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. [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


Note: Posting this a bit earlier in the week as there will be a major announcement on Thursday. We’ll also be holding off the PSF6 reviews for December but will resume in January.

This post is a part of our story-by-story review of Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 6. You can see the introductory post, and our disclaimers here. Bold font is Mia Tijam, everything else is Paolo Chikiamco.

And so… Paging Adam David, look oh, more of your demand for experimentation in Phil Spec Fic!

I know that this is not your favorite, Counsel, because it’s non-linear hahahaha! See, I think most would react to this story, after reading it, with “And so?” Yeah, what’s the point, right?

Objection! I didn’t find the format difficult, but I think that’s because it was fairly obvious once I started the piece that I wasn’t supposed to find any narrative linking the segments, each of which was self-contained, and linear. I think my difficulty comes more from the experimental stories where I know (even if I’m wrong) there’s supposed to be an overarching narrative somewhere, and I just can’t seem to find it.

—-Haha, okay, okay!

I appreciate this kind of story being included in PSF anthologies because: 1) It challenges the reading-linear-habit which kind of breeds lazy-reading. 2) Because it does, then the brainwaves are exercised when it comes to perspectives and understanding of meaning, of what the story is really about.

As someone who has never been a fan of difficult to read fiction (as opposed to non-fiction), I feel the obligation to state that lazy reading is a perfectly viable state of being a reader-for-pleasure.

—-Hahaha, riiiiight. Like Lazy Boy and TV, hmmm?

Intrinsically, this story is what you call playing on motif. So the question is: what is the motif? What is common among all the names? What connects them? Because the usual reader might think that they are not connected, as if the names are just slides in projection or just weird episodes (and the weirdness making it all under “speculative”).

By “usual reader” that’d be me I think. I already said that I didn’t see the need to draw a narrative connection between each segment, but as far as a common theme, my anchor was the title itself: each segment used the idea of alternative names to show alternative realities (in my reading, all the protagonists are the same woman, in different worlds), and within each segment, the etymology of the name was interpreted through a short narrative.

Read the rest of this entry »

3rd San Pablo City Comics Festival

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 28 - 2011ADD COMMENTS


For those in the San Pablo area, the 3rd San Pablo City Comics Festival will be held this Saturday, December 3, 2011, from 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM at the Ultimart Mall,
San Pablo City, Laguna. You can see the programme of activities here, and the Facebook page here. Gerry Alanguilan also has an informative post about the upcoming convention over at his blog.

Ateneo Press Christmas Book Sale 2011

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 25 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

I’m a bit late on this, but I’d like to remind everyone that the annual Christmas sale of Ateneo de Manila University Press is ongoing:

Date:      November 15 to December 14, 2011

Time:      8 A.M. to 12 noon, 1 to 6 P.M., Monday to Thursday
8 A.M. to 12 noon, 1 to 5 P.M., Friday

Venue:     Ateneo Press Bookshop, G/F Bellarmine Hall, Ateneo Campus, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City

All titles will be sold at less 10 to 50 percent.

Reservations for copies and requests for price lists may be made at 02-426-5984 (landline) or unipress@admu.edu.ph. A listing of books is also available at

Coffee, tea and Christmas cookies come free with browsing. Happy book shopping!


This is a good time to mention that Ateneo Press publishes some amazing books, including “Verbal Arts in Philippine Indigenous Communities” (here’s a review), an excellent overview of the diversity of our oral traditions by Professor Herminia Meñez Coben–who graciously allowed me to interview her for Alternative Alamat–as well as “Kathang-Isip“, a book of speculative fiction in Filipino, which I think may only be available at the Ateneo Press store (I haven’t seen it anywhere else). The deals during this sale are usually much better than those given during the Manila International Book Fair, so if you’ve had your eye on an Ateneo Press title, now’s the time to get it.

PSF6 Review: The Grim Malkin by Vincent Michael Simbulan

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 24 - 20111 COMMENT

This post is a part of our story-by-story review of Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 6. You can see the introductory post, and our disclaimers here. Bold font is Mia Tijam, everything else is Paolo Chikiamco.

The story opens with a cliché— literally— illuminated by multiple flashes of light, in quick succession. And in succession, the story makes use of cliché articulation like reduced to rubble, yawning chasm, one fluid motion, clenched teeth, struggled to catch his breath, dangling in midair and so on. Now in my head there’s a bell that clangs for each cliché phrase that I read so that can be a distracting turn-off from the reading. Seriously, imagine “TENG!TENG!TOINK!” going off like a fire alarm in your head.

