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Dean Francis Alfar

Author of Salamanca

22+ Works 132 Members 3 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the names: Dean Alfar (ed), Dean Francis Alfar

Image credit: by Dean Francis Alfar


Works by Dean Francis Alfar

Salamanca (2006) 25 copies, 1 review
The Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2005-2010 (2013) — Editor; Contributor — 10 copies
Philippine Speculative Fiction Volume 1 (2012) — Editor; Contributor — 9 copies, 2 reviews
Philippine Speculative Fiction IV (2009) — Editor — 8 copies
TRASH: A Southeast Asian Urban Anthology (2016) — Editor — 8 copies
Philippine Speculative Fiction Volume 2 — Editor; Contributor — 6 copies
Siglo: Freedom 6 copies
Philippine Speculative Fiction III (2005) — Editor — 3 copies
Siglo: Passion (2005) 3 copies

Associated Works

The Time Traveller's Almanac (2013) — Contributor — 571 copies, 14 reviews
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Seventeenth Annual Collection (2004) — Contributor — 235 copies, 9 reviews
The Apex Book of World SF (2009) — Contributor — 152 copies, 8 reviews
The Big Book of Modern Fantasy (2020) — Contributor — 111 copies, 1 review
The Bestiary (2016) — Contributor — 57 copies
Alternative Alamat (2011) — Contributor — 25 copies, 1 review
How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens (2015) — Contributor — 12 copies, 2 reviews
Exotic Gothic 2: New Tales of Taboo (2008) — Contributor — 7 copies
Exotic Gothic 3 Strange Visitations (2009) — Contributor — 6 copies
Rabid Transit: Menagerie — Contributor, some editions — 5 copies
Philippine Speculative Fiction 5 — Foreword; Contributor — 3 copies
Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2009 — Contributor — 2 copies


Common Knowledge



I am overwhelmed with Pinoy's talent and imagiantion. Here is evidence that we can make it internationally. Each story is different and it feels like teaser trailers. They leave me wanting more. I do hope they release full-length stories/novels. My top three stories are:

3. Villanoiguing by Joseph Anthony Montecillo - humorous!
2. Prisoner 2501 by John Philip Corpuz - this one is sad and really cool concept.
1. Carpaccio (or, Repentance as a Meat Recipe) - scary! creepy! but really good and full of emotions.

I just noticed that Pinoy writers love to use BIG words and weird story formats. Impressive but chooses audiences/ readers.
… (more)
krizia_lazaro | 1 other review | Mar 16, 2014 |
A varied anthology, with some stories deeply embedded in their Philippine settings and others with only tenuous signs.
rmagahiz | 1 other review | Dec 21, 2013 |
Dean Francis Alfar's novel Salamanca (2006) is a (quite short) piece of magic realism that stretches across much of the life of its central protagonist and through several decades of the Philippines' history. I've been slightly imprecise in that sentence because, while one spends perhaps as much as the first three-quarters of the book believing that, even during some longish periods when he is off-stage, the central protagonist is the oversexed writer Gaudencio Rivera, towards the end of the book, in a feat of tricksterism that made at least this reader grin appreciatively, one discovers this assumption was misplaced.

The book is full of plots, but the one that holds the others together concerns Gaudencio Rivera's discovery in Tagbaoran, a remote small town in the Philippines' island province of Palawan, of Jacinta, a young woman of such incandescent beauty that she has turned all the walls of her house to glass; of his desertion of her eleven days after their as-yet unconsummated marriage; of his decision years later to have children of whom he determines she must be the mother; of her initial reluctance to countenance the prospect; and of her eventual rediscovery of happiness through this unorthodox relationship so that, finally, she rediscovers also the beauty of her youth. There's a very, very great deal more to the book than these bare bones; indeed, it's astonishing how much Alfar manages to stuff into 160 pages or so.

It's a very writerly novel, too, despite that brevity, and I can't imagine any writer reading it without at least sneakily identifying with Rivera on occasion -- as when, in his youth, his lust (or could it possibly be love?) for Jacinta causes words and phrases and imagery to erupt orgasmically from every part of his body. Yet, as I say, at the end of the novel you realize the story isn't really about him at all.

Another discovery is the meaning of the book's title. I'd assumed it was a placename, and was slightly bemused by the fact that no reference to the Spanish city ever turned up, or even seemed remotely likely to do so. It was only on page 126 that I came across this passage:

He [Rivera:] created powerful fantasies set in a reimagined Philippines, circa the time of Spanish rule, imbuing the land he called Hinirang, the Land Longed For, with tikbalang half-breeds that warred against their greedy oppressors; natives who went on impossible quests in the name of unattainable love and other abstract ideals; and wondrous galleons that soared through the skies fueled by salamanca, the mysterious magic of the gods of sky, field, and sea.

So in a way the title is yet another of Alfar's conjuring tricks.

… (more)
JohnGrant1 | Aug 11, 2013 |

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Associated Authors

Nikki Alfar Contributor, Editor
Eliza Victoria Contributor
Andrew Drilon Contributor
Joseph F. Nacino Contributor, Cover artist
Mia Tijam Contributor
Charles Tan Contributor
Kate Aton-Osias Contributor
Isabel Yap Contributor
Kenneth Yu Contributor
Noel Tio Contributor
Jose Elvin Bueno Contributor
Anne Lagamayo Contributor
Carljoe Javier Contributor
Ronald Cruz Contributor
Angelo R. Lacuesta Contributor
Joshua L. Lim So Contributor
F. H. Batacan Contributor
Raymond G. Falgui Contributor
Joseph Nacino Contributor
Paolo Chikiamco Contributor
Yvette Tan Contributor
Pocholo Goitia Contributor
Kate Osias Contributor
Rebecca Arcega Contributor
Alexander Osias Contributor
Sean Uy Contributor
K. Mandigma Contributor
Douglas L. Candano Contributor
Maryanne Moll Contributor
Sharmaine Galve Contributor
Erica Gonzales Contributor
Paolo Jose Cruz Contributor
Pauline Orendain Contributor
Lyana Shah Contributor
Francezca C. Kwe Contributor
Timothy L. Marsh Contributor
Tyron Caliente Contributor
Adam David Contributor
Zedeck Siew Contributor
Ted Mahsun Contributor
Cyan Abad-Jugo Contributor
Nin Harris Contributor
Khavn. Contributor
Monique Francisco Contributor
Gabriela Lee Contributor
Celestine Trinidad Contributor
Leo Magno Contributor
Rodello Santos Contributor
Tilon Sagulu Contributor
M. Shanmughalingam Contributor
Dipika Mukherjee Contributor
Jessi Albano Contributor
Allan B. Lopez Contributor
Madeline Rae Ong Contributor
Michael A R Co Contributor
Alfred A. Yuson Contributor
Paolo V. Chikiamco Contributor
MRR Arcega Contributor
Angelo Lacuesta Contributor
Crystal Koo Contributor
Elyss G. Punsalan Contributor
Bessi Lasala Contributor
LeVar Burton Narrator


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