Archive for the ‘Slider’ Category

Call for Submissions: Philippine Speculative Fiction X (Volume 10)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 7 - 2015

It’s the most… wonderful time… of the year — if you’re a Filipino spec fic writer that is! Have at it you guys!

Call for Submissions: ‘Philippine Speculative Fiction 10′ – your atTENtion, please!

‘Philippine Speculative Fiction’ is turning ten this 2015! Yes, it’s been X years of eXtolling, eXploring, and eXpanding what Filipino writers have done, are doing, and can do in the realms of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and all things betwiXt, between, and beyond.

Editors Dean Francis and Nikki Alfar would love for you to be a part of this year’s landmark volume of this trailblazing annual anthology, which has repeatedly been shortlisted for the National Book Award, and multiple stories from which have frequently 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 any time.

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 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 original and unpublished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
In all cases, these preferences can be easily overturned by exceptionally well-written pieces. In the case of 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. No multiple or simultaneous submissions—i.e., submit only one story, and do not submit that story to any other publishing market until you have received a letter of regret from us. But we don’t mind if you submit to contests.
2. All submissions should be in Rich Text Format (saved under file extension ‘.rtf’), and emailed to philippinespecfic@gmail.com, with the subject line ‘PSF 10 submission’.
3. The deadline for submissions is June 15, 2015. Letters of acceptance or regret will be sent out no later than one month after the deadline.

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 this can be discussed upon story acceptance. Initially, we just need to know who we’re talking to.
2. If you’d like to write a cover letter with your brief bio and publishing history (if applicable), do feel free to introduce yourself—but not your story, please. If it needs to be explained, it’s probably not ready to be published.
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.

Authors of selected stories will receive PhP500 compensation, as well as digital copies of the book.

Please help spread the word! Feel free to copy this and paste it anywhere you see fit that happens to be legal.

Thanks,
Dean Francis and Nikki Alfar, co-editors

Philippine Speculative Fiction 9 Launch

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 29 - 2014

The latest volume of the annual Philippine Speculative Fiction anthology, already available digitally, will be having a launch event on November 22, Saturday, from 2-4pm at the CBTL at Shangri-La Plaza. PSF launches are always fun, so do try to pass by!

Philippine Speculative Fiction 9: Now Available

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 9 - 2014



Co-editor Andrew Drilon brings word that the flagship book of local spec fic, still going strong. Congrats to Andrew Drilon and Charles Tan, Dean Francis Alfar and Nikki Alfar, and all the contributors! Lots of new names here, always a good thing:


A young tikbalang auditions at the country’s largest TV station; a priest travels the universe to officiate sacraments in outer space; a murdered girl returns unscathed to the home of her perpetrators. The Philippine Speculative Fiction series showcases the rich variety of Philippine literature. Between these covers you will find magic realism next to science fiction, traditional fantasy beside slipstream, and imaginary worlds rubbing shoulders with alternate Philippine history—demonstrating that the literature of the fantastic is alive and well in the Philippines.

Stories from this series have been included in the Honorable Mentions list from The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror edited by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link, and Gavin Grant.

I’ll update this post as more links become available, but you can already pick up your copy at the following places:

Massive thanks to David Ong and the rest of Flipside Publishing for helping us put the book together!

Charles and I are so proud of the quality of the stories in this volume, and we’re very excited for people to finally read it. We are planning a book launch to get all the amazing authors in together in one place, so stay tuned for details on that.

In the meantime, please enjoy the book! We hope that it thrills, frightens, amuses, saddens, endears and entertains you!

Alternative Alamat: Expanded Print Edition, Launches on July 25

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 10 - 2014

It’s been a long time coming, but the much-requested print version of Alternative Alamat is heading to bookstores near you — and sooner than you think! The good folks at Visprint are launching it on July 19,   Saturday,   [EDIT: LAUNCH HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO JULY 25, FRIDAY, 4PM, SAME VENUE] part of a four-title launch that takes place from 11AM to 6PM at Powerbooks, Greenbelt. Not only is this a print edition of Alternative Alamat, but it’s also an EXPANDED edition, with  a new short comic from Andrew Drilon, and a new story from Eliza Victoria, set in the same universe as “Ana’s Little Pawnshop on Makiling St.” I’ve also updated a bit of the bibliography to help with your Philippine mythology research needs.

