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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#?BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy? Campaign

#?BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy? Campaign

  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 [...]

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Table of Contents: Philippine Speculative Fiction X

Table of Contents: Philippine Speculative Fiction X

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 – [...]

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3 Calls for Submissions: Heat Trash Flesh

3 Calls for Submissions: Heat Trash Flesh

Call for Entries 3 Anthologies of Southeast Asian Urban Writing: HEAT  FLESH TRASH* 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 [...]

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RP612Fic 2015 – Celebrate Independence Day with Twitter Fiction & Art

RP612Fic 2015 – Celebrate Independence Day with Twitter Fiction & Art

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, [...]

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Interested in manga and how the form is engaged with and perceived in other Asian countries? Interested in how women in particular create and engage with comics? This month, Ateneo de Manila hosts the 15th Annual International Conference on Japanese Studies & the 6th Women’s Manga Conference – Manga and the Manga-esque: New Perspectives to a Global Culture –  and it may be right up your alley.

Manga and the Manga-esque: New Perspectives to a Global Culture
15th Annual International Conference on Japanese Studies and the 6th Women’s Manga Conference
22-23 January 2015
Ateneo de Manila University

PROGRAMME
Day 1 Venue: Leong Auditorium

8:30 Registration and Coffee Break

9:30 Welcome Remarks
Filomeno V. Aguilar Jr., Ph.D. Dean, School of Social Sciences, Ateneo de Manila University

Opening Remarks
Sh?ji Takatori, Director, The Japan Foundation

10:00-12:00 Plenary Session 1: Manga and the Manga-esque

Considering the ‘Mangaesque’ as a Cultural Condition: Where Japanese Studies and Manga Studies May Meet
Jaqueline Berndt, Kyoto Seika University

The Role of National Mediators in the Construction of the Global Meaning of Manga
Zoltan Kacsuk, Kyoto Seika University

Manga-esque in a Single Frame: An Exploration of the Bounds of Japanese Irasuto and Cartoons
Ronald Stewart, Prefectural University of Hiroshima

12:00 – 12:30 Artist Session 1: Philippine
Moderated by Elbert Or
Elbert Or, Robert Magnuson, Ace Vitangcol

12:30-1:30 Lunch

1:30-2:00 Artist Session 2: Women’s Manga in Singapore
Moderated by Fusami Ogi and Jaqueline Berndt
FSc

2:00 – 3:30 Paper Session 1: Manga-esque in Southeast Asia

The Domestication of Japanese Manga Representation in Malaysia : The Universality of Visual Language and Cultural Characteristics
Suraya Md Nasir, Universiti Teknologi MARA

Manga in the Philippines: from niche market to an (invisible) market
Ma. Victoria Cayton, University of Asia and the Pacific

“OTAKU NO RIKO”: Gratifications Derived from Filipino Anime Engagements
Thea Pamela Pauline A. Javier, M.C., San Sebastian College Recolectos – Manila

3:30 – 4:00 Artist Session 3: Vietnam
Moderated by Fusami Ogi and Jaqueline Berndt
Nguyen Thanh Phong

4:00-4:15 Coffee Break

4:15-4:45 Artist Session 4: Women Comics in the Philippines
Moderated by: Kristine Michelle Santos
Tin Tin Pantoja, Black Ink Comics

4:45 – 5:30 Paper Session 2: Frameworks in Popular Culture Studies

Performing 2.5 dimensional characters: Cosplay as a Practice in Hybrid Reality
Akiko Sugawa-Shimada, Yokohama National University

Glocalizing Appearance: Filipino Cosplayers and the Mukokuseki Aesthetic
Tiffany Lim, University of Tokyo

Quantitative research in manga/anime studies: Methodological considerations and three Europe-based surveys
Marco Pellitteri, Kobe University

Day 2 Venue: Leong Hall

9:00 Registration

9:30-11:00 Plenary Session 2: Women’s Manga in Japan

Manga-esque Hybridity Coming out of Women’s Manga
Fusami Ogi, Chikushi Jogakuen University

On Sexual Issues of Aging Women: Shungiku Uchida and Challenges in Women’s Manga
Kotaro Nakagaki. Daito Bunka University

“What Female Manga Artists are doing with Shakespeare”
Yukari Yoshihara, University of Tsukuba

