Archive for the ‘News’ Category

New Trese Graphic Novella at Rogue

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 7 - 2009


For all you Trese fans out there, a new novella entitled Masquerade (or Case File # 1031) has been uploaded to Rogue magazine, with a story by Trese scribe Budjette Tan and art by Mark Torres. It’s nice to see Trese stories appearing in different formats, and it does seem to allow for the possibility of more frequent releases of related content even when co-creator Kajo Baldisimo is busy/unavailable.

Isagani Cruz on Teaching Spec Fic

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 4 - 2009

Respected author and professor Isagani Cruz has been teaching a course about Speculative Fiction (“Specfict”is his chosen abbreviation) at the Ateneo de Manila University, and in a recent Philippine Star column he talks about his experiences teaching the course and trying to keep up with the latest developments and trends in the field by allowing his students to have a say in the works (movies and literature) that they will tackle. An excerpt:

I talked a little bit about how we can discover the essential qualities of something by looking at its most extreme form. All novels and films are about unreal characters and places, but in Specfict, these characters and places are meant to be seen as unreal (unlike in many works of literature or cinema, where the reader or viewer is lulled into a suspension of disbelief). By highlighting the artificiality, Specfict shows fiction for what it really is – a bundle of lies, as Plato and later critics liked to put it. (In theoretical jargon, this is known as “deconstruction” or showing that a literary text is constructed according to conventional rules and not a natural “mirror of reality.”)

You can read the article here.

(Via Bibliophile Stalker’s twitter feed )

Writing Markets: December 2009

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 3 - 2009

With NaNoWriMo having just ended, a list of deadlines might be the last thing that most writers would want to see–but the Christmas holiday is one of the longest in the year, and if you can find some time to get some writing done between Simbang Gabi and Noche Buena, I thought it might be useful to have a consolidated list of markets for your stories, especially given that many reading periods end this month. So I’ve combed through my usual sources (top of that list being Ralan, Duotrope, Bibliophile Stalker and Specficmarkets) and assembled this list of open markets and contests with upcoming deadlines (up to those which fall within the 1st quarter of 2010).  If I’ve missed any, local or international, please let me know in the comments.

And oh, it might not have a deadline, but don’t forget that Usok is open to submissions as well. ^_^

Note: The December deadlines are in bold print… You know, for added urgency ;)

Novelette/Novella Markets:

Anthologies/Special Issues:

  • Retro Spec - Retro Spec is a planned trade paperback anthology of speculative flash fiction, short stories, and poetry about culture, society, and politics from the 1920s to the 1980s. Deadline is December 8, 2009.
  • The Pedestal Magazine: Speculative Fiction Issue - speculative flash fiction. Deadline is December 14 2009.
  • Innsmouth Free Press: Multiethnic Issue - (Not an anthology but a special issue of a regular magazine) scary, funny, exciting and plain-bizarre stories with a Lovecraftian twist. Until December 15, 2009.
  • Horrowire Anthology – Horror short stories. Deadline is December 15, 2009.
  • Crossed Genres: Any Previous Genre Issue – (Not an anthology, but Crossed Genre submissions have themes which change every month, so technically a story you plan to submit to them within a particular genre has a month-long deadline). Deadline is December 31, 2009.
  • The Beast Unleashed (The Beast Within 2) - new takes on “were-” tales. Deadline is December 31, 2009 or until filled.
  • The Four Horsemen: An Anthology of Conquest, War, Famine & Death -  The anthology will be divided into four sections: Conquest, War, Famine/Pestilence, and Death. Most genres, including, but not limited to, supernatural, dark fantasy, horror, suspense, crime, mystery, humor and science fiction, are welcome as long as they fit the theme of one of our four categories (conquest, war, famine/pestilence, death). Please note which category your story fits into when you submit. Deadline is 31 December 2009.
  • War of the Worlds: Frontlines – are stories influenced by War of the Worlds and containing Aliens in some form against Humanity. They don’t have to be the tripod riding, octopus-style Martians from the original novel. In fact, we would prefer seeing what your imagination can come up with. And while the title of the anthology is War of the Worlds: Front Lines, we realize that wars between man and alien could be fought on many fronts, and in many ways. Deadline is 31 December 2009.
  • Timelines: Stories inspired by H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine – stories inspired by The Time Machine. Stories that delicately reach into our past. Stories that boldly stride into the future. And everything in between. Send us your stories of paradoxes and contradictions, show us what happens when we mess with our timelines or create new ones. Deadline is 31 December 2009.
  • The Future Fire: Feminist SF Issue – (Not an anthology but a special issue of a regular magazine) We shall publish dark science fiction and art with a social conscience, a political sensibility, and of the highest quality. New not only means recently composed, previously unpublished, and original. New means: Creative. Inventive. Experimental. Postmodern. Speculative. Meaningful. Progressive. Deadline is 31 December 2009.
  • Trafficking in Magic/Magicking in Traffic - Trafficking in Magic deals with the sale and transport of magical goods and services, including magical beings, artifacts, fortune telling, communing with the dead, and other spells for hire, or the sale of magical energy itself; Magicking in Traffic deals with magic in the flow of traffic–which could be street traffic, commerce, the flow of energies, or something else entirely–whether to aid, block, or manipulate the flow of traffic, or simply to play in it. Deadline is 5 January 2010.
  • Demons of the New Year – horror anthology from Estranghero Press. Deadline is January 15, 2010.
  • Warrior Wisewoman 3 – an annual anthology series of science fiction featuring powerful and remarkable women. Deadline is 15 January 2010.
  • Aether Age – Shared universe alternate history anthology. Deadline is January 30, 2010.
  • Zombie Zoology: A Natural History of Zombies - Stories must include themes revolving around living-dead animals, beasts, creatures, or anything of the sort. We are looking for variety in both animals and the locations in which the story is set. Stories involving local myths, legends and superstitions will be well regarded as will the use of science. Stories can be set in the past or present. Closing date is the 30th January 2010 and replies will go out after this date.
  • While the Morning Stars Sing – An Anthology of Spiritually Infused Speculative Fiction. Deadline is 31 January, 2010.
  • SCHEHERAZADE’S FAÇADE - “History, literature and mythology are replete with stories of those who, for one reason or another, disguise themselves as the opposite gender, or are transformed into that which they are not. Whether it’s for love, ambition, or self-preservation, whether it’s to challenge the status quo or simply to embrace their true nature, whether it’s done willingly or thrust upon them, there will always be those who cross-dress and blur the lines between genders. Deadline is February 28, 2010.
  • Quest for Atlantis – unique short stories that celebrate the legend of The Lost Continent of Atlantis. Most genres, including, but not limited to, fantasy, science fiction, horror, suspense, mystery, romance, humor, etc., are welcome as long as they fit the theme of the anthology (Atlantis). Deadline is February 28, 2010.
  • Rebel Books’ Faerie Stories Anthology – “We are looking to produce an anthology of Faerie Stories for young adults. Your stories must be modern, original stories about or including faeries with an edgy teen focus.” Deadline is February 28, 2010.
  • Night Terrors - Night Terrors will be an open themed anthology of horror. Science fiction and dark fantasy will be considered as long as it has a strong element of horror. Try to avoid classic horror conventions, unless you incorporate a new twist. Remember, evil has no boundaries and neither do we! Nothing is off limits, so take advantage of the freedom. We’ll accept stories in any setting or time period, as long as it’s well written, powerful and original. Most importantly, scare us. We want to be haunted by your story long after we put it down. Gore and sex are acceptable, as long as it serves a purpose. Deadlines is March 13, 2010.
  • The Way of the Wizard – The story should be about a wizard, witch, sorcerer, sorceress, of some kind (basically, any sort of user of magic). Open until March 31, 2010.
  • Jabberwocky 5 – The elements and bedrock of Jabberwocky can be largely described as the -ical approach: lyrical, whimsical, mythical, in all its forms, particularly short fiction, poetry, and illustrative. Reading period will remain open until the collection is full. Response time is 2 weeks


