Philippine Speculative Fiction 9: Now Available

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 9 - 2014



Co-editor Andrew Drilon brings word that the flagship book of local spec fic, still going strong. Congrats to Andrew Drilon and Charles Tan, Dean Francis Alfar and Nikki Alfar, and all the contributors! Lots of new names here, always a good thing:


A young tikbalang auditions at the country’s largest TV station; a priest travels the universe to officiate sacraments in outer space; a murdered girl returns unscathed to the home of her perpetrators. The Philippine Speculative Fiction series showcases the rich variety of Philippine literature. Between these covers you will find magic realism next to science fiction, traditional fantasy beside slipstream, and imaginary worlds rubbing shoulders with alternate Philippine history—demonstrating that the literature of the fantastic is alive and well in the Philippines.

Stories from this series have been included in the Honorable Mentions list from The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror edited by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link, and Gavin Grant.

I’ll update this post as more links become available, but you can already pick up your copy at the following places:

Massive thanks to David Ong and the rest of Flipside Publishing for helping us put the book together!

Charles and I are so proud of the quality of the stories in this volume, and we’re very excited for people to finally read it. We are planning a book launch to get all the amazing authors in together in one place, so stay tuned for details on that.

In the meantime, please enjoy the book! We hope that it thrills, frightens, amuses, saddens, endears and entertains you!

Discount Code for Lauriat: A Filipino-Chinese Speculative Fiction Anthology

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 26 - 2013

Lauriat, the Filipino-Chinese Speculative Fiction Anthology edited by Charles Tan, is being discounted on Smashwords until October 25. While listed at 6.99 US dollars on the site, just use this coupon code at Smashwords, you can purchase the ebook of Lauriat for $0.99: NG66N. You can read an interview I did with Charles about Lauriat here.

Lauriat was reviewed positively in Publisher’s Weekly, and includes my alternate history story (mentioned in that review) called the “Captain’s Nephew.” It mixes General Jose Ignacio Paua — the Chinese General of the Katipunan — and one of the Philippines’ most famous folklore creatures. Here’s an excerpt:

Batangas.1896.

The forest that covered the slopes of Mount Pico de Loro was thick with dense underbrush and slim, swaying trees whose trunks formed a lattice of rough bark and sharp edges. The trunks were almost invisible beneath the shelter of the forest canopy, deeper lines of black obstructing stray beams of moonlight and frustrating the efforts of one Chinese man. Jose Ignacio Paua swung his bolo once more at a particularly stubborn patch of bamboo, then stopped to wipe his brow. Not for the first time that night, the Katipunero mused that the forest was a decidedly unwelcoming place. This was not, however, an observation that deterred him. Paua was a man accustomed to walking where he was not wanted, in places where he was in danger from far worse than an errant branch.

Of course, there was always the chance that something more sinister than a tree was lurking on this mountain. In fact, that was what Paua was counting on.

After a good three hours of stumbling and hacking his way up the mountainside, Paua eventually emerged onto a flat outcropping within sight of the beak-shaped summit which gave the mountain its name. This high above sea level, the night breeze was cold enough to make Paua shiver, and strong enough to make his queue — his long, braided ponytail — dance. For a moment, the Katipunero looked to the east, and fancied he could see all the way to Imus, and the scowling visage of Pantaleon Garcia.

“This is a fool’s errand,” Pantaleon had told him. “You’re chasing after tuba-fueled nightmares, or some oddly shaped shadow.”

“Shadows don’t smoke cigars,” Paua had replied as he mounted his horse. “I’ll be in the area anyway for recruitment. No harm in taking a look.”

“Of course not. Not for you. Not when there’s an adventure to be had.”

That was partly true. At twenty four years old, Paua still had much of the restless energy which had driven him, six years ago, to leave China for the Philippines. But it was more than that. Paua moved to the very edge of the outcropping and took in the sight of his adopted home. To the south, the mountains of Batangas rose above the rolling green countryside; to the north the island of Bataan was just visible over the water. Pantaleon was his friend, but there was no way that anyone who had lived for forty years in this country could fully understand Paua’s hunger to explore it. 

