Archive for October, 2009

Talasalitaan: Kampilan

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 7 - 2009

“Talasalitaan” is the Tagalog word for “vocabulary.” In these posts, we’ll spotlight Filipino terms, concepts, beings and objects which one might encounter–or use–in Speculative Fiction based in or inspired by the Philippines.

Keeping with the week’s fantasy theme, let’s start off with a few ancient Filipino weapons shall we? After all, if we’re sending an intrepid youth on a quest in a setting patterned after some region of the pre-hispanic Philippines, we can;t very well arm him (or her) with a halberd or a rapier.

The kampilan is one of the larger swords used in the pre-hispanic Philippines, primarily in Sulu and Mindanao.  Wikipedia puts the length at anywhere between 36-40 inches, but Filipino Martial Culture by Wiley gives a length of approximately forty-four inches.

The blade of the kampilan is long, single-edged and with a dual/truncated point. The carved hilt is also somewhat long, to compensate for the length of the blade, with a forked pommel styled to resemble the jaws of an animal, such as a crocodile. In “SANDATA — The Edged Weapons of the Philippines”, (by Ian A. Greaves, Jose Albovias Jr. and Federico Malibago), it’s stated that the hilt was sometimes bound to the hand by a “talismanic” piece of cloth to prevent slippage.

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World SF Roundtable

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 6 - 2009

At the World SF News Blog’s new home, they’ve got the first of a two part round table discussion up with guests Kaaron Warren, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Vandana Singh and Aliette de Bodard being asked: How, and to what extent, does your environment and background inform your writing?

Here’s a snippet from Aliette de Bodard’s answer:

About the background… I don’t set out to consciously use it (since my experience as a half-French, half-Vietnamese writing in English as a second language is probably not shared by many people on Earth), but for me, the background is still an integral part of my writing. It’s shaped the values I hold, the type of characters I’m drawn to, and the type of stories that appeal to me. Some of it comes from the background, some of it from my own experience, but all of that is stuff that ends up unconsciously going into the stories.

Ideas Alive: New Schedule

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 6 - 2009

The Ideas Alive seminar and workshop on how to be a “media creator” by Jomike Tejido (Foldabots), and Budjette Tan (Trese) had the ill fortune of being scheduled on the day Ondoy hit. The original seminar was cancelled, and Visprint has recently announced that the seminar will now take place this Saturday, October 10, at 3-5 p.m in in Powerbooks Megamall.

Now Available: The Farthest Shore

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 2 - 2009

Since Rocket Kapre launched a month ago, we’ve been whetting your appetite for a certain anthology by giving you weekly interviews with contributors. For the month of September, we’ve picked the brains of Kate Aton-Osias, Crystal Koo and Dominique Cimafranca regarding their stories in The Farthest Shore, an anthology of secondary world fantasy from Filipino authors, and now you can read those stories for yourselves: The Farthest Shore has been released, just in time for weekend reading. Please do check it out, and let us know what you think!

We also have a few more Farthest Shore author interviews in the pipeline (and now you’ll actually know what they’re talking about).  This Wednesday we’ll speak to Eliza Victoria about her story, “The Just World of Helena Jimenez”.

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Rocket Kapre is an imprint of Eight Ray Sun Publishing Inc. (a new Philippine-based publisher), dedicated to bringing the very best of Philippine Speculative Fiction in English to a worldwide audience by means of digital distribution. More info can be found at our About section at the top of the page.

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