You may recall Estranghero Press’s web anthologies “The Farthest Shore” and “Diaspora ad Astra”, and, while the web versions are no longer available, both anthologies are set to be released this month in print from the U.P. Press. A book launch is slated for August 23 (by invite only I think) as part of a 10 book slate of UP, so hopefully they should be in bookstores soon. Congratulations to all involved! (On a personal note, I have a story in The Farthest Shore.)

Some links from my previous coverage of the anthologies:

Reminder: Nomination Period for the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards 2013

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 16 - 2013

 

The 3rd Filipino Reader Con is taking place on 9 November 2013, and during the event, the winners of the 2nd Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards will be announced, and I just wanted to take the time to remind everyone that nominations are still open, and will remain so until August 23 ONLY. As stated in the rules, for 2013, the Filipino Readers’ choice awards will be open to books published from January to December 2012, in the following categories:

  • Children’s picture book
  • Chick lit
  • Novel in English
  • Novel in Filipino
  • Comics / Graphic novels
  • Short story anthology
  • Essay anthology
  • Poetry

I can’t stress enough how important it is that as many people as possible nominate (in Stage 1) and participate (during the voting in Stage 2). The Readers’ Choice Awards answers a dire need, because it’s the only annual Philippine literary award in which readers at-large can participate (that I know of — the Komikon Awards are not annual). One of the things I think that we local writers and publishers need to do better is connect with our readership and these awards are a great way for a wide bloc of readers to speak on a single stage (even while singing different tunes, so to speak), and the more people are on that stage, the better it will be at bridging that gap between writers, publishers, and readers.

So do take the time to nominate and vote for the categories that you read. It’s important.

Timothy James Dimacali Interview at Adarna SF

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 6 - 2013

Adarna SF has just posted an interview with Skygypsies writer and Alternative Alamat contributor, TJ Dimacali. (Adarna SF also has a new review of Alternative Alamat here.) Here’s an excerpt, with TJ answering a question aboutthe audience for and nature of Filipino speculative fiction stories:

It’s a fact that we don’t yet have the means to produce our own high technology, and won’t be capable of doing so for at least a generation more to come, if at all.

This means that we’re completely at the mercy of whatever technology lands in our hands from first-world countries. Sure, they’re built and assembled in Asia, but the basic construction paradigms and even the basic marketing strategies stem from people who are of a different cultural milieu and world-view than ours.

And yet, we’ve proven time and again that we are capable of adapting these technologies to suit our needs and to use them in ways that the original designers never even thought of.

This happened a decade ago with SMS, and now with social media. But all of these are after the fact, merely reactionary to the arrival of foreign technologies.

So that’s where speculative fiction —particularly SCIENCE fiction— comes into the picture: it’s a way for us to dream our own future, to empower us with a vision of what we can become. So that we’re more than just blind adopters of foreign technologies.

You can read the full interview here.

Event: The Owl Signing Event at Castle Geek

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 12 - 2013

An invitation to you all from Lawrence Sol, and the Castle Geek team. Lawrence also mentions that: ” “Please note that this is the first time we will be raffling off a CGC 9.8 Yellow Label Series comic… Also, HKM will be giving out as a raffle prize an exact replica of this OWL script complete with sketches and annotations etc. Another first in the industry!”

After months of anticipation, CASTLE GEEK brings you DYNAMITE SUPERSTAR – Heubert Khan Michael for another signing event, this time for this new book – THE OWL!

THE OWL

(W) J. T. Krul 
(A) Hubert Khan Michael 
(CA) Alex Ross

Fear the shadows, the Owl has returned! Lost for 50 years in an ethereal limbo, the Owl has come back to find a violent and desperate world of strangers. The woman he loved is gone, but he remains determined to continue his fight for justice. Can the Owl withstand the challenges awaiting him… or will this new reality crush his body and spirit?

Catch him at CASTLE GEEK Glorietta on Saturday, July 20, 1:00PM, have your copies signed, and your blank covers sketched!

Plus! CASTLE GEEK presents to you the grandest raffle prize yet!

WIN!

ONE (1) CGC Graded, Yellow Label, Sketched Blank Cover by Heubert Khan Michael (courtesy of our friend Jun Pamintuan) 

ONE (1) Official Replica of THE OWL Script complete with Artist Sketches on the pages!

SKETCH MECHANICS:

- There will be SIX (6) Slots for Heubert Khan Michael at P500 (one character only)
- Sketch slots will be given to those who have purchased the book
– Sketches will be on a first come first served basis and will only be done in Blank Cover Variants bought on that day.
- No reservation of sketches allowed.

