Update: “A Bottle of Stormclouds” Availability

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 14 - 2012

Based on the latest status update from publisher Visprint, Eliza Victoria’s A BOTTLE OF STORM CLOUDS (which we’ve mentioned before) is now available in the following locations, for P220.00:

Fully Booked – The Fort, Greenhills Promenade, Gateway Mall, SM Mall of Asia, The Block North EDSA, Rockwell, Shangri-la, Greenbelt 5, Trinoma

Bibliarch – Glorietta 3 and Waltermart Pasong Tamo

Pandayan Bookshop Metro Manila branches

The books will also be in stock soon at National Book Store, Powerbooks Store and all other provincial branches.

Fantastika Filipinas: Dean Alfar at DLSU

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 2 - 2012

The Literature Circle of De La Salle University will be holding an event called Fantastika Filipinas: A Talk on Philippine Speculative Fiction by one of the leading Filipino writers of the genre, multiple Palanca winner and Philippine Speculative Fiction 8 co-editor (and Alternative Alamat contributor) Dean Alfar. The event will be held tomorrow, on the 3rd of August, Friday, from 2:00-3:30 pm at Yuchengo 507.

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!

OBLATION

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?

Wonderful.

#

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.

Cover Reveal: “A Bottle of Storm Clouds” by Eliza Victoria

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 24 - 2012

It’s with great pleasure that we learned that excellent author and friend of the site Eliza Victoria – who has contributed to Alternative Alamat, Usok, and Ruin and Resolve – will soon be releasing her first collection of short fiction. Entitled “A Bottle of Storm Clouds” (and if you’ve read her story from Alternative Alamat, you might know where that tile came from), it will be published by Visprint, and Eliza has released the cover image, with art and design by Karen Francisco, author of Naermyth. More details to follow!

Award-winning author Eliza Victoria mixes magic with the mundane in this special concoction of 16 short stories. A girl meets a young man with the legs of a chicken. A boy is employed by a goddess running a pawnshop. A group of teenagers are trapped in an enchanted forest for 900 days. A man finds himself in an MRT station beyond Taft, a station that was not supposed to exist. A student claims to have seen the last few digits of pi. Someone’s sister gets abducted by mermaids.

Includes stories that have appeared in the critically acclaimed anthologies Philippine Speculative Fiction and Alternative Alamat, and stories that have won prizes in the Philippines Free Press Literary Awards and the Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio Literary Contest.

Published by Visprint.

209 pages, 6? x 9?

SRP PhP220

Publisher’s Weekly Reviews “Lauriat”

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 26 - 2012

It’s always cool when local speculative fiction gets reviewed by international publications. This time around it’s a Publisher’s Weekly (hooray!) review of “Lauriat”, the upcoming Filipino-Chinese speculative fiction anthology edited by Charles Tan. It’s a largely positive review, and my story “The Captain’s Nephew”, gets a nice mention. The book will also have stories from Kristine Ong Muslim, Christine Lao, Fidelis Tan, Andrew Drilon, Yvette Tan, Kenneth Yu, Gabriela Lee, Crystal Koo, Margaret Kawsek, Isabel Yap, Erin Chupeco, Marc Gregory Yu, and Douglas Candano.

The anthology is being published in the U.S. by Lethe Press, and I hope the local bookstores order copies. It will be released on August 1, though you can pre-order from stores like Amazon as early as now.

Filipino Spec Fic Authors on Ray Bradbury’s Importance

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 11 - 2012

Last June 5, science fiction master Ray Bradbury passed away. GMA7 News Online had an article up yesterday featuring the thoughts of Filipino speculative fiction writers on the death of the great author. Included in the piece are Karl de Mesa, Joseph Nacino, Carljoe Javier, Dean Francis Alfar, and Timothy James M. Dimacali.

LONTAR is a new quarterly literary journal of Southeast Asian speculative fiction in English, published and distributed by Math Paper Press in Singapore. It’s now open to unsolicited submissions — it uses an online submissions system (you can’t submit by email) and you can find that and the guidelines here. They are accepting not only fiction, but non-fiction, poetry, and comics. Of special interest to Filipinos is that the poetry editor is none other than our very own Kristing Ong Muslim.