  • SHINE Anthology competition – a guessing/matching competition dealing with the table of contents of the upcoming SHINE Anthology. The competition will run from November 30 until December 15: it will close to entries at December 15 midnight, Dutch time.
  • Spec the Halls – a contest for speculative winter holiday-themed fiction, artwork, and poetry. Entries must be first posted between November 1st and December 18th, the week before Christmas. They must stay online until Groundhog Day (February 2nd) or until the winners are announced (Groundhog Day is the outside deadline that I’m setting myself for the decision). However, it should be noted that submitting earlier (when there’s less competition) will increase a submission’s chances of being a “Featured Submission.”
  • “Why I Write” Essay Contest - sponsored by Editor Unleashed and Smashwords. Post Your Entry: Monday, November 9 – Thursday, December 31; Popular Ranking: Monday, January 4 – Friday, January 29
  • Eighth Annual (2009) SFReader Short Story Contest - “We are interested in works that feature well developed characters along with colorful settings and fast-moving plots. There are no restrictions on sub-genres, though all stories must be firmly within the realm of Speculative Fiction. Our interests include, but are not limited to: Hard Science Fiction, Soft Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Cyberpunk, Slipstream, and Alternate History, just to name a few. The speculative element must be integral to the story.”

[Image source: Spec the Halls ]

Chained Links: 2 December 2009

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 2 - 2009

Let’s start off December with another link roundup of news that might be of interest to readers and writers of Philippine Spec Fic:

Top 10 Scariest Filipino Monsters

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 30 - 2009

Via Charles Tan, there’s a list of Top 10 Scariest Filipino Monsters posted by gabi319 over at Listverse. Not really sure about the creatures being “scary” although I like the fact that the Kumakatok are high up there. I’d probably take out the Kapre and Tikbalang (especially after Dayo :P ) and put in the Mambabarang and the Pugot. A Mananaggal has too many weaknesses in my opinion to ever win top honors in a scare-fest (compare to the Black Court vampires in the Dresden Files).

I do wish that the author was more consistent in giving attribution to the sources/creators of the images used though… But one thing I’m happy to have discovered thanks to the list is  a rendition of a Tikbalang by the awesome Keith Thompson, illustrator of Scott Westerfield’s Leviathan YA novel (which I loved and ought to review soon). He’s even got a little fictionalized, anthropology-style description of the creature to the right of the pic.

[Images in slider sourced from Listverse and attributed to and]

Rochita Loenen-Ruiz Remembers Clarion West

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 27 - 2009


Filipina author and Clarion West alumni Rochita Loenen-Ruiz guest blogs over at Jeff Vandermeer’s Ecstatic Days and she takes the opportunity to look back on her Clarion experience (in a manner that makes me dearly wish we had something like it here). Here’s an excerpt:

An online friend told me that going to Clarion would be a life-changing experience. Five months after,  I am still thinking of what I’ve learned, and I can’t help but agree with her statement.

Perhaps one of the gifts that the Clarion experience bequeaths on those who attend is the ability to understand the role of mentors and comrades better. In those six weeks, my classmates and I were comrades and mentors to each other.

When I look back, I see how the exercise of scrutinizing our work and each other’s works, the act of giving words of encouragement and words of criticism, these were acts and exercises that served to strengthen our camaraderie.  Through the giving and receiving of  healthy criticism, we were able to help each other to move forward beyond the wall that kept our stories from achieving their full potential. This community we belong to is not a very large one, but it’s filled with warm and wonderful people who share generously of their knowledge and their experience.

You can read the rest of her post here. If you’ll note at the end, she mentions an anthology called “Ruin and Resolve” and that’s going to be released by none other than Rocket Kapre Books. More on that at a later date. ^_^

Business World Feature and Usok Review

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 27 - 2009

To those of you who have a copy of today’s (27 November 2009) Business World, you might be surprised to find a familiar piece of awesome SF artwork in the Weekender section… yes, opposite the articles on Susan Boyd and Adam Lambert ^_^:

Johanna Poblete of Business World has a feature on Rocket Kapre and excerpts from an interview with me, as well as her review of Usok 1. For those of you who can’t snag a copy of the paper, you can catch the article and the review at Business World’s site here. The review comes after the feature article. As with any print interview, there was more to the conversation than what made it into the final version, so when Johanna puts the full Q and A up on her site, I’ll let you all know.

