Videos: PGS Crime Issue and PSF 6 Issue Launch

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 31 - 2011

Here are videos from the joint PGS Crime Issue and PSF6 launch. First up is the PGS Crime launch in its entirety, split into two parts.

Don’t let Kyu’s modesty fool you, PGS is a very important part of the local genre scene, and I’m personally thrilled to see it online and reaching a wider audience.

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Taboan Festival 2011

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 6 - 2011

This year’s Taboan Literary Festival will be held from February 10-12, 2011 at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City. The festival is open to the public and will feature panels, a book bazaar, and film screenings. Speculative fiction writer Dominique Cimafranca is the conference coordinator, and here are a few delegates who will be familiar to readers of Philippine speculative fiction: Carljoe Javier, Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, Sarge Lacuesta, and Vlad Gonzales.

For those who are in the Davao area (or who can manage to make the trip) this looks like a great event for readers and authors. For those who can’t make it, you can still get a taste of the works of the delegates on the Literary Works page  of the Tabaoan 2011 site. Carljoe Javier’s piece on “the “Post-Apocalyptic as the Neo-Western” seems like it could be of interest to genre readers.

RRT: Favorite First Lines in Speculative Fiction

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 9 - 2010

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One year ago, 9/9/09, Rocket Kapre officially launched. In celebration of our first year anniversary, here’s a new installment of one of our most popular features: the Rocket Round Table. For this batch, the question – to coincide with the anniversary – is: “What is your favorite first line in speculative fiction?” Prose and graphic novels/comics were fair game (movies and television were not), as were local and foreign works – I only asked that the respondents include any first lines from Filipino-made spec fic that stood out for them. Feel free to add your own in the comments!

Thanks to all those who took time to participate in the round table, and for all those who have supported Rocket Kapre in its first year. Here’s to many more to come!

[Warning: Some language may not be safe for work, or children, or adults who like to pretend they're as innocent as children.]

ELBERT OR Comic book creator, university lecturer, graphic designer, freelance writer, entrepreneur (he’s part of Brain Food, which gives speech and writing workshops) Elbert is a jack of all trades and master of… well, lots. He currently runs Global Art and the Komiksabado Comics Workshop.

Happy first year, RK! How time flies!
I owe much of my interest in current Philippine SF to Dean Alfar’s “Kite of Stars,” and its first line/ paragraph which grabbed firm hold of me and has still not let me go:

The night when she thought she would finally be a star, Maria Isabella du’l Cielo struggled to calm the trembling of her hands, reached over to cut the tether that tied her to the ground, and thought of that morning many years before when she’d first caught a glimpse of Lorenzo du Vicenzio ei Salvadore: tall, thick-browed and handsome, his eyes closed, oblivious to the cacophony of the accident waiting to occur around him.

I wish I could say though that memory allowed me to remember each word, but I admit only to committing the first eleven words. But the blame lies solely on me and my poor memory.

Here’s to the next ten years for Rocket Kapre!

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CATHERINE BATAC WALDERCatherine is based in England and works as a research group administrator at the Department of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London. From 2005 to 2007, she moved across Norway, Finland and Portugal for a European MPhil. scholarship. Her fiction appears in Big Pulp, Demons of the New Year, Philippines Graphic, Ruin and Resolve Anthology, Expanded Horizons, and Philippines Free Press. She blogs at http://deckshoes.wordpress.com/

Just when the idea occurred to her that she was being murdered she could not tell.” – The Small Assassin, comics adaptation of a tale by Ray Bradbury

At some time near dawn, on March 25, 1913, there came a loud knocking at the front door of the Uyterhoevens’ home in the Dayton View section of Dayton, Ohio.” – The Chess Garden by Brooks Hansen

At first glance, the picture looked like any other in a family album of that time, the sepia shade and tone, the formal poses, the men in solemn Sunday suits and the women, severely coiffed, in long skirts and billowing blouses.” – Fade by Robert Cormier

