Mythspace #0: Free Until September 6

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 27 - 2013

The nomination phase of the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards 2013 has finished, and we’re happy to announce that Mythspace #0 was one of the comics that were nominated — thanks to everyone who threw our name in the hat! Now comes the second phase of the awards, the popular vote, which will narrow the field down to a select few semi-finalists, from which the winner of the awards will be chosen.

To this end, we’re making a PDF copy of Mythspace #0 available as free download for the duration of the voting period, which ends on September 6. If you haven’t read Mythspace #0 yet, now’s your chance to do so — and our chance to win your vote, if you’re so inclined. If you’ve already read Mythspace #0 (or Mythspace: Lift Off [Part 1] — the 0 issue is Part 1 plus previews of the other Mythspace titles), then please, spread the word, so others can see if we merit their vote.

All read up? Great! If you like what you’ve seen, you can vote for Mythspace #0 here.You can also purchase Mythspace titles at Comic Odyssey, Robinsons Galleria.

If you’re wondering if it’s worth the download, here are a few of our more favorable reviews:

First, from none other than Noel Pascual, the co-creator of the wonderful Crime Fighting Call Center Agents comic. Here’s an excerpt from his review, the full text of which is here:

Koi Carreon’s art is amazing. As I was browsing through the pages the first time, it’s the character design that really stood out. There’s quite a bit of a manga influence in there but the human characters— from the lead character to the secondary characters (especially the secondary characters!)— all look quite Pinoy. In a story dealing with Pinoy myths, that goes a long way when it comes to adding to the overall effectiveness of the piece.

The plotting really works, going from flashback to present day without confusing the reader. The scenes picked enhance the drama of the story without crossing into melodrama. The rebellious teen who is our lead also doesn’t come close to crossing the line into being an unsympathetic character. Chikiamco also manages to provide his life history without sounding like it’s being done for the sake of dumping info onto the reader. In Liftoff as well as in the other stories, we get a sense that this is a fully realized world, with one element resonating with the next.

Second, from EK over at Jumper Cable:

“Collectively the comics are all presented on a professional level rarely seen outside of the Sacred Mountain, Komikero, Gunship Revolution, and Point Zero groups. Some of the best inking and detail work among the recent komiks releases are here — and I’ve just seen partial results. The typesetting for the dialogue balloons are grammar-corrected and nearly faultless. The paneling is also professional, at par with the best of the Western comics.

On the script level, the two presented stories are as unique from each other as adobo and sinigang, even if they are made by the same cook. Be assured that there is much variety expected among the six presented stories, that it would not be boring even if they were all from the same writer. Both given stories are paced without a glitch, with a clear understanding of writing in general and the comic medium in particular. The author’s hand in the development process is also visible. There is almost no useless panel, and it is clear that the illustrators understand what to illustrate and how.”

Third, from from Francis at Hawkersmag.com:

“Just enough information is given about the main character, Ambrosio, leaving a lot of room for speculation and anticipation of what’s to come.

Although I tend to stray a bit away from angst-ridden teenagers, reasons for Ambrosio’s anger are justified, and it would be interesting to see how his character has changed now that his whole worldview has turned itself over.

There is scarce dialogue, which makes for very efficient story-telling. Chikiamco’s dialogue does what it is intended to do: move the plot forward and reveal character. It doesn’t get in the way of the action and suspense that spills throughout the pages, and that’s a very good thing when it comes to pacing.”

And last but not least, from Tina Matanguihan, from One More Page, where she gave it it 5 out of 5 stars! Here’s an excerpt:

This new series plays on the idea that the creatures we know from folk tales and movies not simply monsters from our grandparents’ stories, but you know, creatures from outer space. Sounds crazy, yes?

But you know what? It actually works.

