Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Angry Robot Twitter Contest

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 18 - 2009

Angry Robot Books collected its 500th follower on twitter a few minutes ago, so it’s running a contest:

The Competition
Write a single-tweet short story about a robot – any robot – and Tweet it. The tweet must include @angryrobotbooks so we can see it.

So we can include all our international buddies, the competition will run for 24 hours, after which, a winner will be chosen.

The winner will win… stuff. But, you know – good stuff. A copy of our first 6 books plus a bunch of other really cool things.

The winning tweet will be RT’d and posted here, too (as well as a selection of other good ones).

I saw the tweet announcement at 8:49 p.m. Manila time, so that means it ends on 18 September 2009 at 8:49 p.m. Good luck everyone!

Lavie Tidhar Talks About ‘World SF’

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 17 - 2009

Over at SF Signal, Lavie Tidhar–Speculative Fiction author, editor of the Apex Book of World SF (and the one who maintains its companion blog) has an interview where he talks about the Apex Book of World SF and non-Anglophone Speculative Fiction. Here’s an excerpt:

SFS: Why was it important to bring fiction from other countries, even languages into one collection?

LT: To be honest, I’m not sure it’s the right approach! Ashok Banker had a blog post a while back where he argued against this sort of – segregation, I guess would be the word – of writers. If I remember rightly he was talking about the Weird Tales international issue. And I think he’s right! In an ideal world, there won’t be a need for something like this. But of course, we don’t live in an ideal world.

Initially I wanted to do an anthology that would only reprint stories from international writers which had already appeared in the English magazines and so on, and that means either people like Aliette de Bodard or Jetse de Vries – who choose to write in English as a way of reaching a wider audience – or finding those few writers who do get translated, like Zoran Živkovic’ or Mélanie Fazi. But once I’d started, I had the opportunity to include some other material, and of course I took it!

So, for instance, we have two stories from China, because I kept in touch with the people I know there, and I was able to get stories from Han Song and Yang Ping, who are prominent SF writers in China. Or like Tunku Halim, who is a prolific Malaysian horror writer, and he writes in English, but his books are published in Malaysia and therefore are not known to the wider English-reading audience. But I knew of his books, and I was very happy when he gave me a story.

Which I’m not sure answers the question. I’m constantly fascinated with what’s published in other places, and how it might reflect different societies, different approaches to genre, so to me a collection like this seemed natural. Is it important? I think, for the genre to remains vital, yes, it is important. There are some very talented writers out there we never get a chance to read, and to have this kind of dialogue is to open up possibilities. Isn’t SF all about possibilities?

You can check out the rest of the interview here.

Manila Int’l Bookfair Schedule

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 14 - 2009

EDIT: Note that the Book Fair schedule has had some changes since this was posted–the latest can be found at the Book Fair site.

Hey there book lovers, it’s that time of the year again… You know the one, where you feel your hearts lighten with delight–while your wallets bleed money.

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Yes, it’s the Manila International Bookfair starts this week, this Wednesday to be exact. While we’ve already mentioned the Hunger Games LARP, Bookmarked! has posted a full schedule of events. You know that an event will be educational when you can learn things just by reading it’s schedule:

  • Goodwill has a website.
  • “Cocktails for English Proficiency”–must be an awesome way to learn the language.
  • There is such a thing as a “Temporary Hairspray Demonstration Contest.”

As for me, I’ll probably try to catch the Hunger Games LARP and attend the Fandoms and Literature discussion on Sunday. Too bad I won’t be able to attend Bookselling 101 or the Star Wars Costume Making panel. What about the rest of you?

Sagip Children’s Story Competition

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 12 - 2009

Sagip Call for Entries

The Outlooke Pointe Foundation, together with the PTC-CSJ Foundation, is launching theSAGIP Children’s Storybook Writing Contest. What they are looking for is a 500-750 word kids’ story, on the theme “SAVING OUR SEAS”. Just the words, not the drawings–the winning entry will be illustrated by one of their in-house artist-advocates. Just type it up in a .doc file (Surname.Firstname.doc) and shoot it (along with the application form) over to info@opf.org

The winning book will be published and donated to the various public schools around the Philippines, to enhance their English Literacy Program, and will also be sold exclusively at POWERBOOKS. So do it for the children eh? And if you need more incentive: how does a grand prize of PHP40,000 sound? Well, let’s say a rate of around PHP55 per word isn’t shabby at all.

Deadline for submissions is November 30, 2009. They say that they’ll announce the winners the first week of December. Heh. Good luck with that.

More details can be found at the contest announcement here. Thanks to Dominique for the tip!

