Archive for the ‘News’ Category

OpenBook event: UVAS Talk on April 20

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 15 - 2012

From the Freelance Writers Guild of the Philippines:

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.

Ebook Launch: Philippine Speculative Fiction volumes 1 and 2

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 12 - 2012

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 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.

Read the rest of this entry »

What I’m Reading: Two Sides of Eastercon

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 11 - 2012

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:

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.]

Imaginasaurus: Fantasy and Sci Fi Art Workshop

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 9 - 2012

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!

TOC: Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 5 - 2012

It gives me great pleasure to announce that my steampunk story “On Wooden Wings” (originally from Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 6) has been selected for the new “Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution” anthology, edited by Ann Vandermeer. I read the first “Steampunk” anthology while I was working out the world of “On Wooden Wings”, and for it to be included in the third volume of the series is an incredible honor. You can see the table of contents here, and I’m glad I only confirmed the complete TOC today, otherwise I don’t think I could have kept quiet about this news for so long. It’s also awesome to see a strong Southeast Asian presence in this anthology as well–two of the stories come from the Singaporean anthology “The Steampowered Globe“, and there’s a new essay by Jaymee Goh.

Speaking of Jaymee, I’d like to give her a special shout out since she’s the reason I decided to submit the story for consideration in the first place. And hence, I now have a new example of how submitting your work, flaws and insecurities and all, is of paramount importance to every writer. So thanks to Jha, thanks to Nikki Alfar and Kate Osias for publishing it first, and thanks to Ann for choosing to republish it.


Flipreads Easter Sale (High Society and Alternative Alamat)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 5 - 2012

Looking for something to read during the longest Philippine holiday of 2012? Flipreads will be having a sale from today, April 5 – 8, 2012, with P40.00 off on selected titles, including High Society and Alternative Alamat. Here’s the complete list of participating publishers/authors:



Release: Apex Magazine #35 (International SF Themed Issue)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 4 - 2012

The special international SF themed issue of Apex Magazine has just been released. This issue is of particular interest to readers interested in Philippine speculative fiction, as it has “Alternate Girl’s Expatriate Life“, a story by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz (one of our “Alternative Alamat” contributors) and an essay by Charles Tan entitled “World SF: Our Possible Future.” If you enjoy the magazine (the contents of the current issue are available for free) , be sure to buy the issue at Apex or Amazon.

There are two exciting new Amazon Kindle releases from Filipino creators today (courtesy of Flipside Digital): First up is “Lower Myths” by Eliza Victoria, who has contributed to Usok, Ruin and Resolve, and Alternative Alamat.

Lower Myths features two compelling novellas of contemporary fantasy from Eliza Victoria, one of the most talented young writers in Asian speculative fiction today. In “Trust Fund Babies,” children of two warring witch and fairy families face off in the final round to a centuries-old vendetta.

In “The Very Last Case of Messrs. Aristotel and Arkimedes Magtanggol,” an aristocrat and his daughter consult a famous lawyer-sibling pair about a mysterious crime. But in the lawyers’ hilltop mansion by the sea, they uncover sinister hints that their reality may not be what it seems.


The second release is a revised edition of “Marco’s Delivery Service“. If you read my review of the original work, you may be interested in this version, as I worked with creator Koi Carreon to iron out the kinks and flesh out the story, in order to–we hope–create product that retains the great art and retro-futuristic world, while adding some narrative polish. Fans of old school anime like Outlaw Star should definitely check it out.

Flipside Interviews David Hontiveros

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 27 - 2012

Flipside Digital has an interview with David Hontiveros, one of our fine contributors for “Alternative Alamat“, highlighting his komiks work, particularly on “Bathala: Apokalypsis”. Here’s an excerpt:

For those unfamiliar with your work, could you tell us more about Bathala: Apokalypsis?

The comic stems from a pitch Gerry Alanguilan threw at me during a phone conversation about a decade and a half ago: “What if Superman had to deal with the Apocalypse?”

Gerry asked if I was willing to write the story behind that idea and I was only too glad, so I wrote the 7-issue story, but ultimately, it went into lengthy stasis when Gerry proved unable to handle the art chores. But the comic was revived when Ace Enriquez said he’d be willing to take on the 200+ page project, and here we are.

Bathala: Apokalypsis is basically that pitch told over 7 issues, with Bathala, a Filipino superhero in the mold of the Superman archetype, being the only superpowered individual in the world, having to face the catastrophic effects of an unfolding End of Days.

You can read the rest of the interview here.

Kickstarter Project: “Scheherazade’s Facade”

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 19 - 2012

So, before I pass around the hat on behalf of “Scheherazade’s Facade“, a singular new anthology of fantasy stories with a gender bending theme, I need to provide some context: I have a story in this anthology–in fact, this is my first international sale. I’ve known that for a while now, and I’ve been dying to share the news, but for the longest time I wasn’t even sure if this anthology would ever see the light of day. Now, at last, publication seems possible, but the anthology needs some help to get off the ground, and so my editor, Michael Jones, has taken “Scheherazade’s Facade: Fantastical Tales of Gender Bending, Cross-Dressing, and Transformation ” to Kickstarter. Here’s a bit about the theme:

“For this collection, I looked for a wide variety of things.  First, all stories had to be fantasy. “High, low, dark, historical, romantic, urban, mythical – just about anything goes as long as it has those fantastic elements to it.”  Second, I wanted “stories in which the protagonist or other major characters are disguised or transformed, or otherwise challenge traditional gender roles … heroes and villains, warriors and tricksters, drag queens and cross-dressers, cisgendered, transgendered, and everything in-between.”

Over at the Kickstarter page, you can read about the torturous path the book has taken to publication, and also catch a glimpse of why I’m honored to be part of the anthology: it will have original stories from the likes of Aliette de Bodard and Tanith Lee (TANITH LEE). More than that, the theme is about challenging the status quo. I’d plug this project even if I wasn’t a contributor (just like I plugged the call for submissions way back when) but,  if my being involved makes you want to support it, hey, I’ll take it! My story is called “Kambal Kulam”, and it takes place in a world much like our own, except that sorcery is common enough that one can make a living from the curse-protection racket. “Kambal Kulam” is about desperate sorcerers, a Quiapo fortuneteller, and why you should never assume that a curse is meant to kill…

As always, there are rewards for pledges (from US$5.00 to US$80.00) so head on over to the Kickstarter page if you’d like to support a unique anthology, and feel free to link there or to this page if you’d like to spread the word!



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.