Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Usok #1 Cover and TOC Reveal

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 10 - 2009

Table of Contents:

* The Startbox by Crystal Koo

* The Saint of Elsewhere: A Mystery by chiles samaniego

* Mouths to Speak, Voices to Sing by Kenneth Yu

* The Coming of the Anak-Araw by Celestine Trinidad

* The Child Abandoned by Yvette Tan

~ Coverart by Kevin Lapeña

Psyched yet? I know I am.  See you all tomorrow at 11 for the launch! See issue #1 here!

Galing Pinoy, Basahin! (Lecture Series)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 9 - 2009

Via a post from Kyu over at Philippine Genre Stories, it seems that the National Book Development Board is holding a series of lectures in honor of Book Development Month. Quite a few of the featured speakers are Spec Fic authors so for those interested, here’ s the post:

The National Book Development Board is hosting a series of lectures this month, beginning tomorrow, as part of the 13th Philippine Book Development Month. The November schedule of activities for the series, Galing Pinoy, Basahin!, can now be seen on their website. The lectures will be held at The Filipinas Heritage Library. The details:

How To Read The Next Generation (Poetry)
Featuring: Mesandel Arguelles, Mikael Co, Conchitina Cruz, Joel Toledo; Moderator: Gemino Abad; Nov. 10, 2009

How To Read The Next Generation (Fiction)
Featuring: Dean Alfar, Angelo Lacuesta, Edgar Samar, Tara FT Sering; Moderator: Jose Y. Dalisay; Nov. 11, 2009

How To Read The Next Generation (Non-Fiction)
Featuring: Louie Cano, Vlad Gonzales, Carljoe Javier, Luis Katigbak; Moderator: Tony Hidalgo; Nov. 12, 2009

Reading Nick Joaquin; Nov. 16, 2009

Click on the above links for all the details, and to see how to reserve a place at the lectures. They are free and open to the public. The rest of the schedule for the month can be seen on the NBDB website.

Talecraft Character Building Workshop: A Report

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 9 - 2009

For those of you, like myself, who were unable to attend the recent Character Building Workshop sponsored by Talecraft, author Erica Gonzales (who you might know from her Jumper Cable stories from the Digest of Philippine Genre Stories and Philippine Speculative Fiction IV) has graciously agreed to give us the low down on last Saturday’s event:

The Talecraft Character Workshop was held last November 7, 2009, at Powerbooks Greenbelt from 1-5 pm. Sponsored by Talecraft creator Ria Lu, it was graced by guest speakers Budjette Tan (best known for the “Trese” comic series), and Taga-Ilog (creator of the “Pasig” series in Culture Crash).

Budjette Tan spoke first and gave an example of a great character he admired as a child: Wolverine. The mysterious background and the antihero personality appealed to him, as well as to friends and classmates he met over the years. He discussed character development through various methods: making characters real; making characters do what you dream of doing yourself; and taking cues from conversations and personalities in real life.  Mr. Tan then used personal examples of his own adventures in character development: how Alexandra Trese is an amalgamation of heroes, how the Kambal were unconsciously derived from himself and his brother. [Ed. Note: Which makes me wonder which one Budjette takes after...]

Taga-Ilog also took this route in his own talk. He openly admitted that his routes to character development have not been conservative, but they worked for him nonetheless. He described his method in this way:  Environment, situation, and millieu came to him first, followed by the need for characters in the setting. He then talked about the common, time-tested character archetypes, giving examples from his childhood (which fortunately were also part of the childhood of many in the audience, who knew his references to Sailor Moon, Avatar, He-Man, and YuYu Hakusho / Ghost Fighter). He also gave examples of how element types can be used as a start for characterizations, and how twists in the archetypes can be utilized.
For this writer, at least, the examples were a great treat. Characterization comes from various inspirations and influences, and rarely in an organized manner. It was a wonderful thing being assured by those examples, that it’s perfectly alright to go about the process in your own way. It is a matter of knowing what to look for in a character, and using it when the right character comes.

Riu Lu gave the more nuts-and-bolts character development factors (physical features, base archetype, motives, etc.) and cited common mistakes in character-making, through a workshop. The participants were grouped together and given a set of Talecraft archetype cards and character
profile sheets. Using other methods or the provided card, participants are told to create characters that will form a team. Each group throws ideas and concepts, helping each member with their characters, making for interesting conversation and even more interesting characters.

It was a simple and informal workshop, yet meaningful and well-organized. It was a great way to spend an afternoon, meeting new creators and learning from more seasoned ones. I have hope that at least some of those wacky characters will find homes in stories and comics.

Many thanks to Erica for the guest post, and to Talecraft for what was apparently a very useful (and timely, what with NaNoWriMo) workshop.

