What is #RP612Fic (2016 edition)

What is #RP612Fic (2016 edition)

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. [...]

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Call for Stories: SUBMIT to Philippine Speculative Fiction 11

Call for Stories: SUBMIT to Philippine Speculative Fiction 11

  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 [...]

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Book Launch: Philippine Speculative Fiction X

Book Launch: Philippine Speculative Fiction X

The tenth edition of the annual anthology is already released (digitally): Flipside  Amazon Kobo Google Play iTunes Weightless Books 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 [...]

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Support Southeast Asian Steampunk: The SEA is Ours Crowdfunding Campaign

Support Southeast Asian Steampunk: The SEA is Ours Crowdfunding Campaign

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 [...]

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

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

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 [...]

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Cover by Les Banzuelo and Adam David

If you know about Philippine speculative fiction, you owe a debt to Dean Francis Alfar. Dean is one of the most well known (and critically acclaimed) Filipino spec fic writers, and one of its staunchest advocates – he published the print versions of the annual Philippine Speculative Fiction series and is one of the organizers of the Litcritters discussion group/workshop. His new short story collection is now out from the good folk at Flipside Publishing: “How to Traverse Terra Incognita” Here’s a book blurb, with praise for Dean’s writing from a wide array of peers and critics:

How to Traverse Terra Incognita is Dean Francis Alfar’s second collection of short fiction. An advocate of the literature of the imagination, he is the publisher of the Philippine Speculative Fiction anthologies, an annual showcasing Filipino fictionists that he began in 2005.

“Dean Francis Alfar’s stories contain fantastic worldbuilding, crisp prose, and contemplative, poignant storytelling. Several of these stories made me cry. If you aren’t reading Alfar yet, you should be.” – Hugo Award winner Lynne M. Thomas, Editor-in-Chief, Apex Magazine

“Dean Francis Alfar is one of the most inventive writers of speculative fiction today. It’s criminal that his often playful, sometimes serious, gloriously literate tales aren’t better known around the world. Although he’s a very different writer, his lyrical style seems to me to make him a Ray Bradbury for the 21st century.”
- John Grant, Joint Editor of The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, and author of Warm Words and Otherwise: A Blizzard of Book Reviews and many others

“Dean Francis Alfar is a wondrous storyteller, creating tales that take the reader far and wide. From reluctant dragon fathers and dueling weather gods to demanding, dying queens, he has a way of pulling you into his captivating worlds and never letting go. And really, who would want to leave anyway when there is something extraordinary around every corner?” – Hugo Award winner editor Ann VanderMeer

“Dean Francis Alfar’s ambitious but aptly titled collection is a revelation. In these wide-ranging stories you’ll find the melancholy magic of Kelly Link mixed with the clever wit and bite of Etgar Keret mixed with the unrestrained passion of Harlan Ellison. Yet, “How to Traverse Terra Incognita” is utterly original. It’s like that amazing new band that you fall in love with instantly and want to share with everyone. Then you and your friends will be gladly building replicas of your kingdoms, barricading the house against fathers, and packing for the moon.”–Paul Tremblay, author of The Little Sleep and Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye

“How to Traverse Terra Incognita is a kaleidoscope of strange realities. Dean Francis Alfar’s elegant prose offers tantalizing glimpses of broken fairy tales, urban magics, and everyday sadnesses.” – Ditmar Award winner Tansy Rayner Roberts, author of Creature Court trilogy and Love and Romanpunk.

“Dean Francis Alfar is an amazing talent. Profound, luminous and lyrical, “How to Traverse Terra Incognita” is the masterwork of an artist at the very top of his game. This collection is a must-read for anyone who cares about the magic of rubbing words together.” — Ted Kosmatka, author of The Games

“When Dean Francis Alfar is at his best in stories like ‘The Ghosts of Wan Chai’ and ‘Securing Doors from Fathers,’ he illuminates human emotion with deft surrealism that merges the familiar and the unfamiliar, allowing the reader to view both in a new light. His clever use of sustained metaphor allows him to play with subtext, memory, and the intersection between personal and communal experience.” – Nebula Award winner author Rachel Swirsky

“Like water coming and going from some strange invisible well, arresting style and uncanny subjects flow in the short fiction of Dean Francis Alfar. An innovative force behind him moves in each compelling story. With Dali-like detail, Mr. Alfar coolly raises hanging coffins, replicas of maritime kingdoms, phantom brides and Hong Kong suicides, whirling chatty lobsters, Mr. Sun’s face, and the remarkable art of making love to twins. He is never afraid to go out and seek what strange thing he may find. I won’t say this writer merits only finding a wider readership in the West: it is better to say that we are entitled to find him. Read something from this collection before you go to bed; rise with the wonder of what happened to your dreams.” – Danel Olson, editor of the Exotic Gothic series

 

Image from panitikan.ph

Last Saturday, not only did “Alternaitve Alamat” win in the 1st Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards, but I also leaned that “Alternative Alamat“, as well as “High Society“–my steampunk comic with Hannah Buena–have been nominated for a Manila Critics Circle “Special Prize for an Ebook” for this year’s National Book Awards.