11:00 – 11:15 Coffee Break

11:15-11:45 Artist Session 4: Women’s Manga in Indonesia

Moderated by Febriani Shihombing
Jhosephine Tanuwidjaya and Stephani Soejono

11:45-12:45 Lunch

12:45-1:15 Artist’s Session 5: Malaysia
Moderated by Gan Sheuo Hui
Shieko

1:15-2:15 Plenary Session 4: Manga and the Manga-esque in Southeast Asia

Analysis of the Terminology “Komik Indonesia” in Indonesian Comics: A Discussion Case Study of Three Indonesia Comics Exhibition after 2000
Febriani Sihombing, Tohoku University

Locally Made! – The Gag Comics in Malaysia
Gan Sheuo Hui, National University of Singapore

2:15 – 3:15 Paper Session 3:Women and Manga Beyond Japan

Girls’ D?jinshi in the Philippines: Challenges and Transformations in Local Girls’ Culture
Kristine Michelle Santos, Wollongong University

Kartoon-y: Boys’ Love Manga Flourishes in Conservative Thailand
Poowin Bunyavejchewin and Ormwajee Pibool, Thammasat University

3:15 – 3:30 Coffee Break

3:30 – 4:30 Paper Session 4: Women and Japanese Manga

Defining Yuri Fandom in Japan: Women and Men Reading and Writing About Girl–Girl Romance Media
James Welker, Kanagawa University

On the role of characterization and engagement in sh?jo-manga as a genre
Giancarla Unser-Schutz, Rissho University

4:30 – 5:00 Artist Session 5: China’s Artist Panel

Moderated by Jaqueline Berndt
Luo Rongrong

5:00 – 6:00 Paper Session 5: Gender and Japanese Manga

Winry, Hinata, Mikasa: Feminine Imagery in Sh?nen Manga and Japan’s Masculinist Cultural Nationalism
Hansley A. Juliano, Ateneo de Manila University

Sex Tourism, Filipina Brides, and Japanese Comics
Ryan Holmberg, The Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures

6:00 – 6:10 Ending Remarks
Karl Ian Uy Cheng Chua, Director, Japaese Studies Program

6:10 – 7:30 Special Screening of “Illustrated By: Filipino Invasion of US Comics”

REGISTRATION FORM

Illustration in Conference poster by Kiko Dans
Conference poster layout by Elbert Or

 


This morning, I was asked by the NBDB to give a reaction to the Report on the State of the Book Industry Address given by Ma’am Neni Sta.-Romana Cruz, speaking from the perspective of an author-creator. I’ve received a few requests for the text of the speech, and since this is one of the few times I didn’t extemporize (much), here it is. (Weird to post it without the speech I’m responding T) but I’m not sure I have the permission to post that one.)

I’ll be back there tomorrow for the Contract Consultation activity, then all day for the Filipino Reader Con and, of course, the Mythspace launch.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the speech:

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Libraries: 10 reasons to carry Philippine Spec Fic

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 30 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

A report from last month’s library-and-spec-fic panel at the Philippine Literary Festival, is up over at GMA News: 10 reasons why libraries should carry local speculative fiction. Alternative Alamat’s print cover makes an appearance in the article, hooray! Here’s an excerpt:

3. It provides hope and escape from the mundane.

“Do not look at the word ‘escapist’ as a negative term. We all need to escape from reality from time to time—why? Because we’re not animals,” said Dean. “We can have physical cages whether we are political prisoners or held in cages by our politicians in some other way—but we can escape these with our dreams and imaginations of change. And then we make the change and watch reality come to pass.”

4. It reflects the human condition.

Spec fic can comment on what it means to be human, or to be Filipino, just as well as any other piece of literature can.

5. It has didactic and educational aspects.

There are stories and books specifically for this purpose, but Dean stressed that one can take any story and use it to teach. He cited classic examples from Philippine mythology and folklore.

6. It offers alternate ways and different perspectives of seeing the world.

Spec fic can give marginalized persons—such as LGBT, women, persons with disabilities, indigenous cultures—a voice for their concerns. If one is in a position of privilege, Dean said, one should consider themselves lucky and take up the burden of helping voice those concerns or give voice to those who do not have any.

