Now Available: Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 7

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 30 - 2012

The seventh volume of the annual Philippine Speculative Fiction anthology (edited by Kate and Alex Osias) is now available for purchase at Amazon and Flipreads (with others to follow). Yep, it’s digital only for the time being. You can see the full table of contents here - this volume includes my story “Oblation”, and I thought I’d post the first few paragraphs of the story here, as a preview of what you may find in this volume.

“Oblation” is a departure for me in that it’s my first superhero short story, and my first story told using only female POVs. Also, likely because I’ve been hanging out with Mia too much, I tried to say something with the form of the story, not just with the content, and I hope that comes through (God knows, I’m not very subtle.) Enjoy!


By Paolo Chikiamco

I’m wearing my hair in a tail today. That means I’m ready to go to war.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at me. You look at me–and trust me, you’ll look–and all you know is that your day’s been made. Yes, I’m that pretty. No bragging, just fact. Mom’s genes are gooood. Not as good as Dad’s, but not everyone can be a superhero telepath.

‘Course, that doesn’t mean he can get in my head. He wishes. Brainwashing me is the only way I’d ever be okay with missing the prom. Sometimes, I wish that he could see into my head, so the great Kapitan Isip would realize just how little I care about his excuses. Like it’s the first time he’s ever been stationed in the Middle East, like it’s the first time he’s gotten threats, or that Mom and I have been “at risk”. Get real. No Kontra is brain-dead enough to go after a Klark’s family, not after what happened in Marikina when Bakunawa went berserk…

Seriously. They still show those horrible clips in history class. The boys loved it of course. Boys and violence. It’s why they get a thrill when they see my pony tail bobbing–but even guys know better than to come near me. The tail means “STAY AWAY”, all caps, and most of the school is smart enough to–

Is that… is that Sarah Novales waiting for me by the water fountain?



I saw Michelle’s eyes narrow at the sight of me, and couldn’t help but remember the first time I’d ever seen her. My first day at Barrameda, the guidance counselor had seemed upset that I didn’t seem too impressed by the Academy. I’d barely uttered an “ooh” or “aah” when the he had shown me the school’s top of the line gymnasium, or introduced me to the duo (actual Persons-With-Powers, he’d proudly proclaimed) who served as campus security.

All that changed when we stepped into the cafeteria. It took a while for the counselor to realize he was explaining the scintillating food choices to the empty air.

“Who’s that?”

The counselor didn’t even follow my gaze. “That is Michelle Felinas, Queen of the Hill. Be careful with that one.”

Michelle was holding court in the center of the cafeteria, asking everyone to support the school football team. I say “asking” only because she used phrases like “would you” and “will you”–her tone made it clear that support was expected. From the way everyone hung on to her every word, they’d have it no other way.

When it became obvious that Kapitan Isip’s daughter was not a PWP, the media had gone on a feeding frenzy. (They’d never liked the Kapitan, who was understandably tough to interview.) But the Kapitan was never anything but proud of his daughter, and it was easy to see why. After all, normal didn’t mean ordinary.

“I’m serious, Ms. Novales.” The counselor steered me firmly away from the cafeteria. “Her father may be a hero, but his daughter is bad news. Stay away from her.”

And now, two years later, here we were. I felt a smile grow on my face. I was anxious when I wasn’t at school, even for a day. But now everything’s all right.

Don’t worry ‘Chelle.

I’m here.

Aaaand, that’s it for the preview. If you’d like to read the rest of the story, do consider buying Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 7. Congrats to Kate & Alex and all the contributing authors, as well as the publishing team.

Sale: Alternative Alamat and High Society for $0.99

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 26 - 2012

To celebrate “Alternative Alamat” and “High Society” being nominated in the 1st Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards (cast your ballot now!) we’re having a sale! Until the end of the month, both “Alternative Alamat” and “High Society” are being discounted to $.0.99 or the peso equivalent. It’ll take some time for the reduction to be reflected in all distributors, but both books have been discounted on Amazon as of now.

So if you’ve liked the books and want to give them to others, or if you’re wondering if “Alternative Alamat” and “High Society” deserve your votes for the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards, now’s the time to buy!