Ta-da!

The nomination has me thrilled on multiple levels – not the least of which is because I’ve been nominated twice (*shudders with glee*). It’s also great because I think this is the first time an award like this is being given, and it shows that literary institutions such as the National Book Development Board and the MCC are starting to recognize digital publishing. Not to mention the fact that two of the nominees are komiks (and congrats to our friend Adam David for the nomination for “The Long Weekend”) and I always enjoy it when komiks are given their due.  I’m also happy for my publisher/co-publisher Flipside Digital , which as you can see dominates this category quite handily–the folks at Flipside are top-notch, and it’s great that their efforts are being recognized.

The names of the winners will be revealed during the awarding ceremonies that will be held on November 17 at the National Museum, so keep your fingers crossed everyone!

2nd Filipino Readercon Link Roundup

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 21 - 20121 COMMENT

The 2nd Filipino Reader Conference was a blast — and not just because of Rocket Kapre’s big win. I served as the master of ceremonies last year and this year, and in almost every way, the 2012 Filipino Readercon was both bigger and better. The “bigger” part was self evident – the Filipinas Heritage Library is easily more than four times the size of the SMX conference room we had last year, and the number of participants coming and going was easily in excess of two hundred. Unlike last year, we needed to split into two “branches” of parallel panels/discussions for much of the day. In spite of the number of people, the organizers managed to also achieve their goal of allowing for more socialization during the events, both during the socials, and by providing a space outside with vendors where people could mill around and talk without disturbing the official discussions. The socialization wasn’t even limited to those who were present at the venue – Pacific Rims author Rafe Bartholomew was gracious enough to stay up late to join the discussion of his book, and the social networking team of the Filipino Readercon did an excellent job of keeping folks outside of the venue up-to-date, and we even trended nationwide on Twitter for a bit!

From the Filipino Readercon FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.175585962566534.18084.165183073606823&type=3

Of course, I’m far from the only one who had a great time, so here’s a list of links to other posts about the 2nd Filipino Reader Conference. [If you've posted about it too, just comment in the links portion and I'll add you in when I update.] Congratulations again to everyone involved, and see you next year!

 

 

The 2nd Filipino Reader Conference took place last Saturday and it was a resounding success, with more than two hundred book lovers of all sorts – writers, fans, publishers, kindle fanatics, paperback hoarders, librarians, book club members – converging at the Filipinas Heritage Libraryand celebrating the joy of a good read. For us at Rocket Kapre, it was even more memorable because “Alternative Alamat” took home the top prize in the “Short Story Anthology category in the first ever Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards. (Which was a great way to cap a day filled with more good news on the awards front – but more on that later.)

Photo c/o AA contributor Eliza Victoria http://sungazer.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/the-2nd-filipino-readers-convention/

It’s a great honor to receive the award – while I wanted to make “Alternative Alamat” accessible to non-Filipinos, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that introducing my countrymen to the beauty of the less-well known aspects of our mythology and heritage, as well as to the talents of Filipino speculative fiction writers, is one of the foremost reasons why I published the anthology in the first place. Congratulations and thanks goes to my wonderful contributors, to Mervin Malonzo for his beautiful art, to Professors Herminia Meñez Coben and Fernando N. Zialcita for sharing their time and expertise, and to the good folks at Flipside Digital who co-published the book and handled all the back end details that would’ve driven me crazy. Thanks as well to the judges for their acknowledgment, and all the readers whose votes allowed us to make the short-list.

Here’s what the judges had to say:

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.

Guess it might be time to shop around for a print publisher huh?

Update: “A Bottle of Stormclouds” Availability

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 14 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

Based on the latest status update from publisher Visprint, Eliza Victoria’s A BOTTLE OF STORM CLOUDS (which we’ve mentioned before) is now available in the following locations, for P220.00:

Fully Booked – The Fort, Greenhills Promenade, Gateway Mall, SM Mall of Asia, The Block North EDSA, Rockwell, Shangri-la, Greenbelt 5, Trinoma

Bibliarch – Glorietta 3 and Waltermart Pasong Tamo

Pandayan Bookshop Metro Manila branches

The books will also be in stock soon at National Book Store, Powerbooks Store and all other provincial branches.