Philippine Speculative Fiction 9 Launch

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 29 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

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!

Damiana Eugenio, Mother of Philippine Folklore, has Passed Away

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 13 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

Damiana Eugenio, the Mother of Philippine Folklore, has passed away. Her anthologies of myth and folklore opened the eyes and hearts of many, including myself. Everyone who loves Philippine mythology and folklore owes her an immense debt. She has shaped generations. Our sympathies go out to those who knew her and lover her.

I’ve been told that the wake is at Claret Funeral Chapel, QC.

Philippine Speculative Fiction 9: Now Available

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 9 - 2014ADD COMMENTS



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 Book Signing at the MIBF

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 15 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

Alternative Alamat and other Visprint titles will be sold from the Precious Pages booth at this year’s Manila International Book Fair, and both Mervin Malonzo and I will be there for a signing on Friday, the 19th, at 1PM. Merv will primarily be there as the creator of the bloody awesome “Tabi Po” but as he provided illustrations for Alamat as well, readers of AA can get a rare two-for-one signing. So come on down if you’re free :)

Alternative Alamat Interview: Budjette Tan

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 25 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

For the digital release of Alternative Alamat, I ran interviews with several of the contributing authors, asking them about writing in general and their stories in particular. I wasn’t able to interview everyone, however, so for the print launch today– yep, the 25th — I went back to the contributors I wasn’t able to interview last time.

 

BUDJETTE TAN

 Without spoiling anything essential, could you tell me a bit about your story?

One of favorite bits from Neil Gaiman’s AMERICAN GODS was this vignette of how Egyptian Gods now run a small funeral parlor in Middle-America. Which made me wonder, where are the old gods of death from Philippine mythology? What are they doing now in the city? I then remember a story my mom told me, about a story she heard from the sales lady in the mall, who heard it from the security of the mall; about how, every now and again, senior citizens were found dead in the movie theater of the same mall. Obviously, they died of natural causes. Well, maybe they did.
This one was also a bit different, in that it didn’t start with a call from the police, but from Spunkmeyer…
I guess I just wanted a break from the usual way Trese gets brought in for a case (Captain Guerrero calling her up). It was also an opportunity to shed more light on Spunkmeyer of the City Morgue, who’s actually patterned after fellow author, David Hontiveros.
How different is it, writing a prose Trese story as opposed to a comic book script?

Whenever I write a TRESE prose story, it allows me to immerse myself (and the reader) in her world more.
When I’m writing the comic book script, I can easily just tell Kajo, “Page 1, Panel 1: we are inside The Diabolical. It’s a Saturday night. Full of people bouncing up and down the dance floor.”

But when I’m writing a short story, I need to guide the reader into that world and get to spend more time talking about the details of Trese’s Manila. So, I end up knowing more about it and at the same time the reader comes along for the ride.

What part of the story–or the writing process–was the most fun for you?
I had fun revealing those bits about Spunkmeyers’ back story.
What part of the story–or the writing process–was the most difficult for you?
Usually, it’s the middle part. I usually know how things will end and sometime I know where things start. So, it’s trying to figure out how to get there that’s the problem.
How were you first exposed to Philippine mythology?
Oh wow! I have no idea. Does the legend of Malakas at Maganda count? That was probably my first exposure to a “creation myth”, which confused the hell out of me, since as far as we were taught in school, we all started from Adam and Eve. So, who the heck were Malakas at Maganda? Took me awhile before I sorted all that out.
Is there any myth, epic or legend that you wish would be adapted into a novel, or comic, or movie?
Unfortunately, I can’t really name a specific one. I think all of our major myths and epic poems should be adapted into some new form. I recently attended a book conference in Singapore and the featured country of the year was India. One talk specifically focused on the Indian comic book market, which has numerous adaptation of their myths. It seemed like every couple of years, they’d have a new version of their myth, retold for a new generation. It would be great to see that happen for the Philippines.
Who is your favorite character from Philippine mythology, and why?
What about the myth of The Honest President? No? That doesn’t count?

New Alternative Alamat Book Launch Details

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 22 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

Here’s the new poster and some new details for the new launch date of the expanded Alternative Alamat print edition. It will be on July 25, Friday, from 4PM onwards, at Powerbooks Greenbelt 3 (2nd floor). Here’s the official Facebook event page.I’ve also updated the Book FAQ page to reflect the suggested retail price of PHP250. See you there!