Here’s an excerpt from their guidelines, which should give you an idea of what they’re looking for:

The editors of LONTAR are looking for quality literary writing with elements of the fantastic*, which is in some way connected with the cultures, traditions, mythologies, folk religions, and/or daily life in Southeast Asia**. While we are happy to look at works by writers outside of the region, we want to actively encourage Southeast Asian writers to submit your work.

Call for Submissions: Philippine Speculative Fiction Volume 8

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 18 - 2012

 

Editors Dean and Nikki Alfar invite you to submit short fiction for consideration for Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 8.

Philippine Speculative Fiction is a yearly anthology series, which collects a wide range of stories that define, explore, and sometimes blur the boundaries of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and all things in between. The anthology has been shortlisted for the Manila Critics’ Circle National Book Award, and multiple stories from each volume have been cited in roundups of the year’s best speculative fiction across the globe.

First-time authors are more than welcome to submit; good stories trump literary credentials any time.

Submissions must be:
1. speculative fiction—i.e., they must contain strong elements and/or sensibilities of science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, alternate history, folklore, superheroes, and/or related ‘nonrealist’ genres and subgenres
2. written in English
3. authored by persons of Philippine ethnicity and/or nationality

Submissions are preferred to be:
1. original and unpublished
2. no shorter than 1,000 words and no longer than 7,500
3. written for an adult audience
In all cases, these preferences can be easily overturned by exceptionally well-written pieces. In the case of previously-published work—if accepted, the author will be expected to secure permission to reprint, if necessary, from the original publishing entity, and to provide relevant publication information.

Submission details:
1. No multiple or simultaneous submissions—i.e., submit only one story, and do not submit that story to any other publishing market until you have received a letter of regret from us. We don’t mind if you submit to contests.
2. All submissions should be in Rich Text Format (saved under the file extension ‘.rtf’), and emailed to nikkialfar@gmail.com, with the subject line ‘PSF8 submission’.
3. The deadline for submissions is 11 p.m., Manila time, September 15, 2012. Letters of acceptance or regret will be sent out no later than one month after the deadline.

Editors’ notes:
1. Please don’t forget to indicate your real name in the submission email! If you want to write under a pseudonym, that’s fine, but this can be discussed upon story acceptance. Initially, we just need to know who we’re talking to.
2. If you’d like to write a cover letter with your brief bio and publishing history (if applicable), do feel free to introduce yourself—but not your story, please. If it needs to be explained, it’s probably not ready to be published.
3. We advise authors to avoid fancy formatting—this will just be a waste of your time and ours, since we will, eventually, standardize fonts and everything else to fit our established house style.

Authors of selected stories will receive Php500 pesos in compensation, as well as digital copies of the book.

Please help spread the word! Feel free to copy this and paste it anywhere you see fit that happens to be legal. :)

Thanks,
Dean and Nikki Alfar, co-editors

Join us… Jooooiiiin uuussss… *hiss*

A Tour of the Philippine Fantastic (2 of 2)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 12 - 2012

Part 2 of my article on the Philippine fantastic for the “World Tour of Wonderment“ feature of Fantasy Faction is now up. (You can find part one here.) In this post, I give a brief primer on the fantastic in prose fiction and comics, by talking about prominent creators/projects in these fields. Check it out!

Congratulations to Kenneth Yu and Kristine Ong Muslim, whose works have been singled-out by editor Ellen Datlow for Honorable Mention in the upcoming volume 4 of “The Best Horror of the Year“. Kenneth’s inclusion was due to “The Kiddie Pool,” from Philippine Speculative Fiction 6, and Kristine was cited for her two poems, “The Invisible,” in Unspoken Water #1 and “The Seventh Stranger,” Paper Crow, fall. Huzzah!

EDIT: Seems Kyu and Kristine aren’t the only ones! Here are the others:

  • Tina del Rosario “Scars,” Heights Senior Folio
  • “Less Talk, Less Mistake” by Xin Mei, Philippine Genre Stories (Crime Issue)
  • “God is the Space Between” by Maryanne Moll, Philippine Genre Stories (Crime Issue)
  • The Departure” by Marianne Villannueva, Philippine Genre Stories Online

Congrats again!

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