Archive for June, 2011

Sandaang Araw ng Komiks (100 Days of Komiks)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 30 - 2011

Around a week back, Joanah Tinio Calingo (Cresci Prophecies, Kanto Inc.)  related an experience at the recently concluded 2011 Toy Con that made her realize how limited the mainstream awareness of komiks and komiks creators truly is. To help promote local comics and their creators, she’s calling on other creators, as well as komiks readers and allies, to participate in a hundred day event to raise the profile of the komiks industry, aptly called “100 Araw ng Komiks”, which will pave the way for the end of the year Komikon in November.

The event begins on July 1, tomorrow, and for the month of July the theme seems to be “Your Own Komiks” in the sense that komiks creators are encouraged to post information about their komiks creations on their blogs/twitter/facebook pages once per day. Those who don’t create komiks can participate by posting komiks related information/trivia once per day.

You can go here or here for additional information (in Filipino).

[Logo c/o Rommel Estanislao ]



Market! Market! Book Fair: Mad About Books

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 29 - 2011

Via the Filipino Book Bloggers Facebook page (c/o The Book Fancier), I’ve learned that there is an ongoing book fair at the Market! Market! Mall called “Mad About Books“. I’m not sure how good the spec fic pickings will be this year, but the book fair Marker!Market! had two years ago had quite a few hardbound SF books I’d never seen anywhere else. so it may be worth a visit if you’re in the area. Here’s the full blurb:

Hurry! Assortment of books await at the Market!Market! Book Fair 2011

Plus chapters and chapters of fun activities:

Storytelling . Arts & Crafts Corner . Reading Lounge

Claim freebies from California Berry between 3PM to 5PM for every P500 purchase at the Book Fair.

June 27 to July 3 . Activity Center, Market!Market!

Review: “When Britain Ruled the Philippines, 1762-1764″

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 24 - 2011

I know that a lot of Rocket Kapre readers and Philippine speculative fiction writers are fans of Philippine history, so I thought I’d point you all to my review of Shirley Fish’s “When Britain Rules the Philippines: 1762-1764 (The Story of the 18th Century British Invasion of the Philippines During the Seven Years War)” over at For those looking to skip to the bottom line, here’s my conclusion, which should show the book’s appeal to those with a speculative point of view:

But these are relatively minor quibbles in the face of what the book has accomplished, which is to serve as a very well-researched account of a specific period of our history that other texts gloss over. Even more than that, however, is the fact that in developing the characters of many of the principal players in the conflict, Fish has tailored her account in such a way as to feed the imagination: What if Drake had not been given “complete control of the government and the military”? What if Anda had agreed to an alliance with the conscripted Sepoys? When a work of history has you musing about what might have been, you know that it has succeeded where lesser works have failed: it has avoided the trap of making history seem inevitable. In some other universe, we’re watching the Royal Wedding with an entirely different set of emotions… and thanks to Fish’s book, I have a greater understanding of why that universe isn’t this one.

One thing I forgot to mention in the review: the book can be hard to find, but I did see several copies available for purchase at the Frank Lynch Library of the Philippine Social Science Council Building. Of course, that was months ago, but even if they don’t have Fish’s book, a trip to the library should be worthwhile to any history fan–they have a stock of Filipiniana books that I haven’t seen available anywhere else.

TOC: Diaspora Ad Astra

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 23 - 2011

Estranghero Press has revealed the table of contents and cover art (by Oscar Alvarez) for its Science Fiction anthology “Diaspora Ad Astra”. The digital anthology is scheduled to be released this month. Here’s what you can look forward to reading:

  1. War Zone Angel, by Professor Emil Flores
  2. The Day the Sexbomb Dancers Invaded Our Brains, by Carljoe Javier
  3. The Malaya, by Dean Francis Alfar
  4. The Cost of Living, by Vince Torres
  5. Ina Dolor’s Last Stand, by Raymond P. Reyes
  6. Oplan Sanction, by Alex Osias
  7. The Keeper, by Audrey Villacorta
  8. Ashes Ember, by Dannah Ruth S. Ballesteros
  9. Rizal, Eliza Victoria
  10. Gene Rx, Katya Oliva-Llego
  11. Robots and a Slice of Pizza, Raydon Reyes
  12. Lucky, Raven Guerrero
  13. A List of Things We Know, Isabel Yap
  14. Taking Gaia, Celestine Trinidad
  15. Space Enough and Time, Anne Lagamayo

RP612Fic 2011: The Stories

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 17 - 2011

So… RP612fic 2011. Let’s crunch the numbers.