Alternative Alamat Interview: David Hontiveros

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 17 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

For the digital release of Alternative Alamat, I ran interviews with several of the contributing authors, asking them about writing in general and their stories in particular. I wasn’t able to interview everyone, however, so for the print launch this coming Saturday [EDIT: LAUNCH HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO JULY 25, FRIDAY, 4PM, SAME VENUE] I went back to the contributors I wasn’t able to interview last time.

DAVID HONTIVEROS

David Hontiveros, author of “Balat, Buwan, Ngalan”, was a 1997 National Book Award Finalist in the Best Comic Book category for “Dhampyr” (drawn by Oliver Pulumbarit), and a 2002 Palanca Award Winner (2nd Place in the Future Fiction- English Category) for his short story, “Kaming Mga Seroks.” He has three horror/dark fantasy novellas out under the Penumbra imprint, published by Visprint, as well as a digital novel, “Pelicula”, from Bronze Age Media. His on-going comic book series, “Bathala: Apokalypsis”, is also available digitally from Flipside. He has had his short fiction, film reviews, articles, and comics appear in several Philippine publications. He has adapted Bret Harte (no, not the wrestler) and Edgar Allan Poe (twice!) into comic book form for Graphic Classics. He may be observed online at fiveleggediguana.blogspot.com (where he blathers on about film) and davidhontiveros.com (where assorted bits of his work are housed). He would like to humbly dedicate the story to his four current grandspawn, in chronological order: Gray, Mischa, Chloe, and Sophia, who will keep the flames of his family history burning on, down through the years.

While the Philippines is home to distinct cultural groups, a certain amount of cultural cross-pollination did take place. The results are myths which are variations of the same themes, and characters which appear in more than one culture, or who bear the same name but with an altered form. But, as David says of his story in Alternative Alamat: there is power in words and there is truth in myth. If these characters did exist…which version would be true? Would it matter?

Without spoiling anything essential, could you tell me a bit about your story?

“Balat, Buwan, Ngalan” is about Bakunawa, the creature that’s blamed by legend for eclipses, this massive beast who repeatedly attempts to swallow the moon, but is never quite successful.

One of the things I tried to do in the story was to provide motivation for Bakunawa, to add an emotional dimension to the legend, to cast the myth in the light of an unrequited love, which is something I think we can all identify and sympathize with.

The story’s about other things as well: the importance of legacies and heritage, and of stories and narrative, particularly the oral tradition.

The structure you used for the story was very striking. What led you to the decision to construct the story in this way?

While I wanted to tell a version of the Bakunawa myth, I also wanted the reading experience to be one of discovery, in much the same way it’s a journey of revelation for the unnamed protagonist.

So the order of the three stories is decidedly non-linear, in the same manner in which we discover things in real life, not in a straight line but in a patchwork way.

We’re told little stories here and there, not necessarily in any particular linear order, and these stories, over time, can eventually be fit together to form a larger narrative.

As I mentioned earlier, among other things, “Balat, Buwan, Ngalan” is about stories and narrative. It’s about the importance of storytelling, and what we can glean from all the tales that we’re told. It’s about the interaction between the storyteller and the audience.

Which is also one of the reasons why I chose second person narrative, since it literally places the reader in the position of the protagonist, who is the audience to the karibang’s storyteller.

Thus, the identification becomes more solid: the reader is “listening” to the stories, just as the protagonist is.

And while first person narrative could also achieve similar results, I feel it would also make the protagonist’s journey a little more specific and particular, whereas second person makes reader identification a little easier.

And I wanted that universality, which is why, even within the story, I make no explicit mention of the protagonist’s gender. You, as the reader, could be male or female, and still slide smoothly into the protagonist’s skin, for the duration of the story.

I also wanted a wide berth between the narrative styles of the sections concerning the protagonist and the three stories.

While the three legends have a very distinct “voice” patterned on the oral storytelling tradition, the sections of the story featuring the nameless protagonist have a very modern, contemporary “voice,” steeped in pop culture and 21st century trappings.

To me, that helped underscore what I’ve learned from distinguished voices like Joseph Campbell and Rollo May: that ancient myths can help us navigate the “modern” problems we face on a daily basis.