I’ve got an odd sort of relationship with medieval fantasy stories (read as both sword and sorcery and epic fantasy). It’s sort of comfort food, and in a strange way, it’s one of the genres where I tend to be more forgiving of an overabundance of common genre tropes. In fact, sometimes I find myself resisting deviations from the “traditional”–I never got into “A Game of Thrones”, for instance, and while I’ve heard good things about the “The First Law” books, the fact that they’re viewed as somehow genre-subversive makes me wary.

— I understand about these types of comfort food stories and sometimes it’s like a no-brainer-break in my own speculative reading. Like romance novels hahaha. And you haven’t read “Game of Thrones?” Dude, you’ve got time to make a change, just relax, take it easy hee-hee-hee…

[Pao: I read the first three books. I just sort of lost interest with each succeeding one…]

So, while I do agree that some ubiquitous turns of phrase were used, I’m not sure about whether or not that was a conscious choice to surround a traditionalist genre reader with the familiar, a shorthand way of making the reader feel that he/she knows the setting and the characters, although little is actually revealed. The problem with this strategy, if it was in fact adopted, is that you’re targeting a very narrow segment of readers, I think. After all, those who like the comfortable and traditional aren’t likely to shell out money on a non-themed short story anthology with a lot of first time authors.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dean Alfar and Kenneth Yu, the publishers (respectively) of the Philippine Speculative Fiction Anthology and Philippine Genre Stories Online, are teaming up for a new anthology series featuring speculative fiction for young adults. The first anthology will feature horror stories, and you can find the submission guidelines below, or here.

Editors Dean Francis Alfar (publisher of the Philippine Speculative Fiction anthologies) and Kenneth Yu (publisher of Philippine Genre Stories) announce an open call for short fiction submissions for HORROR: Fantastic Filipino Fiction for Young Adults.

The Fantastic Filipino Fiction for Young Adults is a new annual anthology series, with the first volume focusing on horror, and launching in mid-2012.

Submissions must be:

1. in the horror genre or contain strong horror elements

2. written with the Young Adult reader in mind (from 10 – 18 years old) and feature a young adult character (or characters)

3. cognizant of the themes and concerns of Young Adult fiction (coming of age, identity, belonging, a sense of wonder, a love for adventure, angst, concerns over school, challenges of youth, family issues, relationships to authority figures, sexuality, experimentation, peer pressure, bullying, among many others) – without being didactic and/or boring.

4. written in English

5. authored by Filipinos or those of Philippine ancestry

Submissions are preferred to be:

1. original and unpublished

2. no shorter than 1,000 words and no longer than 7,500

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 market until you have received a letter of regret from us.

2. All submissions should be in Rich Text Format (saved under the file extension ‘.rtf’), and emailed to dean(at)kestrelddm(dot)com with the subject line ‘FFFH: title (word count)’, where ‘title’ is the title of your submission and ‘(word count)’ is the number of words the submission comes up to, rounded up to the nearest hundred (use the “tools” function of your word processor to find out.

3. Do not use fancy formatting.

4. Include a brief bio and publishing history (if applicable).

5. The deadline for submissions is midnight, Manila time, March 15, 2012. Letters of acceptance or regret will be sent out no later than one month after the deadline.

6. First-time authors are more than welcome to submit; good stories trump literary credentials any time.

Compensation will be Php500 for selected stories. We are still deciding whether to go digital or print (or even both). In the event that we publish a print version, each author will be provided with a contributor’s copy of the book. If the anthology is published in digital form, each author will be given a formatted e-copy of the anthology.


Dean Francis Alfar & Kenneth Yu


HORROR: Fantastic Filipino Fiction for Young Adults

New Speculative Fiction from Filipinos (Free Press, PGS)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 23 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

I’ve been remiss in posting links to new short spec fic by Filipino authors–hospitalization tends to play havoc with one’s schedule–so here’s a roundup:

Call for Submissions: Dracoraptor Anthology

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 22 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

Australia-based Filipino Jason Banico has announced a call for submissions,  seeking short fiction from Filipino authors for his “Dracoraptor” anthology.

Dracoraptor is a fictional dragon dinosaur and is featured in its own site at http://www.dracoraptor.com.

Submissions must be:

1. speculative fiction of any of the following genre: science fiction, cryptofiction, historical fiction, horror, and alternative history.

