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 [...]


Brainfood SFF Workshop: New Schedule

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 8 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

And here’s another rescheduled event: Just received confirmation from Elbert Or of Brainfood that their Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Workshop: “You Have Worlds In You”, originally scheduled to begin last Saturday, will instead start this Saturday, October 10.  So if you were afraid that you missed the first session and were hesitant to come in media res, then worry no longer.  Here’s the spiel once more, this time with the new dates:



Join the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writing Workshop and explore both genres not only as a reader but as a creator!

The workshop will help budding sci-fi & fantasy writers be proud creators through discussions, exercises and projects. Stories will be compiled into a short story anthology to bring home.

Four sessions. Php 2,000 per person.
October 10, 17, 24 and 31 @ Fully Booked (High Street).
Saturdays 4-6pm.

Sign up at the customer service area of Fully Booked High Street or email brainfoodph[at]gmail.com

The Kindle Cometh

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 8 - 2009ADD COMMENTS


We all knew it was coming: the Kindle is going international. A Kindle with international wireless whispernet (and yes the Philippines is covered) will start shipping on October 19 and is available for pre-order now. You can find more details at blogkindle and Teleread.

Not a bad time to be a digital publisher eh?

Writer’s Wednesday: Fantasy Edition

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 7 - 20092 COMMENTS


Today’s Writer’s Wednesday is brought to you by… The Farthest Shore. We’ll focus on fantasy today (the secondary world sort at least), although there’s always an overlap with other branches of SF. We’ve got links to a pair of resources you might find useful for world building as well as a list of fantasy-relevant writing tips, old and new.

Baiting the Muse (Links):

  • Let’s start with this great list of world-building questions posted by Patricia Wrede over at the SFWA site, which are meant to help authors create believable worlds for their stories.
  • For worlds patterned after the pre-hispanic Philippines, Filhistory.com is a fairly new site that covers Filipino history and weaponry (not just of the pre-hispanic kind). We’ll also be doing a series of posts on pre-hispanic Philippine weapons in our upcoming Talasalitaan segment.

Consulting the Muse (Tips):

Testing the Muse (Prompts):

Think of a trope or a cliche (note: not the same thing) in the fantasy genre which you are tired of, and write a scene (or hey, an entire story) which breaks away from that.

While we’re always keen to post helpful links for writers here at Rocket Kapre, we thought we’d devote the Wednesday of each week to a more concentrated form of writing goodness.

WW is an experiment and work-in-progress so please let us know what works for you and what doesn’t in the comments ^_^.

On the Far Shore: An Interview With Eliza Victoria

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 7 - 20091 COMMENT

“On the Far Shore” is what I’m calling this series of interviews with the authors/editors of “The Farthest Shore” an anthology of secondary world fantasy from Filipino writers. The anthology is available here. Today we speak with Eliza Victoria, author of  “The Just World of Helena Jimenez.”

Tell us a bit about your story “The Just World of Helena Jimenez”:

Without spoiling anything, “The Just World of Helena Jimenez” is about a girl whose family has been a victim of a heinous crime. One day she just finds herself in a world where there is no crime.

How did you hear about the Farthest Shore anthology?

Wow, I can’t even remember. I must have picked up the “call to submissions” link from Charles Tan’s blog, or from Dean Alfar.

Prior to that, had you ever written a secondary world story before?

No. Or if I ever were able to write such a story before, the writing was done unconsciously. If anyone ever reads a story of mine and points this out to me, I’ll probably just dismiss the notion and say, “Oh, those things didn’t really happen, it’s a psychological thing, the character’s just insane”. Etcetera etc. When I write non-realistic fiction it is still very much rooted in our reality, so much so that the fantastic elements can be easily explained by psychology. Ha! I don’t know if that’s a bad thing. I can never do Lord of the Rings, where everything is created from scratch, even the language; I’m inclined to use the two-world trope. I suppose Harry Potter falls in this category. This world, that other world.

I can never erase this world from my stories, but that’s me speaking now. This may change in the future.

As far as reading goes though, does your present self share those same inclinations? Or, all else being equal, do you enjoy reading Lord of the Rings type epic fantasy as much as a tale set in our world?

Confession time: I haven’t read Lord of the Rings. (Please don’t shoot me.) But to be sure, I enjoy reading non-realist fiction as much as the realist ones. I read like crazy. I read whatever the bookstores and the book bargain sales and the online journals can offer (well, as long as I can still afford them). I don’t care if the story is set in this universe, or elsewhere. If the language is lovely, the plot engaging, the characters interesting, then I’ll pack my bags and board that plane to Wherever.

How long did it take you to write the story?

Hm, not too long, but longer than usual. However, it took years before the story finally assumed the form I wanted it to have. I started writing this story in 2007, my last year in college. I finished the story sometime after graduation I think. The first draft was more than 30 pages long. It pained me to cut it, so I just set it aside, then wrote other, shorter stories and sold them. When I heard about Farthest Shore, I revisited the story, rolled up my sleeves, and revised.

What aspect of the writing did you enjoy the most?

Creating a new world is always fun. Describing the culture, the surroundings – I enjoyed this immensely.

What aspect did you find most difficult?

Editing! Oh, editing this monster pained me, because it was so long and I had to cut so many conversations between the characters short. Also, the first draft was very graphic, very violent. I toned it down a bit; though the violence is necessary, I really don’t want to hit the readers too hard.