That these aren’t just some musty old stories that have no bearing on today’s world of Twitter and Facebook and Instagram.

That these tales are just as relevant today as they were back then, when they were first being told around campfires, and by traveling minstrels and bards, and in smoky, raucous mead halls.

So it was a matter of presenting these old legends in the context of a very modern world and having those legends reveal something to the protagonist that he (or she) couldn’t have discovered otherwise.

What part of the story–or the writing process–was the most fun for you?

I think that would have to be a toss-up between,

A) the period when I’m formulating the story, doing the research and gathering together all the separate strands that make up the narrative, since, at that point, the story itself is still all potential, it’s as grand and as sweeping as my imagination allows; at that point, it’s still the best story I’m ever going to write; and

B) those points in the writing process proper when I’m firing on all cylinders, and the words and the language just all come together with surprising ease, and I’m laying down sentences and paragraphs just as I imagined them in my head, or, on those rarer occasions, when what comes out onto paper is even better than what I’d imagined.

(And this would be the same answer for any other writing I do, not just for this particular story.)

What part of the story–or the writing process–was the most difficult for you?

In relation to the previous question, I suppose the most difficult (or perhaps “frustrating” would be a better term) would be when, for whatever reason, I just can’t seem to make the writing as good as how I imagined it in my head, as if my abilities can’t seem to capture in reality the rhythms of the prose that sound so amazing and fantastic in my imagination.

How were you first exposed to Philippine mythology?

There isn’t a clear, momentous memory of my introduction to Philippine myth, though I imagine it must have been through folklore and the lower myths, stories of aswang and manananggal and kapre.

My siblings had stories of our family’s ancestral home (a place I have never been able to visit, as, by the time I was born, my family had ceased visiting the house for vacations), which included tales of a woman who might have been an aswang and a large man who might have been a kapre.

Hearing these as a young boy only served to enhance the feeling I had that the world was a very curious and strange place…

I’ve also always been a huge mythology geek, ever since grade school, and though I was first inducted into the Greek myths, and by extension, the Roman, as well as Egyptian, I eventually wended my way all around the globe and then began to unearth our own local myths and legends.

Is there any myth, epic or legend that you wish would be adapted into a novel, or comic, or movie?

Who is your favorite character from Philippine mythology, and why?

At this point, I’m going to have to cheat and reply to both these questions with one answer.

Now, I may be a self-confessed mythology geek, but that’s a very far cry from an expert; I imagine experts are the mega-hyper-geeks of their field of expertise. Like Joseph Campbell or Rollo May or Father Francisco Demetrio.

And, since I’m not an expert on local myths, I’m certain I don’t know even a quarter of all the Filipino myths out there, so it’s difficult to actually peg down a “favorite,” one that perhaps I’d like to see as an adaptation.

The closest I can come to having a “favorite,” I suppose, would be either of the two myths I’ve done more than just passing, casual research on, one being Bakunawa, and the other, Agyu, whose legend I’m currently approaching through the filter of the superhero genre in The ‘Verse comics I’m keeping myself busy with.

The crux of AGYU, the comic, is definitely “shaman as superhero,” and though earlier, ultimately aborted efforts to get AGYU on the comic page hewed closer to the legend (currently, the approach I’m taking is perhaps a bit more oblique than previous iterations), I’m having a lot of fun with the idea right now, along with my AGYU collaborator, Vinnie Pacleb.

As to the “Why?”

With Agyu, I think it’s probably the whole sprawling epic, proto-superhero feel to his legend: bravery, heroism, evil bad guy, struggle, death, rescue, resurrection… it’s all in there, just without the spandex.

With Bakunawa, I guess it’s that fascinating idea of how the human mind, without the rigidity of science, can make artistic associations and take creative leaps in order to explain massive phenomena like eclipses.

It isn’t the planets and satellites and stellar hoohah aligning and blocking each other in our view; it’s a gigantic serpent/dragon (or spider or lion or dog or jaguar or toad or wolf) that’s actually swallowing the moon (or sun).

And we, puny mortals, actually have the power to scare the hungry beast away by making noise…

The thought that we can have that kind of cosmic agency in our world is so awesome…

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.

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