427 stories. Four hundred twenty seven stories were contributed this year (and that’s not even taking into account the forty-nine sent on the 8th for Philippine corals blog action day) and as someone who laments the lack of Philippine alternative history fiction–that brings a smile to my face. Some may quibble about the definition of “story” here, but even counterfactuals can make the reader stop and think about what actually happened, what could have happened, and all the space in-between–and that’s part of what I’d like people to do on Independence Day.

An even better number: 56. Fifty six people–poets, bloggers, Palanca winners, film makers, comic creators, anime fans–contributed stories this year (65 if you include those who only sent in on the 8th) and as someone who believes we need more writers–especially spec fic writers–that brings a smile to my face.

But best of all, for me, was seeing the somewhat amused bewilderment with which non-contributors met the deluge of strange tweets with the #RP612fic hashtag, many retweeting some of their favorites. That means we were successful at raising awareness, whether that be awareness of Independence Day, Philippine alternative history, Philippine microfiction, or all of the above. That’s a good thing, and I’m grateful to have Twitter as a platform for this sort of campaign.

That being said Twitter is not the most stable place to host 400+ stories for any length of time, so I’ve aggregated the RP612 contributions for 2011 in this post (at least, those in the public timeline and/or by my Twitter contacts). I’ve done this via screen capture (except for some tweets that weren’t on the public timeline) because it was easier than transcription, but EK Gonzales has graciously created a word file of contributions as of noon of June 13. You can find that here.

I’ve blacked out some of the non-story tweets (upon review I realized I missed a few) and I’ve left in some of the praise/compliments and highlighted them in green, because I need affirmation. As with any twitter search, it’s reverse chronological, so if you want to read from start to finish (again, with a few exceptions), head to the bottom of the post first, and read upwards.

Before we get to that though, I’d like to give a shout out to all the contributors, and list them here so that you can add to the people you follow on Twitter if you so desire :) Once again, thank you everyone, and I hope you had as much fun as I did. See you all next year!

1. adamfuckindavid

2. aeditor91

3. ageofbrillig

4. aghostworld (via email)

5. alexeivee

6. allify

7. almeldiel

8. amosias

9. Anitero

10. Andreal

11. Apil (via email)

12. Beerkada

13. biaxident

14. brilums

15. Budjette

16. charlesatan

17. chemikhazi

18. chinosingson

19. clickmomukhamo

20. DeanAlfar

21. dcimafranca

22. diveabout

23. Ekmisao

24. elizawriteshere

25. Et_Al_Crazy

26. Francis_d_twit

27. freakypencils

28. headpointernext

29. isangboses

30. jpedrovaldes

31. jpxv

32. KaEnchong

33. Kannibal

34. Kate Aton-Osias (via email)

35. Kenneth_Yu

36. kennethgyu

37. komikero

38. layangabi

39. lengthofwords

40. listenshadow

41. luckychan

42. lyzalust

43. magnetic_rose

44. marcosumayao

45. melanchoholik

46. miithinks

47. mitchcerda

48. moyzie01

49. nerveending

50. nobbiekenobi

51. Plsburydoughboy

52. shinkaide

53. skipdlc

54. smirksweetly

55. stormberry

56. tinlao

57. transparentboy

58. Transparentboy

59. umichii

60. unlawyer

61. voltaire

62. wagmagalit

63. wulffrick03

64. yvette_tan

65. zekemachine

Read the rest of this entry »

Book Launch: “Geek Tragedies” by Carljoe Javier

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 16 - 2011

Carljoe Javier–friend of the site, head honcho of UST Publishing House and all around uber-geek–will be having a simultaneous launch of the print and digital editions of his newest book “Geek Tragedies”.  You can read a sample here and pre-order the book for the Kindle at a discount. Here’s the announcement:

Geek Tragedies will be officially launched on July 1! The launch of the print version will be held at the UP Press MegaLaunch at 5pm in the GT-Toyota Hall of Wisdom at the Asian Center. But if you want a digital version (care of Flipside Digital), you can pre-order it from Amazon! The full version will download to your Kindle or other reading device July 1, but you can start reading the book now. If you download it, please also rate it on Amazon to help other readers find the book. iPad version’s to follow.

