For those who don’t know, I’m a contributor over at the U.K. site Fantasy Faction, and the editors graciously allowed me to handle the Philippine stop of their “World Tour of Wonderment“, a regular feature where the site focuses on a particular country and its contributions to, and traditions of, the fantastic. This is the first part of the article, and gives an overview of our varied mythologies, as well as some of our folklore creatures. The article is meant to be a basic primer for non-Filipinos, but it may be an interesting read for anyone interested in the Philippine fantastic. In the second part of the article, coming next week, I’ll mention specific works and creators to check out.
Archive for April, 2012
Flipside Publishing has partnered up with the 2012 Summer Komikon to hold a 24-Hour Comic Creation contest, with three winners receiving publishing contracts with Flipside Publishing, for digital releases of their comics. Registration will take place on April 25, 2012 to May 16, 2012. Komixathon itself will be held between noon of May 19, 2012 to noon of May 20, 2012. Registered users will receive a username and password which will allow them to upload their comics to Flipside’s servers during those two days. Interested participants can email email@example.com to register. You can read more details here.
Filipino comics legend Tony de Zuñiga (co-creator of Jonah Hex) suffered a stroke a few days ago, and he is in dire need of financial assistance. You can read the details here, and donate via Paypal at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re unfamiliar with de Zuñiga’s work and the debt owed to him by many Filipino artists, you can check out his entry at The Philippine Comics Art Museum here.
EDIT: A new site, http://fansfortonydezuniga.com/, has been set up as another avenue for those who want to help.
[Image via The Philippine Comics Art Museum]
Congratulations to Kenneth Yu and Kristine Ong Muslim, whose works have been singled-out by editor Ellen Datlow for Honorable Mention in the upcoming volume 4 of “The Best Horror of the Year“. Kenneth’s inclusion was due to “The Kiddie Pool,” from Philippine Speculative Fiction 6, and Kristine was cited for her two poems, “The Invisible,” in Unspoken Water #1 and “The Seventh Stranger,” Paper Crow, fall. Huzzah!
EDIT: Seems Kyu and Kristine aren’t the only ones! Here are the others:
- Tina del Rosario “Scars,” Heights Senior Folio
- “Less Talk, Less Mistake” by Xin Mei, Philippine Genre Stories (Crime Issue)
- “God is the Space Between” by Maryanne Moll, Philippine Genre Stories (Crime Issue)
- “The Departure” by Marianne Villannueva, Philippine Genre Stories Online
Speaking of “Alternative Alamat”, I’d like to thank everyone who has already bought a copy, and everyone who continues to spread the word about the anthology–we must have received a few sales over the last few days, as we jumped back up to #5 on the Kindle Fantasy Anthology bestsellers list last Saturday. For anyone who’s still on the fence about the anthology, maybe a very positive story-by-story review from Jaymee Goh will do the trick? Jaymee posted this almost a month ago, and while I re-tweeted it robustly then, I only just realized that I forgot to link to it on Rocket Kapre. Jaymee is a fellow Southeast Asian author and an insightful critic with a perspective that I think readers of Philippine speculative fiction will appreciate. You can also find her on Silver Goggles, her postcolonialist steampunk blog (which you may remember from the in-depth review of “On Wooden Wings”).
Freelance Writers’ Guild of the Philippines, an organization of Filipino freelance writers, has been organizing the monthly OpenBook events since September 2011. It all began with Samantha Sotto (Before Ever After), then Tweet Sering (Astigirl), Bebang Siy (It’s A Mens World), Ricky Lee (Amapola), Joel Toledo (Ruins and Reconstructions), and Norman Wilwayco (Responde).
For April 2012, FWGP presents UVAS Talks (Parang TED Talks Lang), featuring Visprint authors Eros Atalia (Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me), Karl R. de Mesa (News of the Shaman), Budjette Tan (Trese series), and Carlo Vergara (Zsa Zsa Zaturnah).