““I can do this,” I told my squirrel.” - Speed Dating and Spirit Guides by Rod M. Santos

In the tiny lifeboat, she and the alien fuck endlessly, relentlessly.” – Spar by Kij Johnson

My name is Kathy H. I’m thirty-one years old, and I’ve been a carer now for over eleven years.” – Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

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G.M. CORONELA Marketing Management graduate of De La Salle University in 1985, he is a first-time author with no literary background to speak of other than a genuine love of reading and a passion for writing. Coming across back issues of Writer’s Digest a few years ago started his writing career. Some previous personal encounters with the paranormal convinced him to pursue the horror genre. He believes that stories to tell and experiences to share are best put in written words. He is the author of Tragic Theater.

The night wind howls like a wounded dying animal.” (Trese Murder on Balete Drive) — This is a very compelling first line and it engages the reader’s interest in the story.

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DON JAUCIAN - Don regularly reviews books for several publications, both print and on-line. He is the resident bitch of the film blog Pelikula Tumblr. His book dump is http://chinoisdead.livejournal.com

The Ascension of Our Lady Boy – Mia Tijam (PDF of Expanded Horizons #14, which includes the story.)

Let us begin with my earliest memory as a lady: Daddy had complained to Iyay who was my yaya(and his yaya before and his mama’s yaya before that) that I was lacking something strong in my bones and in my hips.

Tijam’s Lady Boy is hands down one of my favorite spec fic stories. It effectively combined Philippine culture, gay-isms and the whole ‘triumph of the heart’ thing. I like how the first line promises a wonderful story, equal parts whimsical and endearing, like Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros and it really delivers.

Visitors – Luis Katigbak

When they first arrived, they transformed themselves into everything we ever secretly wanted to be.

Stories of ‘encounters’ are never amusing. They mostly run as dubious paranoiac rants but in a few words, Katigbak manages to brush off the fluff usually associated with this tripe. ‘Visitors’ is beautiful, a different approach into the Wonderful World of Alien Mysteries; humanized and hopeful.

Brigada – Joey Nacino

When the news came, Captain Fernando Tabora of the Philippine Navy was meeting with the two-man salvage team at the top of Manila Hotel.

I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories and Manila Hotel underwater is just too awesome to ignore. Just like the head of Statue of Liberty chopped off in Cloverfield!

Flicker – Ian Rosales Casocot

Something had apparently come to live, or stir, in the house down the road, that old mansion on the corner before one turned left down Mango Street, which led toward the coconut groves that bordered the farthest end of the village.

Suburban horror stories always fascinate me and Casocot’s ‘Flicker’ definitely sustains the tension from the first sentence to the last. It is eerie, ominous and it’s refreshing to see a horror story devoid of hysterics and cheap scare tactics.

[More after the cut]

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RP612Fic 2010: The Stories

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 16 - 2010

If there’s one theme that I’d say unites many of the stories in this year’s RP612fic, it’s this: a need for catharsis. We’re coming off a decade under an unpopular President, and while many are hopeful for the coming administration, there still remains a lot of unsettled issues, a lot of unpsent anger. Luckily, catharsis is one of the functions that fiction can undertake in the life of both writers and readers, and I hope that participating in this year’s Independence Day micro story tweet fest helped a few of us get ready for the new challenges that face us, while helping us remember what has come before.

I’d like to thank everyone who participated, especially Dominique Cimafranca who was impressively prolific during the RP612fic period. We generated over one hundred and fifteen stories over the Independence Day weekend–here are a few of my favorite stories:

RP612fic 2010 faves

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t point to Adam David’s essay on freedom, over at the Philippine Online Chronicles.

The rest of the stories run the gamut from science fiction, to horror, to fantasy (from the fantasy that means “magic” to the fantasy that means “how I wish this were true). Some are meant to be read alone, others in sequence (although there was a limit to how I could arrange them in anything but the reverse chronological order of a Twitter search.) Some aren’t stories in so much as hopes, dreams, or ideas and that’s fine too.The usual disclaimer applies: these stories are meant as fiction, and are not to be taken as allegations of actual facts, nor as statements of actual intent.

