Usok Interview: Celestine Trinidad

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 19 - 2010

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Here’s the fourth, and final, Usok #1 interview, featuring our youngest author in this issue, Celestine Trinidad. Celestine is the author of “The Coming of the Anak-Araw” which now has an illustration by Benjo Camay.

Tell us a bit about how you came up with the idea for your story.

I had originally written a story about a storyteller (the same character in my story, “The Storyteller and the Giant”) and his apprentice, and that was the story I was supposed to be writing for the Palancas, but it ended up too long that I eventually decided to just turn into a novel—which, as with most ideas, had a life of its own, I swear—morphed into a series in my head. In that series, the storyteller and his apprentice will eventually face the same anak-araw that appeared in “The Coming of the Anak-Araw”, and they will be helped by other characters found in this story. I guess this is sort of a prequel to that, of sorts.

That is, if I ever get around to writing that series.

What aspect of the story gave you the most difficulty?

As Pao can probably attest, this story was very different originally, before he did some wonderfully extensive editing, hehe. Mostly I struggled with the pacing of the story, since in my head it was already part of that series of books I wanted to write, but this is a short story, and hence should be written differently.

Do you remember the first short story you ever wrote? What was it about?

I think I wrote a short story (complete with really horrible illustrations, hehe) about an alien woman whose planet was destroyed, so she sought refuge on our planet, and became a teacher. I…think she battled the aliens who destroyed her planet? And fell in love with this human co-teacher who guessed her secret, probably—I always was a sucker for romances like that. I lost the original version of that story, alas.

Does your cultural background influence how you write, or what you write?

Of course, as mostly I like writing about Philippine mythology, and those stories are the ones I am most comfortable with writing. I find our myths on the whole really fascinating, and love how you can play around with them, reinterpret them in so many ways. Being a doctor also influences my writing, because I always tend to include medical-related things in my stories (Sari is a healer in this one, after all, and works with herbs I once studied), I guess these are things I can’t help either.

What was the best piece of writing advice you ever read or received?

From my former Creative Writing 10 teacher in UP: “Keep reading and writing. Don’t let what other people say stop you from doing so.” It’s really simple advice, I know, but whenever I face rejections and feel like I can never be any good at this, I remember all those workshops we had with him, when he always found something nice to say about what we wrote, while still offering advice on how we could make those stories better. He was never harsh, and I’m immensely grateful for it. I’ve kept on writing, because of those first lessons I learned from him.

The New Usok

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 18 - 2010

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The title of this post has a dual significance: first, I’m happy to announce that the new version of Usok #1, with a brand new digitally painted illustration for each of the five stories, is now live. The art credits are as follows:

  • Tey Bartolome – “The Child Abandoned”
  • Benjo Camay – “The Coming of the Anak-Araw”
  • Kevin Lapeña – “The Startbox”, “The Saint of Elsewhere: A Mystery”, and “Mouths to Speak, Voices to Sing”

I think we can all agree that these artists have done a fantastic job. Thanks to Tey and Benjo, and especially Kevin for helping arrange the art despite his busy schedule.

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The second thing I’d like to announce is that I’m changing Usok’s release schedule. I’m sure you’ve all noticed that we haven’t managed to keep to our quarterly release schedule, and the reason is simple: we just haven’t received enough stories. I’m holding on to one story right now, and working with an author on another, but that’s the grand total of publishable stories we’ve received in the roughly six months since we launched. I’ve tried soliciting stories as well, but, as every writer knows, it can be hard to determine when your muse will behave, and when he/she will go on extended vacation in Alaska.

So, as of now, Usok will be a somewhat irregular publication. We’re still open for submissions–so please do submit–but based on half a year’s worth of experience, I simply won’t know how long it will take before I can get enough stories for an issue (my magic number is at least three, but I may need to make an exception soon), and I hate labelling Usok as a “quarterly” magazine, then watching the quarters wave gleefully as they pass me by.The good news is that I hope the more flexible schedule will allow future issues of Usok to launch complete with illustrations from the talented CG Pintor crew.