RAFFLE MECHANICS:

- For every P1000 purchase of DYNAMITE COMICS that includes Heubert Khan Michael’s THE OWL you get ONE (1) Raffle Coupon.

- Once drawn, winners must be present to claim their prize.

- Raffle of items will start at 5:00PM

And there’s more!

 

ONE DAY SALE!

Back Issue Bins at P100 each! (DC, Marvel, Image, Vertigo, and all other publishers)
CGC GRADED COMICs at 30% OFF!

Complete Sets at 20% OFF!

Join us together with other DYNAMITE Artist for this momentous event happening only at CASTLE GEEK Glorietta!

Three spec fic book launches at once — how’s that for efficiency? I’ve got a story in the  ’Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction, 2005 – 2010′ (it launched in print a while back, but this is the digital launch), a reprint of “Carbon” from PSF5. If you’re in the area and interested in spec fic, do come by — the Alfar-hosted launches are usually frenetic and enjoyable.

Here are the details:

When: Saturday, July 27, 2:00 p.m.

Where: e Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at EDSA Shangri-La Mall

The UST Publishing House, Flipside Publishing, and Kestrel DDM invite you to the launch of:

‘Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 8′, edited by Dean Francis Alfar and Nikki Alfar,

‘Now, Then, and Elsewhen’, a short story collection by Nikki Alfar, and

the digital edition of the ‘Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction, 2005 – 2010′, edited by Dean Francis Alfar and Nikki Alfar.

Ours has regularly been called “the most fun book launch of the year”, so do join us for an afternoon of laughter, merienda, and the inevitable teasing of Eliza Victoria. And probably you. And probably me. But, you know, we believe that mockery is the sincerest form of friendship. (Please note that this will be held at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at EDSA Shangri-La MALL, not the hotel, and also not the 26th Street Bistro at the new wing. It’s the ground-level Coffee Bean, facing the driveway.)

Tabi Po to be Published by Visprint in 2014

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 4 - 2013

A big congratulations to Mervin Malonzo, friend of the blog and illustrator of Alternative Alamat, for nabbing a print book contract with Visprint for his aswang opus, Tabi Po. He chronicles his path to publication here. If you want to read the webcomic before the book comes out (it’s in Filipino — there are paid ebook editions in English available on Amazon) then head here. The quality of the comic has always been high, but it’s been improving as it nears its climax, and no, I’m not just saying that because I’ve been helping with the editing :)

Manila Noir Book Launch This Saturday

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 3 - 2013

Specfic isn’t the only genre (*gasp*) that the country could use more of. Crime fiction is even less represented here — but that could change with the advent of books like the upcoming Manila Noir. An anthology of stories curated b y Jessica Hagedorn, the book’s been available for a while but officially launches this Saturday. Spec fic fans also have reasons to rejoice, because, in a departure from other books in the Noir series, there is a spec fic story included in Manila Noir — and it’s a new Trese comic, from Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo.

Details of the launch are below:

What: Manila Noir Book Launch with special guest Jessica Hagedorn

When: July 6, 2013, 4 pm

Where: National Book Store, Glorietta 1

New York-based Filipino writer Jessica Hagedorn will visit Manila for the launch of the book Manila Noir on July 6, 4 pm, at the National Book Store flagship in Glorietta 1. Plus! Meet and greet Filipino contributors such as Angelo Lacuesta, Budjette Tan, F.H. Batacan, Jose Dalisay, Jr., Kajo Baldisimo, Lourd De Veyra, R. Zamora Linmark and Rosario Cruz-Lucero.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Brand-new stories by: Lourd De Veyra, Gina Apostol, Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo, F.H. Batacan, Jose Dalisay Jr., Eric Gamalinda, Jessica Hagedorn, Angelo Lacuesta, R. Zamora Linmark, Rosario Cruz-Lucero, Sabina Murray, Jonas Vitman, Marianne Villanueva, and Lysley Tenorio.

Manila provides the ideal, torrid setting for an Akashic Noir series volume. It’s where the rich rub shoulders with the poor, where five-star hotels coexist with informal settlements, where religious zeal coexists with superstition, and where politics is often synonymous with celebrity and corruption.

