“High Society” Philippine Steampunk Comic – Now on Amazon

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 14 - 2011

The mysterious steampunk comic book collaboration between myself and the wonderful Hannah Buena has now been released! Flipside Komix has published “High Society” (formerly “Kataastaasan“)  on Amazon as a Kindle comic. It’s an alternative history story that mixes automata, Philippine folklore, and the British invasion of Manila in the 1760s. It’s also the first comic book story set in the world of the “Wooden War”, which was also the setting of my story in Philippine Speculative Fiction 6.

There’s not a lot of Philippine steampunk stories out there (I’m eagerly awaiting “The Marvelous Adventures of the Amazing Doctor Rizal”), and none that mix it up with Philippine mythology quite the way that Hannah and I do here, so if that interests you, please do buy a copy and help spread the word. If not for me, then for Hannah’s amazing art. Maybe some preview pages/panels will seal the deal?

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Alternative Alamat: Table of Contents

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 13 - 2011

It gives me great pleasure to finally be able to announce the table of contents of our first commercial anthology “Alternative Alamat: Stories Inspired by Philippine Mythology”. It’s been a long road, but I’ve enjoyed every step of the way. The book will be digital-only for now, and will be published in cooperation with Flipside Digital before the end of the year. I’ll be releasing more information about the anthology in the coming weeks.

“Ana’s Little Pawnshop on Makiling St.” by Eliza Victoria

“Harinuo’s Love Song” by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz

“The Last Full Show” by Budjette Tan

“The Alipin’s Tale” by Raymond G. Falgui

“Keeper of My Sky” by Timothy James Dimacali

“Conquering Makiling” by Mo Francisco

“The Sorceress Queen” by Raissa Rivera Falgui

“Beneath The Acacia” by Celestine Trinidad

“Offerings to Aman Sinaya” by Andrei Tupaz

“Balat, Buwan, Ngalan” by David Hontiveros

“A Door Opens:  The Beginning of the Fall of the Ispancialo-in-Hinirang” by Dean Alfar

Appendix A: A Few Notable Philippine Deities

Appendix B: Interview with Professor Herminia Meñez Coben

Appendix C: Interview with Professor Fernando N. Zialcita

Appendix D: On Researching Philippine Mythology

Cover and interior artwork by Mervin Malonzo

Mervin Malonzo Talks “Tabi Po”

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 12 - 2011

Mervin Malonzo’s “Tabi Po” is a beautifully illustrated webcomic that until recently was only available in Filipino. Now, Mervin has released an English language version on the Kindle and will be releasing another version on the Nook and the iBookstore. (Note that the Kindle version has a different layout than the original comic – the “sample” button is your friend.) I took the opportunity to speak to Mervin about “Tabi Po”, the pros and cons of webcomics, and the new English international editions.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Did you always want to create comics?

Yes, I’ve always wanted to create my own comic ever since I took hold of my first issue of Funny Komiks, ever since the days I watched cartoons on TV as a child. And I did! I remember creating my first comic on my used notebooks, a story about mutant ants! “Mutant” because they have powers not entirely different from the ones the X-Men have, and ants because at the time I was obsessed with watching the line of ants in the roadside canal near our house (I still do that, by the way). Watching ants always made me wonder how it would feel to be as small as them. Of course, thinking about it right now, I guess we really are as small as them when you really think about it.

Anyway, my love for drawing comics led me to take up Fine Arts – Painting in UP Diliman instead of Chemistry in UP Los Baños (I passed there as well), to the great dismay of some of my relatives. “Walang pera sa fine arts”, they would say. I resigned from work two years ago to form my own design team with my friends (Pepe&thePolygons) so that I could work whenever I needed to and do comics whenever I wanted to. :)

How would you pitch “Tabi Po” to new readers? What’s it about, and why should people read it?

Hmm.. for most of my readers, it turned out that saying it had “UNCENSORED NUDITY, BLOOD, VIOLENCE AND SEX” did the trick. Haha!

But to publishers and other people I’d like to impress, I would say, “It’s my own interpretation or deconstruction of the Philippine mythology and folklore. I made the aswangs, engkantos, diwatas and anitos as real as I could, putting them in our history, creating a feasible origin story for them and how they were affected by and will in turn affect the human race. Are aswang really different from humans? I am also fusing some Christian beliefs with the old nature worship. Ultimately, it is my explanation of how our world would work if these beings really existed. The purpose of this whole epic is to make the reader think about human nature, the environment, religion and the meaning of life, the universe and everything–all while still being entertained.”  Of course, you do not see this yet in our story so far but that’s the grand plan. It’s not really all violence and nudity, you’ll see.

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Book Launch: “Geek Tragedies” by Carljoe Javier

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 16 - 2011

Carljoe Javier–friend of the site, head honcho of UST Publishing House and all around uber-geek–will be having a simultaneous launch of the print and digital editions of his newest book “Geek Tragedies”.  You can read a sample here and pre-order the book for the Kindle at a discount. Here’s the announcement:

Geek Tragedies will be officially launched on July 1! The launch of the print version will be held at the UP Press MegaLaunch at 5pm in the GT-Toyota Hall of Wisdom at the Asian Center. But if you want a digital version (care of Flipside Digital), you can pre-order it from Amazon! The full version will download to your Kindle or other reading device July 1, but you can start reading the book now. If you download it, please also rate it on Amazon to help other readers find the book. iPad version’s to follow.

