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Now, Then, and Elsewhen

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Praise for "Now, Then, and Elsewhen"

In Nikki Alfar’s wonderful collection, "Now, Then, and Elsewhen," be prepared to travel. Her stories range from the contemporary modern world into the past and far into the future. The writing is strong, and the voices included within these pages: absolutely stunning. If you haven’t already stopped reading this sentence and opened the book, do so. And be prepared to be transported to worlds both familiar and strange.
- Christopher Barzak

Imagination fait accompli! Nikki Alfar’s book is a delightful treasure-trove of stories where the magical is the real, the living of it as imagined, whether that be in present-day Manila, in folklore, or in other possible worlds.
- Gemino H. Abad

173 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2013

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About the author

Nikki Alfar

33 books15 followers
Nikki Alfar has fought fire 7,000 feet in midair and killed a snake with a flip-flop. Confoundingly, she’s found it much harder to earn a few Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, a couple of Bewildering Stories Mariner Awards, a Manila Critics’ Circle National Book Award, and selection as one of twelve ‘Filipina writers of note’ by the Ateneo Library of Women’s Writings. Nevertheless, she perseveres, somehow getting fiction published nationally and internationally, including her short story collection, Now, Then, and Elsewhen (UST Publishing).

She’s a proud founding member of the LitCritters writing group, has been a fellow at the UP National Writers’ Workshop as well as a judge for the Palanca and Philippines Free Press literary awards, and more often than not co-edits the critically-acclaimed annual anthology series Philippine Speculative Fiction. She’s also edited The Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2005–2010 (UP Press) and the Philippine Speculative Fiction Sampler (Flipside Publishing). The rest of the time, she folds origami compulsively, smokes like a chimney, and tries to cook ever more imaginative suppers for her husband Dean and their daughters Sage and Rowan.

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5 stars
11 (40%)
4 stars
10 (37%)
3 stars
5 (18%)
2 stars
0 (0%)
1 star
1 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
Profile Image for K.D. Absolutely.
1,820 reviews
May 25, 2014
There are many brilliant pieces in this collection of short stories by Nikki Alfar, the wife of Dean Francis Alfar. They range from her reminiscences of childhood memories about her long-dead grandmother to supernatural or fantasy like seeing a man in diving suit jump into a flooded street in Manila. The stories are youngish and would cater well with young adults from middle-class families. Alfar seems to have been schooled in exclusive schools in Manila as some of her stories here are, just like what has already mentioned, memoirs of her younger years as student or working professional. Some stories though are bewilderingly mind-blowing and are testaments of Alfar's boundless imagination that was probably honed by being a writer in or editor of Philippine Speculative Fiction series.

I liked this book for its brilliant spunky writing. I am not really a fan of speculative fiction as I think I am too old for that but I have to give the credit for Alfar's prose: clear, youngish and engaging. I think this is a kind of book that my young friends in our Pinoy Reads Pinoy Books would like. What I particularly liked was the first story about her grandmother and Crispa-Toyota basketball rivalry in the 70's. I felt disconnected about the female "gang" that Alfar led while in an all-girls exclusive high school. It felt like Jessica Zafraish and I just could not relate to it.

Maybe my daughter will like this book though. It's just that she is still to discover the joy of reading. Maybe someday.
Profile Image for Sheryl.
472 reviews43 followers
May 18, 2015
I've been in a recent short story streak. I love how I can go from story to story, life to life, thought to thought, world to world in just a few pages. And even then, it takes great skill to hold ones attention in such few pages as the expectation is higher.

This collection from Nikki Alfar was one great surprise. The book is divided into 3 parts as the title implies to Now, Then and Elsewhen. I thoroughly enjoyed all stories in Now and was simply amazed at the eloquence and elegance the author presented inner sentiments and very Filipino like characters creatively. The Then and Elsewhen part were also enjoyable but would I say be acquired taste for some people as it deals more with otherworldly and folklore characters.

From this reading, it might be good to try a collection of Philippine Speculative Fiction in the future.

Read Harder Challenge: Indie Press Book
Profile Image for Gabby.
10 reviews11 followers
February 20, 2015
While I'm giving the collection an over all 3 stars, I'd rate a handful of stories as 4.5 stars on their own: When We Were Witches, Bearing Fruit, Emberwild, and Selected Transmissions from Synthesized Human Emulation Mk.8.014b, Otherwise Known as Katey.
Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 reviews

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