some love for ‘unseen moon’, ‘project 17’, ‘the viewless dark’, and ‘lower myths’

Here are new reviews for Unseen Moon and Project 17.

From Cassandra Javier (a review of the paperback, which contains The Viewless Dark):

A collection of Horror Stories from Eliza Victoria, a brilliant and undeniably good Filipina Author, Unseen Moon is something that every Horror/Mystery/Crime fan must read.

First in the collection is Needle Rain. A story of a barkada and how they try to uncover the mysteries of a murder that happened in their hometown. One of the most mysterious stories in the pack, this is a good way to build the tension and suspense that one should feel while reading the book. However, aside from being scary, there’s bit of sadness and surprise here, too. What’s good is that the author was really able to capture the old-skool Filipino neighborhood–she was able to build the feel and imagery that was needed.

And then comes my favorite story in the book: The Ghosts of Sinagtala. Oh, god, this is the perfect thing to read right now as the Holy Week is coming up soon, and aside from being “Holy”, we all know that it’s also the time when they say that bad spirits are all over the place. This (and I told the author about this) SERIOUSLY. CREEPED. ME. OUT. It’s not about monsters or the usual white ladies or whatever, but the kind of horror depicted in this story is so psychological that it would really rack your brain. (And I’m getting goosies again while writing this). Read it and you will know what I mean. It’s really something you’d have to put down and continue once the sun shines again (yeah I read it late, late at night and god my mind worked so bad) because it’s so scary. Watch out for rats.

Summer Evening, meanwhile, is brutal. You never know how twins’ minds’ work these days. You might be disturbed by this story and by the brutality, but all in all it was good. I like how different and creative the author can get.

A tale that will surely tug at your heartstrings without losing its mystery, December, is about an orphan named December, who makes friends with a boy named Gabriel. Together, they discover secrets and mysteries about a dead body in the lake, an abandoned mansion and the people around them.

Finally, there is the Viewless Dark. If you’re a student and are frequenting the library, you’ll be afraid. Okay seriously, this was one of the best. It’s about finding out about someone’s death and learning what you need to learn about that person. It’s scary, it’s suspenseful and it’s a work that’s just definitely top of the line. If you’re fond of trying to solve mysteries, this story is for you.

Give this book a chance because you will not regret it. And you know what? I think I’m going to re-read these stories sometime soon. They’re THAT good.

From Cathriona Lethal:

This is the second book by Eliza Victoria that I’ve read. The first one was Project 17. Whenever I read her stories I [think], “This author must have killed somebody to be able to write gripping tales like these.”

There are four short stories in this book. Reading the first, “Needle Rain”, is like watching true crime. I felt like I was praying hard as my windpipe hang on the second, “The Ghosts of Sinagtala”, and only after I reached the ending was I able to breathe – finally relieved. After reading the third, “Summer Evening”, I was convinced Miss Victoria must have really murdered somebody to be able to pull this story off, like she’s in a vengeance. And lastly, the final fresh-dead-cat present from the book, “December”, is just sick. Sick. I want to run from it, however, I was coaxed to go on…

From Tricia:

Ever since I’ve read Eliza Victoria‘s Unseen Moon, I became a fan. When the news broke that she published a new book last year, I really wanted to get a copy but I missed it during the book fair. Initially, I [didn’t] have any idea about Project 17, but I was so attracted [by] the book cover (cover and illustrations by Jap Mikel) and Victoria’s books are now an auto-buy for me, [that] I got a copy. I am glad I was able to grab one last Summer Komikon!

Let’s admit it, there are only a few science fiction books by our local authors in the Philippines—or maybe I’m just not that well-read when it comes to Filipiniana—and this is a good news that our local authors are now venturing and writing different genres (most of our local writers are into chick-lit and literary fiction).

Project 17 is set in the immediate to near future in the Philippines where robots are now among humans. Cellphones, no-hands, high-technology devices are part of being a human to survive. In this story, our protagonist, Lillian was hired as a babysitter for summer job by a man named Paul Dolores. Her duty is to look after his younger brother, a 28-year old guy suffering from a schizoaffective disorder named Caleb. The situation looks harmless and soon she accepted the job. Boring day after boring day, she starts being curious about the lives of these two brothers as well as Caleb’s medications that  are nonexistent online.

