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   Given all that the Philippines has been through in the last two months, September 2009 might seem a lifetime away to some of us. Yet the damage from Ondoy and Pepeng still remains, and in the coming year the typhoons will return, as they always do. As Filipinos, as writers, as Spec Fic lovers, we want to do our part to help those who are still recovering from the storms, and to support those who will be at the vanguard of future relief efforts.

   Last October, I sent out a limited call for submissions for Ruin and Resolve, an ebook anthology which Rocket Kapre would put up for sale, donating any profits received to the Philippine National Red Cross. Seventeen heeded that call, and in the span of less than three months, we've managed to compile nineteen stories and five poems, to offer as an incentive for those who want to share their blessings, especially during the Christmas season. On December 28 (fingers crossed) the anthology will go on sale at Smashwords.com, and I'll need everyone's help to get the word out. But for now, I've set up a book page for Ruin and Resolve (ignore the sample and mediakit portions for now) with the table of contents and the cover image (artwork provided free of charge by the awesome Artspice! Studios) of which I've provided a larger version below.

   For those not familiar with Philippine mythology, the characters from left to right are: A Nuno, a normal(?) girl, a robot and a Kapre.

   The list of stories/poems and authors is on the book page. Once again guys - December 28, don't forget!

Current Mood: anxiousanxious
13 November 2009 @ 04:23 pm

Hi guys! Been busy over at Rocket Kapre, but thought I should also announce here that Rocket Kapre has just launched Usok, a free webzine for Speculative Fiction by Filipinos. Issue 1 is now live, and we're also accepting submissions for future issues. Come over and check it out ^_^ Here's the Table of Contents for Issue 1:

Table of Contents:

* The Startbox by Crystal Koo

* The Saint of Elsewhere: A Mystery by chiles samaniego

* Mouths to Speak, Voices to Sing by Kenneth Yu

* The Coming of the Anak-Araw by Celestine Trinidad

* The Child Abandoned by Yvette Tan

~ Coverart by Kevin Lapeña

Current Mood: artistic
03 October 2009 @ 07:05 pm

The Farthest Shore, the free online anthology of fantasy fiction from the Philippines--which has one of my stories *cheers*--has been released, just in time for weekend reading. If you have the time, I'd love it if you guys could check out the anthology and let me know what you think.

My own story is called "The Siege of Silence" and i hope you guys like it--it's been awhile since anything I've written was available online. Because of the rather... strange abilities of one of the point-of-view characters, it was a real pain to write, but I hope I managed to acquit myself well. ^_^

Since Rocket Kapre launched a month ago,I 've also picked the brains of Kate Aton-Osias, Crystal Koo and Dominique Cimafranca regarding their stories in The Farthest Shore, and now you can read those stories for yourselves:

We also have a few more Farthest Shore author interviews in the pipeline (and now you'll actually know what they're talking about). This Wednesday I'll speak to Eliza Victoria about her story, "The Just World of Helena Jimenez".

09 September 2009 @ 09:20 pm


We have lift off ladies and gentlemen.

After turning my back on a steady job at the firm, and undertaking months of arduous planning, I'm proud to announce the official launch of Rocket Kapre Books and rocketkapre.com. (We've also set the site to cross-post to a dedicated livejournal account here, if you prefer to get updates from LJ.)

[For my non-Filipino friends, a Kapre is a creature from Philippine mythology, popularized as a tall, hairy being who lives in trees and constantly smokes tobacco.]

Rocket Kapre Books is a digital publishing imprint dedicated to bringing the very best of Filipino-made Speculative Fiction (Fantasy, Science Fiction and other works of a fantastical nature) to a worldwide audience by means of affordable and accessible ebooks (stories contained in digital files that can be read from computers, smart phones or ebook readers).

Rocketkapre.com endeavors to serve not only as the online headquarters for the imprint, but also as a home for creators and fans of Philippine Speculative Fiction, incorporating an active blog that will showcase interesting links as well as generate exclusive content such as interviews, contests, writing tips and original fiction.

So come on over and join the fun! For launch day we've got a round table discussion of our favorite Filipino-created fantastical stories, a preview of the ambitious Mind Museum going up at the Fort, and an interview with Kate Aton-Osias regarding the upcoming Farthest Shore anthology. And hey if you want a more complete explanation as to why I put up Rocket Kapre, you'll find that there too.

Hope to see you there! And please, spread the word: feel free to use our banners and promotional comic strip to get the message out: there's a new home for Fantastic Filipino Fiction.

Damn. Six pages in.

I don't usually blog about personal matters but...