It was only when Paua reluctantly tore himself away from the view that he realized that he was not alone. A man in dark red clothes leaned against one of the taller trees, a somewhat twisted looking plant with round, low-hanging leaves. The overhanging branches kept most of the man’s face in shadow, but Paua could see enough to identify him as Chinese.

“Are you lost, neighbor?” said the man in red. “You’re a long way from home.”

When Paua made no reply, the other man moved out of the shade of the tree. As the man moved closer, Paua scrutinized his face carefully under the moonlight.

“I could show you the way back down the mountain,” said the man in red. His face was round and ruddy, his smile open and guileless. “I’m on my way back down myself.”

“Oh, I remember you now,” said Paua in Hokkien. “That’s clever.”

The man in red stopped, his expression darkening. “I’m sorry, I did not quite hear you.”

“I was commending you on your ingenuity,” Paua said, shifting back to Tagalog. “I figured it would be difficult to try your usual trick, given that none of my relations would be anywhere near Cavite, let alone this mountain. Taking the face of an almost forgotten cousin and assuming the role of a helpful stranger… that was unexpected.”

The man in red drew a large cigar from his pocket, and placed it between his lips. The tip of the cigar flared, and in that instant the man vanished. In his stead hulked a gangly figure that easily topped seven feet, its arms so long that one hairy hand was at the level of its knobby knees. The other hand still held the cigar, and against the backdrop of the night sky, the dull red light cast the figure’s equine head into relief. 

 

“A hunter.” The Tikbalang’s sigh sounded like a horse’s nicker. “Hunters make for such poor sport. As you will, then. Shall it be salt first? One of your Christian beads? Or simply the business end of your blade?”

“What? No, no.” Paua slowly returned the bolo to the sheath which hung from his waist. “I’m not here to hurt you.”

The Tikbalang whinnied, and gave its head a shake, its long mane trailing behind like a coarse and tangled pennant. “Let us presume for a moment that your intentions have any bearing on what actually happens this night. Why are you here then, banyaga?” 

Paua felt a rush of anger, but fought it down. One did not begin a courtship with threats and bombast. Instead Paua forced a smile and said: “I’m here to recruit you.”

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. :)

Book Launch: The Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2005-2010

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 5 - 2013

“The Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2005-2010″ edited by Dean Francis Alfar & Nikki Alfar, and published by UP Press, will have a book launch on Feb 28, 2013, 5:50PM, at the UP Bahay Kalinaw. Making the cut is my science fiction short story “Carbon” from PSF5. Here’s a more complete description:

Between these covers are the best short stories of fantasy, horror, science fiction and genres in-between, selected from the first five years of the Philippine Speculative Fiction annuals. Step through the portal and explore worlds old and new and experience the power of the literature of the imagination as crafted by Filipino authors. Featuring stories by:  Rebecca Arcega FH Batacan Rica Bolipata-Santos Jose Elvin Bueno Ian Rosales Casocot Paolo Chikiamco Ronald Cruz Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon Timothy James M. Dimacali Andrew Drilon Russell Stanley Geronimo Pocholo Goitia Carljoe Javier Angelo R. Lacuesta Anne Lagamayo Apol Lejano-Massebieau Joseph F. Nacino Alexander Osias Kate Osias Vincent Michael Simbulan Joshua L. Lim So Charles Tan Yvette Tan Mia Tijam Noel Tio Eliza Victoria Isabel Yap Kenneth Yu

Charles Tan Interview at Read in a Single Sitting

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 20 - 2012

The interview came out weeks ago when I didn’t have time to post about it, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you all to an interview with Charles Tan over at the Read in a Single Sitting blog. In the interview, Charles talks about why he put together Lauriat, his anthology of Filipino-Chinese Speculative Fiction (which contains my story, “The Captain’s Nephew”.) Give the interview — and the anthology — a read, if you haven’t already.

Last month, Lethe Press published “Lauriat: A Filipino-Chinese Speculative Fiction Anthology”, edited by Charles Tan (and with a story from yours truly). Charles took a moment from his busy schedule to say a few words about the anthology.

“Lauriat” is an anthology of Filipino-Chinese speculative fiction that is being published by a U.S.-based publisher. How’d the idea for the antho come about, and what let to it being published outside the Philippines?