That being said, I realize that more could be done to encourage story submissions, and to improve the quality of these submissions. While I don’t have the time to run a permanent forum based workshop (something that would provide a venue for critiquing such as the one which indie komplex provides for komiks creators), I’ll try to brainstorm some method by which I can provide some critiques for spec fic writers who want to improve their work.

Thanks for supporting Usok so far everyone, and please continue to support it in the future. There’s no real way to learn some things except through experience, so I’m having to learn a lot “on the job”, so to speak, but I promise I’ll keep soldiering onward.

Usok Interview: Yvette Tan

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 17 - 2010

Tomorrow, we’ll finally be launching the updated version of Usok #1, with a gorgeous new illustration for each story. We’ll also have an announcement regarding the future of Usok as well. As a celebration of the launch of the illustrated version, I’ll be posting short interviews with Yvette, Crystal and Celestine (I already posted interviews with chiles, and Kenneth, as well as artists Kevin and Tey (who did the illustration for Yvette’s story, “The Child Abandoned“). Here’s the third Usok #1 author interview, with Yvette Tan, author of The Child Abandoned

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Tell us a bit about how you came up with the idea for your story

I was passing by Sta. Ana one day when I noticed the name of the church near St. Peter School called The Church of Our Lady of the Abandoned, or something like that. I thought it was a sad and beautiful name and that I must use it in a story.

What aspect of the story gave you the most difficulty?

I have a horrible sense of direction, so it’s the geographical parts of the story that gave me the most difficulty. I’ve been to Quiapo several times and until now, I still can’t name streets or remember how to get to places. Of course, that just gives me a reason to visit the place again.

Do you remember the first short story you ever wrote? What was it about?

The first stories I wrote weren’t so much original works as adaptations, and more graphic novels than fiction. In grade school, a friend and I used to draw scenes from Maricel Soriano comedies (the more Marias in the movie, the better). I also wrote a personal security handbook which I bound in wrapping paper and refused to show anyone. In high school, I wrote specially commissioned stories that starred my friends and the New Kid on the Block of their choice, as well as some horribly derivative fantasy, one of which was novel-length. This is probably why I flunked a lot of subjects.

Does your cultural background influence how you write, or what you write?

I actually don’t use my cultural background in my writing. I know I should take advantage of my Chinese roots, but I am so much more fascinated by the Filipino side.

What was the best piece of writing advice you ever read or received?

At a talk, John Maxwell shared his secret for getting stuff done. He said that every day, he had five goals that he should do, and he did them. It’s simple, and it gets the job done.

Art Fantastic: Interview with Tey Bartolome

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 12 - 2010

There’s no better complement to a Spec Fic story than some good fantasy or science-fiction artwork. CG Pintor is an organization of Filipino digital painters, co-founded by Usok #1 cover artist Kevin Lapeña, and now and then we’ll do interviews with some of their members. Today we speak with Tey Bartolome (teygraphy on deviantart), who will be contributing a piece to a soon-to-be-released illustrated edition of Usok #1. In fact, let’s show you his take on “The Child Abandoned” by Yvette Tan:

Neat huh? So let’s learn a bit more about the artist behind the digital brush.

What’s the first thing you remember drawing (that wasn’t a requirement for school or anything)?

I used to be a big fan of Dragonball Z and the very first drawing I made was a stick drawing of Goku, way back when I was little.

How did you get started as an artist?

I’ve loved drawing since I was a kid. My parents used to give me crayons and coloring books. I gave so much time over to drawing that I forgot how to be like a normal kid. Instead, I’d develop my skills by doodling in my textbooks and notebooks–I’m still doing that now. When I was in school, I established a name for myself amongst my classmates and professors, who usually tapped me for activities that required drawing.

I had to stop drawing earlier in my college life because I was taking an engineering course instead of fine arts. Later on, I realized that I needed to pursue my dreams. I shifted to a multimedia-arts-related course and there I met my friends who helped me further build up my skills in drawing.

Right now I’m still in college and I’m happy that I have the time to pursue my art, either drawing or studying how to draw. When the mood hits me, I do quick sketches to apply the lessons as I’ve learned.


