Archive for the ‘Slider’ Category

What is #RP612Fic (2016 edition)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 5 - 2016

In one week, this coming Sunday, we celebrate the Independence Day of the Philippines. By celebrate, of course, it’s time once again for #RP612Fic. Those of you who have participated before know the drill, but I’ve updated the primer a little this year, so both old hands and mystified newbies may want to read on.

What is #RP612fic?It’s Filipino creators coming together on Twitter to celebrate Philippine Independence Day vial alternative history, creating tweet-length stories, or attaching images or .GIFs (or any media really) and sending them out into the wild with the #RP612fic hashtag. (I used to explain what a hashtag is here, but it’s 2016 guys.)

How do I join with art? Just send the pics out on social media with the hashtag #RP612Fic. Here are some examples from Studio Salimbal.

When did it begin? In 2009, and we’ve been doing it annually ever since.

Who started it? That’d be me, Paolo Chikiamco, of Rocket Kapre and Studio Salimbal.

So you control it? Uhm. No. You can’t control how a hashtag is used on Twitter. And especially not when it has hundreds of thousands of Tweets. Did you know that for a while we were the #1 Twitter Trend in the entire world (not just the Philippines) in 2014?

So what’s your role? Aside from founding the event, and archiving the (early) content, I basically remind people when it’s almost that time of the year, and occasionally explain to people that, no, Rizal didn’t actually come back from the dead to become part of a meme.

What do memes have to do with alternate history? One of the most popular ways of re-imagining historical figures/events is by mixing them up with contemporary pop culture, and memes are a part of contemporary pop culture.

Isn’t that disrespectful to our national heroes? I hardly think they mind. In fact, I’d assume most would be happy to have a society where this kind of silly remembrances are allowed. Many of our national heroes were revolutionaries, which means they didn’t place much stock in sacred cows — I don’t think they should be turned into those themselves.

Will this bother some people? Sure, but no one is required to participate, and there are ways to mute a hashtag on Twitter (Google is your friend).

At the end of the day, #RP612Fic is a way some of us choose to celebrate June 12, in a manner that actually has some relation to history (rather than, I don’t know, having a shoe sale). Personally, I love the tweets/stories/images that are closer to what most people would recognize as alternate history — I love, for example, learning about heroes and events that I otherwise wouldn’t have, because people used them in an #RP612Fic story — but the hashtag has a life of its own, and as long as people are having good natured fun with it, I’m happy.

That being said, there are a few best practices that should be emphasized.

Best practices? Glad you asked! As I said, there is no way for me to control what people use the hashtag for, or how they use it. I can’t police the damn thing, but as its founder what I can tell you what kinds of acts aren’t part of the spirit of #RP612Fic — most of these are bad form anyway, and should be common sense, but here we go:

* Credit Creators / Don’t Plagiarize: There are easy ways to share a tweet or image in a way that acknowledges the original creator. Don’t rip off other people because you want to be popular for the fifteen minutes it takes for the Internet to realize what you did. Like I said, it’s easy to find the original creators, which means it’s very easy to prove that you’re a plagiarist, which is a label that kind of sticks. Pro Tip: If you want to be popular, don’t make yourself a pariah.

* Don’t Harass: You want to do slash fic for #RP612Fic — go for it! Don’t put your ultra-religious next door neighbor in it because his dog shit on your door mat (again). Of course if your next door neighbor is a public figure and you’re making a point about his stance on LGBT rights, then that’s likely the kind of satire a public figure has to deal with, but not Juan from next door… even if he has a literally shitty dog.

* All in Good Fun: This is an election year, and that can bring out the worst in people. Sometimes this is righteous anger and justified, and #RP612Fic could be just the escape valve you need… but at the end of the day, I created #RP612Fic to be a celebration, so do it because you find it fun — not just for you, but for Filipinos who may have very different beliefs from yours. If you’re going to participate, you need to be willing to see those ideas / fics / people on your timeline — and if you don’t want that, then opt out. God knows there are many other ways that you can celebrate independence — taking care of your own well-being is more important than participating in #RP612Fic, no matter how cool it is.

So when does #RP612Fic begin this year? People use the hashtag year round nowadays, but the bulk of the tweets traditionally come from 6PM on June 11, to 6AM of June 13.

Can I interview you about #RP612Fic for — Not this year! But feel free to use anything you find in this primer.


Call for Stories: SUBMIT to Philippine Speculative Fiction 11

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 11 - 2016


Editors Kate Osias and Elyss Punsalan invite you to submit short fiction for consideration for Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 11.

