Alternative Alamat (Expanded Print Edition)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 15 - 2014

FAQ: ALTERNATIVE ALAMAT, THE EXPANDED PRINT EDITION

Hello there! I’m Paolo Chikiamco, editor of Alternative Alamat, and thank you so much for showing interest in the new, expanded, print edition! I’m here to give you some basic information about the book in a more informal manner, since that’s how I roll (and apparently, you as well!) but if you found your way here by mistake and want the more formal press release, I’m working on that. But for now…

What is Alternative Alamat?

Short version: It’s an anthology of short stories that re-imagine Philippine myths and legends, written in English by Filipino authors.

Long version: Philippine mythology is full of images that ignite the imagination: gods of calamity and baldness, of cosmic time and lost things; the many-layered Skyworld, and weapons that fight their own battles; a ship that is pulled to paradise by a chain, and a giant crab that controls the tides… yet too few of these tales are known and read today.

Alternative Alamat gathers thirteen stories by contemporary authors of Philippine fantasy, which make innovative use of elements of Philippine mythology. None of these stories are straight re-tellings of the old tales: they build on those stories, or question underlying assumptions; use ancient names as catalysts, or play within the spaces where the myths are silent. What you will find common in these thirteen stories is a love for the myths, epics, and legends which reflect us, contain us, call to us–and it is our hope that, in reading our stories, you may catch a glimpse, and develop a hunger, for those venerable tales.

“Alternative Alamat” also features interior illustrations by Mervin Malonzo (“Tabi Po”), a short list of notable Philippine deities, and in-depth interviews with Professors Herminia Meñez Coben and Fernando N. Zialcita.

What is the Expanded Print Edition?

Alternative Alamat was originally a digital-only anthology with eleven stories. This is the first print edition of Alternative Alamat, and we’ve taken advantage of this opportunity to add some new content that keeps with the theme of re-imagined mythology.

What is the additional material?

This print edition adds two more stories,  a short comic from Andrew Drilon, and a new story from Eliza Victoria, set in the same universe as “Ana’s Little Pawnshop on Makiling St.” I’ve also done a minor update to the Appendix on researching Philippine mythology.

Where is it available?

It’ll be available at the launch on July 19,   Saturday [EDIT: LAUNCH HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO JULY 25, FRIDAY, 4PM, SAME VENUE] , as part of a four-title launch that takes place  at Powerbooks, Greenbelt. It will be available at bookstores nationwide soon after, but we don’t have exact dates yet.

How much does it cost?

250 pesos.

What are the non-fiction sections?

I have five appendixes at the end of the book, meant to provide greater context for the stories, and aid those who want to study Philippine mythology.

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

Appendix E: Glossary of Selected Terms

Is it illustrated?

Yes, each of the original eleven stories is preceded by an illustration of a Philippine deity by Mervin Malonzo (“Tabi Po”). Aside from Andrew Drilon’s comic, there is no new artwork in the print edition, although a greyscale version of Mervin Malonzo’s cover for the digital edition is included.

Is the anthology suitable for young children?

In general, no, as there are several stories which tackle difficult/mature material.

Any there specific trigger warnings?

Sexual abuse; violence against women and children.

I’d like to review this book!

Great! Look forward to hearing from you.

Um, could I get a copy to review?

Drop me a line at rocketkapre[at]gmail with a link to your site/blog or name of your publication and I’ll try to set you up with a digital copy (of the print edition).

Should I buy the book?

I certainly think so! But then, I may be biased, so take a look below at what some people had to say about the original edition:

 

3rd PGFA: What Neil Said

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 18 - 2010

WhatNeilSaid_slider

No, I don’t mean at the press conference–you can head over to Azrael’s for some coverage–but during the event itself, where he commented about each of the winning entries (in the main contest, not the people’s choice). Again, I wasn’t there for the film category, but here’s what he said about the winners for prose and comics (because you can never have enough reminders that Neil Gaiman called your story “glorious” ^_^):

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Prose

(Bibliophile Stalker has sound files of Neil’s commentary on the prose winners here.)

Cherry Clubbing by Kenneth Yu: “… the voice is really really good, and its really, seriously nasty. It’s the only story that I’ve ever read in which half way through sort of the first page I thought ‘Oh I got it. He’s a pedophile!’ And then I realize no, no, no… it’s so much worse than that. But it’s a beautiful little story… the way the story is told is as important as the content. It’s very good, very, very imaginative.”

Remembrance by Dean Alfar: “…it’s a story about death, and what we take with us when we die. Beautifully written, haunting, managing at exactly the same time to be both incredibly depressing and incredibly uplifting. The combination of these two things at once is what made it as a story for me.”

Filipina: The Super Maid by Irene Carolina A. Sarmiento: “…as those people who voted for it would know… it’s funny and it’s angry… nice, solid, futuristic science fiction that is fundamentally a satire of things going on today. And it’s great. A lovely piece of work.”

A Kind of Flotsam by Christelle Rhodamae Mariano: “Every now and then you think that you’ve seen it all, and a staple of science fiction is telepathy… What’s glorious about A Kind of Flotsam is that it’s the story of a the life of someone either blessed or cursed with telepathy. And she says something new. It’s really very, very beautiful, very, very moving, and I think at the end… there’s a moment which for me, I thought was glorious: that what unites us in the end is connection, the ability to hold out, to reach out, and eventually touch. Beautifully done, and very, very much a deserving first place winner.”

Comics

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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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