While most of the sites/publications mentioned in the article should be familiar to you guys, for any newcomers to the site drawn here by the article (welcome lords and ladies!) here’s a quick rundown:

Philippine Speculative Fiction V Update

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 25 - 2009

The Bibliophile Stalker and Philippine Genre Stories have posted a tentative list of stories for the upcoming Philippine Speculative Fiction V anthology, along with the short list. Over at PGS, Kyu gives an explanation:

I received an email from Kestrel DDM, the publisher of the Philippine Speculative Fiction anthologies. The email contained the following: the tentative Table of Contents for PSFV, as well as the shortlist (which are the stories the editors wish could be printed but can’t take in for lack of space). Some of the shortlisted tales can still make it into the TOC if any of the originally accepted stories has to be pulled out for whatever reason…

And now, here’s the list:

‘A Game of Quam’ by Andrew Drilon
‘A New Hospital’ by Raymond G. Falgui
‘A Yellow Brick Road Valentine’ by Charles Tan
‘Carbon’ by Paolo Gabriel V. Chikiamco
‘Death and Noy’ by Fidelis Angela C. Tan
‘Embedding’ by Aileen Familara
‘Eyes as Wide as the Sky’ by Gabriela Lee
‘Heart in the Flesh’ by Mia Tijam
‘If We Catch Fire’ by Marla Cabanban
‘Just Man’ by Rica Bolipata-Santos
‘Keeper of My Sky’ by Timothy James Dimacali
‘Leg Men’ by Dominique Gerald Cimafranca
‘Monsters’ by Eliza Victoria
‘New Toy’ by Joseph Anthony Montecillo
‘Rogelio Batle and the Curse of the Crimson Court’ by Alexander Osias
‘Sink’ by Isabel Yap
‘Strange Weather’ by Dean Francis Alfar
‘The Autochthonic War’ by Joseph F. Nacino
The Creature’ by Christine V. Lao
‘The Goodlyf’ by Kate Aton-Osias
‘The Left-Behind Girl’ by Veronica Montes
The Sparrows of Climaco Avenue’ by Kenneth Yu
‘There’s a Waterfall in Your Rainbow’ by Ejay Domingo
Three Stories’ by Angelo R. Lacuesta
‘Very Short Fairy Tales’ by Apol Lejano-Massebieau

‘A Novel Escape’ by Celine Roque
‘Bio Notes’ by Monique Francisco
‘Beyond Flight’ by Kristine Draei Dimalanta
‘Carnivale’ by Sarah Catherine Ureta
‘Moving Houses’ by Oscar Bryan Alvarez
‘Robots, Eyeballs, and a Slice of Pizza’ by Raydon L. Reyes
The Beloved Servant’ by Elyss Punsalan
The Void’ by Spencer Simbulan
‘Under a Mound of Earth’ by Celestine Trinidad
‘Upstaged’ by Gerard dela Cruz
Watchmen and Puppetmaster’ by Erica Gonzales
‘Wolf Man’ by John Philip Corpuz

FHM Interviews Budjette Tan

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 20 - 2009

Budjette Tan has an interview up on FHM, which deals with his writing in general, as well as Underpass. You can find it here (somewhat NSFW of course, unless your boss will really believe you were at a Men’s mag site for the articles) or on Budjette’s blog here.


[Picture of Budjette sourced from the abovementioned FHM interview.]

Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award for 2009

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 20 - 2009

The UP Institute of Creative Writing and the Madrigal-Gonzalez family have just announced the nominees for the Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award for 2009, and we’re pleased to see recognition to the first Trese graphic novel (by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo), Murder on Balete Drive…  albeit the announcement/post up on seems to imply that it was not an easy decision (or at the very least whatever committee decided this knew that it might be taking some heat):

This year’s selection mirrors the changing landscape of Philippine literature as it includes the bestselling graphic novel Trese, a collaboration between Tan and Baldisimo—a possibly controversial inclusion among purist circles.


Also up for the award is Spec Fic author (well, more like “Boundaries? What boundaries?” author) Adam David’s “The El Bimbo Variations.” From Adam’s twitter feed, it also appears that this is also the first time a self-published book has been nominated. Changing landscape of Philippine literature indeed…


Congrats to Budjette, Kajo and Adam, as well as all the other nominees. You can see the full list here.



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.