PSF is a yearly anthology series, showcasing stories that define, explore, and sometimes blur the boundaries of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and all things in between. The anthology has been shortlisted for the National Book Award, and multiple stories from each volume have been cited in roundups of the year’s best speculative fiction across the globe.
First-time authors are more than welcome to submit; good stories trump literary credentials.
Submissions must be:
1. speculative fiction – i.e., they must contain strong elements and/or sensibilities of science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, alternate history, folklore, superheroes, and/or related ‘nonrealist’ genres and subgenres
2. written in English
3. authored by persons of Philippine ethnicity and/or nationality
Submissions are preferred to be:
1. original and unpublished
2. no shorter than 1,000 words and no longer than 7,500
3. written for an adult audience
These preferences can be easily overturned by exceptionally well-written pieces. For previously-published work – if accepted, the author will be expected to secure permission to reprint, if necessary, from the original publishing entity, and to provide relevant publication information.
Submission details:
1. All submissions should be sent as MSWord files, and emailed to
2. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m., October 10, 2016. We typically answer email within a week – if we haven’t confirmed that we’ve received your story by then, do email again. Letters of acceptance or regret will be sent out no later than one month after the deadline.
3. No multiple or simultaneous submissions—i.e., submit only one story, and do not submit that story to any other publishing market until you’ve received a letter of regret from us.
Editors’ notes:
1. Please don’t forget to indicate your real name in the submission email! If you want to write under a pseudonym, that’s fine, but initially, we need to know who we’re talking to.
2. If you’d like to write a cover letter with your bio and publishing history, feel free to introduce yourself – but not your story. If it needs explanation, it’s probably not ready for publication.
3. We advise authors to avoid fancy formatting – this will just be a waste of your time and ours, since we will, eventually, standardize fonts and everything else to fit our established house style.
Writers of selected stories will receive a Php500 author’s fee, and a digital copy of the book.
Please help spread the word! Copy this and paste it anywhere that happens to be legal. :)
Kate Osias and Elyss Punsalan, co-editors

Book Launch: Philippine Speculative Fiction X

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 14 - 2016

The tenth edition of the annual anthology is already released (digitally):

Everyone is also invited to the official book launch:

Come join us at the Philippine Speculative Fiction X book launch!

We’re celebrating the tenth volume of this trailblazing annual anthology on Saturday, May 7, at 2 p.m. at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf*, Shangri-La Plaza Mall.

In the decade-plus that we’ve been doing this, it seems Pinoy spec fic writers have gotten around ten times better than we all used to be! Seriously, we were amazed at the sheer excellence of submissions we received, resulting in one hell of a good book.

See for yourself! Help us applaud (and affectionately embarrass) our authors, and enjoy merienda, handmade origami, and other tiny treats, at what’s been called the most “sobrang sayang book launch ever, ever!”

Fair warning: you may be asked to speak, play a game, impersonate someone, dance, or do a rap battle. Okay, only long-time PSF writers will be asked to rap battle.

See you there!

Dean Francis Alfar & Nikki Alfar

*It’s the CBTL facing the main mall driveway, not the bistro in the new wing.


Support Southeast Asian Steampunk: The SEA is Ours Crowdfunding Campaign

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 24 - 2015

It’s no secret that the need for representation in genre fiction is one of the reasons that I write, and I’m very proud (alongside  Kate Osias and TJ Dimacali among others) to be a part of a Southeast Asian steampunk anthology: The SEA is Ours. The editors/publisher are crowdsourcing funds to help pay writers and artists and possibly fund a teacher’s edition and future installments, so if this resonates with you, any assistance would be appreciated, from donations to spreading the word.

My story is “Between Severed Souls” which is a sequel to “On Wooden Wings” (from PSF6/Steampunk III) and will have an illustration by none other than Borg Sinaban (Mythspace: Unfurling of Wings). You can also get digital copies of (the original) “Alternative Alamat” as one of the perks, if you don’t already have it, or buy a cameo in a Dean Alfar story!

Call for Submissions: People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 5 - 2015

The “[Blank] Destroy [Blank] special issues of Lightspeed/Nightmare/Fantasy Magazines create spaces for diversity within speculative fiction through Kickstarter-funded special issues that focus on a particular community. Next up is something that writers and readers of Filipino speculative fiction should take note of — a special issue for People of Colo(u)r, a somewhat loaded term that is defined in the Call for Submissions below. I used to do some slush reading for Lightspeed, and it’s a great magazine, and the editors for this particular issue – Nalo Hopkinson and Kristine Ong Muslim (who is Filipino) — are awesome and highly capable. I highly encourage Filipino writers to submit to the anthology, and I encourage everyone who loves diverse genre fiction to support the Kickstarter when it launches. 

You can read the call below, or head to the official site.



As with the other Destroy special issues, Lightspeed will be running a Kickstarter campaign for People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction! It will run January 15 – February 15, 2016. Again, as before, if we meet certain stretch goals, we’ll unlock the publication of Destroy Fantasy! and Destroy Horror! volumes as well.