Of course the rest of the book is still intact, with eleven stories that re-imagine Philippine myths and legends, each preceded by a gorgeous rendition of a Philippine deity by Tabi Po’s Mervin Malonzo. And in case you’ve forgotten what people said about the book when it first came out…

Winner: Best Short Story Anthology, Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards 2012: “Alternative Alamat does for Philippine deities what Neil Gaiman’s American gods did for the lesser-known gods of europe, Asia and Africa. Readers will find that the gods, goddesses and supernatural beings of the Philippines are as fascinating as those of any other nation’s pantheon. By turns shocking, tragic, even malevolent—the beings featured in this collection of stories are given new shape and form in stories that traverse the past and the present of Filipino culture. If myth is said to form a nation’s collective subconscious, then Alternative Alamat gives Filipino readers a much-needed injection of myths that are truly ours, and truly deserving of more widespread attention. Because of this collection, we’ll never view Filipino mythology the same way again.”

One of GMA News Online’s Notable Books from 2011

“[A] treasure trove of Philippine myths and legends reexamined and rendered for modern readers…lyrical…ground-breaking” Angelo Ancheta, Philippines Graphic (December 25, 2011 – January 2, 2012)

OK, if you only read one anthology all year, please let this one be it.” - Jaymee Goh(Scroll all the way down – this post reviews three books.)

“[B]rings Philippine mythology closer to modern readers like no scholarly book of myths possibly could… delightfully diverse.” - Meann Ortiz, The Girl Who Read

“Somehow, I felt that this book and the stories in this collection were mine — mine because I am a Filipino…” -  Tina Matanguihan, One More Page.

“…an excellent work indeed, well done!” – Catherine Batac Walder

“[A] marvelous attempt to gather in one volume some of the finest renditions of Philippine folklore.” - Kristine Ong Muslim (Amazon review)

“Different, but clever. Brilliant.” - Monique, Bookish Little Me

“This anthology came to me late in the year, but rocked my world on most counts. Between the illustrations by Mervin Malonzo and the intelligently done interviews at the back of the book, it was difficult to put this one down…” Katrina Stuart Santiago, Facebook

“I know nothing of Filipino culture, and these stories were all brand new to me. And I loved them!” -Robin Edman, Goodreads.

 

Studio Salimbal Website Launch

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 2 - 2014

Ladies and gentlemen, thanks to Mervin Malonzo’s herculean efforts… WE ARE LIVE!

http://www.salimbalcomics.com/

Consider this an active beta of the site. Webcomics by/involving Filipino creators, on a weekly basis. Please, if you have any affection for me — or more likely, my studio mates Mervin Malonzo Cristina Rose Chua John Michael Carreon Robert Sinaban Jules Gregorio Paul Quiroga Mico Dmgb Tintin Pantoja Elbert Or John Amor Butch Mapa Noel Pascual and Budjette Tan — please, please, help us spread the word, and let us know what you think!

Review: Abangan – The Best Philippine Komiks 2014

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 11 - 2014

Disclaimers: I’m friends with the editors of Abangan, and Mythspace (my comic, which will be published by Visprint, publisher of Abangan) was one of the komiks solicited by them for the anthology that didn’t make the cut. This review was made possible by a PSF copy provided by the editors.

“Greetings young reader/ target demographic!” says the host of “Spooky Tales of the Here and Now”, a mock television show in comics form, one of the selections included in “Abangan: The Best Philippine Komiks 2014.” The self-awareness is part of the humor of the piece, but the line also brings to mind a question that lingered as I read through the anthology: who is the audience for Abangan?

That kind of question may seem more suitable for a marketing pitch than a review of a creative work, but an anthology is a special sort of beast, particularly one that claims no inherent thematic unity — quite the opposite in fact. In the introduction to the book, the editors state that “[o]ur main goal was to exhibit the range of creative work being done in the field of komiks in terms of genre, style, and medium – we attempted to feature as many genres and as many different styles as we could” and to a large part they have succeeded in that goal, with the admitted caveat that most of the komiks the Editors were exposed to were those available either online or in Metro Manila. An anthology which has both an excerpt from “The Filipino Heroes League” (Paolo Fabregas) and “Blue Dusk” (Mica Agregado) covers a wide spectrum indeed.

Given the stated goal of the editors above, it’s hard to argue with the selections made for the comic. There are two selections illustrated by Rob Cham, but the total page count of those two combined is less than the average of the other selections. Bong Redila’s captioned illustrations may not be considered comics under some definitions of the term, but they do qualify as comics under others, and most readers won’t care about the technicalities, not when the standard of craftsmanship is so high. It’s a standard that is upheld consistently throughout the book, and while there are certain styles and creators represented that I don’t “get”, I’ve heard enough good things about them to know that there are other readers who hold them in high esteem. Abangan reflects not only the wide variety of komiks in the industry, but, through these, the wide variety of readers as well.

