Launch: Philippine Genre Stories Online

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 18 - 2011

Kenneth Yu’s “Digest of Philippine Genre Stories” was one of the reasons why I even realized it was possible to write and publish speculative fiction in the Philippines, and it gave new writers such as myself a chance to be recognized as authors. It’s hard to overstate the importance of having a regular publication that was open to submissions year round and accessible to young writers.

That’s why it gives me great pleasure to announce that PGS has been reborn online. You can read about the journey to the digital domain and the changes to the magazine here, or jump in and read the new story, “What You See” by Ian Casocot (art by The One Left Behind), the first of three selected by sub-editor Charles Tan. Expect a bit of chaos as PGS finds its place, as Kyu says in his introduction:

PGS online (as with the print digest before it) is a work-in-progress. I hope to improve it bit-by-bit over time, and I’d also like to see how this site fares over the next 12 months or so. The goals are the same: To get more people—especially younger folk, most especially Pinoys, but anyone would do—to discover the pleasures of and develop the habit of reading through fiction, fiction written by fellow Filipinos, in particular.

Congratulations to Kyu, Charles, and Ian, and best of luck on the new endeavor!

Filipinos and the Genre, September 2010

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 24 - 2010

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A few of our countrymen-and-women have been making news in the genre (and genre) related front, and I’m starting up this new type of post “Filipinos and the Genre” so that I have a place to collate all the news, in case I fall behind.

The most recent bit of information we have comes from Kenneth Yu over at Philippine Genre Stories, where he informs us that PGS contributor Alex Paman has a book out that will definitely be of interest to Rocket Kapre visitors:

PGS contributor Alex Paman‘s first book, Asian Supernatural, is now out and available at Amazon! (see above scan of its cover)

As described in the book’s preface, it is “an attempt, for the very first time, to truly catalog ghosts and monsters from all the Asian and Pacific cultures in a single volume. Its contents come from oral tales, old anthropology books, travel narratives, and other native resources that were written before the advent of the internet.”

It’s pretty comprehensive; looking at the table of contents, it covers not just China, Japan, and Korea–arguably the first cultures that come to mind among many when “Asian supernatural creatures” are mentioned, but also countries like India, Tibet, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and yes, the Philippines.

In other news, Joseph Nacino, editor of Estranghero Press, recently had his story Logovore republished over at Fantasy Magazine. The magazine also has an interview up with Joey, where he graciously mentions our humble site. Thanks man!

Logovore is but one of many speculative fiction stories by Filipino authors picked up by international publishers. The Philippines also has two representatives in the recently announced table of contents for the Apex Book of World SF Volume 2: Rochita Loenen-Ruiz’s “Alternate Girl’s Expatriate Life” (from Interzone 229) and Andrew Drilon’sThe Secret Origin of Spin-man” (from Philippine Speculative Fiction Volume 4). Many of these foreign sales are available online–here are a few of the most recent, and you can also take a look at Charles Tan’s database for stories published in 2010:

June 2010

September 2010

Future of the Book Conference 2010: Day Two Videos

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 20 - 2010

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The first Future of the Book conference was held last week at the UP-Ayala Technohub in Quezon City (here’s a great overview of the conference at Coffeespoons), which brought together publishers, writers, teachers, readers – and yes, even lawyers – to discuss the changing aspects of publishing throughout the world, and in the Philippines in particular. I was there on the second day, to talk about how independent publishers can thrive in the digital age, and I managed to take videos of a few of the other speakers as well.

A few caveats though: First, the latter half of the footage of Charles Tan’s talk has atrocious video quality – my Vado is quirky that way apparently – but the audio is still good, so I uploaded it because it was a great talk, and you can at least still listen to it (or indulge in Max Headroom nostalgia by watching it).

The second caveat is that because of time constraints, a few of the speeches had to be rushed or cut short. After the videos, I’ll have the full text of my speech and links to a few others.

