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Demons of the New Year: An Anthology of Horror Fiction From the Philippines

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Demons of the New Year: An Anthology of Horror Fiction from the Philippines represents horror written by Filipino writers elaborating on the unique perspective of local horror. These are more than just rehashed tales from the provinces about Filipino mythological monsters like the aswang and the tikbalang. Nor are these your run-of-the-mill ghost stories told thrice over d Demons of the New Year: An Anthology of Horror Fiction from the Philippines represents horror written by Filipino writers elaborating on the unique perspective of local horror. These are more than just rehashed tales from the provinces about Filipino mythological monsters like the aswang and the tikbalang. Nor are these your run-of-the-mill ghost stories told thrice over during sleepovers, with a flashlight shining in your face and your kumot pulled over your head. Within these pages, you will find tales of haunted houses, demon hunters, monster pop stars, and more. And though you may think them familiar, this is because these stories have been twisted to fit nicely into their niches within the strange East-meets-West collective psyche of Filipinos. Welcome to the darkness that feeds on Filipino nightmares. But remember: don't let them in.


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Demons of the New Year: An Anthology of Horror Fiction from the Philippines represents horror written by Filipino writers elaborating on the unique perspective of local horror. These are more than just rehashed tales from the provinces about Filipino mythological monsters like the aswang and the tikbalang. Nor are these your run-of-the-mill ghost stories told thrice over d Demons of the New Year: An Anthology of Horror Fiction from the Philippines represents horror written by Filipino writers elaborating on the unique perspective of local horror. These are more than just rehashed tales from the provinces about Filipino mythological monsters like the aswang and the tikbalang. Nor are these your run-of-the-mill ghost stories told thrice over during sleepovers, with a flashlight shining in your face and your kumot pulled over your head. Within these pages, you will find tales of haunted houses, demon hunters, monster pop stars, and more. And though you may think them familiar, this is because these stories have been twisted to fit nicely into their niches within the strange East-meets-West collective psyche of Filipinos. Welcome to the darkness that feeds on Filipino nightmares. But remember: don't let them in.

30 review for Demons of the New Year: An Anthology of Horror Fiction From the Philippines

  1. 5 out of 5

    Frankh

    I used to be the literary editor for my college paper about three years ago, and I decided that the literary folio's theme is going to be about our fear and fascination of monsters. I maintain that the monsters that plague our lives are mostly products of self-creation; a mere metaphor for our tortured or unsatisfying way of life. In that collection, the stories also got to feature literal monsters, ones that fuel nightmares and hunt us, demanding for blood. I mention this here because it's defi I used to be the literary editor for my college paper about three years ago, and I decided that the literary folio's theme is going to be about our fear and fascination of monsters. I maintain that the monsters that plague our lives are mostly products of self-creation; a mere metaphor for our tortured or unsatisfying way of life. In that collection, the stories also got to feature literal monsters, ones that fuel nightmares and hunt us, demanding for blood. I mention this here because it's definitely the reason why this particular anthology published by the UP Press has intrigued me to no end. Demons of the New Year had a lot of amazing things going for it. Firstly, it's a horror fiction from my country the Philippines which is already a readily commendable trait, seeing as I've always believed that we have some of the most enticing paranormal lore out there as well as perplexing and creepy superstitions deeply rooted in our collective national consciousness. This anthology was certainly able to deliver these qualities that I've always loved and appreciated about Filipino horror. Edited by rising-star horror fictionist Karl R. De Mesa (whose fictions are definitely just as enjoyable and disturbing) and Joseph Frederic F. Nacino, this volume is composed of ten short stories and a bonus comic story by De Mesa and illustrated by Gani Simpliciano. It's also a part of the ongoing Strange Fiction series that also published fantasy and science fiction anthologies (The Farthest Shore and Diaspora Ad Astra respectively, which I will read soon enough). What is offered in this volume are some of the most imaginative, poignant, quasi-religious and uncomfortably exciting tales about demons in general; all of which are uniquely tailored to the things we fear, crave and deny the worst about ourselves. My absolute favorites are definitely Brother and Sister (a re-imagining of Hansel and Gretel), Salot (a story that I couldn't get out of my head because it reminded me of a few childhood encounters with the unknown), K-10 Mushroom (a parable that tackles if not satirizes malicious intentions of organized religions), The Different Degrees of Night (whose prose personified the city of Manila in a way that's reminiscent of how Scott Snyder did with Gotham for his Batman stories) and Best Served Cold (where 'business of the soul' takes a whole new comedic meaning). The rest were good one-shots (The Kambubulag which reads like an entry for creepy pasta; Grotesquerie, Little Hands, Little Feet, Dark Moving Houses and Demon Gaga). The comic story The Magdalene Fist was a surprising supplement that I would want to read the continuation of soon (if there is any). In a nutshell, this is a worthy addition to anyone's library and a rather delightful reading exercise to be had if you are that eager, preferably during a slow afternoon or, better yet, a solitary night in a quiet corner somewhere in your house. Let the demons in this book come alive. RECOMMENDED: 9/10