According to, roughly 70% of the people on this planet are non-white. Lumping the majority of the world’s human population under the minority term “people of colour” is, frankly, dodgy. Author Vajra Chandrasekera calls it “plain old regular essentialism” (Chandrasekera’s discussion of essentialism, strategic and otherwise, is here). “People of colour” is a complicated but sometimes useful term that has most currency in North America, where it can be understood to mean, more or less, “People who experience systemic oppression, in their home countries or elsewhere, by virtue of all or part of their apparent racial and/or ethnic genetic heritages.”

Yes, words are complicated. That’s what’s delightful about them. We can deal with complication. Science fiction — in itself a term that should be frequently re-examined — is an excellent artistic tool for dismantling essentialist thinking.

For the purposes of this special edition of Lightspeed Magazine, the Guest Editors — Kristine Ong Muslim and Nalo Hopkinson — consider the terms “people of colour” and “science fiction” themselves to be conditional, contextual, provocative, strategic, and ripe for dismantling. Please understand our use of those two terms in this call for submissions in that spirit.

We’re looking for previously unpublished science fiction short stories of up to 10,000 words, reflective of the issue’s theme, written by writers of colour. Note that there’s a POC Destroy Fantasy issue planned, so the editors of the science fiction issue are going to make some judgement calls about whether a story is science fiction (for some values of “science fiction”). Note also that we will not be asking writers who submit stories to tell us what makes them “people of colour.” We leave that up to your world experience, your conscience, your sense of community, and your sense of fair play.

Our submission period for this special issue will be Oct. 1, 2015 – Feb. 16, 2016. Submissions will be made via our submissions system.

As with the special “Destroy” issues of Lightspeed Magazine that have preceded it, the POC Destroy Science Fiction! issue will be contentious. That is, after all, part of its aim. Not the unconsidered splattershot of “equal opportunity” offensiveness — whatever the hell that is when not everyone has the same opportunities — but, we hope, one venue for the continuing and wonderfully productive discussions of access that are currently happening in this community.


Nalo Hopkinson

Nalo HopkinsonNalo Hopkinson is a Jamaican-born Canadian whose taproots extend to Trinidad and Guyana. She has published numerous novels and short stories, and has edited and co-edited anthologies, including Whispers From the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction, and Mojo: Conjure Stories. Her writing has received the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the Locus Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, and the Andre Norton Award. Hopkinson is a professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. She has taught at both the Clarion Writers’ Workshop and the Clarion West Writers’ Workshop. Hopkinson’s short story collection Falling in Love With Hominids was published in 2015 by Tachyon Books. Learn more at nalohopkinsoncom.

Kristine Ong Muslim

Kristine Ong MuslimKristine Ong Muslim is the author of We Bury the Landscape (Queen’s Ferry Press, 2012), Grim Series (Popcorn Press, 2012), and A Roomful of Machines (ELJ Publications, 2015). Her forthcoming books include the short story collection Age of Blight (Unnamed Press, 2016) and two poetry collections from university presses in the Philippines. Her stories appeared in One Buck Horror, Confrontation Magazine, The State, and elsewhere. She lives in southern Philippines and serves as poetry editor of LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction, a literary journal published by Epigram Books in Singapore. Learn more at

#?BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy? Campaign

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 4 - 2015


In parallel to August being Buwan ng Wika, Egay Calabia Samar – author of the Janus Silang YA series — has decided to celebrate the month as  ?#?BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy and has invited others to join in on social media. Every day, readers are posting images of Filipino-authored books (whether written in Filipino or not) on Twitter and Facebook, and you can find them by searching the hashtag. If you’re a fan of Filipino authors or books, feel free to join in!

Table of Contents: Philippine Speculative Fiction X

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 29 - 2015

With the acceptance and rejection letters all sent out, co-editor Dean Alfar has announced the contents of volume 10 of the annual Philippine Speculative Fiction anthology (via his Facebook):

Philippine Speculative Fiction X
edited by Dean Francis Alfar & Nikki Alfar
Table of Contents

A Long Walk Home – Alexander M. Osias
A Report – Sarge Lacuesta
A Small Hope – Gabriela Lee
For Sale: Big Ass Sword – Kenneth G. Yu
Children of the Stars – Francis Gabriel Concepcion
Fisher of Men – Razel Tomacder
Hunger – Lakan Umali
IT Girl – AJ Elicaño
Lamat – Noel Tio
Marvin and the Jinni – Raymund Reyes
Mechanical Failures – Jose Elvin Bueno
Mene, Thecel, Phares – Victor Fernando R. Ocampo
Night Predators – Joseph Montecillo
Oblation – Richard Cornelio
Santos de Sampaguita – Alyssa Wong
Soulless – EK Gonzales
The Dollmaker – Joel Pablo Salud
The Last God of Cavite – Andrew Drilon
The Owl and the Hoopoe – Renz Torres
The Run to Grand Maharlika Station – Vincent Michael Simbulan
The Target – Eliza Victoria
Thunderstorm – Cyan Abad-Jugo
When the Gods Left – Kate Osias

Congratulations to all the contributors! PSF10 will be available later this year.

