Archive for January, 2012

High Society

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 9 - 2012

Take your first step into a world of automata, magic, and alternative history! The year is 1764, and, for the first time in nearly two centuries, the Spanish forces have been repelled from the great walled city of Manila. While the Spaniards are quick to lay the blame at the feet of the invading British and their clockwork machines, the secret to the success of the Filipinos may lie closer to home, with an ally that is both ancient and new, mythical and mechanical. “High Society” is a stand-alone steampunk comic book in the “Wooden War” series.

Catherine Batac Walder Reviews “Alternative Alamat”

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 9 - 2012

Filipina writer (and Ruin and Resolve contributor) Catherine Batac Walder has a wonderful story-by-story review of Alternative Alamat (now updated with her comments on Mervin Malonzo’s artwork) up on her blog. Here’s what she has to say about some of her favorite stories from the anthology:

“The Alipin’s Tale” is very rich both in Philippine mythology and historical characters. Endlessly fixated on Greek mythology, this is the first time that I remember encountering a Filipino story that reads like one…

“Keeper of My Sky.” Alternate realities, a series of what could have beens, like reading Einstein’s Dreams, trying not to kick up dust. This has to be my favourite in the volume. Beautiful.

“Conquering Makiling” is sharp, witty and sexy. I felt I was invited by friends for a climb up Makiling and instead of getting nervous and tired, it became a walk in the park and just that – a gathering with friends. (Damn I didn’t realise Philippine myth is this hot haha).

Thanks for the review Catherine! As always, remember that you can purchase Alternative Alamat at any of the following vendors:

Alternative Alamat Interview: Rochita Loenen-Ruiz

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 4 - 2012

It’s a new year, and for the first interview of 2012, it’s my great pleasure to present a short question and answer session with Rochita Loenen-Ruiz. Rochita  attended the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop in 2009 as that year’s Octavia Butler Scholar. Her work has been published in print and online, both abroad as well as in the Philippines.  Some  of  the  publications  she  has  appeared  in  are:  Weird Tales  Magazine,  Fantasy  Magazine,  Apex  Magazine,  and  the Philippine  Speculative  Fiction Anthology (second and fourth volumes). She has stories coming out in the Second Apex Book of World SF and Realms of Fantasy.  She is currently working on a tribal sf novel.

Without spoiling anything essential, could you tell me a bit about your story?

The inspiration for this story came from reading the poetry in Mangyan Heritage. I had an exchange with the curator of the Mangyan Heritage Institute and I expressed my desire to use the poetry in some of my work.

Harinuo’s love song was an experiment in combining mythic storytelling and the Ambahan. In a certain sense, Harinuo’s Love Song resembles the story of the Star Maiden. It’s not the same though.

What made you think of using elements from Mangyan poetry and Ifugao folklore in the same story?

To be honest, I didn’t set out with a definite plan. I was reading the poetry and I allowed myself to be led by it to the story which turned out to be based on Ifugao folklore. I suppose this was influenced by my absorption in tribal lore at the time of writing. I was very much inspired by the poetry of the Mangyan and wanted to showcase it against a background that was much more familiar to me which was the Ifugao culture.

What part of the story–or the writing process–was the most fun for you?

What I enjoyed the most about writing this story was how it just flowed. I wasn’t really concerned about whether it was publishable or not. I just wanted to put the words on the page. To me capturing that image and the feeling was very important. In writing this story, I didn’t pay attention to the conventions of story writing. I think I was more immersed in the language and the rhythm of the language. I was not so much concerned with writing a traditional story as being true to the spirit of the telling.

What part of the story–or the writing process–was the most difficult for you?

Letting go and sharing it with readers. As I said, it was very much a personal experiment. Stuff like this isn’t easy to let go of. I guess, it’s also because it exposes the artist’s vulnerable soul.

How were you first exposed to Philippine mythology?

I think that we grew up with it in a certain sense. It’s kind of impossible to be unaware of certain mythologies when you grow up in a tribal area. Later, I became more fascinated with Philippine myths and I wanted to read more and more that was Filipino.

Is there any myth, epic or legend that you wish would be adapted into a novel, or comic, or movie?

Aponibolinayen and the Sun.” It was this tale about a maiden who got married to the sun. I liked that story a lot.

Who is your favorite character from Philippine mythology, and why?

I am rather fascinated by the character of Bugan. Perhaps because this name is the default for a lot of female characters in Ifugao mythology. In any case, I find myself speculating on Bugan and wondering what if she was a recurring being. I’m still pondering on it and I know I’ll probably write something about that sometime in the future. But to me, Bugan is fascinating because the myths connected to that name allow the imaginer to travel diverse pathways and still in a sense remain tied to the original tale.

Loenen-Ruiz, Rochita

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 3 - 2012

Rochita  Loenen-Ruiz attended the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop in 2009 as that year’s Octavia Butler Scholar. Her work has been published in print and online, both abroad as well as in the Philippines.  Some  of  the  publications  she  has  appeared  in  are:  Weird Tales  Magazine,  Fantasy  Magazine,  Apex  Magazine,  and  the Philippine  Speculative  Fiction Anthology (second and fourth volumes). She has stories coming out in the Second Apex Book of World SF and Realms of Fantasy.  She is currently working on a tribal sf novel.

Table of Contents: Philippine Speculative Fiction 7

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 3 - 2012

Co-editor Kate Osias has just revealed the table of contents for the seventh volume of the annual Philippine Speculative Fiction anthology from Kestrel DDM. I’m also pleased to announce that my superhero(ish) story, “Oblation”, was selected for this volume. You can see the rest of the lineup at Kate’s blog. Congratulations to editors Kate and Alex Osias (on both the selection and the fact that your marriage seemed to have survived the process) and the contributors!

