The best fantasy stories begin with a quest, such as to battle deadly monsters. Readers embark on the quest and become part of it, with ignited imagination. Now the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s “The Witcher”, main hero Geralt of Rivia, worldwide household name in the gaming sphere, embarks on his journey to Philippine shores.
Readers of all ages can now become part of the Witcher’s quest with unlimited boundaries through its much-awaited Filipino translation, published by Visprint. “Ang Manggagaway at iba pang Kathang-Agham at Pantasya mula sa Gitnang Europa at Pilipinas (The Witcher and other Fantasy and Science Fiction from Central Europe and the Philippines)”, a unique anthology selected and edited by foremost speculative fiction writer Dean Francis Alfar together with József Bencze, Hungarian Ambassador and acclaimed poet of his time and Jaroslav Olša, Jr., Czech Ambassador and founding father of the Czech science fiction monthly “Ikarie’’.
Being officially launched recently in the residence of Hungarian Ambassador József Bencze, the exciting science fiction and fantasy from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Philippines comes alive in Filipino. The all-star roster of contributors is led by Andrzej Sapkowski (author of “The Witcher”, the next “Game of Thrones” already in series development with Netflix) and includes Hungarian Csilla Kleinheincz, Czech writers—František Novotný, Julie Nováková, Slovaks –Juraj Červenák, Alexandra Pavelková, and Filipinos Elyss Punsalan and Edgar Calabia Samar. The translations are provided by popular Filipino authors Bob Ong, Joselito Delos Reyes, Eros Atalia, and Beverly Wico Siy.
“This is the first anthology of its kind in the Philippines is a dream come true.” according to co-editor Dean Francis Alfar, a stalwart and champion of speculative fiction. “Having these stories from Central Europe available in Filipino makes them immediately accessible to the wide readership here [in the Philippines]. The exchange of stories and ideas is vital to the growth of literature.”
In the past decade, speculative fiction has captured the imagination of Filipino readers and authors. “Translations are powerful tools that have helped in the development of literature in the Philippines; it has forged a path in widening the market and accessibility of literature in all parts, even outside of Manila. Therefore with the help of our supporters and avid readers, we are now working on other projects which will further the horizon for collaborative translation projects, especially with the possibility in other Filipino languages enabling a deeper reach for more European literary works, including science fiction”, said Ambassador Jaroslav Olša, Jr.