Fully Booked FCBD 2012 + Comic Odyssey at Fort

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 15 - 2012

As is their usual practice, Fully Booked will be celebrating FCBD a few weeks later than everyone else, and this year that date is May 19. There will be free comics available at many Fully Booked branches, but the place is their flagship store at Bonifacio High Street, where a new Comic Odyssey branch is set to open within the Fully Booked premises itself. You can go to the Comics Cube for the details.

Why Is Diversity Important? Discussion at The Cogsmith

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 14 - 2012

A bit late to this, but over at The CogsmithDjibril Alayad and Fabio Fernandes (you may remember them from the “We See A Different Frontier” project) have compiled comments made in an online discussion about diversity in speculative fiction. As one might imagine, that’s a subject of particular relevance to me, and to readers of the site, not the least of which because Charles Tan was one of those who weighed in. Check it out here, and make sure to read the comments too (Filipino author and Alternative Alamat contributor Rochita Loenen Ruiz weighs in there)!

A Tour of the Philippine Fantastic (2 of 2)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 12 - 2012

Part 2 of my article on the Philippine fantastic for the “World Tour of Wonderment“ feature of Fantasy Faction is now up. (You can find part one here.) In this post, I give a brief primer on the fantastic in prose fiction and comics, by talking about prominent creators/projects in these fields. Check it out!

The Mind Museum Promo for International Museum Day

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 11 - 2012

Click for larger version

The Mind Museum is celebrating International Museum Day on May 18 with a cool little promo, with all day passes going at a discounted price of PHP500, and several special science events (some are free with the day pass, but for others you need to purchase access separately). The special all-day passes are limited in quantity, and they just went on sale today, so make haste if you want to reserve your tickets.

FCBD 2012: Free Komiks and Tony de Zuñiga Sketch Drive

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 2 - 2012

Art by Rommel "Omeng" Estanislao, from http://www.comicscube.com


It’s time for the annual Free Comic Book Day, which this year falls on the 5th of May, this Saturday. This year is extra special, because Andrew Villar has marshaled two groups of Philippine comics creators (including my High Society collaborator Hannah Buena) for a pair of FCBD issues featuring local talent, one for Comic Odyssey, and one for ComicXHub (you can check up the lineup for each here). Comic Odyssey will also have a limited edition Electromagnetic Tentacle FCBD shirt for sale.

From http://flipgeeks.com/pinoy-komiks-dc-marvel-etc/local-komiks-creators-release-two-fcbd-comics-for-2012/


Other comic stores that are likely to participate are Druid’s Keep, and Planet X Comic Book Shop. Don’t forget that Fully Booked (Metro Manila branches), as is their usual practice, will celebrate FCBD on a separate day, this year May 19.

From: http://www.facebook.com/freecomicbookph

Another reason to troop down to your local comic book shop this Saturday is that both Comic Odyssey and ComicXHub will be holding sketch drives for the benefit of Filipino comics legend Tony de Zuñiga.

For further information about FCBD, here’s the official Philippine FCBD Facebook Page.


“Alternative Alamat” on the Kobo and In-depth Review

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 16 - 2012

Thanks to Flipside Digital Content, “Alternative Alamat” (and my steampunk comic, “High Society” ) are now available at Kobo!

Speaking of “Alternative Alamat”, I’d like to thank everyone who has already bought a copy, and everyone who continues to spread the word about the anthology–we must have received a few sales over the last few days, as we jumped back up to #5 on the Kindle Fantasy Anthology bestsellers list last Saturday. For anyone who’s still on the fence about the anthology, maybe a very positive story-by-story review from Jaymee Goh will do the trick? Jaymee posted this almost a month ago, and while I re-tweeted it robustly then, I only just realized that I forgot to link to it on Rocket Kapre. Jaymee is a fellow Southeast Asian author and an insightful critic with a perspective that I think readers of Philippine speculative fiction will appreciate. You can also find her on Silver Goggles, her postcolonialist steampunk blog (which you may remember from the in-depth review of “On Wooden Wings”).

What I’m Reading: Two Sides of Eastercon

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 11 - 2012

I never used to know when a major science fiction/fantasy convention is going on, but with Twitter, it was impossible not to be aware (and envious) of the fact that Eastercon was taking place a few days ago. By most accounts, it seems to have been a wonderful experience, filled with insightful talks, interesting people, and the occasional swordfight. An article in the Guardian also pointed out strides made in terms of increasing diversity of representation.

Nevertheless, as is to be expected from most undertakings, there were aspects of the convention that merited critical comment, and for Filipino writers of speculative fiction–or readers of Philippine speculative fiction–I think it’s safe to assume that if you come to Rocket Kapre, you’re one or both–I think that the following blog posts are worth a read:

Also worth reading–but not really a “critical comment” on the convention, so I’m segregating it– is the “thoughts from eastercon 2012 part one” post from Filipino writer (and Alternative Alamat contributor) Rochita Loenen-Ruiz.

It’s unfortunate that Ms. MacFarlane seems to have taken heat on Twitter for her Eastercon post. As a neutral observer who doesn’t know much about Eastercons past or present, the impression I got from reading her post was that the convention was, overall, quite wonderful, and the “fails” were isolated incidents that show the work that must still be done, without disparaging the improvements that have already been put in place. I know that I’d love to go to an Eastercon if I have the chance, and her post in no way dissuaded me.