I’d like to congratulate the conference organizers for a successful conference, and I hope we can all work together to maximize the benefits of this new world of publishing for all interested parties. But I swear to God, the next time I hear someone say Filipinos don’t have a reading culture, I’m shoving a textbook up his ass…

And now, the videos!

First up is Charles Tan, (Bibliophile Stalker) prolific blogger and Philippine Spec Fic advocate, on the topic of the consumer experience in the age of ebooks.

More after the cut

Read the rest of this entry »

Launch: Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2009

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 7 - 2010

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The website is still a work in progress, but Charles Tan, of the Bibliophile Stalker blog and a few hundred (minor exaggeration) others,  has announced that the ebook version of his new reprint anthology, “The Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2009″ is now available for free download. You can choose from either the PDF edition or the EPUB edition. (If you have the Stanza desktop ebook reader you can export the EPUB file to different file formats–say, if you want a .mobi file for your Kindle/Kindle reader, although such conversions usually junk the formatting). The anthology has cover art Elbert Or, a cover design by Adam David, (who also did the PDF layout and design) qith the Web and EPUB layout handled by Dominique Gerald Cimafranca.

Sixteen stories from fifteen authors, selected by one of the most well-read and difficult-to-please critics in the country–all for free? What are you waiting for?

Charles is the co-editor (alongside Mia Tijam) of the Philippine Speculative Fiction Sampler, which was released in 2008.  I hope that this is the start of an annual compilation (and I hope that this isn’t the only yer a story of mine qualifies ^_^)

Here’s the full table of contents. Congratulations to Charles and all those involved:

  • Summation 2009 by Charles Tan
  • The Fires of the Sun in a Crystalline Sky by Francezca C. Kwe
  • The Day the World Lost Its Gravity by Camsy Ocumen
  • Strange Weather by Dean Francis Alfar
  • The Sewing Project by Apol Lejano-Massebieau
  • Lex Talionis by Paolo Chikiamco
  • Isa by Marianne Villanueva
  • Spelling Normal by Mia Tijam
  • Daddy by Yvette Tan
  • From Abecediarya by Adam David
  • The Annotated Account of Tholomew Mestich by Elyss G. Punsalan
  • Beats by Kenneth Yu
  • Wildwater by Crystal Koo
  • Moondown and Fugue by Alexander Drilon
  • The Maiden’s Song by Kate Aton-Osias
  • Capture by Gabriela Lee
  • The Secret Origin of Spin-man by Andrew Drilon

World SF Needs Your Help

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 20 - 2010

… specifically, the excellent World SF News Blog, an excellent source of news, interviews and features (we’ve linked to them many times) which casts a spotlight on speculative fiction and comics worldwide, especially works from authors/or which originate from places beyond the traditional bastions of the genre in the U.S.A. and the U.K. (Yes, that includes us here in the Philippines, as Bibliophile Stalker Charles Tan is one of the contributors.)

The WSNB is a companion blog to the Apex Book of World SF and now they’re asking for some help from readers in order to sell 92 more copies of the book by the end of January, as a way to support the site. In case you didn’t know, and could use another reason to support the site and the book, the Apex  Book of World SF contains “The Kite of the Stars” by our very own Dean Alfar.

The book has received good reviews so far–here are a few I found online:

(Image source: Amazon.com)

Chained Links: 15 January 2010

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 15 - 2010

Still adjusting to my new schedule, and trying to balance Metakritiko editing/writing duties with Rocket Kapre and my own fiction, and couple that with my Internet outage (attributable to my router dying apparently) and that means I’ve been a bit behind on my news-of-relevance-to-Pinoy-SF… but that’s nothing a Chained Links post can’t fix!