I do wish that there had been introductions to the pieces, something to contextualize their inclusion. This is particularly true with regard to the excerpts, as some invariably fail to accurately represent their source material: the main cast of FHL is absent from its excerpt, for instance, and the “Sixty-Six” excerpt leaves out the super-power element entirely. Additional commentary would also help explain apparent oddities, such as the “Dead Balagtas” strips being in English rather than Filipino. (It turns out they were translated in preparation for a possible international edition of Abangan, but I learned this because I asked one of the editors directly, which is not going to be an option for most.)

In a way, the selections constitute a sort of mini-Komikon: it’s easy to imagine yourself weaving through the throng at the Bayanihan Center, and passing these stories as you move from one table to another. As long as you enjoy stories, the Komikon is worth the trip — comics newbies with an open mind are sure to find something that will draw them in, and chances are that even ardent fans will find something new and splendid (“Para Fierra” was that for me, and the web-only “Dead Balagtas” may be that for many). The same smorgasbord virtues are present in the Abangan anthology, particularly because the anthology also includes some previously unpublished work.

Of course, also like a visit to Komikon, the entry fee covers both work you’ll enjoy, and work you won’t. It’s the rare reader for whom all the selections in the anthology will have the same appeal. Just as Komikon is worth visiting, I can tell you that Abangan is worth reading. But whether Abangan’s merits make it worth purchasing the book, will depend entirely on what sort of reader you are — hence, why a discussion of Abangan’s audience is relevant.

If you’re new to komiks, and interested in the medium, then I wholeheartedly recommend buying a copy of Abangan. The sheer variety of komiks available, as well as the relative rarity of most komiks, can make it a difficult field to navigate. In Abangan, you have a curated, high quality, ready-made, starters kit.

If you’re a komiks reader who only buys a particular genre of komiks, or those of a particular creator, but would like to expand your horizons, I once again recommend that you buy a copy of Abangan. The reasons are much the same as those for new readers, since beyond your comics comfort zone, you are a new reader.

If you’re the avid komiks reader, the type who already has copies of most of these stories in their original forms, then it simply becomes a matter of two things: disposable income, and production quality. The first is pretty self-explanatory. As for the second… In the introduction, the editors say that one of the reasons to buy the book is that “it looks great on display on your shelves,” and while that may seem to be a bit of a throw-away line, it’s in fact one of the reasons this project is important.

Self-publishing is still the norm in the industry, and that means that efforts are made to keep printing costs as low as possible. The result is that most comics are photocopied, slim, ashcan issues that do not lend themselves to shelving or display or permanent ownership. Yet the ephemeral quality of the physical komiks is often at odds with the quality of their contents, and it’s important for the professionalization of the industry that more komiks are published in forms that do these stories justice.

Good komiks deserve respect, and a place on our shelves. Abangan understands that, and endeavors to make its readers understand as well.

 

 

 

Announcing Studio Salimbal

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 26 - 2014

There’s a lot of talent out there.

Within the Philippines and without, there is a glut of wonderful artists, incredible writers. If you’re a comics fan, you almost have too many choices, both paid and free, in terms of genres and formats and creators (not to mention the other media battling for your attention).

I’m not complaining, mind you — as a reader, as a fan, this is a golden age. As a creator, seeing so many good stories is a welcome challenge.

|But it must be said: To reach readers in this golden age, it’s not enough to simply be good — you have to stand out.

It can be a daunting task for one person –

– less so, for fourteen.

Say hello to Studio Salimbal:
* John Amor (Urban Animal) http://johnamorartist.com/
* Koi Carreon (Mythspace: Lift Off) http://eclectic-lights.blogspot.com/
* Paolo Chikiamco (Mythspace) http://www.rocketkapre.com/
* Cristina Rose Chua (Mythspace: Humanity) http://ceearrchua.tumblr.com/
* Mico Dimagiba (Mythspace: Uncommon Ground) http://libpoint.blogspot.com/
* Jules Gregorio (Mythspace: Devourers of Light) http://julesgregorio.carbonmade.com/
* Mervin Malonzo (Tabi Po) http://www.mervinmalonzo.com/
* Butch Mapa (Grimm Fairy Tales: Realm Knights) http://butchmapa.wordpress.com/
* Elbert Or (Bakemono High) http://elbertor.com/
* Tintin Pantoja (Who is AC?) http://tinpantoja.tumblr.com/
* Noel Pascual (Crime Fighting Call Cente Agents) http://conceptualleaf.tumblr.com/
* Paul Quiroga (Mythspace: Black Mark) http://kirogi-dog.deviantart.com/
* Borg Sinaban (Mythspace: Unfurling of Wings) http://borgsinaban.tumblr.com/
* Budjette Tan (Trese) http://tresekomix.blogspot.com/

Our goals are simple: to create comics, and to create a community. To do so creatively, coherently, consistently.

