Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Global Women in SF Round Table at the World SF Blog

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 13 - 2011

The World SF Blog has hosted a round table tackling the topic of women in SF on a global scale. The immediate precursors to this discussion are the SF Signal Mind Meld on the Russ Pledge, and the reaction to the same by Joyce Chng.  This newest round table between Aliette de Bodard (France), Joyce Chng (Singapore), Csilla Kleinheincz (Hungary), Kate Elliott (US), Karen Lord (Barbados), and Ekaterina Sedia (Russia/US) is particularly relevant to writers in the Philippines–and not just women writers. Again, you can read the full discussion here, but these are some excerpts:

Joyce Chng: I feel that – as what I have ranted – is that the discussion is still very US/UK-centric. It is fine that the POC and minorities are speaking out in – say – the States, but that is still very US-centric/dominated. I also feel that women from places like Southeast Asia might not have the same experiences/common ground to talk about and we end up grappling and confused. There is a lot of intersectionality – what are Southeast Asian women (with different experiences/backgrounds) going to say? What are Southeast Asian women supposed to say? Likewise, when it comes to SFF, what we experience might be similar but vastly different as well. Often as such, we end up trying to conform to foreign-sounding standards and end up feeling confused.

Kate Elliot: I’m glad the World SF blog exists; I think it needs to exist. At the same time, “world sf” becomes a bit like the current use of the word “ethnic” in American English: it denotes a particular thing that has to be marked because it isn’t the thing that doesn’t have to be marked. Just as we have an entire discussion about “women writers” instead of “writers.” World SF still exists outside the default, and can be ignored or included depending on the needs of the discussion, because the discussion is indeed still US/UK-centric and, of course, Anglophone-centric (which I admit is great for me, being a native English speaker).

Csilla Kleinheincz: Our only science fiction award, the Péter Zsoldos Award has a 14 years old history, yet there has not been a single woman winner either in the novel or the short story category (in spite of the jury having strong chairwomen). Many of the women who write SFF in Hungary are not even published and have to turn to POD or self-publishing, and not because of the lack of talent. Before being recognized as part of world SF they need to be recognized in their own country, hardships that those who have the privilege of being men or US citizens or native speakers are not aware of. Writers all over the world would benefit from being judged on a global scale. World SF needs the raised awareness as much as women writers do — and needs a lot more publishers who raise that three percent.

Aliette de Bodard: I think a clear difference needs to be made between minorities in the US (who might have a hard time getting heard because of the White-dominated publishing industry), and non-US, non-Western folks (who, not being part of the dominant culture and the dominant country, have an even harder time). I don’t think the distinction is clear enough right now, and it leads to people lumping everything together and claiming that the debate is inclusive because US POC are having their say (which is an important thing, but again not the whole of the scene). What I saw of Racefail, for instance, was heavily focused on US sensibilities and US perception of racism.

Karen Lord: I think that the problem isn’t whether women write or read different things. It’s the imposition of boundaries and the assigning of value that’s the problem – whether that boundary is genre vs literary, world sf vs Western, or women writers vs men. As a reader, I don’t want to miss out because the next great SF/F writer happens to be the ‘wrong gender’ and has been discouraged from writing what they’re best at writing.

Ekaterina Sedia: I feel like anything I’ll say I’ll be repeating myself, because basically I feel like I’ve been banging my head against the wall with this topic — the one-way street of SF, where English-language works get translated all over the world, while the reverse is not true. While we can talk about English being an equalizer language (as Csilla mentioned), it also works as an effective tool of exclusion: it is so dominant that the expectation is for the rest of the world to speak English, not to try and understand them. And even foreign writers who DO write in English are by no means on the level playing field with the native speakers: there is a pressure to write in one milieu, there’s a tendency of editors to assume that every non-standard usage is a mistake, there are not-so-subtle hints that maybe one didn’t write one’s books, etc etc.