And now, beneath the cut, are the rest of the stories. (2009′s stories are here.) Enjoy, and see you all next year!

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Demons of the New Year is now live

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 24 - 2010

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The latest online spec fic anthology from Estranghero Press has now gone live. Go check it out! From the site:

These are the Filipino horrors: the garden-variety demons from hell with plastic forks and spongy tails, the ones in your head that come out to play at midnight, the spirits that make up most of your lives like a Frankenstein monster. We’re letting out all of these things that haunt our days in 2010.

“Demons of the New Year: Horror from the Philippines, edited by Joseph Nacino & Karl de Mesa” is published electronically to make this collection of stories available to a wider international audience. Through this anthology we will be able to show the world that the Filipino writer can create horrors that can scare with the best of them.


RRT: Fiction Without the Speculation

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 9 - 2010

It’s officially Palanca Awards season again, writers from all genres and walks of life are  gearing up for two months of feverish writing (or hand-wringing). While works of speculative fiction can and have won the Palanca, it’s hard to shake the impression that the prestigious body (and ever changing panel of judges) is more receptive to stories of love lost and regained, when the method of “regaining” that love doesn’t involve the dark art of necromancy. Thinking about a submission for the Palanca Awards is about the only time I even consider writing a story without speculative elements, and it’s always been difficult for me to shift gears. With the 2010 awards opening for submissions this month, I became curious as to how other speculative fiction writers go about writing non-specfic pieces–which meant I finally had an excuse to start the second Rocket Round Table:

How different is your experience writing a story without speculative fiction elements, as opposed to writing Spec Fic?

Yeah, I know, it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue does it? On to the answers then, and many thanks to the authors who found the time to sate my curiosity.

RRT2 Slider_s

MARIANNE VILLANUEVA [Blog]

==Marianne is the author of several short story collections, and has been a finalist for the Philippines’ National Book Award. She teaches creative writing for the UCLA Extension Writers Program, and her latest short story collection, “The Lost Language”, was released by Anvil last year.==

Very interesting question!

I’m not a writer of speculative fiction, but I do like to “play” in the genre occasionally –  as I also like to play in the “crime” genre, or poetry, or anything.  Because experimenting is what keeps writing fun!

It always starts, for me, with an emotional trigger.  It’s when I find I can’t end my story properly that I start turning to more non-traditional elements.  Then I go back and start again, but with the non-traditional elements as a fixed part of the story.  Then I see if I can finish it.

So, it’s always how to end that bothers me.  And I’ll try anything, ANYTHING, to see how I can get to the end.  And if I have to throw in some speculative fiction elements along the way, so be it.

ADAM DAVID [Blog]

==Adam is an indie publisher, published author, opinionated blogger. He was recently awarded the Madrigal Gonzalez Best First Book Award for his book, The El Bimbo Variation==.

Nothing really significant as far as authorial mindset is concerned. I used the same amount of braincells when I wrote *snip* as when I’m writing my 365 Stories book, the same amount when I wrote the El Bimbo Variations when I’m writing my terribly irregular essays on komix kritisism. The language is different in various levels, as well as in their little textual effects and affectations, but all those things are only merely decoration – or at their highest level, gilding – for the real substance of the thing, which never changes no matter the medium, whether audience or producer, critic or buyer: art is something you work on.

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Dominique Cimafranca’s Presentation on Speculative Fiction

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 2 - 2010

Posting this a bit late, but Dominique Cimafranca sent me a link to a presentation on Speculative Fiction which he prepared for his lucky class of students at Ateneo de Davao. The 39 slides give you an overview of a discussion which covers, amongst other things, the notion of unreality in speculative fiction, the Western monomyth, and some reasons why people should bother with Spec Fic in the first place. Thanks Dom!