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lili Marcus

    Not for me, I guess. Maybe short stories aren't really for me. Honestly I seldom read them but late last year, I read a fantastic collections of short retelling stories by Jane Yolen and really loved the whole book, so I thought maybe I'd like this one as well. This is filled horror stories anyway which I liked. In addition to that, the stories are based on the horror stories popularized here in my own country. But the collection fell short. I must say the writing is okay, thus the two stars. Out Not for me, I guess. Maybe short stories aren't really for me. Honestly I seldom read them but late last year, I read a fantastic collections of short retelling stories by Jane Yolen and really loved the whole book, so I thought maybe I'd like this one as well. This is filled horror stories anyway which I liked. In addition to that, the stories are based on the horror stories popularized here in my own country. But the collection fell short. I must say the writing is okay, thus the two stars. Out of ten short stories, I loved only two. Maybe that's really the reason for two-stars. They are THE Kambubulag and Little hands, Little Feet.  The others though some people might like it, I don't. It's not that the writing is that bad, I just don't see anything special or interesting in them. And most importantly, THERE IS NO SINGLE THING THAT MADE ME SCARED, TERRIFIED, HORRIFIED, or any FEELING suggesting fear or horror. Even those two stories I liked weren't really scary or horrific. They're fine, though. As stories, they're okay but as Horror Stories, no they're not. Also some are so corny. It's disappointing because Philippines really has horrifying tales. No kidding. But anyway, I still suggest you guys to read it. Because like I said, maybe it's just me who doesn't know how to appreciate a good book, or an art. Happy Reading guys.  

  3. 4 out of 5

    ItsRiz

    Better than expected. This collection is not the typical horror stories I've read before. The themes and content are best suited for adult readers. The stories were carefully curated. Kudos to the Editors! The length of the stories did not get on the way for the perturbation of the plot and themes. My personal favorites were Little Hands, Little Feet and The Different Degrees of Night. I love Fist of the Magdalene comics/illustration too! It caught me by surprise as the book cover showed no hints Better than expected. This collection is not the typical horror stories I've read before. The themes and content are best suited for adult readers. The stories were carefully curated. Kudos to the Editors! The length of the stories did not get on the way for the perturbation of the plot and themes. My personal favorites were Little Hands, Little Feet and The Different Degrees of Night. I love Fist of the Magdalene comics/illustration too! It caught me by surprise as the book cover showed no hints at all. Worth the read and the money.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    An anthology horror fiction book with stories that are related to the Philippine literature and beliefs. I decided to read this book as my first this year and I can say that it's not bad at all. My favorite storie are Demon Gaga (It's funny!), The Kambubulag (I was so curious if the story happened in real life), and Little Hands, Little Feet (I wish I heard of this story back then but still glad to read it now). Kudos to the writers and the illustrator of The First of Magdalene! An anthology horror fiction book with stories that are related to the Philippine literature and beliefs. I decided to read this book as my first this year and I can say that it's not bad at all. My favorite storie are Demon Gaga (It's funny!), The Kambubulag (I was so curious if the story happened in real life), and Little Hands, Little Feet (I wish I heard of this story back then but still glad to read it now). Kudos to the writers and the illustrator of The First of Magdalene!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alfie

    Imagine this: thick warm blanket, cold evening rain, and Filipino horror short stories. The experience is exactly like that.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Great collection of stories

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    I liked half the stories in this collection enough to give it ⭐⭐⭐ but I don't see myself rereading it. I liked half the stories in this collection enough to give it ⭐⭐⭐ but I don't see myself rereading it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Axel

    a good mix of stories—some left me scared, some left me at awe, and a few left me plain confused

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shed Giron

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Anthologies will always get a yes from me. Loved how each story has a certain level of sophistication. Best read before bedtime.

  10. 5 out of 5

    elsewhere

    “Demons of the New Year: An Anthology of Horror Fiction from the Philippines” edited by Karl R. De Mesa and Joseph Frederic F. Nacino contained eleven (11) horror stories written by Filipino authors. Some of my favorite stories include “Brother and Sister” by Dean Francis Alfar, “Best Served Cold” by Rommel A. Santos, “Demon Gaga” by Carljoe Javier, and “The Kambubulag” by Catherine Batac Walder. My actual rating for this book was 3.5/5 stars.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Devi

    Great collection of Philippine strange fiction although some were too "strange" that I guess I am a little "dull" to appreciate - but a great read, I assure you. I have to say though that "Salot" really was a hair-raising read, damn. It was insane to read it in the middle of the night, good thing I was in bed with my sleeping family. "Demon Gaga" is hilarious, IMO. My personal pick for creativity is "Best Served Cold". The comic, "The Fist of Magdalene" at the end was too disturbing for my taste Great collection of Philippine strange fiction although some were too "strange" that I guess I am a little "dull" to appreciate - but a great read, I assure you. I have to say though that "Salot" really was a hair-raising read, damn. It was insane to read it in the middle of the night, good thing I was in bed with my sleeping family. "Demon Gaga" is hilarious, IMO. My personal pick for creativity is "Best Served Cold". The comic, "The Fist of Magdalene" at the end was too disturbing for my taste.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Gripping tales of what goes bump in the dark. The comics at the end of the book was a great treat after reading all that text. I loved the stories and will definitely look for the other titles in the series. I wish we had more horror fiction as scary as this!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shaniqua Lizardo

    Favorites: "Salot" by Eliza Victoria, "K-10 Mushroom" by Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon, and "Little Hands, Little Feet" by Kenneth Yu Favorites: "Salot" by Eliza Victoria, "K-10 Mushroom" by Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon, and "Little Hands, Little Feet" by Kenneth Yu

  14. 5 out of 5

    chocnut

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Ortega

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joo

  18. 4 out of 5

    Angge

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alfred

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carlo

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tine

  22. 4 out of 5

    Francesca

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sebastien

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shane Dana

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mary Rose

  27. 5 out of 5

    George Gonzaga Deoso

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ino Jev

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mary Joyce

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ken Renzo Chan

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