Ebook Sale: Flipreads Read-an-Ebook Week Promo

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 5 - 2013

Flipreads, the ebook store of Flipside Digital, my co-publisher for the digital edition of Alternative Alamat, will be participating in Read an eBook Week (March 3-9) with a promotional sale of several books, including Alternative Alamat and the digital editions of the Philippine Speculative Fiction series. Full list below:

New Review of “Alternative Alamat” at inkalicious

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 24 - 2013

Nothing like a positive review to brighten your day: just found a new review of “Alternative Alamat” by author Michele Albert on her reading blog. It’s a positive, detailed review — my favorite kind — with something about each of the stories, as well as the art. Here’s a taste:

“Alamat” is the Filipino word for “legend,” and the “alternative” part of the title is self-explanatory. I enjoyed this anthology; it introduced mythologies unfamiliar to me and the stories and author styles were nicely diverse. The stories ranged from the sort of urban fantasy you’d find in a Charles DeLint or Neil Gaiman book to something more along the lines of the kick-ass heroine in a city full of weird. One story read like a fairytale and another like a more straightforward mythic tale. The oddest was the story told in footnotes!


I enjoyed all the stories, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would be Keeper of My Sky. A creation myth with an alternative time stream twist, it was sad and hauntingly beautiful. The bit with the rain, and the reason why Tungkung Langit and Alunsina could never be together, was lovely. Fans of N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy would probably enjoy this story too, although it takes place in our modern world.



Today was the start of the annual Manila International Book Fair, and that’s excellent timing, because it allows me to once again encourage everyone interested in Philippine mythology and indigenous culture to get a copy of Prof. Herminia Meñez Coben’s book “Verbal Arts in Philippine Indigenous Communities: Poetics, Society, and History“.  You’ll remember Professor Coben of course as one of the experts who was gracious enough to talk mythology with me in “Alternative Alamat“, and her book has been a huge influence on how I see our cultural heritage. The book has also just received an excellent review from the prestigious Asian Ethnology journal, and you can get a PDF of that review here.

In short, if they’re selling the book at the Ateneo University Press booth at the book fair, grab it!

Image from panitikan.ph

Last Saturday, not only did “Alternaitve Alamat” win in the 1st Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards, but I also leaned that “Alternative Alamat“, as well as “High Society“–my steampunk comic with Hannah Buena–have been nominated for a Manila Critics Circle “Special Prize for an Ebook” for this year’s National Book Awards.


The nomination has me thrilled on multiple levels – not the least of which is because I’ve been nominated twice (*shudders with glee*). It’s also great because I think this is the first time an award like this is being given, and it shows that literary institutions such as the National Book Development Board and the MCC are starting to recognize digital publishing. Not to mention the fact that two of the nominees are komiks (and congrats to our friend Adam David for the nomination for “The Long Weekend”) and I always enjoy it when komiks are given their due.  I’m also happy for my publisher/co-publisher Flipside Digital , which as you can see dominates this category quite handily–the folks at Flipside are top-notch, and it’s great that their efforts are being recognized.

The names of the winners will be revealed during the awarding ceremonies that will be held on November 17 at the National Museum, so keep your fingers crossed everyone!


The 2nd Filipino Reader Conference took place last Saturday and it was a resounding success, with more than two hundred book lovers of all sorts – writers, fans, publishers, kindle fanatics, paperback hoarders, librarians, book club members – converging at the Filipinas Heritage Libraryand celebrating the joy of a good read. For us at Rocket Kapre, it was even more memorable because “Alternative Alamat” took home the top prize in the “Short Story Anthology category in the first ever Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards. (Which was a great way to cap a day filled with more good news on the awards front – but more on that later.)