[Image: Screencap from the Guardian.]

Imaginasaurus: Fantasy and Sci Fi Art Workshop

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 9 - 2012

Gunship Revolution will be running “imaginasaurus“, their  latest art Creation Live! workshop–this time focusing on science fiction and fantasy artwork–on April 18, from 1-6PM, at Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street. Rocket Kapre readers, take special note, because amongst the speakers at the event is K. Lapeña (Scarypet), our wonderful cover (and occasional interiors) artist for Usok. If you’re a budding artist interested in doing fantasy/SF art, see if you can drop by!

Flipreads Easter Sale (High Society and Alternative Alamat)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 5 - 2012

Looking for something to read during the longest Philippine holiday of 2012? Flipreads will be having a sale from today, April 5 – 8, 2012, with P40.00 off on selected titles, including High Society and Alternative Alamat. Here’s the complete list of participating publishers/authors:



Lower Myths and Current Events: An Interview With Eliza Victoria

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 3 - 2012

Eliza Victoria’s fiction and poetry have received prizes in the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and the Philippines Free Press Literary Awards. She’s contributed to many of our projects here at Rocket Kapre, including Usok, Ruin and Resolve, and Alternative Alamat. She took the time to answer a few questions about her first solo book “Lower Myths”, which was just released digitally last week.

Why did you choose “Lower Myths” as the title of this novella collection?

I’m not sure if I first read this in a book or online, but some historiographers make a distinction between what they perceive as two kinds of myths. B?rendran?tha Datta discusses it here: “classical”/literary myths are considered “higher myths” while oral/folk myths are considered “lower myths”.

The myths that I’ve always loved are oral myths, and their creatures and characters appear in this volume.

Did you intentionally set out to write novella-length fiction, or were these simply the length you felt that the stories needed to be?

I distinctly remember making notes on these stories and thinking that the plots couldn’t be contained within 5,000 words (the length of an average short story). So yes, I guess the intention is to write longer stories. I didn’t think “novella”, I just thought they’d be “long”.

Did you notice any difference in the writing of novella-length fiction, as opposed to shorter stories? Were there any peculiar difficulties/benefits to the novella?

Working with a longer word count could give you a fake sense of freedom. You’ll write scenes the story doesn’t really need, go overboard with descriptions, etc. What I’m saying is, there’s no difference really. It just so happened that the novella was the length the stories needed.

BUT I have to say one difficulty to the novella is IT’S HARDER TO SELL. I once spoke with a print publication, and they told me that they love Lower Myths, but it’s not marketable. Most publications want short stories, or full novels. Good thing Flipside picked this up or this won’t see the light of day.

Was there any particular reason you chose to package these two novellas together? Do you feel that they somehow interact with each other, thematically? (An early review mentioned that the stories “visit both sides of the fence…”)

The stories mention the same creatures and at moments occur in the same setting.

“Trust Fund Babies” involves a war between families of witches and fairies. What kind of research did you have to do for this story?

I am a fan of mindless, mob movies. Just gleeful, plot-driven action. And I am fond of detective fiction. Whatever research this story needed, I’ve already done in the past I suppose.

Why did you choose fairies and witches in particular, as opposed to other available creature/sorcerer groups?

The story begins in the Cagayan Valley, and the stories my mother and grandmother (who are both from Cagayan) tell me “from back home” almost always involved witches.

As for fairies, I’m just fond of diwata.

Was “The Very Last Case of Messrs. Aristotel and Arkimedes Magtanggol” (where an aristocrat and his daughter consult sibling lawyers about a mysterious crime) inspired by any real life events?

If I told you what real-life event inspired this story, I’ll give the plot away! A clue then: turn to the news.

The book also features some fine illustrations. Can you tell us a bit about the artist, and why you chose to include artwork?

The inclusion of artwork (by Lester Banzuelo) was the decision of the publishing house. But [the illustrations] lovely, aren’t they? I really love the cover too [illustrated by Lester Banzuelo and designed by Adam David].

“Lower Myths” is an ebook, but you also have a print collection of short stories coming out later this year. Can you talk a bit about the differences and/or similarities in the publishing process for a digital book and a print book? How did you choose which collection to pitch for print/digital?

I pitched this collection for digital because it might be easier to sell a short book as an ebook than its dead-tree equivalent. And, as I’ve mentioned, I don’t think print publishing houses are keen on accepting novella collections.

As for the differences, print books take longer to produce, and are more expensive. During revisions, a digital book will be returned to you as a Word file with Track Changes on. Meanwhile, my short story collection was returned to me as a print-out, a hefty package with the comments penciled in. As someone who is used to working on a computer, the process seemed archaic to me (I had to sit on the floor so I could flip through the MS without ruining the pages, and take notes on a separate piece of paper). But it was beautiful! It was very romantic. It’s been a while since I last saw an editor’s handwriting.

“Lower Myths” can currently be purchased at Amazon or Flipreads.

Photo credit: Karen Lucero of the National Book Development Board



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.