Talecraft Character Building Workshop

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 7 - 2009

Just saw this now, but for anyone in the Greenbelt area later this after this afternoon, there’s a Talecraft Character Building Workshop today with Budjette Tan (Trese) and Taga-Ilog (Pasig).

Komix 7107: Issue 1

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 6 - 2009

Komiks creators Budjette Tan, Kajo Baldisimo (Trese), Ian Sta Maria, Mervin Ignacio (Skyworld), and Paolo Fabregas (Filipino Heroes League) have put up a new blog called Komix 7107, a site where they will be posting their creations (samples, old projects, and new experiments) for free online. Three works are currently up in their first online anthology:

The complete first issue of SKYWORLD.


The complete story of THE LAST DATU, a project that Budjette and Kajo worked on before Trese

I’m glad to see komiks creators using (or continuing to use, as with the Trese gang) the web to gain greater exposure for their work. It’s also good to see the Last Datu more widely available. Best of luck to the creators and here’s hoping we can see more of their work online in the days to come.

Scholastic Warehouse Sale

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 6 - 2009

Scholastic (publisher of Harry Potter, and the Hunger Games, amongst others) is having a warehouse sale at its Pasig warehouse until this Sunday. I’ve been to their warehouse sales before–the place itself can be tricky to find, but they do have a lot of quality books for bargain basement prices: educational books for kids and a lot of quality YA.

Here’s the full poster with details:


Six Days to USOK

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 5 - 2009

EDIT: You can find Usok #1 here. Enjoy!

A lot can happen in six days—just take a look at Genesis (no, the rest day doesn’t count… as they say in Labor Law, ‘no work, no pay’).

Genesis is a particularly apt example, given what is set to take place  six days from now, on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 (at 11:00 a.m. Manila Time).  While I may not quite be able to mold life from clay (or women from pieces of calcium, much to my chagrin), in six days I will be able to present you with the very first issue of USOK, Rocket Kapre’s new quarterly webzine dedicated to bringing you a regular dose of quality short form Speculative Fiction.


In case you need help remembering that, let me break it down into simple numbers:

Six days from now…

Five short stories…

Two Quality Reprints…

Three All-New Tales…

Zero cost…

One Date, November 11…

Four letters: U S O K

See you then everyone!

Expanded Horizons: Issue 13

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 4 - 2009


Expanded Horizons, an SF webzine dedicated to increasing diversity in the field of speculative fiction–both in the authors who contribute and in the perspectives presented–has recently launched their 13th issue, featuring (alongside three other tales) stories Filipino authors: “I Am the City” from Eliza Victoria and “Twin Cities” by Catherine Batac Walder.

Here are samples from each story. If you like the stories, be sure to let the authors know what you think:

I Am the City by Eliza Victoria

In the city was a man who rode the train every day. There was nothing remarkable in this — everyone rode the train, maybe not every day but at least five days a week, workdays, office employees congesting the air-conditioned coaches with their wet hair and unlined eyes, shirts untucked, ties hidden somewhere in the linings of their laptop bags, stockinged feet cushioned by flip-flops because heels could kill you.

Twin Cities by Catherine Batac Walder

One of my city’s twins in the list was Scuro, in Wok.

I was sitting in Trafiko for a quarter of an hour, trying to occupy myself with the advertisements, when this poster listing twin cities caught my eye.  Twin towns or cities are pairs to promote human and cultural relations among the places.  While the other names sounded familiar, Scuro was clearly amusing.

Demons of the New Year: Call for Submissions

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 1 - 2009

Joey Nacino of Estranghero Press has announced a new anthology “Demons of the New Year: Horror from the Philippines“. This is Estranghero Press’s second anthology following “The Farthest Shore” and this time Joey will be joined by horror-meister Karl “M.F.” de Mesa, of Damaged People: Tales of the Gothic-Punk and the upcoming News from Shaman. You can find the rest of the submissions guidelines here, but here’s an executive summary:

Theme: Horror with demons – “This collection of stories will be an anthology about demons– but don’t let that stop you from coming up with a really good idea about what constitutes your ‘Demons of the New Year.’ Like I said in an earlier post, don’t let a particular idea stop you from writing a good story”

Deadline: January 15, 2010.

(Slider image by Gazzmundo found here, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Trese: The Devil’s Playground

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 31 - 2009


I can think of few better ways to celebrate Halloween than kicking back with a new Trese story–and that’s just what co-creator Budjette Tan has to offer us today, assisted by the photographs of Melvin Arciaga. Trese: The Devil’s Playground is a four page photocomic (fumetti) featuring, amongst other things, Trese’s youngest fan (or, well, the Kambal’s youngest fan as Budjette puts it).

Enjoy the comic and stay dry everyone!



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.