Hunger Games LARP at the Book Fair

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 10 - 2009

I’ve received word from the New Worlds Alliance that they are looking for interested participants for a LARP (Live-Action Role Playing Game) based on Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games novel. NWA is looking for 12 Teams composed of 1 boy and 1 girl aged 13 years old and above, who are fans of Suzanne Collins’ books or young adult literature in general, and who believe that they have what it takes to win the NWA’s version of the Tournament from the Hunger Games novel, which will take place at the 2009 Manila International Book Fair, September 20, 1:00pm, at the SMX (SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City). The LARP is also a contest, with the winning pair netting some cool prizes from Scholastic, Inc. (Philippines), and National Book Store.

The idea of using a LARP contest to promote a book sounds like a lot of fun (too bad I don’t qualify as “teen-looking”), and judging by the rules, the organizers seem to be taking pains to ensure the LARP is anchored firmly in the novel (having 12 teams of “Tributes” representing the 12 Districts of Panem) which speaks of a love of the source material that bodes well for fans. Even for non-participants, it seems like an event that will prove to be entertaining viewing, and I fully intend to drop by between Bookfair sorties.

Haven’t read the Hunger Games myself, but it is high on my list, as I have it on good authority that it will rock my world. The second book, “Catching Fire” was just released a few days ago, so now might be a good time to grab a copy of this excellent new series.

Interested parties can head over to NWA for details.

Pinoy Story Writing Contest: Call for Entries

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 9 - 2009

The National Book Development Board (an organization that is perhaps more familiar to book lovers due to the Great Book Blockade) has announced a contest for novel-length works or an anthology of short stories. The deadline is on October 5 at 5:00 p.m. though, so that’s a bit… tight if you don’t happen to have an unpublished novel or ample unpublished short stories lying around. The October deadline also means you can’t count on using your NaNoWriMo entries.

Regardless of the short time frame, it’s always great to have a new excuse to write, and a government-sponsored one at that. The NBDB is looking for four categories:

  1. Tagalog/Filipino Romance;
  2. Horror/Crime or Suspense (I presume in either English or Filipino);
  3. Chick Lit in English;
  4. A collection of short stories or a novel in English, Filipino or any of the regional languages provided a translation in English or Filipino is provided.

Not sure if stories with Speculative elements qualify in 1- 3 1 and 3, but it should certainly fit in category 2 and 4. (And hey, you do know there’s a new publisher on the look out for Spec Fic works right? *nudge nudge* *wink wink*) You can find the rules here and the entry form here. Please note the following key points though:

  • The prize is PHP15,000.00 and maybe publication at the discretion of the publisher/judges. Winning therefore does not automatically mean your work will be published. On the other hand, it also means you don’t have to agree to any publishing offer made.
  • Under the rules you need to submit both a physical copy and a digital copy. The digital copy can be in a CD or sent by email.

Thanks to Dominique for the info!

Komikon Awards 2009: Nominees and Voting

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 8 - 2009

The Komikon (non-summer edition), which will take place in October 2009, has recently released its list of nominees for this year’s Komikon Awards.

The voting period will be from August 10 to September 20, 2009. While some online voting mechanism is planned, physical voting ballots will be available in the following stores:

  • Comic Odyssey (a) Robinson’s Place, Level 3 Ermita,Manila; (b) Robinson’s Galleria, Level 3 Expansion Mall,Edsa cor. Ortigas
  • Comic Quest (a) Lower Ground Floor Bldg. A, SM Megamall; (b)2nd Floor Main Bldg., SM City North Edsa

Congrats to all the nominees! The list of nominees is a bit long, so you can find it after the cut. Good luck with the Comic Aid award guys… Lots of deserving folk there.

Note: the lists and relevant links can be found here and here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Locus Reviews PSFIV and A Time for Dragons

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 4 - 2009

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The July 2009 issue of Locus, the U.S. magazine of the science fiction and fantasy field, carried a pleasant surprise for fans of Philippine speculative fiction: a review of not one, but two local anthologies, namely “Philippine Speculative Fiction IV” and “A Time for Dragons” by Rich Horton.

The two reviews are not available online, but with the help of relatives I was able to order a copy (which became a less arduous  task when I called off the bookstore hunt after I learned that Locus wasn’t being sold in brick-and-mortar stores @_@). I just got my hands on it this weekend and thought I’d share some of the contents of the review, given the fact that an issue of Locus can be a tad difficult to chase down.

In his dual review, Mr. Horton stated that “[i]n feel these two books are entirely consistent with similar products from the American and English small press” and the fact that many stories are set in the Philippines makes these stories “just unfamiliar enough to most readers to pique additional interest.”

Mr. Horton went on to name a few of his favorites from each anthology, which I’ll list here along with any comment he might have had that didn’t involve a summary of the story. Note that some of the praise he had for these stories was tempered by less positive comments, usually having to do with predictability, but since he did cite them as the best stories, I’m probably safe in assuming that the good he saw in each outweighed the bad.

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