Archive for the ‘News’ Category

CG Pintor: Disney Villains Artjam

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 28 - 2011

The Filipino digital painting masters at CG Pintor are at it again. Their latest artjam? Disney Villains. Here’s a link to the full gallery, and, as always, here are a few of my favorites of the lot:

Syndrome by =The-Hand

Shan-Yu by ~Wreckonning

AUTO GO-4 by ~SteelJoe

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High Society for Nook; Alternative Alamat for iPhone and iPad

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 26 - 2011

Got the new iPhone for Christmas? Or maybe an iPad, or a Nook? If you’re looking for Philippine-made fantasy fiction for you new toys, I’m pleased to inform you that “High Society” (my steampunk, alternative history comic with Hannah Buena) is now available for Barnes & Noble’s Nook device, and “Alternative Alamat” (our anthology of stories inspired by Philippine mythology) is available at the iTunes Store.

Flipside Opens to Novel Submissions

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 26 - 2011

Flipside Digital Content, digital publisher of “High Society” and my digital co-publisher for “Alternative Alamat“, is now open to novel submissions for three of its imprints, the most significant one for Rocket Kapre readers being “FSSF”, which is their speculative fiction imprint. You can view the guidelines for submission at their blog, “On the Flipside“.

Initial Thoughts on “Alternative Alamat” from Meann Ortiz

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 22 - 2011

I mentioned that Meann Ortiz of New Worlds was reading “Alternative Alamat” and posting a running commentary as she made her way through the text. Well, Meann has finished the book, and has posted a summary of her impressions, with a full review to follow. Meann gave it 5 stars (although she’s rounding up from 4.5–which, hey, I’ll take any day) and enjoyed all the stories, even if she felt there were similarities in theme and a somewhat somber tone.

I’d encourage readers to look at Meann’s comments during her reading, which you can find in a timeline on the same page as her general impressions, as these go into greater detail about her reactions to specific stories, or lines from the book.

It also amuses me that, like many women before her, she was intrigued by the great hero “Kudaman” (mentioned in my interview with Professor Zialcita), and his, er, giant bird:

The Philippines Graphic Reviews Alternative Alamat

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 21 - 2011

Angelo Ancheta reviews our new anthology, “Alternative Alamat“, in the latest issue (Dec. 26, 2011 to Jan. 2, 2012) of the Philippines Graphic. The review is very positive, even though Ancheta wishes that the book was available in hard copy, to better appreciate Mervin Malonzo’s artwork. Ancheta calls the anthology “a treasure trove of Philippine myths and legends reexamined and rendered for modern readers.” The review isn’t available online yet, as of this writing, but he finds T.J. Dimacali’s “Keeper of My Sky” to be “lyrical, heartbreaking” and the stories of David Hontiveros “Balat, Buwan, Ngalan”) and Dean Alfar (“A Door Opens”) to be “ground-breaking, earth-shaking…” He does wonder, however, about the absence of male deities from most of the stories.

Still, I think it’s safe to say he liked it, no? Also, Meann Ortiz of New Worlds is currently reading “Alternative Alamat” and putting up comments  as she progresses. She’s about half way through so far, and you can read her comments either on her Twitter feed or at Goodreads.

So if you haven’t picked up a copy of “Alternative Alamat” yet, why not click on over to or and snag a copy for yourselves, or for your friends/family. Nothing like waking up on Christmas day to find some mythology under your tree!

Typhoon Sendong Relief Incentive: Free Ebook “Ruin and Resolve”

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 20 - 2011

I’ve already mentioned the devastation wrought by Typhoon Sendong over the weekend. As of this writing, at least 652 people have been confirmed dead as a result of flash floods that affected 135,000 people, nearly 47,000 of whom have been forced to evacuate to shelters. When Typhoon Ondoy slammed into Manila in 2009, Filipino writers and poets collaborated on a charity ebook I called “Ruin and Resolve” , for the benefit of typhoon victims. Since then, I’ve distributed the ebook for free as an incentive and a means to promote awareness during times of need. In the wake of the latest natural disaster to ravage my country, I am once more making Ruin and Resolve available for free–this time permanently–on, and now on (both are PDFs). I’m offering the book for free because I realize it would be easier/quicker for people to donate directly to entities such as the Red Cross, rather than course the donation through an ebook retailer as “payment” for the book. Here are a few links with information on how to help:

I hope that this ebook leads more people to those links, and if you do decide to donate and would like a small reward as a sign of our gratitude, please do feel free to download Ruin and Resolve. Thank you!