I’m very excited about Geek Tragedies, as I think it’s a really fun book with a good variety of stories. It’s also the first Filipino book, as far as I know, that will have simultaneous print and digital launches. Please check it out in whatever format you like, and pass the word around, repost, etc etc. thanks everybody for helping out.

 

Amazon Sunshine Deals: Genre Books

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 5 - 2011

So it’s summer in the US, and Amazon is promoting the Kindle by slashing the prices of over 600 books to 0.99, 1.99, or 2.99 for the first two weeks of June. It’s called the “Sunshine Deals” promo and while the bigger US publishers don’t seem to be part of the promotion, don’t make the mistake of thinking there aren’t a few gems to be found.

There are a pair of Pyr Books titles on the list and they’ve seldom steered me wrong before, and I’ve been eyeing that Story Engineering book for a while. I looked through the list and figured that, while I was at it, I might as well put together a list of titles that might interest a Rocket Kapre reader. So without further ado:

Ebook Deal: Physics of the Impossible

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 19 - 2011

The kindle edition of one of the best books available for writers of science fiction–or anyone at all interested in science–is on sale right now on Amazon.com: Michio Kaku’s “Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel” for the criminally low price of USD1.99 (region dependent  assume). Even if you’re not one of the lucky folks to get a Kindle this Christmas, it’s worth downloading the Kindle for Desktop so you can read this. Mindblowing stuff from a scientist who is a true genre fan, and who is adept at making complex ideas comprehensible. I don’t know how long the book will be on sale, so best grab the opportunity now.

Chained Links: 21 December 2009

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 22 - 2009

For your pre-Christmas edition of our link round-up, we’ve got a site launch, writing tidbits and a smattering of history:

EPressSitte

Site Launch:

  • The official Estranghero Press website is now up and running (although parts remain, as per internet tradition, “under construction”).

Books and the Writing Craft:

  • Speaking of Estranghero Press, here are a few interesting posts from Joey Nacino’s blog, one on local monsters, and another on the inclusion of an editor’s own story in his/her anthology (the latter with bonus flame-y flavor in the comments, if that floats your boat).
  • Mitali Perkins on why she writes multicultural books. (Via Stacy Whitman)
  • For essay writers, poets and artists, there’s a call for submissions for Duguang Lupa, a chapbook of reactions to the Ampatuan Massacre. (via PGS)
  • In the Nick of Time” a free Holiday Sampler put together by J.C. Hutchins with excerpts from a dozen new novels and nonfiction books by authors such as Laurell Hamilton, Cory Doctorow and Joseph Finder. (via Tor.com)
  • The 43rd Bookworms Carnival covering books on/related to mythology (we contributed our post on Anvil’s Treasury of Stories)
  • The Apex Book of World SF (which includes a story by Dean Alfar) is available for the Kindle, and for  free worldwide shipping in dead-tree form. (via World SF News Blog)

Event Coverage:

Historical Documents: (via Filipiniana.net)

Contests and Sales:

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:

Chained Links (13 October 2009)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 13 - 2009

Things were a bit crazy for the past week, but here’s a round-up of recent news that you guys might find interesting:

  • The deadline of the Pinoy Story Writing Contest has been extended to October 17;
  • Pinoy Transgressive, a website devoted to the publication and promotion of “transgressive literature” has launched, with words by Carljoe Javier, Jonathan Jimena Siason, Karl de Mesa, Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon, and Norman Wilwayco;
  • Spec (and all-things-experimental) Fic author Adam David has been nominated in the National Book Awards in the Best Book Design category;
  • The Bookbabble podcast interviewed Filipina Spec Fic author Crystal Koo.
  • Underpass, a new graphic novel anthology from industry heavyweights such as Gerry Alanguilan, David Hontiveros, Ian Sta. Maria, Budjette Tan, Kajo Baldisimo, and Oliver Pulumbarit will make its debut at the Komikon. You can also check out a list of other komiks launching at komikon at the Komikero blog;
  • In other komiks news, Trese #3 has been printed and should be in the grubby hands of pre-ordering fanatics (like myself) some time this week;
  • Wired points out some functions which will not be present in the International Kindle (if used outside of the US from what I gather);
  • John Scalzi is running a quick writing contest on his AMC blog;
  • Via technovelgy, we’ve got word that parts of The Periodic Table of Science Fiction (a collection of 118 rather short stories by Michael Swanwick) are now online.
  • I’ve also received word via Yvette Tan’s Twitter that the special Horror Issue of Philippine Genre Stories (which she guest edits) is ready, although the Charles Tan informs us that the issue doesn’t appear to be out in the wild yet. Hopefully the news at least means that the release is imminent;
  • Speaking of Yvette, her story “Seek Ye Whore,” which came out in Rogue magazine’s July 2008 issue was long listed in Ellen Datlow’s new annual horror anthology. She’s also guest-editor at UNO Magazine (a men’s magazine so searching it out may be NSFW) this month, has an interview at the FHM (also a men’s magazine) website and has a feature on “”Waking the Dead” in Garage magazine. She does get around doesn’t she? ^_^
  • EDIT: Whoops almost forgot this–we can expect a new book on Philippine Folklore (can never have enough of those) soon, as the book proposal of Dianne de las Casas and Zarah Gagatiga was approved.

The Kindle Cometh

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 8 - 2009

kindlephil

We all knew it was coming: the Kindle is going international. A Kindle with international wireless whispernet (and yes the Philippines is covered) will start shipping on October 19 and is available for pre-order now. You can find more details at blogkindle and Teleread.

Not a bad time to be a digital publisher eh?

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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.

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