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Usok Interview: chiles samaniego

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 13 - 2010

Been busy with Ruin and Resolve, but don’t think I’ve forgotten Usok ! I’m still in need of stories for our second issue, so if you have a speculative fiction tale in search of a home, you can check Usok’s submission guidelines here.

Here’s the second of my interviews with several of our Usok authors (to get some insight as to their lives as writers in general, and their stories in Usok in particular), this time with chiles samaniego, author of The Saint of Elsewhere: A Mystery. chiles (yes the small caps and small pronoun “i” are intentional) is also one of the authors who generously donated a story to Ruin and Resolve.

Tell us a bit about how you came up with the idea for your story.

As with many (maybe even most) things for someone of my temperament, it started with a girl. Though that, obviously, is as simplistic/reductive as it is concise as a summary of my particular creative process—at least for this story. Of course, after that, in the writing, it grew into something both more and, substantially, less than what that beginning suggests.

What aspect of the story gave you the most difficulty?

The Elsewhere itself—the thing itself and the ‘theory’ behind it—which, between this version and the original version published by Q [Ed. Note: Kenneth Yu of the Digest of Philippine Genre Stories, where the story was first published], took me years of not-actually-writing-or-even-thinking-about-the-story to get ‘right’—i.e., get it to the point at which it’s a fairly workable approximation of what i wanted or what i now think i wanted it to be.

Do you remember the first short story you ever wrote? What was it about?

No, i don’t remember. i’ve got a shit memory. To be fair, it’s hard to imagine a ‘first’ when i must have made hundreds of false starts over the years, little abortive/nascent bits of story floating around somewhere in the universe—exponentially more of those than actual finished product. Personally i don’t quite see the point of ‘firsts’, it all seems pretty arbitrary to me, like alphabetizing things—on the one hand the apparent progression gives you the illusion of some imposed order but, on the other, what does it really mean, starting with ‘a’ and ending with ‘z’?—though of course illusions of the sort can provide us with a way to do things we might not otherwise think to do, or think we can do—walking on water, say, or shifting planetary orbits—and pretty much sums up what we do–or, to be precise, what i think we do–with this thing called literature. Or one of the things, anyway. Not that i have any idea what literature is ‘for’.

Does your cultural background influence how you write, or what you write?

How could it not? Though that’s not to say i’ve ever been the type most people would call ‘engaged’ with what they would most likely identify as ‘my cultural background’. Then again, maybe what matters is the form that engagement takes—maybe it’s the form (or maybe the engagement itself) that exerts ‘influence’, not the cultural background per se. i don’t really know. i really haven’t given it much thought. Which is to say—to be unabashedly wishy-washy about it—i suspect it must do, whether i’m conscious of it or not.

What was the best piece of writing advice you ever read or received?

“At the end of the day, if you can do anything else—telemarketing, pharmaceutical sales, ditch-digging, or being a major league ump—I suggest doing that. Because being a writer blows. It’s like having homework, every day, for the rest of your life.”

As an aside, i can maybe think of one other thing i can do. But, until they make it legal, i guess i’m stuck with the homework.

(Ed. Note: chiles’ answer to the last question surprised me, so I sent him a follow-up question via email to try to clarify what he meant. I’m including his reply here because I think it sheds more light on the answer, and because I always find his thought process interesting. )

hey Pao

i do, actually, believe that ‘being a writer blows’. that does not, of course, preclude the occasional hair-raising, mind-blowing, pure-orgasmic pleasure to be had from crafting the occasional well-turned phrase or from an elegant act of punctuation, though these pleasures are of the few-and-far-between variety, and are at any rate so fundamentally meaningless in the so-called Grand Scheme of Things as to be nothing short of plain absurd.