PSF7: Cover Reveal; Launch Reminder

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 23 - 2012

Here’s the cover of Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 7, with art and colors by Les Banzuelo, art direction by Adam David. The volume will be launched this Saturday, July 28, 2012,  2:00pm at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf-Shangri-la Plaza, Edsa. You can see the table of contents here.

For the first time, this latest volume will launch as a digital book. For those who want to take home something tangible from the launch, however, rest assured that the good folk at Flipside Digital are preparing beautifully packaged CDs for the event:

PSF launches are always fun, as you can see from this video excerpt of last year’s PSF6 launch. Hope to see you all there!

It’s a big, big week for Alternative Alamat contributors! Eliza Victoria (“Ana’s Little Pawnshop on Makiling St.”) and Raissa Falgui (“The Sorceress Queen”) both have new novellas out – only one is clearly speculative fiction, but both are worth checking out. Also out this week is the digital edition of Philippine Speculative Fiction 6, where “Offerings to Aman Sinaya” by Andrei Tupaz, first appeared. (Mia Tijam and I have also been doing a story-by-story review here.)

THE VIEWLESS DARK by Eliza Victoria

When Anthony found Flo dead, locked overnight in one of the reading rooms of the university library, he knew it must have something to do with Mary. Mary Prestosa, fourth year graduating Philosophy student, whom they had been investigating. Mary, who surprised her roommate one night by suddenly standing up from her bed, throwing the windows open, and jumping down, headfirst, to the dormitory grounds below. Mary, whose memory marked the trail of mysterious deaths and bizarre occurrences that followed her own fateful fall: the fifth-year Computer Engineering student who prowled the campus on all fours, thirsty for blood, believing he was a wolf; the revelation of an all-girls’ satanic cult; the demonic possession of a fourth-year student from the Department of Psychology; and now—Flo, dead.

The students traced it all to Mary. They believed Mary didn’t commit suicide. They believed Mary tapped into something dark, and released it, and was consumed.


WOMAN IN A FRAME by Raissa Falgui

In a darkened hall in a plain white box of a building was a portrait of a woman, a girl, really—an old-fashioned girl in a modern frame, leaning against the wall. Other paintings similarly arrayed surrounded her, waiting to take their places in the gallery.

Voices echoed in the room, a young man’s jeering and a young woman’s more tentative tones. Cool hands with long, delicate fingers lifted the portrait.

Perhaps what drew the young woman to this painting was the incongruity of a girl, grave and formal, set within the vibrant, flowing curves of the carved art nouveau frame. Perhaps it was the sense of kinship she felt. For the young woman, Ning, was the daughter of an artist, dreaming of becoming an artist. She knew nothing of the girl in the portrait, only that the intensity captured in the glimmer of its brush-stroked eyes reflected her own.

So begins Ning’s journey to her country’s colonial past to uncover the story behind the portrait—the story of Marcela.

It is 1896, and Marcela, of the renowned Simbulan artist family from Pino, Laguna, has fallen in love with Julio Benitez, a Spanish peninsular just come from Europe to woo the town’s belle: Raquel Riola, mestiza heiress. Torn between loyalties to family and nation, desire and social expectations, childhood and maturity, Marcela must learn to navigate dreams and deceptions to free her silenced love and stifled craft.


PHILIPPINE SPECULATIVE FICTION Volume 6 edited by Nikki Alfar and Kate Osias

  • The Big Man by Asterio Gutierrez
  • Alternative Histories by Ian Rosales Casocot
  • Ashland by Elyss G. Punsalan
  • Carpaccio (or, Repentance as a Meat Recipe) by Arlynn Despi
  • The Grim Malkin by Vincent Michael Simbulan
  • From the Book of Names My Mother Did Not Give Me by Christine V. Lao
  • Prisoner 2501 by Philip Corpuz
  • A Smell of Mothballs by Mailin Paterno
  • Villainoguing by Joseph Montecillo
  • On Wooden Wings by Paolo Chikiamco
  • Break in at Batay Street by Francis Gabriel Concepcion
  • The Kiddie Pool by Kenneth Yu
  • Eternal Winter by Maria Pia Vibar Benosa
  • Lament of the Counselor by Jay Anyong
  • The Bookshelves of Mrs. Go by Charles Tan
  • Offerings to Aman Sinaya by Andrei Tupaz
  • Resurrection by Victor Ocampo
  • Strange Adventures in Procreation by Andrew Drilon
  • Hollowbody by Crystal Koo
  • The Storyteller’s Curse by Eliza Victoria
  • The Impossible and the R.S.C. Gregorio del Pilar by Alex Osias
  • Simon’s Replica by Dean Alfar