Ouch. Always painful to kill one’s precious babies. How did you choose what made the cut and what didn’t?

I remember a couple of scenes where the characters suddenly became melodramatic. Like telenovela-melodramatic. When I read the manuscript again after setting it aside for a little while, the dialogue made me cringe. So out with those scenes.

The other parts I didn’t really cut, I just shortened them. I mean if a scene can be shortened and it still works, then it doesn’t have to be that long, right? As a writer, you’re just wasting space. Or being clingy to your language, like, “Oh, but this line’s so beautiful/witty/whatever”. Enough with that – just edit!

Read the rest of this entry »

Talasalitaan: Kampilan

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 7 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

“Talasalitaan” is the Tagalog word for “vocabulary.” In these posts, we’ll spotlight Filipino terms, concepts, beings and objects which one might encounter–or use–in Speculative Fiction based in or inspired by the Philippines.

Keeping with the week’s fantasy theme, let’s start off with a few ancient Filipino weapons shall we? After all, if we’re sending an intrepid youth on a quest in a setting patterned after some region of the pre-hispanic Philippines, we can;t very well arm him (or her) with a halberd or a rapier.

The kampilan is one of the larger swords used in the pre-hispanic Philippines, primarily in Sulu and Mindanao.  Wikipedia puts the length at anywhere between 36-40 inches, but Filipino Martial Culture by Wiley gives a length of approximately forty-four inches.

The blade of the kampilan is long, single-edged and with a dual/truncated point. The carved hilt is also somewhat long, to compensate for the length of the blade, with a forked pommel styled to resemble the jaws of an animal, such as a crocodile. In “SANDATA — The Edged Weapons of the Philippines”, (by Ian A. Greaves, Jose Albovias Jr. and Federico Malibago), it’s stated that the hilt was sometimes bound to the hand by a “talismanic” piece of cloth to prevent slippage.

Read the rest of this entry »

World SF Roundtable

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 6 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

At the World SF News Blog’s new home, they’ve got the first of a two part round table discussion up with guests Kaaron Warren, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Vandana Singh and Aliette de Bodard being asked: How, and to what extent, does your environment and background inform your writing?

Here’s a snippet from Aliette de Bodard’s answer:

About the background… I don’t set out to consciously use it (since my experience as a half-French, half-Vietnamese writing in English as a second language is probably not shared by many people on Earth), but for me, the background is still an integral part of my writing. It’s shaped the values I hold, the type of characters I’m drawn to, and the type of stories that appeal to me. Some of it comes from the background, some of it from my own experience, but all of that is stuff that ends up unconsciously going into the stories.

Ideas Alive: New Schedule

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 6 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

The Ideas Alive seminar and workshop on how to be a “media creator” by Jomike Tejido (Foldabots), and Budjette Tan (Trese) had the ill fortune of being scheduled on the day Ondoy hit. The original seminar was cancelled, and Visprint has recently announced that the seminar will now take place this Saturday, October 10, at 3-5 p.m in in Powerbooks Megamall.

Now Available: The Farthest Shore

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 2 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

Since Rocket Kapre launched a month ago, we’ve been whetting your appetite for a certain anthology by giving you weekly interviews with contributors. For the month of September, we’ve picked the brains of Kate Aton-Osias, Crystal Koo and Dominique Cimafranca regarding their stories in The Farthest Shore, an anthology of secondary world fantasy from Filipino authors, and now you can read those stories for yourselves: The Farthest Shore has been released, just in time for weekend reading. Please do check it out, and let us know what you think!

We also have a few more Farthest Shore author interviews in the pipeline (and now you’ll actually know what they’re talking about).  This Wednesday we’ll speak to Eliza Victoria about her story, “The Just World of Helena Jimenez”.

Start Here: Artists vs Ondoy

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 30 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

Over at twitter, I discovered a new project being proposed for artists who are looking for some way to use their talents to aid in the relief effort: START HERE.  Please spread the word.

[Note: The group seems to be soliciting visual art--for those wordsmiths and prose masters out there, stay tuned. I'm working on something.]

From the site: START HERE is a collection of artwork inspired by Typhoon Ondoy relief efforts that aims, in turn, to inspire others to help in rebuilding the Philippines. The hope is that we can eventually set up an exhibit where we can sell the artworks with the proceeds donated to Ondoy relief efforts, rebuilding programs and calamity risk management programs.

What follows is the group’s call to action:

Dear artists,

If you’ve got the talent but don’t know what to create for START HERE, read on.

Don’t think of the tragedy that happened on September 26 2009 in the Philippines because of Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana). Instead, think of what we can do to help rebuild the communities that were severely affected by the heavy rainfall and flooding.

Think of all the people who have come together to bring hope to the survivors. Let this be our inspiration. Let’s also inspire hope and initiative in others by doing what we do best, through art!

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment on this entry or send an e-mail to starthere.rebuild@gmail.com. And don’t forget to tell everyone you know!

Thank you,

8″ x 8″
300 dpi

your full name (or names if it’s a collaboration)
title of the artwork
a short description of the artwork
contact number
e-mail address

November 26, 2009


How to Help

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 27 - 20091 COMMENT

Yesterday, tropical storm Ondoy hit areas of Luzon, including Metro Manila, and dumped a month’s worth of rainfall within the span of six hours.  For those who would like to help, I’m posting links to Manuel L. Quezon III’s mirrored blog entry with relevant information and links: here, here and here.



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.