I also liked reading the previews for the two longest stories there, with Liftoff having that mystery-in-space type of story with a somewhat angst-ridden hero, and Unfurling of Wings reminding me so much of the chimaera world in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Paolo’s New Work: Slammed! Interactive Fiction Game

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 1 - 2013

Hi guys! On the chance that some of you may be interested in my non-specfic work as well, Choice of Games has just released Slammed!, my Interactive Fiction wrestling game,  for iOSAndroidKindle Fire, and, via the Chrome Web Store, Windows, OS X, and Linux. By “Interactive Fiction”, I mean something along the lines of a choose-your-own-adventure gamebook, with statistics, but without dice rolls.

At 250,000 words, give or take, this is easily the longest story I’ve ever written, and you might say it’s my first novel (or first five novels). As I said, it’s not specfic — but really, pro wrestling is as close as you can come to a real life superhero universe. If you enjoy my writing, but don’t watch wrestling, I have it on good authority that you can still enjoy the game — you can try the demo to check the game out, or read the wrestling primer I prepared, for non-fans. In any event, this is a labor of love that I devoted more than half a year of my life to, and I’d love it if Rocket Kapre readers would give it a try, and help me spread the word.

Thank you! Here’s the official press release from Choice of Games:

We’re proud to announce that SLAMMED!, the latest in our popular “Choice of Games” line of multiple-choice interactive-fiction games, is now available for iOSAndroidKindle Fire, and, via the Chrome Web Store, Windows, OS X, and Linux.

Turn a scripted steel-cage wrestling match into a real fight in this 250,000-word interactive novel!

You’ve always dreamed of becoming pro wrestling’s biggest star…but a wrestler’s world is fraught with hardship and betrayal, in and out of the ring. Become a powerhouse, a technician, a high-flier, or focus on your promo skills. There’s more than one road to success.

But none of those roads will be easy. This is a world where your biggest fans are your harshest critics; where the front office is more dangerous than the squared circle; where friends can become enemies with a single heel turn; where, sometimes, the only way to win is to lose, spectacularly.

This is professional wrestling. And you’re about to change it, forever.

Slammed! is an epic interactive professional-wrestling novel by Paolo Chikiamco, where your choices determine how the story proceeds. The game is entirely text-based–without graphics or sound effects–but driven by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

There’s never been a professional wrestling game like this, a game where the outcome of your final match, your choice of opponent, and your relationships affect the ending. When’s the last time you played a pro-wrestling RPG with a “kayfabe” stat?–or where your trash-talking “promo” ability is as important as your core strength and wrestling technique?

  • Enjoy a 250,000-word personal tale of friendship, competition, and revenge.
  • Develop not only your physical abilities, but a favored wrestling style.
  • Become a heroic face, or a villainous heel–or even turn heel.
  • Turn a scripted match into a real fight–and vice versa.
  • Decide when to keep kayfabe, and when to break it.
  • Play as male or female, gay or straight.

We hope you enjoy playing SLAMMED!. We encourage you to tell your friends about it, and recommend the game on StumbleUpon, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. Don’t forget: our initial download rate determines our ranking on the App Store. Basically, the more times you download in the first week, the better our games will rank.

Mythspace Summer Komikon Reading Guide

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 10 - 2013

The Summer Komikon is this Saturday, April 13, once again at the Bayanihan Center. The Mythspace Team will have four new stories (and limited copies of Mythspace #0) available at the event, so it seemed like an opportune time to provide a reader’s guide for our new offerings. But first off, here’s where we’ll be on Saturday:

 

We’ll have four Mythspace stories out on Saturday, as well as Pilandokomiks (a book illustrated  by “Mythspace: An Unfurling of Wings” artist Borg Sinaban) as well as some second hand graphic novels. Here’s a breakdown of the Mythspace titles so you can decide which is right for you (with the answer hopefully being: All of Them):

Title:  Mythspace: Black Mark

Artist:  Paul Quiroga

Writer: Paolo Chikiamco

Genre: Science Fiction / Action / Mecha

Price: 60 pesos.

Synopsis: What if the creatures from Philippine folklore — the tikbalangs, nuno, kapre — were inspired by sightings of actual alien races? That’s the question that fuels the Mythspace stories.

