Alternative Alamat: World SF Blog Interview

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 29 - 2011

The World SF Blog is one of the most respected sources of truly international SF news, and I’ve always appreciated the work they do to promote Filipino creators. I’ve done a short interview with the ever present Charles Tan to help promote Alternative Alamat–don’t worry, we don’t repeat topics from the Flipside interview. You can check it out here. And, of course, you can purchase Alternative Alamat at any of the following vendors:

Charles Tan’s Essay: “Awareness and Bias”

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 13 - 2011

Around a week ago, Charles Tan (The Bibliophile Stalker) posted an essay which I believe merits wider discussion/dissemination. The essay is entitled “Awareness and Bias” and here’s an excerpt:

What people need to understand is that everyone will have an agenda  (and I don’t mean to use the term in a negative way, which in itself is an example of baggage associated with language). Mine for example has been the promotion of Philippine speculative fiction, “World SF”, and authors/editors I encounter and admire. If you think this blog is bias-free, you’re mistaken. It’s my particular bias that shapes who my readers are (you can think of it as my target audience). No text (be it fiction, poetry, film, music, games, or any other media) can be entirely divorced from its agenda (although readers, of course, are free to interpret it under their own biases as well). Every story, for example, will have a hierarchy of moral values (and what’s moral in one culture might be a different case in another).

I love speculative fiction but let’s face it: there’s a lot of things wrong with the genre (again, Western-centrism and patriarchy). A lot of it is unconscious.

Filipino Bibliophile Podcast: Interview with Paolo Chikiamco

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 19 - 2011

You know you’ve moved up in the world of speculative fiction when Charles Tan sits you down for an interview. After all, for years he’s been interviewing the likes of  RA Salvatore, Tim PrattEllen Datlow and Catherynne M. Valente on his personal blog as well as the official blogs for the Nebula and Shirley Jackson Awards. So I was more than happy to sit down with him this week for his new “Filipino Bibliophile” podcast. We spoke about Alternative Alamat, High Society, Rocket Kapre, and slush reading for Fantasy Magazine–Charles has a more comprehensive list of topics on the episode page, either at his blog, or at the podcast site.

Thanks to Charles for the opportunity, and for once again finding new ways to promote Filipino authors. Do check out the first episode of his podcast, where he has an interview (two interviews really) with Eisner-award nominated komikero Gerry Alanguilan.

Recordings from the 1st Pinoy Reader Con

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 3 - 2011

OCTOBER 3, 2011 UPDATE: I’m amending this post to reflect that video recordings from the 1st Filipino Reader Con have been uploaded to the official site. For the benefit of those who’d like to see the audio-visual presentations (or, you know, what we were wearing that day).

The first Filipino Reader Conference took place last Wednesday at the SMX, Mall of Asia, and it was a resounding success. For those who weren’t able to attend in-person, or for attendees who want to relive the event, Charles Tan has uploaded audio recordings of the talks and panels. You can find them here. As mentioned, you can also find video recordings here.

Here’s a list of the speakers/panelists and participants, with links to their blogs/sites as well:


Visprint WIT 2011

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 12 - 2011

The indefatigable Charles Tan has uploaded audio recordings from the recently concluded 1st Annual Visprint Readers’ Day event entitled “WIT” or “Writers in Talks”, including presentations by speculative fiction writers such as Budjette Tan, Karl de Mesa, Paolo Fabregas, Karen Francisco and Carlo Vergara. There’s a lot of material here aimed at creating your own works of fiction/komiks, so aspiring writers and creators, take note.

PGS Issue 4 Review at Black Gate

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 15 - 2011

Over at the online magazine Black Gate, C.S.E. Cooney has reviewed The Digest of Philippine Genre Stories #4, and has a lot of good things to say about the issue, particularly “Psychic Family,” by Apol Lejano-Massebieau, and the two Forlorn stories, “The Last Stand of Aurundar” by Vincent Simbulan and “In the Dim Plane” by Dean Alfar. (PGS has since gone online, if you’ll recall.) Another reason to find complete your collection of PGS print issues, if you haven’t already, and hey, while you’re at Black Gate, why not see if any of their issues appeal to you?

As an added note, reading about how Ms. Cooney received her copy of PGS (and Philippine Speculative Fiction VI) through the efforts of Charles Tan serves to remind us all why the success of the World SF Travel Fund (which will send Charles to the World Fantasy Convention) isn’t just good news for the Bibliophile Stalker, but for Philippine speculative fiction (prose and komiks) as well. Charles will be The World SF Travel Fund’s first beneficiary (the Fund was set up to enable one international person involved in science fiction, fantasy or horror to travel to a major genre event), but if you want to help ensure that World SF is better represented in future major conventions, feel free to keep the donations coming.