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Philippine Spec Fic News:

  • Lola: A Ghost Story (with a story by J. Torres and art by Elbert Or) is a graphic novel from Oni Books that tells the story of a boy who returns with his family to the Philippines for the funeral of his grandmother. Elbert says it should be out in comics stores this week, so you all know what you’re shopping for this weekend. You can check out some reviews at School Library Journal and Comic Book Resources, or check out the 17 page preview at the sites Elbert mentions here.
  • A list of indigenous tribes and languages of the Philippines by F. Blumentritt which briefly describes each tribe’s location, culture and religion. Handy resource eh? (Filipiniana.net)
  • Project 20:10 is a project with the two-fold mission of drumming up support for local creators, and increasing the amount of local content in fiction, comics, animation and gaming. I’ll have an interview with project organizer Ria Lu (of Talecraft fame) at Metakritiko soon, so watch out for that.
  • Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels Seminar by Glasshouse Graphics from January 30-31. You can find the details here – warning, the site has audio. (via Komikero)
  • Speaking of comics, komiks creator macoy (I recently reviewed his “Ang Maskot“) posts embedded video of a Kubori Kikiam motion comic (which is obviously NSFW) and an animated mock opening to “The Metro” by Jerome Jacinto –which, I confess, I’ve never heard of before, but it looks awesome.
  • The Philippines’ second solar car (there was a first?), aptly named Sikat (see what they did there? *nudge*) is embarking on a nationwide tour. (Good News Pilipinas)
  • Spirit Photography is the topic of a recent blog post of Spec Fic author Yvette Tan . Speaking of Yvette, have I mentioned that she plugs our Ruin and Resolve anthology here?
  • Trese 5000: No, that’s not a far-future story arc, it’s a sales figure estimate for books 1 and 3. Congratulations to Budjette, Kajo and Visprint on the continuing success of Trese.

Genre and Fandom:

  • The Bibliophile Stalker Awards 2009 went up last January 13, in case you missed it.
  • Neglected Books and Authors get some love over at Tor.com
  • Fandom, Participatory Culture, and Web 2.0 is the title of a course which I’d love to take up, but as that’s unlikely to occur anytime soon, I’m glad that Professor Henry Jenkins has posted his syllabus at his site.

Reading and Writing:

Chained Links: 5 January 2009

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 4 - 2010

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Happy new year everyone! If you’re anything like me, the holidays were less a time for rest and more a time for oh-my-god-why-are-they-here-we-don’t-have-a-gift-quick-rip-that-fruit-cake-in-half… you get the picture.  Here’s your latest batch of chained links to catch you up on what you might have missed during the holiday season.

We’ll lead off with a few from the Metakritiko section of the Philippine Online Chronicles. I’ve recently been named editor of the section (which is the POC’s arts/culture and reviews portion) so if any of you have arts news of interest, events that need attention or creative works that you’d like reviewed, drop me a line and we’ll see what we can do.

Review of Usok 1 by Charles Tan

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 16 - 2009

Over at the Bibliophile Stalker, Charles Tan turns his steely gaze on the first issue of Usok. You can check out the review here. Thanks for the review Charles, and I hope we can win you over in the future ^_^

Chained Links: 12 November 2009

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 12 - 2009

Fell a bit behind on the news linking this week, so  here’s a handy grab bag of some interesting links from this week, for your weekend reading pleasure:

Charles Tan Wins Last Drink Bird Head Award

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 30 - 2009

From the World SF News Blog, we’ve received word that Charles Tan, of Bibliophile Stalker fame, has won the Last Drink Bird Head Award for International Activism, in recognition for his efforts to bring writers from other literary traditions and countries to the attention of readers in North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia…

Last Drink Bird Head is a flash fiction anthology for the benefit of ProLiteracy.org, where editors Jeff and Ann Vandermeer sent an email to writers with “Last Drink Bird Head” in the subject line and the directions “Who or what is Last Drink Bird Head? Under 500 words.”

According to a post on Jeff Vandermeer’s site, the purpose of the Last Drink Bird Head Awards is to celebrate those in the genre community who enrich it with their time, energy, and words, often for causes greater than themselves. Finalists for this year’s award were chosen for efforts in 2008 and/or 2009.

Congratulations Charles!

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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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