Photo c/o AA contributor Eliza Victoria http://sungazer.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/the-2nd-filipino-readers-convention/

It’s a great honor to receive the award – while I wanted to make “Alternative Alamat” accessible to non-Filipinos, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that introducing my countrymen to the beauty of the less-well known aspects of our mythology and heritage, as well as to the talents of Filipino speculative fiction writers, is one of the foremost reasons why I published the anthology in the first place. Congratulations and thanks goes to my wonderful contributors, to Mervin Malonzo for his beautiful art, to Professors Herminia Meñez Coben and Fernando N. Zialcita for sharing their time and expertise, and to the good folks at Flipside Digital who co-published the book and handled all the back end details that would’ve driven me crazy. Thanks as well to the judges for their acknowledgment, and all the readers whose votes allowed us to make the short-list.

Here’s what the judges had to say:

Alternative Alamat does for Philippine deities what Neil Gaiman’s American Gods did for the lesser-known gods of Europe, Asia and Africa. Readers will find that the gods, goddesses and supernatural beings of the Philippines are as fascinating as those of any other nation’s pantheon. By turns shocking, tragic, even malevolent—the beings featured in this collection of stories are given new shape and form in stories that traverse the past and the present of Filipino culture. If myth is said to form a nation’s collective subconscious, then Alternative Alamat gives Filipino readers a much-needed injection of myths that are truly ours, and truly deserving of more widespread attention. Because of this collection, we’ll never view Filipino mythology the same way again.

Guess it might be time to shop around for a print publisher huh?

Sale: Alternative Alamat and High Society for $0.99

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 26 - 2012

To celebrate “Alternative Alamat” and “High Society” being nominated in the 1st Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards (cast your ballot now!) we’re having a sale! Until the end of the month, both “Alternative Alamat” and “High Society” are being discounted to $.0.99 or the peso equivalent. It’ll take some time for the reduction to be reflected in all distributors, but both books have been discounted on Amazon as of now.

So if you’ve liked the books and want to give them to others, or if you’re wondering if “Alternative Alamat” and “High Society” deserve your votes for the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards, now’s the time to buy!

Free Alternative Alamat Story: “The Last Full Show”

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 16 - 2012

One of the stories found in our anthology “Alternative Alamat” is now available for free online. That story is Budjette Tan’s “The Last Full Show”, a short story starring Alexandra Trese that sheds some light on the background of both our heroine and Dr. “Spunky” Hontiveros, and it is now available in its entirety at “Stories from the Diabolical.” If you like what you read, do check out “Alternative Alamat” for more stories that re-imagine Filipino myths and legends.

Here’s the introduction to the story, as found in the anthology.

The Last Full Show

Budjette Tan

Budjette Tan is the writer and co-creator of the graphic novel “Trese”. By day, he writes advertising copy for McCann Worldgroup. By night (or when his boss isn’t looking), he writes comic book stories.  He is one of the founding members of Alamat Comics.

Initially an independently published series of photocopied comics, the Trese series has gone on to win the Philippines’ National Book Award. Its heroine, Alexandra Trese,  has become one of the most popular Philippine comic book characters in recent memory, a no-nonsense heroine who stands apart from many of her peers in the urban fantasy genre. This story is a rare glimpse at the softer side of Trese.

It’s a big, big week for Alternative Alamat contributors! Eliza Victoria (“Ana’s Little Pawnshop on Makiling St.”) and Raissa Falgui (“The Sorceress Queen”) both have new novellas out – only one is clearly speculative fiction, but both are worth checking out. Also out this week is the digital edition of Philippine Speculative Fiction 6, where “Offerings to Aman Sinaya” by Andrei Tupaz, first appeared. (Mia Tijam and I have also been doing a story-by-story review here.)

THE VIEWLESS DARK by Eliza Victoria

When Anthony found Flo dead, locked overnight in one of the reading rooms of the university library, he knew it must have something to do with Mary. Mary Prestosa, fourth year graduating Philosophy student, whom they had been investigating. Mary, who surprised her roommate one night by suddenly standing up from her bed, throwing the windows open, and jumping down, headfirst, to the dormitory grounds below. Mary, whose memory marked the trail of mysterious deaths and bizarre occurrences that followed her own fateful fall: the fifth-year Computer Engineering student who prowled the campus on all fours, thirsty for blood, believing he was a wolf; the revelation of an all-girls’ satanic cult; the demonic possession of a fourth-year student from the Department of Psychology; and now—Flo, dead.