Books have brought me to tears before. I'm kind of a sap that way. Usually though this happens at the end of a novel, when I've become so attached to the characters that when the time comes for something, or someone, to be sacrificed in order to lend the heroes' eventual triumph the proper degree of drama and pathos; or, rarely, in very personal non-fiction accounts such as Didion's "A Year of Magical Thinking" where the language is so beautiful and the event (the death of a loved one) so close to our own hearts that sympathetic heart-wrenches are unavoidable.

But while reading a factual report of an event? Never happened before. And I've certainly never teared up six pages in to a book.

This is the culprit: Every Book Its Reader by Nicholas A. Basbanes. The subtitle is, fittingly enough "The Power of the Printed Word to Stir the World." By all means click the image to peruse the first few pages of the book... Amazon's preview covers the entirety of the section which had me sniffling, since it didn't take that friggin' long. (Go on, I'll be here when you get back. Still sniffling probably.)


All done? Join me after the cut...Collapse )
Current Mood: pensivepensive
06 August 2009 @ 04:19 pm

Above is the logo of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards, the most prestigious set of literary awards in the country...

...and below is the notice informing me that my story won third place in the Short Story for Children category!

This is Epic Win. And Epic Win calls for Gurren Lagann.

Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
Over at Lou Anders’ Blog, the esteemed Pyr editorial director has a post on “Building a Comprehensive SF & F Collection” (he’s soliciting any suggestions for “fantasy books every library should have” so head on over if you want to help out) and that, along with the Strange Horizons review of Little Brother, got me thinking: not necessarily about genre classics, but stories which have an importance to me, not just because they are well-made or entertaining, but because they taught me something about life or simply about what makes a story something I enjoy.
I’d probably easily name dozens upon dozens of stories, but for the sake of brevity let me limit myself to six for now from my early years-not necessarily the best things I read/watched, but all of which opened my eyes to a new aspect of reality; some are books, some are shows, all taught me something about storytelling or simply about living:

Wizards, Warriors and You: This series was my first introduction to prose fantasy of any sort, and my first taste of interactive entertainment. I always played the Warrior first, because he was a more sympathetic character to me-and yet I always found the Wizard’s storylines to be more interesting. What I Learned: Fantasy is awesome-but it’s even more awesome when I have a say in whether or not the lead character gets eaten by a crocodile.

Flight of the Dragons: Apparently the film is a bit obscure, (my first google search showed a hit on “unknown movies.com”) but I think a lot of the Filipinos of my generation remember it. I think this was literally the first movie-length animated feature I ever chose to watch (as opposed to being subjected to *cough* Bambi *cough*) – yes, before Transformers the Movie or G.I. Joe the Movie (Although if I were doing a list of influential characters and not stories, I’d have to put Sgt. Slaughter there). The movie was also my first exposure to the Everyman/Geek hero trope, and , not coincidentally, the first story I can remember where the hero triumphs by using his mind (or rather, in this case, scientific name-dropping). What I Learned: You can be a hero without being an athlete; the magic vs. science dichotomy; animated movies can be about more than helpless fauna.


Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
30 June 2009 @ 01:32 pm
My essay/editorial/rant has been published in the Youngblood section (catering to writers under 30--so I barely made the cut :P) of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (one of our major national newspapers)! The online version is here. It's a bit on the... er... angry side, but there have been a lot of things happening here that just get my goat.
Current Mood: accomplished

I was reading a post from Escape Pod editor Jeremiah Tolbert entitled An Editor’s Perspective on Rejection which raises a lot of good points, and I got to thinking about all I've learned this year about writing. I think I finished a grand total of two stories in 2008--this year so far I've finished seven short stories, three pieces of flash fiction and a host of twitter stories (and one "flash script"). I've also received my very first rejection letters, and, as Jeremiah says in his post, those do hurt.

However as he also says, everyone gets rejected, no matter how good a writer you may be; it's just part of the writer's life. That's one lesson I've learned about writing in general and my writing in particular since the year began--here are a few others:

The list is after the cut...Collapse )


Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Was reading up on some classic (well, 3 year old posts are artifacts in the internets) 6 word stories here and I was wondering if any of you Filipino authors, budding authors or word patriots out there want to fill up Twitter with some 6 word SF stories in celebration of independence day? On the off-chance that you do, tag 'em as #RP612fic so we can track 'em. ^_^

If you're gonna be out for tomorrow, you can use something like Hootsuite to pre-emptively schedule your tweets.

And if you're not on twitter yet... well, what better time than now? It's quite painless and it can be a font of information if you follow the right people ^_^
Current Mood: artistic