now, the fact that you even have to ask implies that, no, a simple ‘yes’ would not, in fact, suffice, but to properly expound on why i think ‘being a writer blows’ (beyond the ‘it’s like having homework every single day of your life’ argument) entails writing a lengthy, footnote-and-bibliographed intensive essay on literature, or Literature, which i am not, in fact, equipped to deliver. i will, however, suggest here that i find it impossible for anyone who truly understands literature–with or without the pretentious cap–what it so-called means and what it so-called does, and loves it with the fatal passion it demands, or has even just a fraction of that understanding, that love, i don’t see how such a writer can think otherwise, if for no other reason than because not only is Literature the evilest, bitchiest of evil bitch lovers, inclined to love you less (if you’re a writer) the more you love it, but that also being a writer is the ultimate expression of the absurdity that is the so-called human condition, ie: that being a writer forces you to define ‘self’, your ‘selfhood’, as it were, by and against something that is essentially, despite its alleged value as the Most Important Thing In The World/That Which Defines Our Basic Humanity/That Cry Against The Indifference Of The Infinite, judge and weigh yourself constantly by and against something that despite these lofty (and true!) allegations is nonetheless universally, fatally *inconsequential*. A writer, f’rinstance, is forced to define himself with such meaningless/pointless/inconsequential terms as ‘good’ versus ‘bad writing’–and *Writing is Dangerous* in precisely this sense (among others) of self-negation, ie, of constantly putting yourself on the human-sacrificial-altar that is the receptacle for the blood price that is demanded by literature…that the ‘typical’ writer (if there is such a thing) also tends to be exterior to that so-called human condition is just icing on the cake: that to chronicle life, or a perception of life, or an imagined perception of life, or an invention that to some (God help ‘em) is itself a kind of life, except for the gifted few, is necessarily to stand outside and apart from the so-called real thing. this is why i believe a sense of humor, that most basic component of wit, is absolutely necessary to the survival of the fatally self-aware writer, and is so essential to so-called greatness in literature (whatever that means), and why our great comic writers, our writers of the absurd–Bolaño, Foster Wallace, Kafka are some of who i mean, just as a f’rinstance–are They Who Know Where It’s At, and therefore bear the greatest moral weight…and why i present none of this with the po-faced lack of humor my tone and name-dropping might imply. ie, what i mean to say is, yes, go ahead; and include all this babble by way of explicating my position if you feel you must, because, really, no one should listen to anything i say anyway: ie, it’s all nonsense, really.

Smashwords Edition of Usok #1

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 8 - 2009

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As a publisher (digital or not) avenues of distribution are key to any strategy. It’s our job, after all, to get the stories of our authors in front of as many people as possible. Smashwords.com is one of the more open and promising ebook distribution outlets at the present (it is DRM-free as well), and we’ll be releasing our ebooks and digital files of Usok on the site. Smashwords distributes through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Sony and Shortcovers as well (we’ll let you know when/if Usok pops up in those sites) so it’s a great place to be.

For starters we’ve got Usok #1 available as a single file download at Smashwords in a variety of formats, which I’ll discuss in a bit. Since Usok #1 is free, you don’t need to register at Smashwords in order to download it, but if you’ve got the time, feel free to go through the process so that you can review Usok on Smashwords (pretty please? ^_^), and so you’ll be all set when our non-free offerings come out.

Aside from reviews and helping spread the word, trying out the different formats and letting me hear your feedback would be of great help as well.  Which format did you prefer, and what would you like us to improve on in the future? There’s a bit of a trial-and-error type learning curve involved in Smashwords’ ebook formatting system, which is why we’re testing this out with Usok, a free offering, rather than with our first anthology, Ruin and Resolve. The good thing about Smashwords is that after you purchase an ebook, if there are any updates to the file made afterward, you can re-download it for free. (This also opens interesting possibilities for a book with constantly updating content that can be made available for a flat fee, but I’ll save that for another day…)

Note that none of the versions includes the new cover which you can see above (file size considerations I assume) but you can download the cover image here or from Smashwords, and certain readers (like Stanza) allow you to attack a cover image to the ebook file.

For those interested in the details/differences of the downloadable versions, I’ve got a breakdown of the versions, file types, and a few desktop readers 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:

Usok Interview: Kenneth Yu

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 25 - 2009

I’ll be doing some interviews with several of our Usok authors, to get some insight as to their lives as writers in general, and their stories in Usok in particular. First up, and rightly so, is Kenneth Yu, editor of the Digest of Philippine Genre Stories which is, I’m not ashamed to admit, the lineal ancestor of Usok. Kenneth is the author of “Mouths to Speak, Voices to Sing“.