Philippine Speculative Fiction 7 Launch and Ebook News

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 10 - 2012

PSF 1-6 ebook covers, art and colours by Les Banzuelo, art direction by Adam David

Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 7 will be launched on Saturday, July 28, 2012,  2:00pm at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf-Shangri-la Plaza, Edsa. You can see the table of contents here. PSF launches are always fun, as you can see from this video excerpt of last year’s PSF6 launch.

In other PSF news, the ebook version of Philippine Speculative Fiction 5 by Flipside Digital Content is now out on (for U.S. registered accounts anyway) Flipreads, and iTunes.PSF5 is particularly special to me as it represents my first appearance in the anthology, with my science fiction story “Carbon”. Fun fact – it’s also the first story I wrote which elicited something approaching praise from my partner-in-criticism, Mia Tijam, so that’s gotta mean something right?

With PSF 6 set to be released soon (within the month I think), it seemed as good a time as any to show off the great work being done by Les Banzuelo, and Adam David on the ebook covers, each of which is an image inspired by one of the stories inside.


Ebook Launch: Philippine Speculative Fiction volumes 3 and 4

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 29 - 2012

Continuing the digitization of the first and longest running Philippine published speculative fiction anthology, volumes 3 and 4 of the Philippine Speculative Fiction anthology have now been released by Flipside Digital Content.  (Volumes 1 and 2 were released  in April.) I remember PSF4 very well, because it’s the first PSF launch I attended. It’s also the first anthology I attempted to review (never did finish it, but here are parts one, two, and three.)

Here are the descriptions and TOCs from Amazon:


A diet drug gone wrong; A boy born with winged feet; A murder mystery set in a refrigerator. The Philippine Speculative Fiction series are anthologies that showcase 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.

Contributors include:

  • MRR Arcega
  • FH Batacan
  • Joanna Paula Cailas
  • Ian Rosales Casocot
  • Dominique Cimafranca
  • Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon
  • Timothy Dimacali
  • Andrew Drilon
  • Raymond Falgui
  • Sarge Lacuesta
  • Apol Lejano-Massebieau
  • Joseph Nacino
  • Alexander Marcos Osias
  • Elyss Punsalan
  • Rodello Santos
  • Yvette Natalie U. Tan
  • Charles Tan
  • Mia Tijam
  • Marianne Villanueva
  • Alfred A. Yuson

[PSF 4 after the cut.]

Read the rest of this entry »

Ebook Launch: Philippine Speculative Fiction volumes 1 and 2

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 12 - 2012

The Philippine Speculative Fiction series is the first and longest running Philippine published speculative fiction anthology, but while it has achieved critical success, the limited print runs have made the books, particularly the earlier volumes, difficult to find (volume 1 in particular has been sold out for-ever). This is especially true for anyone who doesn’t live in the Metro Manila area, and all the more for those who live outside the Philippines.

Fortunately, the publishers/editors of the series have reached an agreement with Flipside Digital Content to re-release the series in digital form. As of today, the first two volumes (both edited by Dean Francis Alfar) are available on and Flipreads, at very attractive prices:

  • Philippine Speculative Fiction vol. 1 – US$0.99 on Amazon, PHP 80.00 on Flipreads (epub)
  • Philippine Speculative Fiction vol. 2 - US$3.99 on Amazon, PHP 195.00 on Flipreads (epub)

If you’re missing these books from your PSF set, or if you’ve been waiting for the right time to try the series out, here’s the perfect opportunity. Complete table of contents for both volumes after the cut. If you want to read a sample story, I reprinted Yvette Tan’s “The Child Abandoned” from PSF2 in Usok #1. Read it here.

Read the rest of this entry »

There are two exciting new Amazon Kindle releases from Filipino creators today (courtesy of Flipside Digital): First up is “Lower Myths” by Eliza Victoria, who has contributed to Usok, Ruin and Resolve, and Alternative Alamat.