3 Calls for Submissions: Heat Trash Flesh

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 24 - 2015

Call for Entries

3 Anthologies of Southeast Asian Urban Writing:




Deadline for Entries: 31 August 2015.

Editors: Dean Francis Alfar, Khairani Barokka, Marc de Faoite, Cassandra Khaw, Ng Yi-Sheng & Angeline Woon

- Fiction or Creative Nonfiction

- 2000 to 5000 words

- Writers can be from anywhere, but each story must be set somewhere in urban Southeast Asia.

- You must specify which of the 3 anthologies you are submitting for: HEAT or FLESH or TRASH.

- We take non-exclusive print & ebook rights.

- Previously published stuff is fine (as long as you own the right to submit it). Multiple entries are fine. Stuff translated into English is fine.

- Stories that incorporate drawings or photography are fine but images must be b & w and of print resolution.

- Each accepted entry gets US$100 and the creator retains copyright.

- Email your entry to   as a Word attachment, together with your name and your bio of not more than 50 words.

- Only accepted writers will be emailed by the end of 2015.

- All 3 anthologies will launch in April 2016 at the London Book Fair (which we know is not in Southeast Asia).

* This project has nothing to do with the Andy Warhol movies which had those titles. We just like them. How you interpret the titles is up to you.  For example TRASH can be a photo-essay about a garbage collector in Manila or a satirical comedy about trashy socialites in Jakarta or a dystopian parable about androids made out of Bangkok waste.

Fixi Novo is an imprint of Buku Fixi, a Malaysian publisher of pulp fiction. In 2014 it won the Bookseller International Adult Trade Publisher award at the London Book Fair.

Questions? Email us at with the title QUESTION(S)

It’s the first of June, which means that in less than two weeks, on June 12, we celebrate Independence Day here in the Philippines. It is an occasion which I, and a growing number of Filipino writers and artists, like to commemorate with a little something we call #RP612fic.

For anyone late 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 sometimes we participate in other events, such as a Blog Action Day. For any compilation or selection post I do, I’ll be looking for stories sent from 6PM on June 11, to 6AM of June 13.
  • 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 out myself.
  • Artists are also free to participate. Just tell your stories with a single picture instead of a single tweet, and send it out on Twitter, or to my email account, with or without text (but if you put text, keep it to the Twitter limit, which includes the link to your image, if possible.) If you decide to illustrate one of the old RP612fic stories, from my previous compilations, please indicate the username of the original author, as found in the list.

I’ve pretty much given up on coming up with a comprehensive archive of #RP612fic tweets — to give you an idea of how big the celebration has become, here’s a reminder that we were the #1 hashtag in the world for a time last year — but will of course retweet any that catch my eye, from my personal twitter account (@anitero) or the rocketkapre account (@rocketkapre).

I don’t think we can get any bigger this year — though I’ve been wrong before — but I would like to see more #RP612fic illustrations this year. If you’re in a doodling mood during the next week or so, and want to try to get some new eyes on your art, you could do worse than envisioning an alternate Philippines and uploading your art with #RP612fic on June 12. We usually get local news sites compiling choice tweets and artwork with the hashtag, so it could be a good opportunity. I’ll also try to compile artwork with the hashtag. If you’d like to see how artists have contributed before, here’s a gallery of Studio Salimbal artwork from last year.

Recordings from the UP Myth and Writing Roundtable

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 22 - 2015

Last March 19, 2015, the University of the Philippines Press 00 in honor of their 50th anniversary and in honor of the late Dr. Damiana L. Eugenio — had a roundtable on “Myth and Writing.” I attended the event, and for the sake of those who were unable to do so — there was a lot of interest, but it was a weekday — I’ve uploaded my recordings from the event. Not all the recordings are of great quality, but hey, better than nothing right?

To give you an idea of what to expect, it wasn’t a roundtable in the sense of a facilitated discussion with a series of questions being posed to the panel. From what I gather, the panelists seem to have been asked to read/present an excerpt from their work, then talk generally about their writing in relation to myth, followed by a general Q + A. Not all panelists adhered to that structure, mind you, which was good — I personally found Nikki Alfar’s portion to be the meatiest, even if it was the shortest. Panelsists spoke in a mixture of English and Filipino, although except for one it was mostly English. Also, Budjette Tan was unfortunately not in attendance.




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.