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)

Read the rest of this entry »

Project 2010 Launch – List of Speakers

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 29 - 2010

Photobucket
As I’ve mentioned before, tomorrow (Saturday), 30 January 2010, I’ll be one of the speakers at the Project 20:10 launch at at 1:00pm,  Instructional Technology Center (ITC) viewing room 2,  Ateneo de Manila, High School. Organizer Ria Lu (who I recently interviewed on Metakritiko here and here) has generously given me the complete list of speakers for the Character Building workshop that will launch the Project, and I’m honored to be in such prestigious company:

  • Kenneth Yu, Philippine Genre Stories
  • Yvette Tan, Waking the Dead
  • Elbert Or, Lola: a Ghost Story
  • Carlo Vergara, Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah

…and of course, me.

So if you’re looking for some writing tips this Saturday, looking to support local creators, or simply in search of something to do to kill time on a Saturday afternoon, come on down. If you get bored, you can always head to the fair and try to get yourself caught by the Marriage Booth or something. (They still have those at fairs right? It’s been so long @_@)

Futurism and the Filipino

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 7 - 2010

cowofthefutureAn interesting discussion is taking place in Adam David’s blog concerning Futurism and Philippine Speculative Fiction, most particularly the lack of “homegrown Futurists” amongst Filipino Spec Fic writers. (Adam’s post has a NSFW pic–consider this a warning–but you can find the post here.) As Adam put it:

“[The local Spec Fic scene's] output has been overwhelmingly Nostalgist/Nativist – from MagRealist fables to (if ever) back-to-basics postapocalypses to manananggal-raver mashups to Brockanian urban dystopias – and if ever someone does do a Futurist take on the Philippines, it is almost always politically infantile, its idioms largely borrowed from another culture’s, ie, Hollywood and Wired.”

The post has elicited some interesting responses in the comments section (which is now much longer than the actual post), with comments from Spec Fic writers like Joseph Nacino, Kenneth Yu, Carljoe Javier and Eliza Victoria. Topics discussed in the comments include: clarifying what is meant by “futurism”, how to get writers to write about specific topics, the socio-cultural background of a Filipino SF writer, the nature of editing, and the future of the Digest of Philippine Genre Stories, amongst others.

(Image source: Behold the cow of the future by thewamphyri CC Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic)

Ruin and Resolve – Cover and TOC Reveal

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 22 - 2009

Given all that the country has been through in the last two months, September 2009 might seem a lifetime away to some of us.  Yet the damage from Ondoy and Pepeng still remains, and in the coming year the typhoons will return, as they always do.  As Filipinos, as writers, as Spec Fic lovers, we want to do our part to help those who are still recovering from the storms, and to support those who will be at the vanguard of future relief efforts.

Last October, I sent out a limited call for submissions for Ruin and Resolve, an ebook anthology which Rocket Kapre would put up for sale, donating any profits received to the Philippine National Red Cross.  Seventeen heeded that call, and in the span of less than three months, we’ve managed to compile nineteen stories and five poems, to offer as an incentive for those who want to share their blessings, especially during the Christmas season. On December 28 (fingers crossed) the anthology will go on sale at Smashwords.com, and I’ll need everyone’s help to get the word out. But for now, I’ve set up a book page for Ruin and Resolve (ignore the sample and mediakit portions for now) with the table of contents and the cover image (artwork provided free of charge by the awesome Artspice! Studios) of which I’ve provided a larger version below.

The list of stories/poems and authors is on the book page, but I’m also putting it in this post, after the cut.

Once again guys – December 28, don’t forget!

Read the rest of this entry »

Business World Feature and Usok Review

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 27 - 2009

To those of you who have a copy of today’s (27 November 2009) Business World, you might be surprised to find a familiar piece of awesome SF artwork in the Weekender section… yes, opposite the articles on Susan Boyd and Adam Lambert ^_^:

Johanna Poblete of Business World has a feature on Rocket Kapre and excerpts from an interview with me, as well as her review of Usok 1. For those of you who can’t snag a copy of the paper, you can catch the article and the review at Business World’s site here. The review comes after the feature article. As with any print interview, there was more to the conversation than what made it into the final version, so when Johanna puts the full Q and A up on her site, I’ll let you all know.