The group, otherwise known as the United Visprint All-Stars (UVAS), will be talking about their respective books, their creative process, and whatever stories, imagined or otherwise, they’d care to share with the captured audience on that night. Those who will attend are encouraged to prepare ammunition for the question and answer portion at the end of the program.
This month’s OpenBook event will be hosted by Atty. Marnie Tonson and Ren Aguila, who will be pinch-hitting for our regular host(ess) Ms. Bebang Siy.
UVAS Talks (Parang TED Talks Lang) will happen on April 20, Friday, 7:30 p.m. in Chef’s Bistro (where else?). Entrance fee is more affordable this month at a student-friendly rate of P150. (Seriously, FWGP only charges a fee so we could pay for the LCD projector.)
Readers, fans, followers, stalkers of the Visprint hotshots are invited to attend. This is your chance. There will be a photo-op. Those who haven’t read any of their books are also encouraged to come so you’ll know whether the books are going to be worth your money.
For details and reservations, get in touch with Ime through 0917-9378617.
The Philippine Speculative Fiction series is the first and longest running Philippine published speculative fiction anthology, but while it has achieved critical success, the limited print runs have made the books, particularly the earlier volumes, difficult to find (volume 1 in particular has been sold out for-ever). This is especially true for anyone who doesn’t live in the Metro Manila area, and all the more for those who live outside the Philippines.
Fortunately, the publishers/editors of the series have reached an agreement with Flipside Digital Content to re-release the series in digital form. As of today, the first two volumes (both edited by Dean Francis Alfar) are available on Amazon.com and Flipreads, at very attractive prices:
- Philippine Speculative Fiction vol. 1 – US$0.99 on Amazon, PHP 80.00 on Flipreads (epub)
- Philippine Speculative Fiction vol. 2 - US$3.99 on Amazon, PHP 195.00 on Flipreads (epub)
If you’re missing these books from your PSF set, or if you’ve been waiting for the right time to try the series out, here’s the perfect opportunity. Complete table of contents for both volumes after the cut. If you want to read a sample story, I reprinted Yvette Tan’s “The Child Abandoned” from PSF2 in Usok #1. Read it here.
I never used to know when a major science fiction/fantasy convention is going on, but with Twitter, it was impossible not to be aware (and envious) of the fact that Eastercon was taking place a few days ago. By most accounts, it seems to have been a wonderful experience, filled with insightful talks, interesting people, and the occasional swordfight. An article in the Guardian also pointed out strides made in terms of increasing diversity of representation.
Nevertheless, as is to be expected from most undertakings, there were aspects of the convention that merited critical comment, and for Filipino writers of speculative fiction–or readers of Philippine speculative fiction–I think it’s safe to assume that if you come to Rocket Kapre, you’re one or both–I think that the following blog posts are worth a read:
- Alex Dally MacFarlane – “Eastercon: It was fun, but…“
- Tori Truslow – “Dear Western SFF: stop it with ‘exotic’ already“
Also worth reading–but not really a “critical comment” on the convention, so I’m segregating it– is the “thoughts from eastercon 2012 part one” post from Filipino writer (and Alternative Alamat contributor) Rochita Loenen-Ruiz.
It’s unfortunate that Ms. MacFarlane seems to have taken heat on Twitter for her Eastercon post. As a neutral observer who doesn’t know much about Eastercons past or present, the impression I got from reading her post was that the convention was, overall, quite wonderful, and the “fails” were isolated incidents that show the work that must still be done, without disparaging the improvements that have already been put in place. I know that I’d love to go to an Eastercon if I have the chance, and her post in no way dissuaded me.
[Image: Screencap from the Guardian.]
Gunship Revolution will be running “imaginasaurus“, their latest art Creation Live! workshop–this time focusing on science fiction and fantasy artwork–on April 18, from 1-6PM, at Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street. Rocket Kapre readers, take special note, because amongst the speakers at the event is K. Lapeña (Scarypet), our wonderful cover (and occasional interiors) artist for Usok. If you’re a budding artist interested in doing fantasy/SF art, see if you can drop by!