2nd Filipino Readercon: Program and Pre-Registration

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 13 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

Last week was a bit… distracting, for those of us here in Manila, but I’d like to remind everyone that United We Read, the second Filipino ReaderCon, (an event for all Filipino readers, book bloggers, book club members, publishers and educators who have a passion for books and reading) will be taking place this Saturday, at the Filipinas Heritage Library, from 8-6PM. I’ll be there to facilitate one of the panels, and likely to be your master of ceremonies as well. You can pre-register at this page. Still undecided? Here’s the event program for you to check out (click to see full sized):

And here’s a press release:

READERS UNITE FOR THE 2ND FILIPINO READER CONVENTION

Reading advocates, in partnership with the Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL) and National Book Development Board (NBDB), bring you United We Read: the 2nd Filipino Reader Conference on 18 August 2012, Saturday, 8:00am at the Filipinas Heritage Library, Makati City.

Organized by readers for readers, the convention aims to bring together Filipino readers and book lovers, book bloggers, book clubs, authors, publishers, and educators who are passionate about books and reading, promoting interaction between local readers, writers, and publishers.

United We Read will feature panel discussions on Reading Everwhere: Scanning the Reading Environment, book blogging ethics, publishers’ perspectives on readers, school reading programs that work, and authors as readers. Speakers for the one-day event include publishing industry veterans such as Maru de Castro (Pandora’s Books), Feliz Perez (Mt. Cloud Bookshop), Zarah Gagatiga (Philippine Board on Books for Young People), Nida Ramirez (Visprint), Aleks Tan (OMF Literature), and Gwen Galvez (Anvil Publishing). Book bloggers Kai Agito (Amaterasu Reads), Blooey Singson (Bookmarked!), and Jaime Salazar (Random Salt) round up the morning sessions.

In the afternoon, authors Manix Abrera, Mina V. Esguerra, Jun Balde, Budjette Tan, Bebang Siy, and Dean Alfar will be on hand for discussion, followed by book discussions that will be hosted by local book clubs Flips Flipping Pages, The Mysterious Reading Society, De La Salle Literature Circle, and The Filipino Goodreads Group.

The conference will also host the awarding of the 1st Filipino Reader’s Choice Awards. An initiative of the Filipino Book Bloggers (http://filipinobookbloggers.wordpress.com), the awards seeks to engage the Filipino reading public in honouring their favourite Philippine-published titles. Book nominees eligible for the award are titles which were published locally from January 2010 until December 2011.

Scholastic Philippines, Lampara Books, McDonald’s Philippines, Flipreads, Anvil Publishing, Inc, Hachette Philippines, Amici Philippines, OMF Literature, Inc, and Adarna House are proud sponsors of this event.

Everyone is invited to join. Registration fee is P150.00, inclusive of snacks and a certificate of attendance. For more details, visit the Filipino Readercon website at http://filipinoreadercon.wordpress.com or the Filipinas Heritage Library website (http://www.filipinaslibrary.org.ph). You can also call the Filipinas Heritage Library at 892-1801 (look for Verne), send an SMS to 0917-5612413, or email unitedweread@filipinaslibrary.org.ph

 Sponsors of the 2nd Filipino Readercon:

Co-Presentors

Sponsors

Launch: Tabi Po International Page

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 7 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

Mervin Malonzo’s “Tabi Po” is a wonderful Filipino webcomic about a group of Aswang in the pre-20th century Philippines. While the webcomic is written in Filipino, the first two books have been translated into English and released as digital books, and now Mervin has put together an excellent website for his English speaking audience. (Can you tell he’s a web designer in his dayjob?) Explore it by scrolling downward to get the full effect.

Fantastika Filipinas: Dean Alfar at DLSU

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 2 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

The Literature Circle of De La Salle University will be holding an event called Fantastika Filipinas: A Talk on Philippine Speculative Fiction by one of the leading Filipino writers of the genre, multiple Palanca winner and Philippine Speculative Fiction 8 co-editor (and Alternative Alamat contributor) Dean Alfar. The event will be held tomorrow, on the 3rd of August, Friday, from 2:00-3:30 pm at Yuchengo 507.

The 1st Global Conference: The Graphic Novel aims to “examine, explore and critically engage with issues in and around the production, creation and reading of all forms of comics and graphic novels.” The organizers have invited a team of Filipino professors from the University of the Philippines to talk about komiks at this global conference, but since it takes place in the United Kingdom, our representatives have turned to the public to raise the needed funds. Here’s an excerpt from the post of komiks aficionado and specfic author Carljoe Javier:

The session will be called A League of our Own: Cultural Appropriations in Contemporary Philippine Comics. Leading the panel is one of the pioneers of teaching and studying comic books in the Philippine academe, Prof. Emil Flores, PhD. (and a komiks creator himself). His paper is  “Up in the Sky, Feet on the Ground: Cultural Identity in Filipino Superhero Komiks.” Micaela Chua is a Summa cum Laude grad, Erasmus scholar, and is currently working on her MA thesis on comics. Her paper is “Enabling Mythologies: Specificity and Myth-making in TRESE” And there’s me, Carl Javier (you can also throw a Prof. in front of my name, though I am still not accustomed to it). I’ve written a few books on geekiness and I’ll be presenting a paper called “Filipino humor and the Filipinization of Foreign Tropes in Macoy’s ‘Taal Volcano Monster vs. Evil Space Paru-Paro’.”