What I like about Project 17 is how Victoria created a world that is new and familiar at the same time. She didn’t dwell too much on being science fiction or on using epistaxis-inducing geeky high science/technology terms for a non-science-fiction-fan like me. It’s just on the right combination of science fiction, mixed with mystery and thrown in bits of humor. What piqued my interest is the mental disorder mentioned in the book. I really like books with health or mental disorders because I had close encounters with people with mental problems when I was a college nursing student. It was a memorable experience and I am forever interested and curious on such topics. Although the book only has few mentions about the mental case, the flow of the story didn’t disappoint. It was well-paced, although I found myself being impatient because it’s a thin book and there’s too much going on! But then, it was all right because things fell into places and I’m all ohhhs and ahhhs after connecting all the details. I like that the book gave off a feeling like I am a detective on [the] run chased by some big, unknown, all-seeing person ala Big Brother for discovering such information Lillian learned. I felt bits of paranoia and was on a look out for heavily-tinted cars that might, you know, kidnap me. Ha ha.

Here are reviews for two of my earlier releases, The Viewless Dark and Lower Myths, both available on Amazon, Flipreads, and other fine places.

Lower Myths: I’ve always loved Eliza Victoria’s works for having a strong Filipino feel. Some people might see the words “diwata” or “mambabarang” in these two stories and automatically classify them as fantasy works, but what really gives both titles an impact is a common emotion that is skillfully weaved into it: love of siblings, love of family. That is something any reader can relate to, and I find that these are what makes both memorable. They are supernatural stories to be sure, intriguing but also very touching for it features something that hits close to home for all of us.

The Viewless Dark: The story was creepy and hair raising at times, but still managed to be incredibly touching with the twist at the end. A fantastic mixture of the supernatural, tragedy, friendship and family all in one short story. I’d loved Eliza Victoria’s works ever since randomly picking up “A Bottle of Storm Clouds” and if there’s only one complaint I have about this author, it’s that her stories always leave me wanting more.

Thank you very much to readers who take the time to write their thoughts about my work. I love how most readers pick up one book of mine, and check out my other books. Returning customers! I must be doing something right.

Unseen Moon can be purchased on Smashwords and Amazon.

Project 17 is in all major Philippine bookstores. (And soon as an ebook! Watch out for that.)

The Viewless Dark is available on Amazon and other places.

Lower Myths is available on Amazon and other places.

Disclaimer: I don’t kill people, just cockroaches.

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buy + write: abangan – the best of philippine komiks and fast food fiction volume 2

Got this from the Abangan – The Best Philippine Komiks Anthology Facebook siteAbangan is an annual anthology of the best Philippine komiks. It is co-edited by Rob Cham (who also made the cover art), Adam David, Carljoe Javier, and Elbert Or. Pre-order now!

Abangan – The Best Philippine Komiks, both the book and the shirt, is now available for pre-orders! Avail of the 20% discount only until April 12!

Here are the discounted rates:
The comic book anthology: Php250
The official shirt (XS-3XL): Php400

Accepting payments through Paypal and bank transfer. Message us on the FB Page for details!

Promo art by the indefatigable Rob Cham!

I have pre-ordered both the book and the shirt. (I hope the Large is large enough for me.) Go message them!

This is from Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta:

Friends and Colleagues, this is a general call for submissions to Fast Food Fiction Volume 2. This is the encore to Noelle de Jesus’ well-received Fast Food Fiction, which came out eleven years ago. Noelle has very kindly asked me to be co-editor for this one, and I would love to read your work over palabok fiesta and fries. Please share, and thanks for your time.

Fast Food Fiction wants stories 500 words or less. Go submit!

launch of estranghero press books + Aklatan!

A couple of announcements!

Several UP Press books are going to be launched next Friday, August 23, including two books by Estranghero Press, The Farthest Shore (which includes my story, “The Just World of Helena Jimenez”, a story that also appears in A Bottle of Storm Clouds) and Diaspora Ad Astra (which includes “Rizal”). Do drop by and buy some books!

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Invitation

On Sept. 7, Visprint, Inc. (publisher of my story collection) and co-presenter National Book Development Board will present the first annual Aklatan: The All-Filipino Book Festival. Read the official press release for the details.

Alphaland Southgate, Magallanes will host this year’s Aklatan on September 7, 2013, Saturday. Although doors open as early as 8 a.m., the formal program will begin at 9 a.m. Artists include Lourd de Veyra, Eros Atalia, and other writers.

Break-out rooms Boracay and Balesin will host talks or seminars and an “unwritten book audition” during which writers will have an opportunity to pitch book ideas to eager publishers, “The Voice of the Philippines” style.

Due to the nature of its inception, the event boasts of a wide and inclusive line-up of Filipino writers and book publishers from critically acclaimed National Artists to their contemporaries preeminent popular culture. Bigger publishers will stand shoulder to shoulder with independent presses.