We will be in stores. We will be at conventions. But we’ll also be online in a big way, with most of our stories being serialized as webcomics, because that allows us to give readers something new easily, consistently, and constantly.

How constant? By 2015, we believe we will have enough comics that we’ll be able to publish a new page every weekday for the entire year.

Our site at salimbalcomics.com — designed by the multi-talented Mervin Malonzo — will be launching this April, but our Facebook Page and Twitter are up. We’ll be running Mythspace: Lift Off as our lone weekly comic to start, followed by another Mythspace story later in the year. We’ll be using this year to test the waters, to form a community, to get used to working as a team. But behind the scenes, we’re already working on next year’s stories, and it’s a buffer we’ll be looking to maintain moving forward.

The goal is simple — not easy. But that’s why we’re doing this together — and why we would love to have you all along for the ride.

The Salimbal, after all, is a magical ship from Philippine folktales that allows people to travel to a better future. In our case, we’re hoping that our own tales will help create a better future for Philippine comics.

Mythspace Fan Art and Fan Essay Contests

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 4 - 2014

To celebrate the announcement of Mythspace Volume 1 from Visprint, and the final appearance of the individual self-published issues at next month’s Summer Komikon, Team Mythspace will be running a few contests during the month of March, both as a way of thanking old readers and enticing new ones.

We’re starting two contests today, one for artists, and another for writers. We may have more in the offing later in the month, but these two require more prep-time. Also, we reserve the right to award more than one grand prize if we just can’t choose!

ELIGIBILITY:

(1) To qualify as a winner in these contests, you’ll need to have liked the Mythspace page on Facebook or followed us on Twitter. (If you need to choose one over the other, the Facebook page is updated more frequently.) Social networks are the easiest way to reach our readers, so if you enjoy Mythspace enough to participate in these contests, we can assure you that you won’t regret adding/following us!

(2) Prizes will either be claimed at the Summer Komikon, or we’ll send them domestically via Xend. We can’t afford to ship to non-Philippine addresses, sorry!

(3) Deadline for submissions is midnight of April 7!

MYTHSPACE FAN ART CONTEST:

Pretty self-explanatory eh? Just draw your best fan art of a Mythspace character/characters/mecha/spaceship, using whatever medium you’d like, black and white, colored, heck even a sculpture if you’d like, and send it (or a link) to us/tag us on the Mythspace fanpage or Mythspace Twitter, or email us at rocketkapre@gmail.com. Best fan art takes home the grand prize! You can see some older pieces of fan art at our Facebook page.

Also: Please let us know if you’re okay with us including your submission in Mythspace volume 1, in case we have a fan art section.

Grand Prize: Complete set of available art prints at Summer Komikon 2014, and a copy of Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan, winner the 2008 Eisner Award for Best New Graphic Novel (read once, then shelved).


MYTHSPACE ESSAY CONTEST:

A discussion of something Mythspace related — a character, a moment, a theme — that you enjoyed, or made you think. This need not be a review, mind you, just a discussion. All we ask is that it be well thought-out, articulate, and at least 400 words. Just post it somewhere online — your blog, a Facebook note, a Goodreads review — nd send it (or a link) to us/tag us on the Mythspace fanpage or Mythspace Twitter, or email us at rocketkapre@gmail.com. Best essay takes home the prizes!

Grand Prize: A physical copy of Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer, an excellent resource for world building (an extra, unused copy), and  a complete set of available art prints at Summer Komikon 2014.

Mythspace Volume 1 Coming from Visprint

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 3 - 2014

Let’s kick off Mythspace month with a bang, shall we?

Team Mythspace is proud to announce that a compilation of the initial eight Mythspace issues (six stories in all) has been accepted for publication by none other than Visprint. We are honored to have met the standards of one of the best publishers in the country, and certainly one that cares about comics and speculative fiction. Mythspace Volume 1 is slated for release some time late this year, and we’re very excited to see our stories not only reach a wider audience, but to see our stories together: while each story is meant to stand alone, presenting all six in a single volume was always our goal.