I was brainstorming possible anthology ideas when I realized no one yet has done a speculative fiction anthology based on Filipino-Chinese culture, which has its own set of complexities, relationships, and drama. Lethe Press has always been supportive of my work, and the publisher was willing to publish the anthology and pay the contributors.

When you say “Filipino-Chinese”, what do you mean by that?

The problem when people ask “Are you Filipino?”, “Are you Chinese?”, or something else (Are you Singaporean, American, Japanese, Australian, Indian, etc.) is that it’s usually misses out on the question whether we’re talking about nationality, ethnicity, etc. And it’s a question that comes up year after year, especially in the Philippines where there’s controversy over our athletes, our politicians, etc.

One personal bias I’ve experienced is how many Filipinos don’t consider the Chinese community here as Filipinos, even if we’re part of their culture. Many recognized Filipino icons for example has roots in the Filipino-Chinese community: Jollibee, SM, Pancit Canton, Taho, etc.

But when the term Filipino-Chinese is usually encountered, it usually means, at the very least, someone whose nationality is Filipino, and has had Chinese roots somewhere. I leave the last part ambiguous, whether this means to be part Chinese in culture, heritage, ethnicity, legacy, etc.

What aspects of Filipino and Chinese heritage would you say complement, or are similar to, each other? What aspects cause friction?

I think again, there is a misconception here. The “Chinese” in the Philippines aren’t the Chinese in China. The two have entirely different values, although it’s probably a misconception (even among the Filipino-Chinese community) that they do. There is a difference in the mindset between the Filipino-Chinese and non-Chinese Filipinos, but I don’t think isolating this and that element as “Chinese” and “Filipino” would be too easy.

For example, I think both Filipino-Chinese and non-Chinese Filipinos are fiercely loyal to people they consider their kin. They will fight to the death for them and take their side in a lot of arguments. On the other hand, this is also the source of conflict: for some Filipino-Chinese, those not “Chinese” aren’t as respectable (hence the taboo against marrying someone not Chinese), while many Filipinos consider those not ethnically Filipino to be against them (hence some enmity against the Filipino-Chinese community whom they consider separate from them).

There’s a lot to talk about with regards to the subject and unfortunately discussing each point would be too long for the interview.

Are there any unique challenges or opportunities that present themselves to Filipino-Chinese authors writing in English?

In terms of market, well, there is always the problem of finding a market in the Philippines that’s not limited to your cultural heritage (just look at the output of our fiction books vs. that in which we import and clearly the latter sells better than the former). As for the craft, there is the hurdle of writing for what is a multilingual culture and condensing it into a single language (English), when that isn’t always how we speak (we speak in Tag-lish, Chi-Tag-lish, and Chinese-Tagalog). Which isn’t that unique (it’s the same plight a lot of Filipino writers face), but remains there nonetheless.

Can you tell me a bit about a few of the stories you selected for the anthology, and go into why you selected them, or what struck you most about them?

I think each story in the anthology has something going for them, either on the craft level, cultural level, personal level, or some combination. What makes me enjoy the first story in the book isn’t what makes me appreciate the last. But I did want every story to factor in that this is a Filipino-Chinese anthology, so I wanted the culture to be a factor: some factor into the plot significantly (some stories for example dealt with the taboo of non-Chinese romance) while others are in the background.

Personally I leave it for readers to decide what they think is best. And this is an anthology, so I don’t expect every story to strike a chord in them, but hopefully a few do. I tried to encompass a lot of subjects and genres. There’s horror. There’s urban fantasy. There’s historical fantasy.

What does “Lauriat” have to offer to Filipino-Chinese readers? What about to those unfamiliar with the culture, or even with Philippine or Chinese culture separately?

First, I think Lauriat features a lot of terrific stories–which is subject to my bias of course. Second, it’s written by talented authors that the rest of the world hasn’t heard of. Third, while there’s some speculative fiction being written about Filipinos, not a lot of them deal with the Filipino-Chinese experience, and I hope the anthology rectifies that. Fourth, regardless of your knowledge about either culture, I think the stories stand well on their own.

What has the early feedback on the book been like?