Tell us a bit about how you came up with the idea for your story.

There is, somewhere in Quezon City and owned by an old Tsinoy businessman, a large house overflowing with antique Chinese pottery and vases. This old Tsinoy has spent years collecting them; and they come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. I’ve never seen the collection, but some friends who have been to that house have. They were the ones who told me about it, and they were awed at its quantity and extent. The old Tsinoy knows the story behind each of his acquisitions, and my friends estimate that the worth of his antiques could reach the tens of millions of pesos. Over time, this value is bound to increase. This old man was described by my friends as being a nice guy (“mabait” to use the Tagalog word), and quite generous, though they met him only a few times.

My mother owns some antiques herself, but nowhere near the level and scale that this old man possesses. As a kid I would often peer curiously into her vases, wondering what was inside. I never found anything, other than dead cockroaches and a bit of dirt, but in the way that you can hear strange echoes and sounds–voices, maybe music–when you put your ear to a seashell, the same sounds can be heard inside these vases.

Two curiosities I explored in this story: What kind of “mabait” and generous old Tsinoy businessman would collect antique vases and why; and what would these vases be saying if they really could talk. Throw in a little bit of Chinese mythology, and the story somehow formed into what it is.

What aspect of the story gave you the most difficulty?

Trying to find the right sequencing of scenes, for one. Maintaining a consistent point-of-view, for another. It was a bit of a challenge shuffling sentences and paragraphs around, trying to find the best mix. I spent some time moving words around, adding here, removing there, and gauging the effect. I’m glad for the advice of the Usok editor in sorting this out. His comments were a big help. And I did warn him when he asked me for a story that the one I would be sending him was only in its first draft. ;-)

[Ed. Note: Usok editor pats self on the back. :P ]

Do you remember the first short story you ever wrote? What was it about?

Oh, no, I don’t, though an old friend told me recently that he remembered reading a story I wrote when we were 12 or 13, something about a “house on a hill”. I suppose it was a mystery or a ghost story of some sort. I have a feeling it was inspired by, of all things, a Choose Your Own Adventure book I liked very much: The Mystery Of Chimney Rock, a book about, er, a spooky house on a hill. I remember that book fondly, and the Choose Your Own Adventure series was a big hit when I was 12/13 years old, so the logic adds up. I have that title somewhere on my shelves still, I’m pretty sure.

Does your cultural background influence how you write, or what you write?

Occasionally. I’m a Tsinoy, influenced by Filipino and Chinese culture. And there’s no escaping the influence of Western culture, given its pervasiveness on TV, radio, in movies, and books. This influence comes out every now and then in what I write. I suppose it depends on what grabs me at the moment of writing, though it’s been pointed out to me that I did write some stories that are culturally “neutral” (“House 1.0″ from The Town Drunk and “Beats” from Philippine Speculative Fiction IV were the examples given by those people).

What was the best piece of writing advice you ever read or received?

Ah, it’s “Read”. Read, read, read. This advice has stuck with me, and of all things, I received it in such an impersonal way.

Years ago, during the martial law years in the Philippines, when Ferdinand Marcos was still president, the newspapers reported that famous author James Michener stopped by Manila for a few hours, en route to some other destination (I think he was on his way to Japan from Hawaii, or maybe it was the other way around; or maybe I’m completely wrong about where he was going and where he came from, I’m really not sure). His book “Shogun” was a big bestseller back then. Being a celebrity, he was interviewed at the airport and featured on the front page. I forget what the rest of the article was about, but I do recall the last question they asked him: What advice would he give to aspiring writers? He said, quite succinctly, “Read.” I’ve taken that to mean “Read a lot” or “Read as much as you can” or “Read about everything and anything you can get your hands on”; and so, I have.

There is another piece of advice that seems to work for most writers and that seems to run consistently with the most successful ones that I know, and that’s to be disciplined and set aside a regular schedule for actual writing everyday. I don’t know whether I heard it or read it somewhere, but I remember this quote: “The only way to write…is to write.” Makes sense to me. If you have time to read, and want to try the other side of the coin and write, then you have to set aside regular time for both activities.

