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:

  • Amazon.com – US$4.99 (note there’s an extra US$2.00 charge for certain non-US territories/accounts, including, unfortunately, the Philippines)
  • Flipreads.com (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.

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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

RP612Fic 2011: The Stories

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 17 - 2011


So… RP612fic 2011. Let’s crunch the numbers.

427 stories. Four hundred twenty seven stories were contributed this year (and that’s not even taking into account the forty-nine sent on the 8th for Philippine corals blog action day) and as someone who laments the lack of Philippine alternative history fiction–that brings a smile to my face. Some may quibble about the definition of “story” here, but even counterfactuals can make the reader stop and think about what actually happened, what could have happened, and all the space in-between–and that’s part of what I’d like people to do on Independence Day.

An even better number: 56. Fifty six people–poets, bloggers, Palanca winners, film makers, comic creators, anime fans–contributed stories this year (65 if you include those who only sent in on the 8th) and as someone who believes we need more writers–especially spec fic writers–that brings a smile to my face.

But best of all, for me, was seeing the somewhat amused bewilderment with which non-contributors met the deluge of strange tweets with the #RP612fic hashtag, many retweeting some of their favorites. That means we were successful at raising awareness, whether that be awareness of Independence Day, Philippine alternative history, Philippine microfiction, or all of the above. That’s a good thing, and I’m grateful to have Twitter as a platform for this sort of campaign.

That being said Twitter is not the most stable place to host 400+ stories for any length of time, so I’ve aggregated the RP612 contributions for 2011 in this post (at least, those in the public timeline and/or by my Twitter contacts). I’ve done this via screen capture (except for some tweets that weren’t on the public timeline) because it was easier than transcription, but EK Gonzales has graciously created a word file of contributions as of noon of June 13. You can find that here.

I’ve blacked out some of the non-story tweets (upon review I realized I missed a few) and I’ve left in some of the praise/compliments and highlighted them in green, because I need affirmation. As with any twitter search, it’s reverse chronological, so if you want to read from start to finish (again, with a few exceptions), head to the bottom of the post first, and read upwards.

Before we get to that though, I’d like to give a shout out to all the contributors, and list them here so that you can add to the people you follow on Twitter if you so desire :) Once again, thank you everyone, and I hope you had as much fun as I did. See you all next year!

1. adamfuckindavid

2. aeditor91

3. ageofbrillig

4. aghostworld (via email)

5. alexeivee

6. allify

7. almeldiel

8. amosias

9. Anitero

10. Andreal

11. Apil (via email)

12. Beerkada

13. biaxident

14. brilums

15. Budjette

16. charlesatan

17. chemikhazi

18. chinosingson

19. clickmomukhamo

20. DeanAlfar

21. dcimafranca

22. diveabout

23. Ekmisao

24. elizawriteshere

25. Et_Al_Crazy

26. Francis_d_twit

27. freakypencils

28. headpointernext

29. isangboses

30. jpedrovaldes

31. jpxv

32. KaEnchong

33. Kannibal

34. Kate Aton-Osias (via email)

35. Kenneth_Yu

36. kennethgyu

37. komikero

38. layangabi

39. lengthofwords

40. listenshadow

41. luckychan

42. lyzalust

43. magnetic_rose

44. marcosumayao

45. melanchoholik

46. miithinks

47. mitchcerda

48. moyzie01

49. nerveending

50. nobbiekenobi

51. Plsburydoughboy

52. shinkaide

53. skipdlc

54. smirksweetly

55. stormberry

56. tinlao

57. transparentboy

58. Transparentboy

59. umichii

60. unlawyer

61. voltaire

62. wagmagalit

63. wulffrick03

64. yvette_tan

65. zekemachine

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Video: Real People Write 2010, My Talk

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 23 - 2010

Since I’m giving a talk tomorrow at Adamson University, I thought it might be a good time to finally post this. Last October 15, 2010, I was invited to be one of the resource speakers at the Real People Write symposium at the Ateneo de Manila High School. The symposium is held during Communication Arts Month, and different Filipino writers are invited to deliver a talk to Third Year High School Students in order to “expose students to Filipino writers from different genres, and help foster in students both an appreciation for the art of writing and a love for reading”. With the help of fellow speaker Carljoe Javier, I was able to take a video of my talk (more an audio file than a video file though – my recorder isn’t equipped for low light), which I finally got around to posting today, for the benefit of anyone who wants to hear me ramble about why I write, why I love spec fic, and my four tips to help new writers keep away from the one unpardonable sin: giving up.

It was an interesting experience. all in all. High school boys can be a tough crowd for any speaker, but I don’t think anyone walked out, so I don’t think I was a complete waste of their time @_@ During the open forum (not recorded), most seemed more concerned about the admittedly lousy picture I painted of law firm life… I’m not quite sure if I should hope I didn’t dull the enthusiasm of budding legal eagles, or hope I did. Ah well…

Thanks to the good people of the Ateneo High School English Faculty, particularly Katz Navarrete, for inviting me (and to Mia Tijam and Joey Nacino for suggesting me).