The complete program is scheduled for release by mid-August. The entrance fee for non-students is P20 while students will receive a 50 percent discount.

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a review of ‘a bottle of storm clouds’ in international speculative fiction # 4

Sean Wright the Bookonaut reviews my first collection, A Bottle of Storm Clouds, in the fourth issue of International Speculative Fiction.

Issue 4 of International Speculative Fiction is out featuring yours truly’s review column. In which I cover some of the recent works of independent self publisher Rabia Gale and the award winning Eliza Victoria.  But of course I shouldn’t be the only reason you pick up a copy of this FREE publication in one of its multiple formats (mobiepub orpdf).

It’s free! Do download a copy to read the entire issue. Many, many thanks to Sean Wright. Such kind words.

Eliza Victoria’s, A Bottle of Storm Clouds, makes me yearn for closer writing relationships between the Australian and Filipino speculative fiction communities (considering our relative geographical closeness). Here is a writer that many Australian fans of the weird, of the dark and edgy modernization of folklore, would love.

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the amazing tripartite book launch on july 27

I don’t know why I’m mentioned here! (Thank you?)

This is from Nikki Alfar:

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The Amazing Tripartite Book Launch

The UST Publishing House, Flipside Publishing, and Kestrel DDM invite you to the launch of ‘Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 8’, edited by Dean Francis Alfar and Nikki Alfar, ‘Now, Then, and Elsewhen’, a short story collection by Nikki Alfar, and the digital edition of the ‘Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction, 2005 – 2010’, edited by Dean Francis Alfar and Nikki Alfar.

Ours has regularly been called “the most fun book launch of the year”, so do join us for an afternoon of laughter, merienda, and the inevitable teasing of Eliza Victoria.

And probably you. And probably me. But, you know, we believe that mockery is the sincerest form of friendship.

(Please note that this will be held at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at EDSA Shangri-La MALL, not the hotel, and also not the 26th Street Bistro at the new wing. It’s the ground-level Coffee Bean, facing the driveway.)

Do feel free to invite everyone you want, and post this indiscriminately!

When Sat, July 27, 2:00pm – 4:30pm GMT+08:00
Where The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, ground floor, EDSA Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Shaw Boulevard corner EDSA, Mandaluyong

I have a story in PSF 8 called “A Fire That Cannot Be Touched”.  It starts like this:

HER NAME WAS Nemeli of the Firelands, and she saw the Moirae Shade approaching while she was peddling bird bones at a Christmas bazaar.

“Ah, shit,” Nemeli said, because a visit from the Shade like this—without warning, among mortals—had never been known to be pleasant. She turned to her fire-companion, and saw that Dene’s face had turned the color of brackwater.

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I’m going with J. See you there!

PS Please don’t tease me.

Hi! Just squeezing in a blog post before

Hi! Just squeezing in a blog post before the rain falls again.

I bought more Nyx SLMC! I love Milan, a “mid-toned blue-toned pink“, the quieter sister of my Addis Ababa tube. This is probably more wearable in the office.

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I also bought San Paulo, plummy-pink, a pink that sits between these two shades, but I haven’t swatched it yet. Here are some nice swatches on Shen’s Addiction.

Oh wait, here you go:

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I ended up on Taste Central again and got a bar of Trader Joe’s PB & J Milk Chocolate Bar. It’s a chocolate bar with creamy peanut butter and raspberry jelly filling. This is the best, and doesn’t feel very heavy. Just don’t eat everything in one sitting. (I did and I’m very sorry.) It sells at PhP 75.

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I bought some gifts for my mother at the Beauty Bar, and got these little samples for free. I do love the Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream. It leaves my skin feeling supple and soft. I might just get that when I run out of night creams.

I have used Cure twice already, but I can’t vouch for the exfoliation effects just yet.

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I also saw some tins of Steam Cream at the store, but I controlled myself. Yay? Here’s the Vain Jane gushing about it.

Author and editor Carrie Cuinn has compiled a list of 90-plus authors of Asian descent, with links to their websites and a free sample story. I’m delighted to find my name, and the names of authors I admire, in this list. Click the link and discover some tales!

Meanwhile: The rains are here. Have a green tea cupcake and coffee, dear.

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guest post on rocket kapre: why we read horror

I have a guest post up on Rocket Kapre, manned by fellow writer Paolo Chikiamco.

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I posted an announcement about my new collection of dark fiction, Unseen Moon, the same month two pressure cooker bombs exploded during the Boston Marathon. The following month, three women escaped from a house on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland, freeing themselves from a decade of sex slavery and confinement. In the face of real-life tragedy, who needs horror stories?

Read more here.