Ever since I started my book blog, I’ve made it a point to read and review local stuff. You know, books written by Filipinos (or even half-Filipinos) even if they are not necessarily set here. I mean, I read so much of the foreign stuff, so it’s just right that I should also read (and write about) things from my homeland. It’s not just about loving your own, but also because I think we have a lot of good stuff out there but people just need to know about it.
So with that, I am very excited to blog about Alternative Alamat: Stories Inspired by Philippine Mythology, which is out today! :)
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 tidesâ€¦ yet too few of these tales are known and read today. â€œAlternative Alamatâ€ gathers eleven 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 in common in these eleven stories is a love for the myths, epics, and legends which reflect us, contain us, call to usâ€“and it is our hope that, in reading our stories, you may catch a glimpse, and develop a hunger, for those venerable tales. “Alternative Alamatâ€ also features a cover and interior illustrations by Mervin Malonzo, a short list of notable Philippine deities, and in-depth interviews with Professors Herminia MeÃ±ez Coben and Fernando N. Zialcita.
The digital edition of “Alternative Alamat”, co-published by Flipside Digital Content, may now be purchased for US$4.99 at the Amazon.com Kindle store and for PHP235.00 at Flipreads.com, and will soon be available at the Apple iTunes and Barnes & Noble Nook stores.
I’ve been hearing/reading about this for a long time now, from the Rocket Kapre blog and through its editor, Paolo ((Who is celebrating his birthday today, too — Happy birthday!)) and it’s really cool to see it out in the world now. And the release is just timely because I still need to buy presents for some friends, and this is the perfect one to give for them. :)
You can read an introduction to the contributors and an overview of the stories included in the anthology here, and also some interviews of the authors. There’s also a spotlight on the book (and the editor!) up at the Flipside blog if you still need more info. :)
Now, to finish reading those books I have lined up so I can get started on this. :)