Reviews of Waking the Dead:
“The collection of stories here are very entertaining.”
Hazel Manzano, Callwork
“In Yvette Tan’s short story, The Bridge (which is equal parts majestic and creepy), a character known as The Madame orchestrates the construction of a bridge while maintaining her poise and glamor. Sans the supernatural undertones, the character is easily an archetype of Imelda Marcos, probably one of the most formidable women in Philippine history. Her name is one of the few things that the rest of the world associate with our country. Only a few personalities get to have a word created out of their materialistic excesses.”
Imelda Marcos, Pelikula Tumblr, January 17 2009
“Waking the Dead by Yvette Tan is a supernatural horror collection. Many of the stories revolve around legendary spirits/beasts and read somewhat dreamlike, Jamesian in a way, while there are others (particularly her nasty “Delivering the Goods”) that are in voice, style, and plot very much a modern horror story. So the range of story here impressed me quite a bit.”
“Seek Ye Whore” longlisted for Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of 2009. The full list here (look uner the “T”s).
Philippine Speculative Fiction IV and Waking the Dead, Paul Tremblay, September 3, 2009
Reviews of Philippine Genre Fiction Horror issue:
“Took me about 2 to 3 hours to gobble up this fourth incarnation from Kenneth Yu, publisher of Philippine Genre Stories Digest: Special Horror Issue which contains some of the most entertaining stories for the Halloween/All Saints’/All Souls’ day. Notwithstanding that the celebration/observance of Halloween is not popular among Filipinos, this collaboration between this proponent(called kyu by most of his friends) of genre stories and his guest editor, a recent favorite of mine whose stories I have read with no regret(Seek Ye Whore, Boss, Ex, The Child Abandoned, The Bridge, Waking the Dead, Daddy among others) made me take a detour to one of the shops in a mall I frequent.
The first story in the anthology(The Unusual Treatment) really made the hour before hitting the sack adrenaline-pumping. I could not believe that comedy and horror would make for a hit but Dominique Cimafranca just did. It was just apt to be first in the order. I took delight in his usage of “gremlin mounds”. I marked this as the best story while excitedly anticipated the others.
Sean Uy’s Tech Support almost made me close my eyes during the last few minutes before I lost my consciousness last night because everything was predictable. Probably because the world of IT people is not too alien to me since I’m very much a denizen of it. I could relate to the diminishing patience of Jeanette(the technical support specialist) except for the part where she began recommending incantations. Somehow this provided a dose of humor, providing a reinforcing effect of Cimafranca’s farts, I mean farce.
The Jar Collector by Charles Tan made me say ok a lot of times waiting for a turnaround. I just noticed a strange coincidence (or was it deliberate) in the usage of a “mayonnaise jar”, which was also used in The Unusual Treatment, for storing confessions of strangers. The effect was not horror but rather mystery. Blame it on my exposure to the character of Matt in HEROES. But Tan mentions a reference to a certain type of horror fiction not unlike that of Zoric Zivkovic.
Reading the early parts of Same Time Again by Next Halloween by Alex Paman and noting the title made me think that the setting is outside the Philippines (but of course). The story is clicheish (revenge of the dead, dead not properly buried) and mawkish. The story, however, carries promise with maybe a little more introspection into the trick-or-treat culture or something else.
Raymond Falgui’s The Haunted Man is my second best. The idea alone is something I have long thought about since I came to know about succubus when I first heard Xmal Deutschland’s Incubus Succubus in the 80s. I appreciate the texture in the story as well as its ambiguity.
I’m not sure if speed is the main sinew of The War Against the City by Joseph Nacino or if doing things fast the way to win over the city. In his dreams, Mon runs fast. Sudden things happen fast (Lana broke up with Mon, Elaine and Mon getting more and more intimate) but what is Mon’s main dilemma here? A dream is a dream but in the real world how significant is Elaine in the story and to the dream? I may be missing many things because Nacino mentioned this as his first born. I have read his other stories which are quite a far cry.
Overall, one can bring along with him this Digest when he goes to the cemetery on All Saints’ Day as it is light, easy, entertaining and digestible in one sitting.”
From Angelo Ancheta, as emailed to Philippine Genre Stories‘ Kenneth Yu