The trio are exploring several fundraising avenues. First is Komiks Rox, a benefit concert that will also feature cosplay (rules pictured above) and an art auction (with pieces such as the Kikomachine Komix poster seen below).This is taking place on Friday, August 3, 7PM at the Route 196 bar.

For those who would rather send money directly, you can send donations via Paypal through Ana Micaela Chua [micaelachua{at}gmail{dot}com] or through BPI – the account is in the name of Carljoe Javier, acct# 9599 0397 56.

Now Available: Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 7

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 30 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

The seventh volume of the annual Philippine Speculative Fiction anthology (edited by Kate and Alex Osias) is now available for purchase at Amazon and Flipreads (with others to follow). Yep, it’s digital only for the time being. You can see the full table of contents here - this volume includes my story “Oblation”, and I thought I’d post the first few paragraphs of the story here, as a preview of what you may find in this volume.

“Oblation” is a departure for me in that it’s my first superhero short story, and my first story told using only female POVs. Also, likely because I’ve been hanging out with Mia too much, I tried to say something with the form of the story, not just with the content, and I hope that comes through (God knows, I’m not very subtle.) Enjoy!

OBLATION

By Paolo Chikiamco

I’m wearing my hair in a tail today. That means I’m ready to go to war.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at me. You look at me–and trust me, you’ll look–and all you know is that your day’s been made. Yes, I’m that pretty. No bragging, just fact. Mom’s genes are gooood. Not as good as Dad’s, but not everyone can be a superhero telepath.

‘Course, that doesn’t mean he can get in my head. He wishes. Brainwashing me is the only way I’d ever be okay with missing the prom. Sometimes, I wish that he could see into my head, so the great Kapitan Isip would realize just how little I care about his excuses. Like it’s the first time he’s ever been stationed in the Middle East, like it’s the first time he’s gotten threats, or that Mom and I have been “at risk”. Get real. No Kontra is brain-dead enough to go after a Klark’s family, not after what happened in Marikina when Bakunawa went berserk…

Seriously. They still show those horrible clips in history class. The boys loved it of course. Boys and violence. It’s why they get a thrill when they see my pony tail bobbing–but even guys know better than to come near me. The tail means “STAY AWAY”, all caps, and most of the school is smart enough to–

Is that… is that Sarah Novales waiting for me by the water fountain?

Wonderful.

#

I saw Michelle’s eyes narrow at the sight of me, and couldn’t help but remember the first time I’d ever seen her. My first day at Barrameda, the guidance counselor had seemed upset that I didn’t seem too impressed by the Academy. I’d barely uttered an “ooh” or “aah” when the he had shown me the school’s top of the line gymnasium, or introduced me to the duo (actual Persons-With-Powers, he’d proudly proclaimed) who served as campus security.

All that changed when we stepped into the cafeteria. It took a while for the counselor to realize he was explaining the scintillating food choices to the empty air.

“Who’s that?”

The counselor didn’t even follow my gaze. “That is Michelle Felinas, Queen of the Hill. Be careful with that one.”

Michelle was holding court in the center of the cafeteria, asking everyone to support the school football team. I say “asking” only because she used phrases like “would you” and “will you”–her tone made it clear that support was expected. From the way everyone hung on to her every word, they’d have it no other way.

When it became obvious that Kapitan Isip’s daughter was not a PWP, the media had gone on a feeding frenzy. (They’d never liked the Kapitan, who was understandably tough to interview.) But the Kapitan was never anything but proud of his daughter, and it was easy to see why. After all, normal didn’t mean ordinary.

“I’m serious, Ms. Novales.” The counselor steered me firmly away from the cafeteria. “Her father may be a hero, but his daughter is bad news. Stay away from her.”

And now, two years later, here we were. I felt a smile grow on my face. I was anxious when I wasn’t at school, even for a day. But now everything’s all right.

Don’t worry ‘Chelle.

I’m here.

Aaaand, that’s it for the preview. If you’d like to read the rest of the story, do consider buying Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 7. Congrats to Kate & Alex and all the contributing authors, as well as the publishing team.

TAG CLOUD

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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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