Thoughts on Magical Realism

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 23 - 2009

…not from me, thankfully, as I am willfully ignorant of the genre. Reading Barbara Jane Reyes’ post on Magical Realism, Mythopoetry and Speculative Fiction so soon after Jorge Volpi’s speech on “The Future of Latin American Fiction” (I mentioned it here and I’ve been updating that post as further parts of the speech are added) was enough to pique my interest though, so I decided to do some quick research, through some old Bibliophile Stalker links and a quick query to Master Google, and thought I’d point any interested parties to some links on the web.

[Long post warning dear readers. Also, please note than any emphasized text in the excerpts will come from me, not the originals.]

Definitions of Magical Realism:

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As befits the modern age of convenience, we start with the Wikipedia definition: magical realism, is “an artistic genre in which magical elements or illogical scenarios appear in an otherwise realistic or even “normal” settings… As used today the term is broadly descriptive rather than critically rigorous: Matthew Strecher has defined magic realism as “what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something ‘too strange to believe’.” Second on Google is Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s page on the Modern World / Macondo:  “Literature of this type is usually characterized by elements of the fantastic woven into the story with a deadpan sense of presentation. The term is not without a lot of controversy, however, and has come under attack for numerous reasons. Some claim that it is a postcolonial hangover, a category used by “whites” to marginalize the fiction of the “other.“”

In a 1993 essay published in the Science Fiction Studies Journal entitled “Carlos Fuentes and the Future” Ilan Stavans uses Fuentes to show one way of distinguishing between SF and magical realism (or mythic writing):

Even though the art of Stanislaw Lem and Isaac Asimov does not interest him, the Fuentes oeuvre is useful in distinguishing between SF and mythic writing (also called “magical realism” when speaking of Gabriel García Márquez, Isabel Allende, or Salman Rushdie). The one, as defined by Darko Suvin, is marked by the interaction of estrangement and cognition and has as its main formal device an imaginative framework alternative to the author’s empirical environment;4 the other is an exploration of elements taken as expressing, and therefore as implicitly symbolizing, certain deep-lying aspects of human and transhuman existence. Sometimes the two intertwine, but it is obvious nonetheless that we are dealing here with different modes of literature: one concerned with some sort of scientific knowledge, the other involved with absolute truths. It is therefore not casual that the Americas below the Rio Grande prefer the latter while the industrialized nations prefer the former.

Of course, as with most classifications that try to define something aesthetic or literary, entire books can and have been written on the subject and its associated works.You can also find an article by Allena Tapia exploring the topic in the context of trying to decide whether or not magical realism is a mode for you, as a writer. Still, one aspect of the many definitions that I find interesting, and troubling, is the importance given to the geographic/cultural origin of the writer, so let us deal with that next…

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Dean Alfar, Kevin Lapeña and Barbara Jane Reyes on Io9

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 18 - 2009

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Io9, one of the most popular SF sites on the web, just ran a post on Dean Alfar, praising his story “Six from Downtown” (which you can read here at Charles Tan and Mia Tijam’s Philippine Speculative Fiction Sampler):

“Six From Downtown” definitely reminds me of Link at her best, with its stark, dreamlike imagery. But it’s more brutal, with a host of images including a man fishing for mermaids (and then grilling them), and another man working as an exotic dancer and showing off his prehensile tail (and then using it to strangle a customer). The exotic dancer segment is also reminiscent of Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, for obvious reasons. And in the last section, a man comes home to find his wife’s upper half has flown away.

The post also features artwork from Usok 1 cover artist Kevin Lapeña (and pointed me to a keen interview with Kevin at The Design Inspiration), and cites a discussion by Filipina poet Barbara Jane Reyes on Magical Realism (something I’ll comment on in a post all its own, since it mentions Usok. Yay!) For now, let me just congratulate Dean, Kevin, and Barbara, and thank Charlie Jane Anders of Io9 for shining a spotlight on some deserving individuals.

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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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