While most of the sites/publications mentioned in the article should be familiar to you guys, for any newcomers to the site drawn here by the article (welcome lords and ladies!) here’s a quick rundown:

Usok Interview: Kenneth Yu

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 25 - 2009

I’ll be doing some interviews with several of our Usok authors, to get some insight as to their lives as writers in general, and their stories in Usok in particular. First up, and rightly so, is Kenneth Yu, editor of the Digest of Philippine Genre Stories which is, I’m not ashamed to admit, the lineal ancestor of Usok. Kenneth is the author of “Mouths to Speak, Voices to Sing“.

Tell us a bit about how you came up with the idea for your story.

There is, somewhere in Quezon City and owned by an old Tsinoy businessman, a large house overflowing with antique Chinese pottery and vases. This old Tsinoy has spent years collecting them; and they come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. I’ve never seen the collection, but some friends who have been to that house have. They were the ones who told me about it, and they were awed at its quantity and extent. The old Tsinoy knows the story behind each of his acquisitions, and my friends estimate that the worth of his antiques could reach the tens of millions of pesos. Over time, this value is bound to increase. This old man was described by my friends as being a nice guy (“mabait” to use the Tagalog word), and quite generous, though they met him only a few times.

My mother owns some antiques herself, but nowhere near the level and scale that this old man possesses. As a kid I would often peer curiously into her vases, wondering what was inside. I never found anything, other than dead cockroaches and a bit of dirt, but in the way that you can hear strange echoes and sounds–voices, maybe music–when you put your ear to a seashell, the same sounds can be heard inside these vases.

Two curiosities I explored in this story: What kind of “mabait” and generous old Tsinoy businessman would collect antique vases and why; and what would these vases be saying if they really could talk. Throw in a little bit of Chinese mythology, and the story somehow formed into what it is.

What aspect of the story gave you the most difficulty?

Trying to find the right sequencing of scenes, for one. Maintaining a consistent point-of-view, for another. It was a bit of a challenge shuffling sentences and paragraphs around, trying to find the best mix. I spent some time moving words around, adding here, removing there, and gauging the effect. I’m glad for the advice of the Usok editor in sorting this out. His comments were a big help. And I did warn him when he asked me for a story that the one I would be sending him was only in its first draft. ;-)

[Ed. Note: Usok editor pats self on the back. :P ]

Do you remember the first short story you ever wrote? What was it about?

Oh, no, I don’t, though an old friend told me recently that he remembered reading a story I wrote when we were 12 or 13, something about a “house on a hill”. I suppose it was a mystery or a ghost story of some sort. I have a feeling it was inspired by, of all things, a Choose Your Own Adventure book I liked very much: The Mystery Of Chimney Rock, a book about, er, a spooky house on a hill. I remember that book fondly, and the Choose Your Own Adventure series was a big hit when I was 12/13 years old, so the logic adds up. I have that title somewhere on my shelves still, I’m pretty sure.

Does your cultural background influence how you write, or what you write?

Occasionally. I’m a Tsinoy, influenced by Filipino and Chinese culture. And there’s no escaping the influence of Western culture, given its pervasiveness on TV, radio, in movies, and books. This influence comes out every now and then in what I write. I suppose it depends on what grabs me at the moment of writing, though it’s been pointed out to me that I did write some stories that are culturally “neutral” (“House 1.0″ from The Town Drunk and “Beats” from Philippine Speculative Fiction IV were the examples given by those people).

What was the best piece of writing advice you ever read or received?

Ah, it’s “Read”. Read, read, read. This advice has stuck with me, and of all things, I received it in such an impersonal way.