Kate is also running a bit of a guessing-game contest, where winners will receive copies of the previous volume (PSF6) at the PSF7 launch.

Launch: Diaspora Ad Astra

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 3 - 2012

Estranghero Press has released its third free, online, themed anthology of Philippine speculative fiction. “Diaspora Ad Astra” is a collection of fourteen science fiction stories by Filipino authors, edited by Joey Nacino and Prof. Emil Flores.

1. Introduction

2. Dean Francis Alfar, The Malaya

3. Alexander Marcos Osias, Oplan Sanction

4. Raymond P. Reyes, Ina Dolor’s Last Stand

5. Vince Torres, The Cost of Living

6. Isabel Yap, A List of Things We Know

7. Audrey Rose Villacorta, The Keeper

8. Carljoe Javier, The Day the Sexbomb Dancers Invaded Our Brains

9.  Dannah Ruth S. Ballesteros, Ashes/////Embers

10. Eliza Victoria, Rizal

11. Katya Oliva-Llego, Gene Rx

12. Raydon L. Reyes, Robots and a Slice of Pizza

13. Raven Guerrero, Lucky

14. Anne Lagamayo, Space Enough and Time

15. Professor Emil M. Flores, War Zone Angel

It’s the New Year–and wouldn’t it be great to land an international publishing deal before the End of the World? (Sadly, your book won’t see the light of day before the end of the Mayan Calendar, but hey, at least you’d know it WOULD have if not for the floods/rapture/snowpocalypse/supernova.) If you want to go this route, landing an agent is a necessity, so here’s some contact details that may help. This information comes from the always thoughtful Mia Tijam, who attended the Great Philippine Book Café (Manila International Literary Festival)

Jayapriya Vasudevan

Literary Agent

+65 9362 4559

jay@jacaranda-press.com

331 River Valley Road

09-03 Angsana Lobby 1

Yong An Park

Singapore 238363

 

Priya Doraswamy

Literary Agent

+1 973 379 4185

priya@jacaranda-press.com

39 Delwick Lane

Short Hills, NJ 07078. USA

Mia says: “These two ladies from Jacaranda are hands-on and pretty sweet. They were the ones who signed FH Batacan for her next novel. They like crime/suspense/adventure thrillers but they’ll read anything.”

You can also send your manuscripts straight to one particular editor-in-chief:

Ravi Mirchandani

Editor-In-Chief

Direct Line: (+44)- (0)20 7438 1202

Fax: 020 7430 0916

ravimirchandani@atlantic-books.co.uk

Ormond House, 26-27 Boswell Street, London WC1N 3JZ

Mia says: “Ravi’s inclined towards immigrant stories but he also reads everything.” She also mentions that Ravi is the editor of “House of Sand and Fog.”

Good luck, Pinoys!

 

 

Tina Matanguihan Reviews “Alternative Alamat”

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 2 - 2012

Reviews of “Alternative Alamat” are starting to trickle in (we were in the Philippines Graphic last week), and I’m happy to say that so far they’ve been of the positive variety. The latest comes from Tina Matanguihan (One More Page, PinoyWriMos) and she gives it a 5/5. You can read the full review at her book blog or on Goodreads, but let me just say that when I reached the part where Tina goes “I felt that this book and the stories in this collection were mine”, my head swelled to the size of the Lion’s Head at Kennon Road.

As always, remember that you can purchase Alternative Alamat at any of the following vendors:

Alternative Alamat: A “Notable Book” of 2011 (GMA News Online)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 1 - 2012

We’d like to thank GMA News Online, particularly writer Meann Ortiz (who just last week gave her positive early impressions of “Alternative Alamat”), for including “Alternative Alamat” on their list of Notable Books from 2011. Amongst the other local speculative fiction books mentioned are “Philippine Speculative Fiction vol. 6″, “Heartbreak & Magic”, and “Trese 4: Last Seen After Midnight.” Here’s how Meann describes “Alternative Alamat”:

Philippine mythology isn’t just about aswangs, duwendes, and kapres; there exist pantheons of deities and a deep well of other legends and myths that we were never taught in school. Alternative Alamat makes some of these lesser-known tales and characters more accessible to modern readers with 11 engaging re-tellings. The book also includes interviews with scholars of Philippine mythology, a reference guide, and a list of notable deities accompanied by illustrations by Mervin Malonzo. This is only available as an e-book, though, so I hope that the publisher will consider releasing it in print so that it will be accessible to more readers. Because of efforts like this anthology, it won’t be long before we find our own local Rick Riordan who will successfully skyrocket this aspect of our culture into the popular consciousness.

As always, remember that you can purchase Alternative Alamat at any of the following vendors:

PGS Online Call For Submissions (2012)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 1 - 2012

Philippine Genre Stories (PGS) Online has opened today to fiction submissions by Filipino writers, and will remain open until April 30, 2012. You can find the full details here.  Note that while PGS Online does publish stories in Filipino, I’ve confirmed with editor Kenneth Yu that the present call is only for stories in English. I think that I’ve mentioned before how PGS, in its original print, always-open-to-submissions incarnation, was instrumental in jump starting the writing careers of many Filipino authors, like myself, and I’m certain it will continue to do so in its shiny online edition. So, writers, submit and spread the word!

TAG CLOUD

Sponsors

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.

Photos

PSF6_P1020212PSF6_P1020211PSF6_P1020193PSF6_P1020190