In “Black Mark”, readers gain insight into the fractious society of the crafty Nuno, where political zealots (who tint their skins to signify their party loyalties) have the government in a persistent state of gridlock. Yet, legend has it that there is a faction that transcends politics: the legendary Black, a task force that is authorized to go to extreme measures to safeguard Nuno society. Helmless Mang, a pariah on his home planet, is about to find out that the Black are very real — and both more powerful and more terrible than that the stories would have you believe…

Reading Notes: Stand-alone story, but provides insight into the Nuno, the race of Qu in Lift-off. Nunos also play roles in Humanity and Devourers of Light.

Folklore Notes: I combined the Nuno and Dwende from folklore to form the Nuno race — the idea of different Nuno types being distinguished by skin color comes from stories about the dwende. The Bungis were one-eyed giants in our folklore.

Title:  Mythspace: Humanity

Artist: Cristina Rose Chua

Writer: Paolo Chikiamco

Genre: Science Fiction / Drama

Price: 60 pesos.

Synopsis: What if the creatures from Philippine folklore — the tikbalangs, nuno, kapre — were inspired by sightings of actual alien races? That’s the question that fuels the Mythspace stories.

In “Humanity”, the descendants of humans abductees (taken from Earth centuries ago) labor as slave-miners in the asteroid fields of the materialistic Kataw. Danny and Marta are two young miners, thrust into dire straits when a stroke of good fortune leads to a calculating betrayal. When salvation comes in the form of the legendary Dalakitnon — Free Humans — both of them must decide for themselves what they would give up, to be free.

Reading Notes: A stand-alone story, this expands on the plight of humanity in the galaxy, which is touched upon in Lift-off. Also gives you a glimpse of the culture of the Kataw, and why they have the reputation that they do (as seen a bit in Devourers of Light and Black Mark).

Folklore Notes: The Dalakitnon are one of the “elves” mentioned in our folklore. Kataw is another name for Sirena.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cover for Mythspace: Lift Off (Part 2 of 3)

It’s April 1! That means that the Summer Komikon is only 12 days away (nope, not an April Fool’s). On April 13, Team Mythspace will have — barring natural calamity — four new stories to tell. Three of those stories are stand-alone tales (and make sure to check out Mythspace on Facebook for the covers of those stories, later today), but one if part 2 of the Lift Off story that was part of issue #0.

Now, here’s the thing — Mythspace was always intended to be released as a compiled volume of six stories, set in the same universe, with one story Lift Off, being the central piece, and twice as long as most of the others. We want to release Part 2 in order to get feedback, recoup funds, and provide something of a collectible for early supporters (because the final volume may look different from the ashcans we sell at the conventions — those who have Liftoff #1 and #2 will see how Koi has shifted his style.) That being said, it’s likely that part 3 of Lift Off won’t be released as a single issue (unless there’s a huge demand for it) and by next Komikon (in October or November), what we’ll be releasing is the compiled volume.

That being said, I want to gauge how many people would still like to buy a stand-alone copy of Lift Off Part 2, so I can estimate how many we should print, and make sure I reserve your copies. So if you’re interested in Lift Off #2, please leave a comment (with your name) here, at the Facebook page, or email me at mythspace.comic[at] g m a i l . Sorry, we haven’t decided on the price yet.

Also! If you’ve yet to read the first part of Lift Off, and would like to get a copy of Mythspace #0 (where that story can be found),  do also please leave a comment (with your name) here, at the Facebook page, or email me at mythspace.comic[at] g m a i l  — we only have limited copies though! You can see some reviews here and here.

