fiction. Not a lot of people are aware of this, but said genre actually thrives in the fringes of Filipino literature and most are written in the English language. Writers like Dean Francis Alfar and Eliza Victoria have had small mainstream successes with their respective works, but other writers for the genre only have their works
...more
Bomalabs
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Being too exposed to the weird stuff, the stories lost its novelty for me, hence the rating. Stories with the most impact for me would be August Moon, Tabula Rasa and Honesty Hour while I enjoyed the Nameless Ones as a narrative, gave me a sense of following someone.
Aloysiusi Lionel
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wrote fiction to please myself. The stories that I thought nobody would want to read, I wrote for myself. . . I wrote about myself in my stories, trying to figure out how I felt about things and why. I grappled with loneliness, intense loneliness that made me feel breathless and empty.

- Gabriela Lee


1. INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO DISAPPEAR (Visprint, 2016) by Gabriela Lee adds to the flavorful canon of Philippine speculative fiction. Not just adds, but, most especially, escalates in terms of the gen
...more
Maria Ella
There are some similarities with other Pinoy works (view spoiler) but it has her personal touch, perhaps on the romantic inclinations or those with the Prose relating to heartbreak. ...more
Kara
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is all meat, no filler. I have a favorite phrase or concept in EVERY story, and I wish I could encounter it again for the first time. It is alternately heartfelt and provoking, and it makes me want to write. My favorites, so I can keep track: Tabula Rasa, Hunger, August Moon, Honesty Hour, and the titular Instructions on How to Disappear. I want to recommend this to EVERY person I see (I felt the same way about Kite of Stars). I'm envious of all my peers who got to have Ma'am Lee as a ...more
Carmela Ruiz
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
aaaAAAAAh I LOVED this novel. The author, Gabriela Lee went to our school and talked about her writing and its process. She also read out a snippet of this novel and it made me ralize how much I NEEDED this. These set of stories are unlike anything I have ever read. Being a filipina author it was so nice to see how she incorporated certain filipino aspects not just in the words but in the concepts such as filipino mythology and the like. I absolutely LOVE spec fic and this just made me appreciat ...more
Julia
Dec 18, 2020 rated it liked it
I was actually disappointed after reading the entire book. I actually wanted to claim it as my favorite short-story collection for this year. Each story in the set rises up: it gets better each time, until the second half of the book. I don't know what happened, but I felt like the stories were rushed. You would still get the familiar feeling of being curious at the beginning of the story, but it will only disappoint you to find out that there are only a few remaining pages left. The author delv ...more
alykabook
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had no idea what this book was about when I bought it. The title really just captured my attention. Luckily, it did not disappoint!

Instructions on How to Disappear is a collection of short stories that left me wanting more.
The book as a whole is quite a masterpiece and it really made me appreciate Filipino authors more.

My favorites are:
1. Hunger
2. Tabula Rasa
3. Honesty Hour
4. Instructions on How to Disappear
5. August Moon

The Nameless Ones especially caught my attention. I really think it dese
...more
Mary Grace
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found "Stations" and "Eyes as Wide as Sky" particularly interesting. Both of them were set in a uniquely dystopian Philippine society, which has the potential to capture numerous readers' minds most especially when translated into a novel. Gabriela Lee's writing is amazing--the way she vividly describes the intricate scenes with words. The imagery in her writing is just fascinating. The other stories were just okay but overall, I think it's a great collection. ...more
MJ
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it
This is my first dabble on speculative fiction and I must say, it's really great.
I love some of the stories here but some are just so-so. I guess I was just waiting for something more (really, I was expecting that the stories were all connected and that would've been really cool but that didn't happen so yeah)
...more
Christian
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
One of the best short story collections I've ever read: no story feels out of place and Gabriela Lee manages to keep our attention (and our bodies at the edge of our seats). Speculative fiction at its finest. Can't wait to read what she writes next. ...more
Eulene Dellosa
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
First speculative fiction book that I have read. It was not really my genre but I enjoyed it. Personal favorites are: Tabula Rasa, August Moon, and Instructions on how to disappear.
Chelsi
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love the cover design and tht title of the book is catchy. I like how the stories were arranged. Tabula Rasa and August Moon really hit the spot for me.
Clarisse
While I wasn't crazy about some of the first stories, and there were a few typos, I still thoroughly enjoyed most of the stories here! The stories were a mixture of sci-fi, fantasy, magical realism and horror, and I actually found myself really surprised by how much I enjoyed some of them.

This is, I think, only the second short story collection I ever finished reading, since I seem to struggle to get into them, and the first one to make me think that maybe I could actually enjoy short stories, s
...more
Abbie
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, filipino-lit
First off, I grabbed this book because of the cover and the title. I was looking forward to sad, depressing and heart-wrenching stories but instead I got better stories.

I enjoyed the mix of the stories in this collection- sci-fi/dystopian story, a magical/fantasy/horror one and other weird stories that would make you think. I loved Stations because of its setting and the sci-fi-ish feel to it and I liked the code "the Kalapati is free". Weird but Idk, it has some patriotic feel to it.

Tabula ra
...more
Ann Louise De Leon
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
The best thing in this book is the cover design.
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