For me the biggest challenge is getting the word out. I’d like to thank Publishers Weekly for reviewing it in their publication (http://christinevlao.blogspot.com/2012/06/publishers-weekly-reviews-lauriat.html) as well as Locus for mentioning it under their New Books (http://www.locusmag.com/Monitor/2012/08/new-books-14-august/). As far as feedback is concerned, a lot of the reviews are on Goodreads (http://www.locusmag.com/Monitor/2012/08/new-books-14-august/).

Where can the book be purchased?

Here’s a direct link to the Amazon page (http://www.amazon.com/Lauriat-Filipino-Chinese-Speculative-Fiction-Anthology/dp/1590212541) but it should can be ordered through bookstores and the eBook is available in a lot of online retailers such as Smashwords, Weightless Books, Wizard’s Tower Books, etc.

Poster by Frantz Salvador

 

We’re only nine days away from the 1st Kwentillion Young Adult Readers Carnival, so it seemed an opportune time for a few things: first, the unveiling of the now official poster for the event – not too much has changed, but if you will notice that one additional line of text…

Yes, similar to what National Book Store does with graphic novels when there’s a big graphic novel launch, to coincide with the YARC, Bestsellers Robinsons Galleria will be having their first ever YA Books Only Sale, exclusively for registered participants in the YARC. Upon registration, participants will be given a coupon for 20% off on all imported Young Adult Titles, valid for a one-time purchase for that day at Bestsellers Robinsons Galleria.

Need more incentive to attend? How about this list of panelists!

For the Kwentillion Panel:

For the Philippine Young Adult Creators Panel:

All this plus, a Book Preview Wall, an Art Wall, and participants get a chance to win a part of Kwentillion history – some of the actual proofs used in the editing and production of Kwentillion #1 (we’ll be giving some away at Saturday’s Indieket as well!). So do mark your calendars – July 21, 1-5PM, Bestsellers, Robinsons Galleria. See you all there!

Publisher’s Weekly Reviews “Lauriat”

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 26 - 2012

It’s always cool when local speculative fiction gets reviewed by international publications. This time around it’s a Publisher’s Weekly (hooray!) review of “Lauriat”, the upcoming Filipino-Chinese speculative fiction anthology edited by Charles Tan. It’s a largely positive review, and my story “The Captain’s Nephew”, gets a nice mention. The book will also have stories from Kristine Ong Muslim, Christine Lao, Fidelis Tan, Andrew Drilon, Yvette Tan, Kenneth Yu, Gabriela Lee, Crystal Koo, Margaret Kawsek, Isabel Yap, Erin Chupeco, Marc Gregory Yu, and Douglas Candano.

The anthology is being published in the U.S. by Lethe Press, and I hope the local bookstores order copies. It will be released on August 1, though you can pre-order from stores like Amazon as early as now.

TOC: Horror – Filipino Fiction For Young Adults

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 17 - 2012

Editors Dean Alfar and Kenneth Yu have announced the table of contents for their upcoming young adult horror anthology:

Honesty Hour – Gabriela Lee
Eat Me – Kally Hiromi R. Arsua
Mommy Agnes – Vince Torres
The Running Girl – Elyss Punsalan
Education By Ate Flora – Renelaine Bontol
The New Teacher – Alexander Osias
Gago’s Got Your Back – Andrew Drilon
Dan’s Dreams – Eliza Victoria
Itching To Get Home – Joseph Montecillo
Lola’s House – Fidelis Tan
A Yellow Brick Road Valentine – Charles Tan
Lucia, The Nightmare Hunter – Kate Osias
Frozen Delight – EK Gonzales
Misty – Isabel Yap

Congratulations to all the contributors, and the editors as well!

Release: Apex Magazine #35 (International SF Themed Issue)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 4 - 2012

The special international SF themed issue of Apex Magazine has just been released. This issue is of particular interest to readers interested in Philippine speculative fiction, as it has “Alternate Girl’s Expatriate Life“, a story by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz (one of our “Alternative Alamat” contributors) and an essay by Charles Tan entitled “World SF: Our Possible Future.” If you enjoy the magazine (the contents of the current issue are available for free) , be sure to buy the issue at Apex or Amazon.

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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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