 

Undecided? Have some art from part 2:

Read the rest of this entry »

Book Launch: The Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2005-2010

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 5 - 2013

“The Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2005-2010″ edited by Dean Francis Alfar & Nikki Alfar, and published by UP Press, will have a book launch on Feb 28, 2013, 5:50PM, at the UP Bahay Kalinaw. Making the cut is my science fiction short story “Carbon” from PSF5. Here’s a more complete description:

Between these covers are the best short stories of fantasy, horror, science fiction and genres in-between, selected from the first five years of the Philippine Speculative Fiction annuals. Step through the portal and explore worlds old and new and experience the power of the literature of the imagination as crafted by Filipino authors. Featuring stories by:  Rebecca Arcega FH Batacan Rica Bolipata-Santos Jose Elvin Bueno Ian Rosales Casocot Paolo Chikiamco Ronald Cruz Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon Timothy James M. Dimacali Andrew Drilon Russell Stanley Geronimo Pocholo Goitia Carljoe Javier Angelo R. Lacuesta Anne Lagamayo Apol Lejano-Massebieau Joseph F. Nacino Alexander Osias Kate Osias Vincent Michael Simbulan Joshua L. Lim So Charles Tan Yvette Tan Mia Tijam Noel Tio Eliza Victoria Isabel Yap Kenneth Yu

The Next Big Thing: Writer Blog Meme

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 19 - 2012

Sort of a chain letter for writers, the Next Big Thing is a blog meme whereby authors answer a set of questions about their next book project, and tag other writers/creators for the next cycle. I was tagged by Eliza Victoria, so here are my answers!

1) What is the working title of your next book?

Mythspace: Liftoff. It’s the first collection of what I hope will be many stories told within the Mythspace shared universe. I’m working in collaboration with the wonderful artists Koi Carreon, Borg Sinaban, Jules Gregorio, Mico Dimagiba, Cristina Rose Chua, Paul Quiroga.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

Most of my ideas come from an urge to tell speculative fiction stories that draw upon Philippine history, folklore, or mythology. There’s a growing field of creators doing the same, particularly in comics, but most of those projects are oriented toward fantasy and not science fiction. So I wanted to take some of the more familiar elements of Philippine fantasy — the monsters and ghouls that populate many of our mainstream horror movies and stories — and reimagine them as aliens to populate one of the most neglected local SF subgenres, the space opera.

Also: ever since I named the imprint/blog “Rocket Kapre” I’ve been dying to do a story that literalizes that.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Science Fiction to be general, Space Opera to be more particular, and Portal-Fantasy-Adapted-Mythic-Space-Opera-Squad-Adventure, to invent my own name for it.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

If I were to make a movie adaptation of Mythspace, I’d cast completely new actors. I honestly can’t think of many established local actors who can disappear into their roles, and I don’t want the actors to overshadow the characters they’re portraying.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Tikbalangs in spaaaaaaaace!

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-published first, and then I’ll shop it around traditional publishers. No agency system here in the Philippines!

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Well the book collects 6 stories of varying length, with over two hundred pages of story in total, so it took me about six months of on-and-off work to get the first draft of all the scripts ready.

8)What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

This is really more movie inspired than book inspired. This is my attempt to give the Philippines its Star Wars.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Can I have a reverse inspiration? Every lazy use of our folklore creatures as superficial monsters, without any attempt to do something new with them.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

For Filipino readers, it’s a chance to see the monsters of your childhood in a way that you’ve never seen them before.

For non-Filipino readers, it’s a chance to see an attempt at space opera that is informed by a rich mythology that you don’t usually see in science fiction (as opposed to say, the Norse myths).

And now… TAG, you’re it:

Andrew Drilon

Mina Esguerra

Macoy Tang

Noel Pascual

Recent Scheherazade’s Facade Reviews (December 2012)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 18 - 2012

I saw a few new reviews of Scheherazade’s Facade–the anthology of gender bending stories that I’m a part of–this week (not including the ones on Goodreads), so I’m linking to them here, to encourage readers to give the anthology a try.

The first review comes from Jarla Tangh and, if you don’t mind some spoilers, it provides brief, stylized, summaries for each of the stories in the book.

The second review is from Kellan Sparver, with what is now my favorite one-line review for one of my stories ever: Stories I found of special mention: …  ”Kambal Kulam”, by Paolo Chikiamco, for being pure crack-fic.” Bonus points: The quote that starts the review comes from my story as well. Woo hoo!