The students traced it all to Mary. They believed Mary didn’t commit suicide. They believed Mary tapped into something dark, and released it, and was consumed.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Viewless-Dark-ebook/dp/B008JF8JLU/
Flipreads: http://www.flipreads.com/book/the-viewless-dark/

WOMAN IN A FRAME by Raissa Falgui

In a darkened hall in a plain white box of a building was a portrait of a woman, a girl, really—an old-fashioned girl in a modern frame, leaning against the wall. Other paintings similarly arrayed surrounded her, waiting to take their places in the gallery.

Voices echoed in the room, a young man’s jeering and a young woman’s more tentative tones. Cool hands with long, delicate fingers lifted the portrait.

Perhaps what drew the young woman to this painting was the incongruity of a girl, grave and formal, set within the vibrant, flowing curves of the carved art nouveau frame. Perhaps it was the sense of kinship she felt. For the young woman, Ning, was the daughter of an artist, dreaming of becoming an artist. She knew nothing of the girl in the portrait, only that the intensity captured in the glimmer of its brush-stroked eyes reflected her own.

So begins Ning’s journey to her country’s colonial past to uncover the story behind the portrait—the story of Marcela.

It is 1896, and Marcela, of the renowned Simbulan artist family from Pino, Laguna, has fallen in love with Julio Benitez, a Spanish peninsular just come from Europe to woo the town’s belle: Raquel Riola, mestiza heiress. Torn between loyalties to family and nation, desire and social expectations, childhood and maturity, Marcela must learn to navigate dreams and deceptions to free her silenced love and stifled craft.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008JBJPMQ
Flipreads: http://www.flipreads.com/book/woman-in-a-frame

PHILIPPINE SPECULATIVE FICTION Volume 6 edited by Nikki Alfar and Kate Osias

  • The Big Man by Asterio Gutierrez
  • Alternative Histories by Ian Rosales Casocot
  • Ashland by Elyss G. Punsalan
  • Carpaccio (or, Repentance as a Meat Recipe) by Arlynn Despi
  • The Grim Malkin by Vincent Michael Simbulan
  • From the Book of Names My Mother Did Not Give Me by Christine V. Lao
  • Prisoner 2501 by Philip Corpuz
  • A Smell of Mothballs by Mailin Paterno
  • Villainoguing by Joseph Montecillo
  • On Wooden Wings by Paolo Chikiamco
  • Break in at Batay Street by Francis Gabriel Concepcion
  • The Kiddie Pool by Kenneth Yu
  • Eternal Winter by Maria Pia Vibar Benosa
  • Lament of the Counselor by Jay Anyong
  • The Bookshelves of Mrs. Go by Charles Tan
  • Offerings to Aman Sinaya by Andrei Tupaz
  • Resurrection by Victor Ocampo
  • Strange Adventures in Procreation by Andrew Drilon
  • Hollowbody by Crystal Koo
  • The Storyteller’s Curse by Eliza Victoria
  • The Impossible and the R.S.C. Gregorio del Pilar by Alex Osias
  • Simon’s Replica by Dean Alfar

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008JBOBP2
Flipreads: http://www.flipreads.com/book/philippine-speculative-fiction-volume-6/

New Alternative Alamat Review (Robin Edman)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 27 - 2012

I didn’t see this until yesterday, but in May, “Alternative Alamat” received a great new review on Goodreads from one Robin Edman. No, it’s not great because of the rating – although that’s awesome – but because this is how I was hoping the anthology would be received by those unfamiliar not only with Philippine mythology, but Philippine culture as a whole.

For those who are looking for additional reviews of “Alternative Alamat”, I’ve compiled some of them on the book page, including the wonderfully in-depth story-by-story review from Jaymee Goh. (Scroll all the way down – this post reviews three books.)

“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”).



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.