2. depicting the Dracoraptor realistically based on characteristics detailed on the Dracoraptor site. For instance, the creature must spit acid and only in self-defense, and does not breathe fire.

3. written in English

The following settings are encouraged:

1. prehistoric (ex. Clan of the Cave Bear)
2. ancient (Homeric epics)
3. Asian (Chinese / Japanese)
4. age of discovery
5. Victorian-era
6. colonial Philippines
7. modern (ex. King Kong)
8. near future

All submissions should be in Rich Text Format (without fancy formatting) and emailed to jason at banico dot com dot au, with the subject line “Dracoraptor submission”.

The deadline for submission is March 30, 2012.

There is no direct compensation for submission. Selected stories will be posted in the Dracoraptor.com site and released in an e-book anthology. Revenue share is offered to authors whose stories appear in the e-book.

Jason is also looking for people who may be interested in co-editing the anthology with him – send any interested queries to the address mentioned above.

RK Recommends: Horn by Peter M. Ball

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 22 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

My review of “Horn” by Peter M. Ball (Twelfth Planet Press) is up on Fantasy Faction. I enjoyed the novella, even if I had a few issues with it, and it’s well worth the read if you’re interested in something darker than your usual urban fantasy fare, with a distinct heroine and a dash of subversion. Here’s an excerpt:

Unicorns. They’re a staple of the fantasy genre, and while there are many works that treat the unicorn with respect, they are also regularly dismissed in popular culture as being representative of the flighty, whimsical, and escapist character that, in the eyes of opponents of the genre, make it possible to take fantasy seriously. Or, as the tongue-in-cheek jacket copy of “Zombies vs. Unicorns” puts it: “Unicorns are sparkly and pastel and fart rainbows.” (An awareness of why it can be hard to write good unicorn stories is part of what makes that anthology so much fun.) Unicorns, the argument would go, belong with fairy godmothers and magic spindles and princes-turned-into-frogs, the objects of fairy tales which we put aside along with the rest of our childish things, once we grow up, once we become adults and the world loses its luster, the wonder in our souls replaced by a gnawing cynicism…

But what if we take the concept of the unicorn, and re-imagine it within the confines of the “adult” world, a seedy world of crime and debauchery, where innocence is a technicality and the only happy endings belong to the man with the gun? What it we take a unicorn, and place it into a piece of noir fiction?

You can read the full review here.

SCRAM: iPhone/iPad Game From Filipino Developers, by implication

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 21 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

If you’re a Philippine gamer, you’ve probably already heard about by implication--or, at least, you should have. They’re the Filipino game design team that won Microsoft’s prestigious 2010 Imagine Cup Game Design Competition last year, with their game “Wildfire“. The team has just released their first commercial game, SCRAM, which is for the iPhone (with iPad compatibility added for free with the first update). Scram is a first-person running game where players must run through nightmarish dreamscapes,  pursued by an unseen threat. It features “immersive 3-D graphics, fast-paced twitch gameplay, original theme music, leaderboards, Game Center achievements, retina display support, and Twitter integration for iOS 5 users”. The game launched at a discounted price of $0.99.

Scram has a temporary webpage here, and a trailer you can see below:


Reminder: Komikon 2011 is Tomorrow

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 18 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

Lest anyone forget, the annual Philippine Comic/Komiks Convention, or Komikon, will be held tomorrow, Saturday, from 10AM to 7PM at the Bayanihan Center in Pasig (across Pioneer Supermarket).  Don’t miss out on the cornucopia of indie comic offerings, not to mention what may be your only chance to get a physical copy of High Society. I’ll be at the Flipside Digital Content booth with less than a hundred copies of High Society ready to sell, and I might have to leave at around 5PM so that’s your window of opportunity.  My partner in crime, the amazing Hannah Buena, will be at the con as well, but–being as in demand as she is–she’ll be flitting from booth to booth, so your best time to get your copies signed by Hannah will be sometime after lunch, maybe around 3PM.

Beneath the cut is a map of the venue–Flipside is at E-31 to E-32, so that’s where I’ll be. Looking forward to seeing everyone there! (And here’s a map to the Bayanihan Center if you need directions.) And, of course, there will be many other komiks at the con, most of which are only available during conventions. Macoy has a partial list and Flipgeeks has some previews as does the 100 Araw ng Komiks Facebook community.

Read the rest of this entry »



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.