 

Steampunk Revolution Official Launch

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 3 - 2012

The cake at the World Fantasy Conference launch of Steampunk Revolution, which I could not attend due to living halfway around the world. SteamCake!

While it’s been available in some places for a while now, December 1 was the official release day for Steampunk III: Steampunk Reloaded, the Ann Vandermeer edited anthology which reprints “On Wooden Wings”, my steampunk story from Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 6. That story is set in the same universe as High Society, albeit much earlier in the timeline, and the first part of the High Society prologue will be an adaptation of that story. Here’s some early art from Hannah, just to prove that we’re working on it:

Image source: http://sketchamababble.blogspot.com/2012/11/early-wooden-war-concept-art.html

Even for those of you who’ve read “On Wooden Wings” already, Steampunk Revolution is definitely worth your time. Just look at the list of contributors: Christopher Barzak, Paolo Chikiamco, Amal El-Mohtar, Jeffrey Ford, Lev Grossman, Samantha Henderson, Leow Hui Min Annabeth, N.K. Jemison, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Malissa Kent, Andrew Knighton, Nick Mamatas, David Erik Nelson, Morgan Johnson, and Fritz Swanson, Garth Nix, Ben Peek,  Cherie Priest, Margaret Ronald, Christopher Rowe, Vandana Singh, Bruce Sterling, Karin Tidbeck, Lavie Tidhar, Catherynne M. Valente, Genevieve Valentine, Jeff VanderMeer, Carrie Vaughn, J.Y. Yang, Jaymee Goh, Margaret Killjoy, Austin Sirkin. It’s an especially good volume for steampunk readers from the Philippines because part of the purpose of the anthology is to showcase stories that break the typical Victorian England paradigm that many associate too closely with the genre. Here’s the concept in greater detail:

What if Steampunk had a revolution?  What if this genre that is so closely tied to the past burst forth into the future – breaking down definitional barriers and forging ahead?  Steampunk Revolution features a renegade collective of writers —including steampunk legends as well as hot, new talents—who are rebooting the steam-driven past and powering it into the future with originality, wit, and adventure.  Going far beyond corsets and goggles, Steampunk Revolution is not just a ride in your great-great granddad’s zeppelin—now it’s a much wilder ride.

Original image: http://www.johncoulthart.com/feuilleton/2012/10/26/steampunk-revolution/

The book also has some beautiful illustrations and design-work from John Coulthart, an example of which you can see above, and he has a few more that you can see in his blog.

Here are a few early reviews of the anthology to help you make up your minds, and hey, once you’ve read it, let us know what you think!

  • Publisher’s Weekly: “VanderMeer’s follow-up to previous similarly themed anthologies targets established fans of the retro-infatuated steampunk movement.”
  • Shelf Awareness: “Steampunk isn’t just about Victorians playing with cogs and gears; these stories (and a few essays) reveal some of the latest steps in this branch of speculative fiction’s evolution.”

 

Charles Tan Interview at Read in a Single Sitting

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 20 - 2012

The interview came out weeks ago when I didn’t have time to post about it, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you all to an interview with Charles Tan over at the Read in a Single Sitting blog. In the interview, Charles talks about why he put together Lauriat, his anthology of Filipino-Chinese Speculative Fiction (which contains my story, “The Captain’s Nephew”.) Give the interview — and the anthology — a read, if you haven’t already.

Mythspace Komikon 2012 Aftermath

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 30 - 2012

What you see above is the last copy of Mythspace: Liftoff #0 at Komikon 2012, minutes before it too was purchased. Yes, we sold out of our print run, and while that is a mixed blessing usually, we didn’t play it safe with the print run, so sales really did exceed reasonable expectations — we sold almost double what High Society did, and HS was already considered a success for a Komikon indie. Thank you to everyone who bought a copy or spread the word!

A few post Komikon notes and links:

Again, thank you everyone for your support, and the team is now hard at work to ensure we have the complete anthology ready by 2013. I’ll keep updating you on the progress of Mythspace here and on the Facebook page.

TAG CLOUD

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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.

Photos

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