[Image from 101ReasonsToStopWriting, no rights claimed]

Talecraft App (with Rocket Kapre access)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 18 - 2010

The good folks over at Nokia recently sent me my first smart phone (I have an iPod Touch, not its fancier sibling) in the form of a Nokia N8. Serendipitously, Ria Lu of Talecraft just finished creating an app for the Nokia Ovi store. The Talecraft App is a free application for Nokia phones which aims to be a resource for writers, serving as an RSS Feed/hub for Talecraft content, as well as Kenneth Yu’s Philippine Genre Stories blog, as well as Rocket Kapre. If you have access to the Ovi store, give it a go! Many thanks to Ria for adding Rocket Kapre access to the app.

I’m something of a late adopter when it comes to telecommunication tech (as opposed to, say, video game consoles), and I’m interested to see if having mobile access will change my relation to the social networks. What I’m really looking forward to, however, are attempts by Filipinos to use apps as a means to distribute stories, and maybe additional content. Transmedia development anyone?

Future of the Book Conference 2010: Day Two Videos

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 20 - 2010

fotb10_s

The first Future of the Book conference was held last week at the UP-Ayala Technohub in Quezon City (here’s a great overview of the conference at Coffeespoons), which brought together publishers, writers, teachers, readers – and yes, even lawyers – to discuss the changing aspects of publishing throughout the world, and in the Philippines in particular. I was there on the second day, to talk about how independent publishers can thrive in the digital age, and I managed to take videos of a few of the other speakers as well.

A few caveats though: First, the latter half of the footage of Charles Tan’s talk has atrocious video quality – my Vado is quirky that way apparently – but the audio is still good, so I uploaded it because it was a great talk, and you can at least still listen to it (or indulge in Max Headroom nostalgia by watching it).

The second caveat is that because of time constraints, a few of the speeches had to be rushed or cut short. After the videos, I’ll have the full text of my speech and links to a few others.

I’d like to congratulate the conference organizers for a successful conference, and I hope we can all work together to maximize the benefits of this new world of publishing for all interested parties. But I swear to God, the next time I hear someone say Filipinos don’t have a reading culture, I’m shoving a textbook up his ass…

And now, the videos!

First up is Charles Tan, (Bibliophile Stalker) prolific blogger and Philippine Spec Fic advocate, on the topic of the consumer experience in the age of ebooks.

More after the cut

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Happy First Birthday to Us!

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 9 - 2010

One year ago, the Rocket Kapre officially launched. To date, we’ve had almost 30,000 page views (not counting visits to Usok) and almost 200 separate posts, featuring genre news and interviews with Filipino creators of the fantastic that you won’t find anywhere else. We’ve released a charity anthology (Ruin and Resolve), launched a webzine (Usok), and posted resources such as Philippine Pantheons and the Myth List. If you like what we’ve been doing, please do tell a friend, or post about us, on this special day.

Stay tuned for the next edition of the Rocket Round Table, at 9:00 a.m. today on the topic of our Favorite First Lines in Speculative Fiction.

Thanks for all the support, and here’s to many more years ahead!

Call for Submissions: Alternative Alamat

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 19 - 2010

[EDIT: "Alternative Alamat" has already been published. We are no longer accepting submissions.]

[Note: If you want to head straight to the story guidelines, head here. If you'd like a bit of a background as to why I'm looking for this particular type of story, read on.]

The Philippines is blessed with a multitude of mythologies and legends, yet too few of these tales are known and read today. While it is understandable that the modern reader might find it difficult to relate to ancient oral tradition, we’ve all seen how the gods/goddesses and heroes/heroines of other cultures have remained relevant (or at least well-known) because of writers who incorporate the old myths and legends in modern tales. (See: The Percy Jackson series, or the many re-imaginings of the King Arthur myth.)

mythology_class_1(Image from Komiklopedia)

My first encounter with our mythic heritage, outside of school (which tends to suck the joy out of many a topic), was one such re-imagining: Arnold Arre’s “The Mythology Class” (the original four issue version, not the collected graphic novel).  I loved that story to pieces (it was the first time a local work ever moved me to indulge in fan art and fan fic) and it remains dear to me as an example of how a well told story in the present can lead to an appreciation–even a hunger–for the foundational tales of our ancestors. A more recent example is Rochita Loenen-Ruiz’s Hi Bugan yi Hi Kinggawan over at Fantasy Magazine.

I think we need more Filipino tales in that vein–and with that in mind, I’d like to announce a call for submissions for Rocket Kapre’s first commercial anthology: Alternative Alamat.

Alternative_Alamat_Call_Slider

But Mr. Editor, you say, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I don’t know many of our myths and legends. I’ve anticipated this, dear writer–after all, I wouldn’t be trying to raise awareness about our mythic heritage if I felt it was already common knowledge–so what I’ve done is I’ve gone through my collection of books and done a bit of research online and in libraries, and I’ll be putting up the resulting list of myths and legends sometime this week. Somewhere down the line, I’ll also put up a similar list of Philippine deities.

So I’ll be doing my part, and I hope you’ll do yours. Submission guidelines are after the cut.

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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:

Scheduled Maintenance

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 9 - 2009

Just an FYI: Our site host sent us word that they’ll be doing some maintenance at 8pm EST on October 9–which means 8am October 10 here–and that might entail a short period (we’re told) of downtime.

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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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