3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards: Shortlists

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 19 - 2010

FB2009PCA_S

As mentioned on the Philippine Genre Stories blog, Fully Booked, in cooperation with Pelicola, has published the stories, comics, and films which made it to the respective shortlists of the 3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards.  While I assume the respective winners have already been selected, you can help determine the winners of the People’s Choice Award in each category by voting for your favorite at the links above. Congratulations to all those who made the short list!

For your convenience,  here’s the shortlist in each category:

PROSE SHORTLIST:

1. Babymakers by Laura Jermina R. Abejo
2. Leg Men by Dominique Gerald Cimafranca
3. Cherry Clubbing by Kenneth Yu
4. The Sweet Stranger by Michael A.R. Co
5. A Kind of Flotsam by Christelle Rhodamae Mariano
6. Won’t You Be My Friend, Mr. Faceless Creature of Evil? by Karlos de Mesa
7. The Street Child and the Dwarf by Diabelle Joy M. Pazcoguin
8. Filipina: The Super Maid by Irene Carolina A. Sarmiento
9. Remembrance by Dean Alfar
10. Pursuit of the Litaniera by Elyrose G. Punsalan

(Comics and Film categories after the cut)

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Chained Links: 11 February 2010

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 11 - 2010

Writing (and Writer) News:

  • Dominique Cimafranca shares his presentation on Online Literature for the Tabaoan Writers Conference (yes, he does mentions us ^_^). The conference is ongoing at the moment, so do check Dom’s blog for coverage (he has Day 0 and Day 1 impressions up on his site.)
  • Speaking of writers getting together, Ian Rosales Casocot has posted a call for submission of manuscripts to the 49th Silliman University National Writers Workshop.
  • Ruin and Resolve contributor Catherine Batac Walder tells us she’s got a story out in this week’s Philippine Graphic. It’s entitled “Hey Soldier”. Congrats Catherine!
  • In further congratulatory news, I’ve read that (via macoy’s blog) it seems that Gio Paredes’ Kalayaan indie superhero series might see some U.S. distribution.
  • Via Yvette Tan’s, we’ve learned of Filipino Scares, a tumblr site with short (flash-length) horror stories.
  • Over at the Philippine Genre Stories blog, Kenneth Yu has a post on ongoing local writing competitions, and another on a workshop for online writing from Luis Katigbak (the first is on the 15th).
  • Kenneth also informs us that the launch of Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. V will take place on April 24, 2010, 3 p.m. at the UView Theatre of Fully Booked at Bonifacio Global City.

WLF

Events:

  • For those looking for a twist on typical Valentine’s fare, science writer and curator of the upcoming Mind Museum (and friend of the site) Ms. Maria Isabel Garcia dropped us a line to let us know of When Love Falls an evening of love and science on February 12, where psycho-analyst Dr. Agnes Bueno will discuss love gone awry. You can see the poster here.
  • I think we’ve mentioned it before, but let me remind everyone that KomiksTrip, the first UPLB comics convention, is taking place on February 13.
  • Speaking of comics, the Renaissance Project, a comics/komiks event for the benefit of Filipino artists who have fallen on hard times, seems to be pushing through on February 20 21 at the SM Megamall Megatrade hall.

Reviews:

  • Some reviews of interest over at Metakritiko (which I’ll be leaving soon, unfortunately. Although I’m sure you’ll all be pleased with the new man at the helm ^_^). I take on Lola by J. Torres and Elbert Or  (it’s also been reviewed by Ruel de Vera)
  • Also on Metakritiko, Fidelis Tan reviews Underpass. You can actually read her favorite story of the lot (by the Trese pair of Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo here or here). Also on the channel, Mighty Rasing reviews Legion and Marrianne Ubalde praises Kapitan Sino.

Slideshow: Writing Short Fiction

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 26 - 2009

Dominique Cimaframca has uploaded a short slide show from a short workshop he gave for the College Editors Guild of the Philippines. The focus of the approximately twenty slides is flash fiction, and you get to read some samples of Dom’s work in that mode as well.

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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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