ABOUT JESSICA HAGEDORN

Jessica Hagedorn is the author of Dream Jungle, The Gangster Of Love, which was nominated for the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and Dogeaters, which was nominated for a National Book Award. Her works include Danger And Beauty, a collection of poetry and prose, musical play Most Wanted, a collaboration with composer Mark Bennett and director Michael Greif at La Jolla Playhouse, Fe In The Desert and Stairway To Heaven for Campo Santo in San Francisco, the stage adaptation of Dogeaters, and the screenplay for Fresh Kill, a feature film directed by Shu Lea Cheang. She wrote the scripts for the experimental animated series The Pink Palace, which was created for the first season of the Oxygen Network.

 

 

Paolo’s New Work: Slammed! Interactive Fiction Game

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 1 - 2013

Hi guys! On the chance that some of you may be interested in my non-specfic work as well, Choice of Games has just released Slammed!, my Interactive Fiction wrestling game,  for iOSAndroidKindle Fire, and, via the Chrome Web Store, Windows, OS X, and Linux. By “Interactive Fiction”, I mean something along the lines of a choose-your-own-adventure gamebook, with statistics, but without dice rolls.

At 250,000 words, give or take, this is easily the longest story I’ve ever written, and you might say it’s my first novel (or first five novels). As I said, it’s not specfic — but really, pro wrestling is as close as you can come to a real life superhero universe. If you enjoy my writing, but don’t watch wrestling, I have it on good authority that you can still enjoy the game — you can try the demo to check the game out, or read the wrestling primer I prepared, for non-fans. In any event, this is a labor of love that I devoted more than half a year of my life to, and I’d love it if Rocket Kapre readers would give it a try, and help me spread the word.

Thank you! Here’s the official press release from Choice of Games:

We’re proud to announce that SLAMMED!, the latest in our popular “Choice of Games” line of multiple-choice interactive-fiction games, is now available for iOSAndroidKindle Fire, and, via the Chrome Web Store, Windows, OS X, and Linux.

Turn a scripted steel-cage wrestling match into a real fight in this 250,000-word interactive novel!

You’ve always dreamed of becoming pro wrestling’s biggest star…but a wrestler’s world is fraught with hardship and betrayal, in and out of the ring. Become a powerhouse, a technician, a high-flier, or focus on your promo skills. There’s more than one road to success.

But none of those roads will be easy. This is a world where your biggest fans are your harshest critics; where the front office is more dangerous than the squared circle; where friends can become enemies with a single heel turn; where, sometimes, the only way to win is to lose, spectacularly.

This is professional wrestling. And you’re about to change it, forever.

Slammed! is an epic interactive professional-wrestling novel by Paolo Chikiamco, where your choices determine how the story proceeds. The game is entirely text-based–without graphics or sound effects–but driven by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

There’s never been a professional wrestling game like this, a game where the outcome of your final match, your choice of opponent, and your relationships affect the ending. When’s the last time you played a pro-wrestling RPG with a “kayfabe” stat?–or where your trash-talking “promo” ability is as important as your core strength and wrestling technique?

  • Enjoy a 250,000-word personal tale of friendship, competition, and revenge.
  • Develop not only your physical abilities, but a favored wrestling style.
  • Become a heroic face, or a villainous heel–or even turn heel.
  • Turn a scripted match into a real fight–and vice versa.
  • Decide when to keep kayfabe, and when to break it.
  • Play as male or female, gay or straight.

We hope you enjoy playing SLAMMED!. We encourage you to tell your friends about it, and recommend the game on StumbleUpon, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. Don’t forget: our initial download rate determines our ranking on the App Store. Basically, the more times you download in the first week, the better our games will rank.

Call for Submissions: Philippine Speculative Fiction 9

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 21 - 2013

It’s that time of the year again. If you enjoyed dipping your toes in the water during RP612fic, why not give a short story a try? Text taken from Andrew Drilon and Charles Tan:

Editors Andrew Drilon and Charles Tan invite you (yes, you!) to submit short fiction for consideration for Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 9.

Philippine Speculative Fiction is a yearly anthology series, which collects a wide range of 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 Manila Critics’ Circle National Book Award, and multiple stories from each volume have been cited in roundups of the year’s best speculative fiction across the globe.

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

Submissions must be:
1. speculative fiction—i.e., they must contain strong elements and/or sensibilities of science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, alternate history, folklore, superheroes, and/or related ‘nonrealist’ genres and subgenres
2. written in English
3. authored by persons of Philippine ethnicity and/or nationality

Submissions are preferred to be:
1. original and unpublished
2. no shorter than 1,000 words and no longer than 7,500
3. written for an adult audience
4. featuring a strong Filipino element (a character, setting, theme, plot, etcetera.)
In all cases, these preferences can be easily overturned by exceptionally well-written pieces. 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 publishing market until you have received a letter of regret from us. But we don’t mind if you submit to contests.
2. All submissions should be in Rich Text Format (saved under the file extension ‘.rtf’), and emailed to philspecfic9@gmail.com, with the subject line ‘PSF9 submission’.
3. The deadline for submissions is 11 pm, Manila time, October 26, 2013. Letters of acceptance or regret will be sent out no later than one month after the deadline.