Here’s what people have said about Ruin and Resolve:

“Borne out of tragedy but driven by a spirit of triumph, Ruin and Resolve takes us to different worlds, fantastic and magical, futuristic and the mundane every day. The collection, meant to help Ondoy victims with is proceeds, provides us all with reasons to keep striving, to never surrender, never quit. It may sound corny to say that one finds inspiration, and yes, the resolve needed, in these texts. But that’s the fact of the matter. More than a few times the reader will find not just beauty of image and power of prose, but genuine uplift and the feeling of elevation.” Carljoe Javier, author ofAnd the Geek Shall Inherit the Earthand the “Kobayashi Maru of Love.

“But outside its being a charitable donation, this newest [Spec Fic] anthology isn’t a throwaway piece of literature; it’s worth buying for its own sake — lending credence to the publisher’s self-effacing introduction of “we hope our stories and poems make you feel all the happier to have helped those in need.” - Johanna Poblete, Business World.

Text Your Typhoon Sendong Donations

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 19 - 2011
Image by Carlo Vergara, featuring Zsazsa Zaturnnah

Image by Carlo Vergara, featuring Zsazsa Zaturnnah


Typhoon Sendong ravaged the southern Philippines last weekend, particularly Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, and aid organizations need all the help they can get. You can text or sms your donations to the Philippine Red Cross as follows:

Text RED<space>AMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4143 (Smart)

Text DONATE<space>AMOUNT<space>4-digit M-PIN<space>REDCROSS to 2882

You can donate the following denominations:
Globe: 5, 25, 100, 300, 500 or 1000
Smart: 10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 or 1000

For in-kind donations, please check or

Launch: The Quarterly Bathroom Companion Comics Compendium #2

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 16 - 2011

The Quarterly Bathroom Companion Comics Compendium is an independent comic/komik anthology which has an “underground” feel and aesthetic. (The first issue had a comic that starred a lamp post as its protagonist. No, not an anthropomorphized, talking lamp post. Just an ordinary lamp post for the reader to project his/her emotions on.) The second issue will be launched tomorrow, December 17, at Sputnik Fantastik, Cubao X, near the Gateway Mall, from 7pm onwards. I’m not sure who is in the latest volume, but it is co-edited by DJ Legaspi, Josel Nicolas (Windmills), and Mervin Malonzo (Tabi Po and our very own Alternative Alamat illustrator). Give it a shot!


Release Day: Alternative Alamat Now Available

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 14 - 2011

Cover for "Alternative Alamat" by Mervin Malonzo

The day has come!

Alternative Alamat“, our digital anthology of stories inspired by Philippine mythology, is now available for US$4.99 at the following fine establishments:

  • – US$4.99 (note there’s an extra US$2.00 charge for certain non-US territories/accounts, including, unfortunately, the Philippines)
  • (epub file) – PHP235.00
  • [iTunes and Barnes & Noble/Nook editions to follow]

I hope that by now you’re all excited to get your hands on the book (or, rather, the hardware holding the file), and if so, thank you and what are you waiting for? If you’re still on the fence even after the preview of our contributor and story introductions, and our author interviews (Raissa, Mo, Eliza), then read on (or download the press release here)!

As a celebration of today’s launch, I’d like to give you a glimpse of some of the non-fiction segments of the book, as well as the wonderful artwork of Mervin Malonzo, creator of “Tabi Po“. You’ve already seen the beautiful cover Mervin made for us, but you may not have realized he’s also doing internal artwork as well. Each book is graced with eleven original illustrations by Mervin, where he gives his spin on eleven of the most interesting gods and goddesses of Philippine mythology. I don’t want to give too much away, so here’s a montage-teaser using elements from all eleven pieces:

After the cut: one full sample of Mervin’s interior artwork, the full text of the book’s introduction, and excerpts from my interviews with Professor Herminia Meñez Coben and Fernando N. Zialcita.

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Charles Tan’s Essay: “Awareness and Bias”

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 13 - 2011

Around a week ago, Charles Tan (The Bibliophile Stalker) posted an essay which I believe merits wider discussion/dissemination. The essay is entitled “Awareness and Bias” and here’s an excerpt:

What people need to understand is that everyone will have an agenda  (and I don’t mean to use the term in a negative way, which in itself is an example of baggage associated with language). Mine for example has been the promotion of Philippine speculative fiction, “World SF”, and authors/editors I encounter and admire. If you think this blog is bias-free, you’re mistaken. It’s my particular bias that shapes who my readers are (you can think of it as my target audience). No text (be it fiction, poetry, film, music, games, or any other media) can be entirely divorced from its agenda (although readers, of course, are free to interpret it under their own biases as well). Every story, for example, will have a hierarchy of moral values (and what’s moral in one culture might be a different case in another).

I love speculative fiction but let’s face it: there’s a lot of things wrong with the genre (again, Western-centrism and patriarchy). A lot of it is unconscious.



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.