Lower Myths features two compelling novellas of contemporary fantasy from Eliza Victoria, one of the most talented young writers in Asian speculative fiction today. In “Trust Fund Babies,” children of two warring witch and fairy families face off in the final round to a centuries-old vendetta.

In “The Very Last Case of Messrs. Aristotel and Arkimedes Magtanggol,” an aristocrat and his daughter consult a famous lawyer-sibling pair about a mysterious crime. But in the lawyers’ hilltop mansion by the sea, they uncover sinister hints that their reality may not be what it seems.


The second release is a revised edition of “Marco’s Delivery Service“. If you read my review of the original work, you may be interested in this version, as I worked with creator Koi Carreon to iron out the kinks and flesh out the story, in order to–we hope–create product that retains the great art and retro-futuristic world, while adding some narrative polish. Fans of old school anime like Outlaw Star should definitely check it out.

Release Day: Alternative Alamat Now Available

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 14 - 2011

Cover for "Alternative Alamat" by Mervin Malonzo

The day has come!

Alternative Alamat“, our digital anthology of stories inspired by Philippine mythology, is now available for US$4.99 at the following fine establishments:

  • – US$4.99 (note there’s an extra US$2.00 charge for certain non-US territories/accounts, including, unfortunately, the Philippines)
  • (epub file) – PHP235.00
  • [iTunes and Barnes & Noble/Nook editions to follow]

I hope that by now you’re all excited to get your hands on the book (or, rather, the hardware holding the file), and if so, thank you and what are you waiting for? If you’re still on the fence even after the preview of our contributor and story introductions, and our author interviews (Raissa, Mo, Eliza), then read on (or download the press release here)!

As a celebration of today’s launch, I’d like to give you a glimpse of some of the non-fiction segments of the book, as well as the wonderful artwork of Mervin Malonzo, creator of “Tabi Po“. You’ve already seen the beautiful cover Mervin made for us, but you may not have realized he’s also doing internal artwork as well. Each book is graced with eleven original illustrations by Mervin, where he gives his spin on eleven of the most interesting gods and goddesses of Philippine mythology. I don’t want to give too much away, so here’s a montage-teaser using elements from all eleven pieces:

After the cut: one full sample of Mervin’s interior artwork, the full text of the book’s introduction, and excerpts from my interviews with Professor Herminia Meñez Coben and Fernando N. Zialcita.

Read the rest of this entry »

High Society News: Giveaway, Komikon, iTunes, Reviews

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 15 - 2011

Bonus Art from "High Society" artist Hannah Buena


Some news on the High Society front: first off, the comic is part of the Kindle Komix Krazy giveaway of Flipreads. You can click the link for more detailed  instructions, but basically all you need to do is send in a picture of yourself using a Kindle or a Kindle App, write a bit about your love of local comics, and you’ll get High Society on the Kindle for free. If you’d rather pay for your copy–and hey, I certainly wouldn’t turn that down–High Society is also currently going for a reduced price of $0.99 (US price) for a limited time.

Edit: If you’re reading this before November 18, Tina is also giving out a free Kindle copy of High Society to someone who comments on her review of the comic.

If you’d rather get your copies from the iTunes store,you can get your copy here. As I also mentioned yesterday, you can also get an ePub or PDF copy from Flipreads, the new Philippine digital bookstore, here.

Of course, there are also readers who’d prefer a physical copy of High Society (whether instead of or in addition to the digital one), and if so, do pass by the Flipside table at this Saturday’s (November 19) annual Komikon, at the Bayanihan Center in Pasig. We’ll be selling a limited number of photocopied versions of High Society, and Hannah and I should both be at the table at some point (probably not for the whole day) for anyone who wants signed copies. And hey, you know what? If you bring your digital copy of High Society on your ereading device (Kindle, iDevice, Android, Laptop, etc.) I’ll sell you the physical copy at a discounted price.

For prospective readers still on the fence about whether or not High Society is for them, you can check out reviews from some of the country’s most popular komiks review sites: Flipgeeks has comments from Norby Ela and Earl Maghirang; Mark Rosario, on the other hand, reviews High Society at Planet Markus.

Edit: We’ve also begun to receive reviews from intrepid book bloggers, such as Tina over at One More Page, one of the few readers who’ve seen both the old and new versions of “High Society”–lucky for us, she liked both versions.



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.