Editors’ notes:
1. Please don’t forget to indicate your real name in the submission email! If you want to write under a pseudonym, that’s fine, but this can be discussed upon story acceptance. Initially, we just need to know who we’re talking to.
2. If you’d like to write a cover letter with your brief bio and publishing history (if applicable), do feel free to introduce yourself—but not your story, please. If it needs to be explained, it’s probably not ready to be published.
3. We advise authors to avoid fancy formatting—this will just be a waste of your time and ours, since we will, eventually, standardize fonts and everything else to fit our established house style.

Authors of selected stories will receive Php500 pesos in compensation, as well as digital copies of the book.

Please help spread the word! Feel free to copy this and paste it anywhere you see fit that happens to be legal. :)

Guest Post: Eliza Victoria on Why We Read Horror

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 18 - 2013

Various commitments have me unable to post on Rocket Kapre as often as I like, so I’ll be reaching out to other Filipino writers/creators to do posts for the blog. First up is Usok and Alternative Alamat contributor (and friend) Eliza Victoria, who happens to have a new book out: Unseen Moon. Enjoy! – Paolo

I posted an announcement about my new collection of dark fiction, Unseen Moon, the same month two pressure cooker bombs exploded during the Boston Marathon. The following month, three women escaped from a house on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland, freeing themselves from a decade of sex slavery and confinement. In the face of real-life tragedy, who needs horror stories? I continue to write them, and I continue to read them, even as I sit paranoid in commuter buses and lock (and double-lock) my apartment door at night. Even my own poetry deals with crime and death.

In a recent interview with Neon Literary Magazine, I said that I am very interested in exploring the capacity of humans to be both kind and terrible. How kind? How terrible? According to reports, the alleged Cleveland kidnapper allegedly (don’t you just love/hate that word?) caused one of the captives to have miscarriages by punching her in the gut. In 2012, a 23-year-old woman in Delhi was raped by six men inside a bus, and died from her injuries days later. Can you imagine the kind of injury that woman’s body endured in order to cause her death? In 1974, five people in Utah were forced by armed robbers to drink Drano, a corrosive drain cleaner. It peeled away the flesh around their mouths.

And I haven’t even mentioned the Khmer Rouge massacres, the lynch mobs, the rape of our women during wartime, what happened in Maguindanao. And on and on.

That’s how terrible we are.

But why are we like this? Why do we commit these terrible deeds? Looking for the answer, some end up with clinical studies, and I end up with horror fiction.

Horror is a fact of life,” says Joyce Carol Oates, “and as a writer I’m fascinated by all facets of life. As H.P. Lovecraft has said, ‘The oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.’ Horror or gothic literature is the most imaginative of all literatures, bearing an obvious relationship to the surreal logic of dreams.”

I enjoyed writing the stories in Unseen Moon. Dark fiction is challenging to write, and as a writer, you need constant challenges in order to improve your craft.

As a reader, I turn to dark fiction because it excites me, it intrigues me. In good horror tales, something always happens, and something always changes. And these tales share with you the kind of horror you can face head-on, unlike the horrors of the real world. You can finish a tale and be stunned and shaken, but still have enough cheer to sit down with your loved ones for dinner.

Robert McCammon, one of the founders of the Horror Writers Assocation, said, “Horror fiction upsets apple carts, burns old buildings, and stampedes the horses; it questions and yearns for answers, and it takes nothing for granted. It’s not safe, and it probably rots your teeth, too. Horror fiction can be a guide through a nightmare world, entered freely and by the reader’s own will. And since horror can be many, many things and go in many, many directions, that guided nightmare ride can shock, educate, illuminate, threaten, shriek, and whisper before it lets the readers loose.”

It “questions and yearns for answers”, but above all, it is a “guided nightmare ride”.

A horror story may be unsettling and shocking, but I know someone wrote it for me, and I know that someone will guide me, until the end.

Let me guide you, too.

Eliza Victoria‘s fiction and poetry have appeared in several online and print publications in the Philippines and elsewhere. Her work has won prizes in the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and the Philippines Free Press Literary Awards.

 

Unseen Moon, a collection of five stories, is her latest book. For more information, visit http://elizavictoria.com.

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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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