Archive for the ‘News’ Category

PSF6 Review: “Break in at Batay Street” by Francis Gabriel Concepcion

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 15 - 2012

This post is a part of our story-by-story review of Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 6. You can see the introductory post, and our disclaimers here. Bold font is Mia Tijam, everything else is Paolo Chikiamco.

I like the first paragraph, as it did a good job of establishing the setting, and situating the protagonist. But the rest of the first segment didn’t really achieve much–why not simply go straight to the street child talking to Benjo? The mention of the break-in would have been an immediate hook.

Exactly. And as much as the first paragraph was that, I saw it as too detailed narration. The first segment could seriously use conciseness and a warning went off in my head: STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS DETAILING MAY GET IN THE WAY OF THE CORE OF THE STORY. Enter Sean Connery in my head and shoulder-reading, “Where are you taking me?”

The story has quite a few sentences that feel overloaded: “His eyes widened as he sighed and shook his head slightly, eyeing the clock to his right.” There’s also a problem of redundancy on occasion, on both a micro and macro story level (the incident surrounding the break in are narrated multiple times, and not al the repetitions had enough of a variance to be warranted).

Ergo the warning. Dude, the story was that whole lot. The second segment made me pause though because it was touching on what makes amulets powerful— the whole dilemma of its power based on faith versus (understanding preceding) belief. And kudos to the story for placing me on that ontological level. There I was kinda hoping too that we’ll have something along Nardong Putik.

BUT the story lost this reader’s attention as it went on and on and it all became talky-talk about the “this” in “that”.

By the third segment and so on I was muttering to the story— Too many details. Cut! Go to action! The author was just telling so much and not focusing on what might be the speculative anchor (which is the anting-anting/amulet). Ang daldal ng kuwento! Ang daldal ng mga tao sa kuwento ha ha ha!

Whether the style of dialogue works for the reader is largely dependent on where they stand on the issue of whether dialogue in fiction should replicate real conversation, or be streamlined without seeming inauthentic.

The dialogue in this story definitely leans toward the former, and I don’t think it did the story any favors, as a lot of the exposition is made through dialogue, and “real” conversations can be quite vague. The mileage of other readers may vary though.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comics Sales: Weekend of March 16

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 14 - 2012

It’s almost summer, and you know what that means–SALE TIME. Two of the best comic book specialty stores in Metro Manila re having sales this weekend. First up is Comic Odyssey which is having a sale in all its branches (don’t forget that the Galleria branch has moved to the basement). Second is Planet X Comics, which is joining this weekend’s Glorietta mall-wide sale.

heART WORKS event and “Superior” Launch

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 9 - 2012

Powerbooks Greenbelt will be having back-to-back events this Saturday. First is heART WORKS, which is a charity event where you can bid for pieces of original artwork by great Filipino artists, for the benefit of the victims of the recent natural calamities in the south. This is followed by the book launch of the “Superior” graphic novel by Mark Millar and Lenil Yu (and inked by Gerry Alanguilan). Both Lenil and Gerry will be there for the event.

Outbreak Manila (Nuvali): Registration Ongoing

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 8 - 2012

I know that there are genre fans who are also avid fitness buffs (we don’t subscribe to the weakling geek stereotype on this site, no sir) and here’s an event that will appeal to both them and, perhaps more importantly, to genre fans looking for some added, er, incentive to pound the pavement. “Outbreak Manila” is an event that mixes the concept of the fun run with zombies, going so far as to even have the equivalent of hit points for runners. The first event takes place at Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, and registration is ongoing until the first week of April, or whenever slots run out. You can choose to register as a human or a zombie, and you can see an FAQ for the event here. My favorite line? “You can bring a plant as long as it does not shoot out peas or gobbles up zombies.”


Jonas Diego’s Philippine Artist Database

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 8 - 2012

Jonas Diego is conducting a survey for a possible “Philippine Artist Database”. In his words:

The survey has two (2) objectives: 1. Create a national database for Philippine graphic designers, illustrators, comic book creators, and other types of creative workers 2. Create a fact book based on the results of the survey and make available online for free.

If you’re an artist and you’re interested in participating, you can find the survey here.

Podfiction: Nikki Alfar’s “Bearing Fruit” on the Drabblecast

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 7 - 2012

Late to the party on this one (we all were), but I’ve learned that Nikki Alfar’s story “Bearing Fruit” was released as a podcast by the well respected Drabblecast folk. Check it out here.

Reminder: PGS Online Call for Submissions

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 6 - 2012

Just a note to all you writers out there: PGS Online is still open for submissions until April 30, 2012. Editor Kenneth Yu has a pretty damn good track record of finding new talent, so first-time writers are highly encouraged to submit. The worst that can happen is that you’ll get a rejection, and that’s just a part of the writer’s life–and, really, Kyu is one of the nicest editors out there. (That doesn’t mean he isn’t *picky*, mind you, just that you can be pretty sure he isn’t going to mock your manuscript or anything.) Click here for more details.

Flipreads Promo: Read an Ebook Week and Read Aloud Day

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 6 - 2012

Flipreads is running a promotion this week , in celebration of Read an eBook Week (which is this week, from March 4 to 10) and World Read Aloud Day(which is March 7, tomorrow). Flipreads has placed several digital titles on sale, and amongst these is our very own “Alternative Alamat” which is now being sold at the discounted price of PHP200 (down from the regular PHP235). A fine time to get your copy, if you haven’t purchased it already! Flipreads accepts payment via Globe Gcash, Smart Money, PesoPay, Paypal and Cashsense.

PGS Online: Stories Selected by Exie Abola

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 5 - 2012

Catching up with some PGS Online news: the set of stories selected/co-edited by Exie Abola has run its course. Including Exie’s own story, these are:

The current co-editor/story selector is Joseph Nacino. Two stories so far have been released–complete links when the set is complete.


Manga Creation Live! Art Workshop: ComiPa

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 29 - 2012

Information taken from Comipa’s post:

International art provider and experimental creatives network Gunship Revolution kicks off a new line of intensive art workshops with Manga_Creation Live! featuring the noted Filipino manga icon Paolo Aguasin, better known to a world-wide fanbase as ComiPa. Drawing from his experience as an internationally-published artist and studio art director, ComiPa has an afternoon of ingenious training techniques and insider information to give aspiring manga artists. Also onboard for the workshop would be veteran manga inker and toner Rafael Cal-Ortiz and digital coloring expert Brian Valeza. Also making an appearance is international award-winning manga artist Kriss Sison who will be pitching in his comments at the folio reviews.

The workshop will be held on March 10 at Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street from 1pm to 6pm. Tickets are P1,000 and attendees are encouraged to bring their own art materials. To inquire or register, you may contact Gunship Revolution at (02) 998-8478 or at Original artwork from ComiPa will be raffled among attendees. See you there!




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.