The volume will not only be a compilation, but will feature some changes that we’ll be detailing in future posts, which will also deal with the future of Mythspace, and new projects from the team.We’ll also be having a few contests to celebrate the occasion, with the chance to win some great prizes — including the soon-to-disappear single issues of the series. The Summer Komikon will likely be the last convention that we’ll be selling the individual issues (although the same will still be available in comics stores while stocks last), so if you’re comics completionists, you may want to keep that in mind on April 12.

On behalf of myself, Koi Carreon, Tina Chua, Mico Dimagiba, Jules Gregorio, Paul Quiroga, and Borg Sinaban, thank you to Visprint, and to all our readers and supporters. We have lift off… but that only means the the journey has only begun!

LONTAR #1 Ebook Now Available

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 5 - 2014

Tthe first issue of LONTAR, the Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction, is now available in ebook form. Since LONTAR is a Singapore publication, this is the easiest way for people outside Singapore to access the journal. The inaugural issue includes fiction from Kate Osias, and non-fiction from me, and the poetry section is edited by Filipina Krstine Ong Muslim. Here’s the full table of contents for issue #1:

  1. Etching the Lontar | Jason Erik Lundberg (Editorial)
  2. Departures | Kate Osias (Fiction)
  3. Love in the Time of Utopia | Zen Cho (Fiction)
  4. Philippine Magic: A Course Catalogue | Paolo Chikiamco (Non-Fiction)
  5. Jayawarman 9th Remembers the Dragon Archipelago | Chris Mooney-Singh (Poetry)
  6. The Immortal Pharmacist | Ang Si Min (Poetry)
  7. Stainless Steel Nak | Bryan Thao Worra (Poetry)
  8. The Yellow River | Elka Ray Nguyen (Fiction)
  9. The Gambler | Paolo Bacigalupi (Fiction Reprint)

For those interested, my non-fiction piece is an attempt to bring together the various forms of folk magic in the Philippines, under the guise of a course catalog for a fictional College of Philippine Magic. Here’s an excerpt:

Note: The world of Philippine magic is deep and wide – something that is to be expected of a land with anywhere from sixty to a hundred indigenous cultures, each with their own cultural heritage and oral traditions. I’ve limited my scope to the three general categories of magic that are most well known in Philippine pop culture (although I tried to shed some light on some of the more obscure aspects of each). The rich worlds of magic of particular indigenous communities, as well as magical feats performed in regional epics, are not considered here.

 

I’m presenting my discussion of magic in the form of a “course catalog” for an imagined school of Philippine magic (named after the Visayan goddess of charms). I’m doing this for two reasons. First, I’m not an expert or a scholar, merely an enthusiastic amateur with a penchant for compiling sources, and a straight up article would appear too authoritative for my comfort (I have, however, cited my sources as the “textbooks” in each Major). Second, well, it was more fun this way. Enjoy!

 

UNIVERSITY OF ABYANG DURUNUUN

COLLEGE OF MAGIC

COURSE CATALOG for SY 2013-2014

 

MAJOR in PHILIPPINE SORCERY

A major in Philippine Sorcery involves the study of the principles behind da-ut­, a term used here to denote forms of sorcery, without a specific cultural lineage, primarily intended to effect harm on other living creatures (or “Malign Magic” as Lieban might put it).  It also entails the application of the principles of at least one of the recognized Sorcery Techniques in real life, in a manner befitting a strict code of ethical conduct. To acquire these skills, students will be sent on regular field work rounds, and we will be bringing in an array of guest lecturers who are actual practitioners. Sparring will take place in a controlled laboratory setting, with professional mananambal on stand-by.

Primary textbook:“Cebuano Sorcery: Malign Magic in the Philippines”, by Richard W. Lieban; University of California Press, 1967.

Secondary textbook:“Encyclopedia of Folk Beliefs and Customs”, by Fr. Francisco Demetrio, S.J.; Xavier University, 1991.

FLK 101 Introduction to Da-ut

An introduction to sorcery, focusing on the role and view of sorcerers in society today, distinguishing between the public perception in the provinces and in the cities, as well as the forms of da-ut that require spirit sponsors (as not all require them). The course will provide a brief overview of the different techniques, which will be dealt with in greater detail in the succeeding courses.

FLK 102 Ethics and Efficacy

While the debate still rages as to whether or not sorcery is effective at all on an innocent, studies show that the success of any technique is increased dramatically if it is applied in retaliation for a wrong done to the client. This course teaches students to determine the guilt or innocence of the prospective target. This course also details the obligation to the soul of the victim, if killed, and the difference between letting the client take responsibility for the soul, or the sorcerer taking on that responsibility.

 

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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.

Photos

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