“The Confessional” and “Sweet” at PGS Online

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 10 - 2011

All parts of “The Confessional” by Cyan Abad-Jugo and “Sweet” by Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon have been uploaded to Philippine Genre Stories Online. These are the first two stories in a set of four being co-edited by publisher Kenneth Yu and Yvette Tan. Kenneth has an interesting post up where he discusses that one of the benefits of going online is the ability to publish longer stories, but that he still decided to split both stories into two parts each.

The last story of the set will be from Yvette herself and the next one will be from me. As is becoming common for me, it’ll be an alternative history story with a good helping of the fantastic. I’ll post here when it goes live.

Philippine Spec Fic Review Roundup (as of July 2011)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 7 - 2011

Charles Tan has a review of Heartbreak & Magic by Ian Rosales Casocot at his site, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to point to a few reviews of Philippine speculative fiction (prose-form) and related books that I’ve seen this year. If anyone knows of any more, please feel free to add them to the comments.

Podfiction: “New Toy” on Pakinggan Pilipinas

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 4 - 2011

Pakinggan Pilipinas, which recently celebrated its first birthday, continues to place Philippine stories on the podfiction map. For July, they’ve released an audio rendition of “New Toy” by Joseph Anthony Montecillo, which was published in Philippine Speculative Fiction volume V. Joseph is a shining example that it is never too late to become a writer [/sarcasm].  The youngest contributor in PSFv (and PSFVI as well), “New Toy” is a horror story that, like some of the most effective stories in that genre, chills because at some level, it could happen… and maybe already has, somewhere in the world. The story is narrated by copywriter and bookworm J.T. Tirona.

Sandaang Araw ng Komiks (100 Days of Komiks)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 30 - 2011

Around a week back, Joanah Tinio Calingo (Cresci Prophecies, Kanto Inc.)  related an experience at the recently concluded 2011 Toy Con that made her realize how limited the mainstream awareness of komiks and komiks creators truly is. To help promote local comics and their creators, she’s calling on other creators, as well as komiks readers and allies, to participate in a hundred day event to raise the profile of the komiks industry, aptly called “100 Araw ng Komiks”, which will pave the way for the end of the year Komikon in November.

The event begins on July 1, tomorrow, and for the month of July the theme seems to be “Your Own Komiks” in the sense that komiks creators are encouraged to post information about their komiks creations on their blogs/twitter/facebook pages once per day. Those who don’t create komiks can participate by posting komiks related information/trivia once per day.

You can go here or here for additional information (in Filipino).

[Logo c/o Rommel Estanislao ]



Market! Market! Book Fair: Mad About Books

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 29 - 2011

Via the Filipino Book Bloggers Facebook page (c/o The Book Fancier), I’ve learned that there is an ongoing book fair at the Market! Market! Mall called “Mad About Books“. I’m not sure how good the spec fic pickings will be this year, but the book fair Marker!Market! had two years ago had quite a few hardbound SF books I’d never seen anywhere else. so it may be worth a visit if you’re in the area. Here’s the full blurb:

Hurry! Assortment of books await at the Market!Market! Book Fair 2011

Plus chapters and chapters of fun activities:

Storytelling . Arts & Crafts Corner . Reading Lounge

Claim freebies from California Berry between 3PM to 5PM for every P500 purchase at the Book Fair.

June 27 to July 3 . Activity Center, Market!Market!

TOC: Diaspora Ad Astra

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 23 - 2011

Estranghero Press has revealed the table of contents and cover art (by Oscar Alvarez) for its Science Fiction anthology “Diaspora Ad Astra”. The digital anthology is scheduled to be released this month. Here’s what you can look forward to reading:

  1. War Zone Angel, by Professor Emil Flores
  2. The Day the Sexbomb Dancers Invaded Our Brains, by Carljoe Javier
  3. The Malaya, by Dean Francis Alfar
  4. The Cost of Living, by Vince Torres
  5. Ina Dolor’s Last Stand, by Raymond P. Reyes
  6. Oplan Sanction, by Alex Osias
  7. The Keeper, by Audrey Villacorta
  8. Ashes Ember, by Dannah Ruth S. Ballesteros
  9. Rizal, Eliza Victoria
  10. Gene Rx, Katya Oliva-Llego
  11. Robots and a Slice of Pizza, Raydon Reyes
  12. Lucky, Raven Guerrero
  13. A List of Things We Know, Isabel Yap
  14. Taking Gaia, Celestine Trinidad
  15. Space Enough and Time, Anne Lagamayo

Book Launch: “Geek Tragedies” by Carljoe Javier

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 16 - 2011

Carljoe Javier–friend of the site, head honcho of UST Publishing House and all around uber-geek–will be having a simultaneous launch of the print and digital editions of his newest book “Geek Tragedies”.  You can read a sample here and pre-order the book for the Kindle at a discount. Here’s the announcement:

Geek Tragedies will be officially launched on July 1! The launch of the print version will be held at the UP Press MegaLaunch at 5pm in the GT-Toyota Hall of Wisdom at the Asian Center. But if you want a digital version (care of Flipside Digital), you can pre-order it from Amazon! The full version will download to your Kindle or other reading device July 1, but you can start reading the book now. If you download it, please also rate it on Amazon to help other readers find the book. iPad version’s to follow.

I’m very excited about Geek Tragedies, as I think it’s a really fun book with a good variety of stories. It’s also the first Filipino book, as far as I know, that will have simultaneous print and digital launches. Please check it out in whatever format you like, and pass the word around, repost, etc etc. thanks everybody for helping out.


Celebrate Independence Day 2011 with Twitter Fiction (RP612fic proper)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 10 - 2011


This year, everyone was treated to a special edition of RP612fic during the June 8 Blog Action Day to save Philippine corals, but don’t forget that the annual celebration of Independence Day through twitter fiction is still pushing through on June 12, and on to June 13 as well, because the 12th is a Sunday, and we all tweet more when there’s work ^_^.

For anyone lat to the party, here’s all you need to know:

  • What is #RP612fic? It’s Filipino authors coming together on Twitter to create tweet-length stories (130 characters, because you need to leave space for the hashtag) and sending them out into the wild with the #RP612fic hashtag. When the event is over, I’ll collate all submissions into a single post here on the site.
    • What’s a Hashtag? It’s a word/code you put in your tweet after the “#”. It acts as a label of sorts and makes it easier for me to find all participating stories.
  • When does this take place? At least once a year on Independence Day, but starting this year we also do it to participate in other events, such as a Blog Action Day. For Independence Day 2011, you can send out stories on the 12th and the 13th.
  • What kind of stories should I submit? For Independence Day, I’d love to see alternative history stories, but it’s not like I’m going to tell you to delete your 130 character realist micro fiction opus.
  • What if I’m not on Twitter and I want to participate? Just send me your tweet length stories via rocketkapre[at] and I’ll try to tweet them or at least include them in my compilation.

Spread the word! For those who want to see the previous RP612fic stories, you can check out these links:

(Image of old school Philippine soldiers from

Venues for Philippine Speculative Fiction in 2011 (So Far)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 8 - 2011

Charles Tan (Bibliophile Stalker) recently put up two posts discussing the various publications/venues that have released Philippine speculative fiction stories this year. It’s easy to find Philippine spec fic in publications that specialize in the same–such as Philippine Genre Stories Online , Pakinggan Pilipinas, and Usok–but what Charles has done is go through general fiction publications to find stories of fantasy, science fiction, or horror. His search unearthed new stories and authors and his two posts on the subject Philippine Speculative Fiction 2011 Overload and Random Thoughts and More Random Thoughts on Philippine Speculative Fiction 2011 are well worth reading, both for writers and fans of Philippine speculative fiction. He also lists story recommendations in each post, some of which you can read online.

If you want to help Charles find other Philippine speculative fiction stories published this year, you can contribute to his online database.



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.