Years ago, during the martial law years in the Philippines, when Ferdinand Marcos was still president, the newspapers reported that famous author James Michener stopped by Manila for a few hours, en route to some other destination (I think he was on his way to Japan from Hawaii, or maybe it was the other way around; or maybe I’m completely wrong about where he was going and where he came from, I’m really not sure). His book “Shogun” was a big bestseller back then. Being a celebrity, he was interviewed at the airport and featured on the front page. I forget what the rest of the article was about, but I do recall the last question they asked him: What advice would he give to aspiring writers? He said, quite succinctly, “Read.” I’ve taken that to mean “Read a lot” or “Read as much as you can” or “Read about everything and anything you can get your hands on”; and so, I have.

There is another piece of advice that seems to work for most writers and that seems to run consistently with the most successful ones that I know, and that’s to be disciplined and set aside a regular schedule for actual writing everyday. I don’t know whether I heard it or read it somewhere, but I remember this quote: “The only way to write…is to write.” Makes sense to me. If you have time to read, and want to try the other side of the coin and write, then you have to set aside regular time for both activities.

How to Read the Next Generation

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 12 - 2009

P8180104

Kyu of Philippine Genre Stories attended the recent NBDB talk (in the Galing Pinoy, Basahin! Lecture Series) entitled How To Read The Next Generation (Fiction), which featured Dean Alfar, Angelo Lacuesta, Edgar Samar, Tara FT Sering (moderated by Charlson Ong) and he’s posted a summary of the event on his blog. Here’s an excerpt:

Jun Balde raised some interesting publishing figures. He cited that millions of books are sold each year in the Philippines (I forgot the exact number he mentioned, but it was a considerable amount), so it’s not right to say that Filipinos don’t read. Rather, it’s more interesting to parse just what kinds of books are being bought. The bulk of books that are being bought are paperback romance novels, humor books, how-to’s, and textbooks. Jun Balde said that fiction actually ranks in the top five of the types of books being purchased and read, and if any type of book-type has not been selling well, it’s poetry.

And on the topic of workshops and the writing process:

There, too, was an interesting question about the creative process of each writer, and another about the role of workshops and classes to improve one’s writing. All the panelists spoke of discipline and setting aside time to write. Sarge mentioned that writing for him is an obsession; it is something he has to do, wants to do with a passion, and that’s something anyone who really wants to write has to ingrain. With regard to workshops and classes, Dean made a good analogy about the Pinoys who sing well: some are trained, some are self-taught. Some from each group go on to become world-class talents. Those who are trained learn a bit more technique and craft, but that’s not to say that those who don’t can’t perform. The same, for writing. Ed Samar mentioned his staying up till the wee hours of the morning just churning out words, implying the amount of work and effort involved.

You can check out the rest of the post here.

Usok #1 Cover and TOC Reveal

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 10 - 2009

Table of Contents:

* The Startbox by Crystal Koo

* The Saint of Elsewhere: A Mystery by chiles samaniego

* Mouths to Speak, Voices to Sing by Kenneth Yu

* The Coming of the Anak-Araw by Celestine Trinidad

* The Child Abandoned by Yvette Tan

~ Coverart by Kevin Lapeña

Psyched yet? I know I am.  See you all tomorrow at 11 for the launch! See issue #1 here!

Kenneth Yu Wins Fantasy Magazine Flash Contest

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 27 - 2009

EDIT: Aaaaand he takes home the prize. Congratulations Kyu!

Fantasy Magazine recently ran a flash-fiction-and0graphic contest and Filipino author and editor extraordinaire Kenneth Yu’s story has placed in the top three (with the help of Andrew Drilon’s artwork, which PGS veterans will be familiar with).  Fantasy magazine is now holding a poll (until November 1, US Time), and the winner will be determined by the voting public, so please do check the stories out here, enjoy the quality flash, then vote for your favorite.

And hey, while you’re at the site, check out the other excellent pieces of SF fiction available at Fantasy Magazine.

TAG CLOUD

Sponsors

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.

Photos

PSF6_P1020212PSF6_P1020211PSF6_P1020193PSF6_P1020190