Venues for Philippine Speculative Fiction in 2011 (So Far)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 8 - 2011

Charles Tan (Bibliophile Stalker) recently put up two posts discussing the various publications/venues that have released Philippine speculative fiction stories this year. It’s easy to find Philippine spec fic in publications that specialize in the same–such as Philippine Genre Stories Online , Pakinggan Pilipinas, and Usok–but what Charles has done is go through general fiction publications to find stories of fantasy, science fiction, or horror. His search unearthed new stories and authors and his two posts on the subject Philippine Speculative Fiction 2011 Overload and Random Thoughts and More Random Thoughts on Philippine Speculative Fiction 2011 are well worth reading, both for writers and fans of Philippine speculative fiction. He also lists story recommendations in each post, some of which you can read online.

If you want to help Charles find other Philippine speculative fiction stories published this year, you can contribute to his online database.

PSF6 Launch Photos

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 29 - 2011


The launch for the sixth volume of Philippine Speculative Fiction took place last Saturday, with the inimitable Dean Alfar once again serving as master of ceremonies and all-around entertainer–the PSF launches usually turn into roasts for the editors and contributors (and being absent is no defense) and a grand time was had by all. I’ll have videos from the launch and the earlier launch of the crime issue of Philippine Genre Stories later this week, but first here are some photographs from the event.


In spite of the rains, (and some *ahem* premature storm warnings), the UView Theater of Fully Booked was jam packed–this photo is from early in the proceedings, and by midway people were lining the walls, in spite of the addition of the monobloc cavalry. The downside to that is the volume sold out minutes after the launch was over–if you want another print run, make sure you make your voices heard!

Read the rest of this entry »

PGS: “The Departure” and “Kapre: A Love Story”

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 16 - 2011

Charles Tan’s third solicitation for his run as PGS Online sub-editor is up” “Kapre: A Love Story“, written by Erin Chupeco. Here’s the first paragraph:

This is the tale of Kapre, who lived in ancient trees tangled in shadow. Massive, stubbed fingers the color of faded coffee, scrabbling at tree trunk and bark for sustenance. Irises the color of twin moons, mouth the redness of withered santan. He shinnied up mountains in the heat of day, made nests of dried bones and rain at night. He could see himself in the twisted gnarl of branches, found comfort in the rigidness of bamboo. Nestled in the thickness of wood, Kapre could pretend friendship with plants and soil. Birds found homes within the snarls of his beard. Bees sought honey in the yellows of his eyes.

For those who missed it, the second story solicited by Charles was “The Departure” from the wonderful Ms. Marianne Villanueva (who so charmed us last year). An excerpt:

Her husband rolled over on the bed beside her and groaned. “Is Alex up yet?” he asked.

“I don’t think so,” Julietta answered.

“Better get him up, he’s got a long way to drive down the coast.”

Julietta hated it: the few times their son drove north to visit them, her husband always wanted him gone, as early in the day as possible, to “avoid traffic.” She decided she’d make breakfast first. Then she’d wake Alex.

She padded slowly down the stairs in her woolly socks. Why was the sky so — funny looking? Had it always been that way? Shouldn’t she have noticed it before? The houses of her neighbors across the street were shuttered and silent.

Something made her look up, and she thought she saw a giant hand move across the sky. It was just a moment, a glimpse. She shook her head, as if to clear it of cobwebs.

Redstone SF Interviews Charles Tan (Part 1)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 9 - 2011

Redstone Science Fiction has part one of a two part interview with Charles Tan. For those who don’t know Charles, he’s an author, editor (Philippine Speculative Fiction Sampler; Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2009), Philippine spec fic advocate and prolific blogger (he runs Bibliophile Stalker , and contributes to SF Signal and The World SF Blog, amongst others).

The interview touches upon quite a few topics, including the fact that Charles is more well known abroad than in the Philippines, local cyberpunk, and the Philippine authors most likely to become well-known. An excerpt:

Who do you think will become the first Filipino science fiction writer to become well-known?

Science fiction, or does fantasy count, too?


Let’s do both.

Well, there’s no real hard science fiction writers that are active, just some people who dabble in science fiction. I dabble in science fiction, and I think that Rochita, also, might dabble in it from time to time. I don’t think that there’s really anyone who is going to make a big impact, although Eliza may, in a few years, through sheer quantity, if nothing else [laughs]. Dean Francis Almar is the first Filipino to be published in “Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror”. He was first internationally published in “Strange Horizons”. He will probably be the first Filipino to have a true international following. Whenever I give a book to a foreign writer or friend, it is his.



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.