Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Demons of the New Year is now live

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 24 - 2010


The latest online spec fic anthology from Estranghero Press has now gone live. Go check it out! From the site:

These are the Filipino horrors: the garden-variety demons from hell with plastic forks and spongy tails, the ones in your head that come out to play at midnight, the spirits that make up most of your lives like a Frankenstein monster. We’re letting out all of these things that haunt our days in 2010.

“Demons of the New Year: Horror from the Philippines, edited by Joseph Nacino & Karl de Mesa” is published electronically to make this collection of stories available to a wider international audience. Through this anthology we will be able to show the world that the Filipino writer can create horrors that can scare with the best of them.

3rd PGFA: What Neil Read

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 18 - 2010

Neil Gaiman read two poems at the 3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards last March 17 (because, as he said, who was going to stop him?) and, while I was a fair distance away from the man, I think I managed to capture his twin performances adequately–even if my Vado was at the most minimal setting. Surprisingly, my Internet cooperated, so I’m posting these videos tonight instead of tomorrow.

First up, Neil read his poem “Locks”, which he said could be found in the Smoke and Mirrors anthology. You can also read it online at the Journal of Mythic Arts archive here.

Second, Neil treated the crowd to a reading of an unpublished (!) poem, which he says he finished only weeks ago. The title of the poem is “In Relig Odhráin” (you can spell that as “Oran” and it seems to be pronounced as “Orrin”) or, in modern English, “Saint Odhráin’s Graveyard”. He says that the poem was inspired by an old legend from Scotland–I did a bit of digging, and I found a page which details several versions of the legend, as well as a site with a picture of the actual chapel.

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3rd PGFA: What Neil Said

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 18 - 2010


No, I don’t mean at the press conference–you can head over to Azrael’s for some coverage–but during the event itself, where he commented about each of the winning entries (in the main contest, not the people’s choice). Again, I wasn’t there for the film category, but here’s what he said about the winners for prose and comics (because you can never have enough reminders that Neil Gaiman called your story “glorious” ^_^):



(Bibliophile Stalker has sound files of Neil’s commentary on the prose winners here.)

Cherry Clubbing by Kenneth Yu: “… the voice is really really good, and its really, seriously nasty. It’s the only story that I’ve ever read in which half way through sort of the first page I thought ‘Oh I got it. He’s a pedophile!’ And then I realize no, no, no… it’s so much worse than that. But it’s a beautiful little story… the way the story is told is as important as the content. It’s very good, very, very imaginative.”

Remembrance by Dean Alfar: “…it’s a story about death, and what we take with us when we die. Beautifully written, haunting, managing at exactly the same time to be both incredibly depressing and incredibly uplifting. The combination of these two things at once is what made it as a story for me.”

Filipina: The Super Maid by Irene Carolina A. Sarmiento: “…as those people who voted for it would know… it’s funny and it’s angry… nice, solid, futuristic science fiction that is fundamentally a satire of things going on today. And it’s great. A lovely piece of work.”

A Kind of Flotsam by Christelle Rhodamae Mariano: “Every now and then you think that you’ve seen it all, and a staple of science fiction is telepathy… What’s glorious about A Kind of Flotsam is that it’s the story of a the life of someone either blessed or cursed with telepathy. And she says something new. It’s really very, very beautiful, very, very moving, and I think at the end… there’s a moment which for me, I thought was glorious: that what unites us in the end is connection, the ability to hold out, to reach out, and eventually touch. Beautifully done, and very, very much a deserving first place winner.”


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Winners: 3rd Philippine Graphic Fiction Awards

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 17 - 2010

Had to leave the event early, but had time to hear the winners of the prose and comics categories, [Edit: Thanks to Diabelle and Charles for the additional info] so here goes:


1st Place:  A Kind of Flotsam by Christelle Rhodamae Mariano

2nd Place: Filipina: The Super Maid by Irene Carolina A. Sarmiento

3rd Place: (Tie) Cherry Clubbing by Kenneth Yu and Remembrance by Dean Alfar

People’s Choice 1st Place: Filipina: The Super Maid by Irene Carolina A. Sarmiento

People’s Choice 2nd Place: A Kind of Flotsam by Christelle Rhodamae Mariano

People’s Choice 3rd Place: The Street Child and the Dwarf by Diabelle Joy M. Pazcoguin


1st Place:OK this is a bit confusing. There was apparently no first place prize awarded because the entry that won was “published during the contest period”, but they did acknolwedge the piece that would have won – I See by Manuel Abrera

2nd Place: Douglas by Genevieve Go

3rd Place: (Love) at Last Sight by Heubert Khan Michael

People’s Choice 1st Place: Hunger by Jeremiah D. Faustino and Norman Jim Faustino

People’s Choice 2nd Place: Raisinhead: A Tale of a Modern-Day Tiyanak by Christian Oliver A. Cruz

People’s Choice 3rd Place: Traffick by Alarice A. Francisco


1st place: No winner (see comment below. Thanks Diabelle!)