I’m very excited about Geek Tragedies, as I think it’s a really fun book with a good variety of stories. It’s also the first Filipino book, as far as I know, that will have simultaneous print and digital launches. Please check it out in whatever format you like, and pass the word around, repost, etc etc. thanks everybody for helping out.


Celebrate Independence Day 2011 with Twitter Fiction (RP612fic proper)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 10 - 2011


This year, everyone was treated to a special edition of RP612fic during the June 8 Blog Action Day to save Philippine corals, but don’t forget that the annual celebration of Independence Day through twitter fiction is still pushing through on June 12, and on to June 13 as well, because the 12th is a Sunday, and we all tweet more when there’s work ^_^.

For anyone lat to the party, here’s all you need to know:

  • What is #RP612fic? It’s Filipino authors coming together on Twitter to create tweet-length stories (130 characters, because you need to leave space for the hashtag) and sending them out into the wild with the #RP612fic hashtag. When the event is over, I’ll collate all submissions into a single post here on the site.
    • What’s a Hashtag? It’s a word/code you put in your tweet after the “#”. It acts as a label of sorts and makes it easier for me to find all participating stories.
  • When does this take place? At least once a year on Independence Day, but starting this year we also do it to participate in other events, such as a Blog Action Day. For Independence Day 2011, you can send out stories on the 12th and the 13th.
  • What kind of stories should I submit? For Independence Day, I’d love to see alternative history stories, but it’s not like I’m going to tell you to delete your 130 character realist micro fiction opus.
  • What if I’m not on Twitter and I want to participate? Just send me your tweet length stories via rocketkapre[at] and I’ll try to tweet them or at least include them in my compilation.

Spread the word! For those who want to see the previous RP612fic stories, you can check out these links:

(Image of old school Philippine soldiers from

RP612Fic: Corals and Reefs Edition

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 9 - 2011

Save the Philippine Seas!

Yesterday was a Blog Action Day to save Philippine corals, in light of distressing revelations regarding the extent of illegal coral/turtle harvesting and export. To participate in the attempt to raise awareness, I sent an open invitation to Filipino authors to participate in a special edition of the #RP612fic event, and tweet micro fiction stories with a coral/marine theme. (Note: We’ll still be holding the normal #RP612fic on independence day, and the 13th as well.)

It was a lot of fun (even if my Internet cut out midway through) and I think that we managed to entertain folks on Twitter (and confuse a few–but if we make them ask questions, that’s a form of raising awareness too!) and the Save Philippine Seas organizers took note of our stories. It was gratifying to see comments such as these:

I live to please, so without further prologue, here are the #RP612fic submissions which I could find. I know I’m missing a few who weren’t able to tag their entries, or who have private accounts that I have no access to. Feel free to add your contributions below, if I missed them! Once again, thank you everyone! Looking forward to reading more on the 12th and 13th.

Let’s start with those with the most contributions:

Charles Tan:

Tin Lao:

Budjette Tan:

Read the rest of this entry »

Venues for Philippine Speculative Fiction in 2011 (So Far)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 8 - 2011

Charles Tan (Bibliophile Stalker) recently put up two posts discussing the various publications/venues that have released Philippine speculative fiction stories this year. It’s easy to find Philippine spec fic in publications that specialize in the same–such as Philippine Genre Stories Online , Pakinggan Pilipinas, and Usok–but what Charles has done is go through general fiction publications to find stories of fantasy, science fiction, or horror. His search unearthed new stories and authors and his two posts on the subject Philippine Speculative Fiction 2011 Overload and Random Thoughts and More Random Thoughts on Philippine Speculative Fiction 2011 are well worth reading, both for writers and fans of Philippine speculative fiction. He also lists story recommendations in each post, some of which you can read online.

If you want to help Charles find other Philippine speculative fiction stories published this year, you can contribute to his online database.

Amazon Sunshine Deals: Genre Books

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 5 - 2011

So it’s summer in the US, and Amazon is promoting the Kindle by slashing the prices of over 600 books to 0.99, 1.99, or 2.99 for the first two weeks of June. It’s called the “Sunshine Deals” promo and while the bigger US publishers don’t seem to be part of the promotion, don’t make the mistake of thinking there aren’t a few gems to be found.

There are a pair of Pyr Books titles on the list and they’ve seldom steered me wrong before, and I’ve been eyeing that Story Engineering book for a while. I looked through the list and figured that, while I was at it, I might as well put together a list of titles that might interest a Rocket Kapre reader. So without further ado:



About Me

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.