2nd Place: Kumot ng Panaginip by  Jedd Chris P. Dumaguina (Thanks Charles! His comment below and blog post are the source of the rest of the Film winners)

3rd Place: Squatters from Mars by Rommel Sales

People’s Choice 1st Place: Kumot ng Panaginip by Jedd Chris P. Dumaguina

People’s Choice 2nd Place: Anak ng Tikbalang by Desiree Ann C. Samson

People’s Choice 3rd Place: Embrace by Ron Sapinoso

Will post again tomorrow with some pictures, and maybe some vids on Friday. In the meantime, congratulations to all the winners :)

IWP and VONA Writing Workshops/Residencies

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 11 - 2010


News of two interesting writing workshops/residencies his my feed today. However, while both are open to non-U.S. residents, they do take place in the United States, so bear that in mind.

First up (via the Philippine Genre Stories blog) is the 2010 International Writing Program (IWP) Residency. Here’s a description from the Ateneo website:

The 2010 International Writing Program (IWP) Residency is now open for nominations. The objective of this program is to bring together a wide range of international and U.S. writers to examine current trends in literature including fiction, drama, poetry, and screenwriting and to explore the creative process involved in writing. Participants will spend 10 weeks in residence at the University of Iowa presenting their work to local audiences, participating in university level workshops and working with translators. The program also includes field trips to attend literary events in order to meet and possibly collaborate with local writers and artists from other fields. Expenses of selected applicants will be covered by the embassy of the United States.Poets, fiction writers, dramatists, and screenwriters are eligible to apply. Literary translators and writers whose publications and careers focus on creative non-fiction (feature journalism, cultural commentary, biography, and memoirs) are also eligible for this program. Candidates should have at least one published volume of work or works that have appeared in significant publications over a period of at least two years. All nominees must be fluent in English, comfortable with cross-cultural dynamics, and interested in close interaction with other artists from a multiplicity of diverse cultures.

Our second item comes from the Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc. (PAWA) Blog (which is currently open for donations): the VONA (Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation) Voices Workshop. You can see an overview of the workshops here and the application guidelines are here.  Here’s a bit about the workshop, taken from the guidelines:

The Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation at University of San Francisco invites applications from unpublished as well as published writers-of- color –anyone dreaming of writing as a serious pursuit. The Voices Writing Workshop is a special gathering of writers who spend 1-2 weeks working with authors and artists of color. This workshop honors the literary traditions of heritage and culture and promotes the styles, voices, forms and concerns of writers-of-color and their connections to the literary world. Held at The University of San Francisco, The Voices Workshop creates an intimate and interactive community with an atmosphere of sharing and engaging.

30 for 30: Adarna House Sale

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 7 - 2010


Here’s a neat sale taking place two weeks from now. From the Adarna House blog:

On March 20, 2010 (a Saturday), all Adarna House  storybooks — worth 65 pesos on regular occasions — will be on sale for 30 pesos each from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM.   On that morning, the showroom doors will only be open for that fateful hour.  The rest of the morning, only Adarna House staff will be allowed to enter the showroom.

The thirty-peso purchases will be limited to 30 books per person, so books in excess of the 30 books have to be purchased at regular price.  Not to worry, all customers who enter the showroom during the given sale period will be allowed to stay in the showroom beyond 11:00 AM  in order to settle their purchases.  After 11:00 AM, selling of 30-peso books will stop, only the books in the hands of customers by 11:00 AM will be considered for the sale.

Eastern Issue at Crossed Genres: Call for Submission

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 4 - 2010


Just a quick note: Crossed Genres has currently opened for submissions to their Eastern-themed issue, which they’re loosely defining as any story set in an Eastern culture. Seeing as we are the Pearl of the Orient and all, I thought this would be right up the alley of most of our authors, so do try and send something to Crossed Genres before the end of March. Don’t forget to check out the submission guidelines first though.

TRESE: Pecha Kucha Short Story

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 3 - 2010

I had no idea what on earth a Pecha Kucha was (but if I were forced to guess, I would have said “Tibetan curse word”), which means I can chalk up one more thing I’ve learned because of komiks. Pecha Kucha is a forum for presentations which are kept concise by adherence to the simple formula of 20 images x 20 seconds. (All in favor of a similar formula for mass homilies say aye!) Trese writer Budjette Tan gave a presentation at last year’s event, a a 6 minute 40 second Trese short story, which he recently uploaded for the reading pleasure of Trese fans everywhere. Thanks Budjette!

Dominique Cimafranca’s Presentation on Speculative Fiction

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 2 - 2010

Posting this a bit late, but Dominique Cimafranca sent me a link to a presentation on Speculative Fiction which he prepared for his lucky class of students at Ateneo de Davao. The 39 slides give you an overview of a discussion which covers, amongst other things, the notion of unreality in speculative fiction, the Western monomyth, and some reasons why people should bother with Spec Fic in the first place. Thanks Dom!

Tsunami Alert – Davao, Palanan, Legaspi (February 28, 2010)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 28 - 2010

EDIT: Philvocs is saying that any waves will be “at most one meter” so it doesn’t sound like it will be that bad. Still, be safe guys.

ALERT. Due to the recent earthquake in Chile, areas along the Pacific Ocean have been placed under Tsunami Alert. According to CNN, the areas in the Philippines under the Tsunami Alert –meaning the Tsunami will hit today Feb 28–are Davao (1:27 p.m.), Palanan (1:59 p.m.) and Legaspi (2:04 p.m.).

Other coastal areas need to keep watch as well. Link to Philvocs Press Release, 27 Feb 2010, 11:30 p.m.

Pass the word.

Be safe and alert everyone, especially if you’re anywhere near the sea.

(Image source: CNN)



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.