Cryptozoology, BioForteana, and Remarkable Species
Monday, February 15, 2010
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
There's a whole slew of low-budget Bigfoot-related (mostly horror) flicks coming out. One, Nightbeasts, stars Zach Galligan of Gremlins fame. Trailer can be seen at this site. Plot looks like it might be a bit light and the brief glimpses of costume apes aren't particularly noteworthy, but the cinematography (as the site notes) looks far better than seen in most sasquatch flicks.
I really do think it's possible to put together a Bigfoot film with good suspense, an interesting plot, and depth of characters, (not to mention the chance to include some gorgeous backwoods scenery), but for some reason, most of these pics are in it for the cheap thrills.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Indy Cryptofic Film
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
For the Netflix Queu
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Another Cryptofiction Anthology
Forgot to mention another recent reprint anthology for those who prefer their cryptofiction in book form, Volume 1 of Fantasies of Science, Romance, and the Weird by Robert W. Chambers includes the cryptofiction stories found in Chambers' books In Search of the Unknown and Police!!! Details at Coachwhip Publications.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Ivan T. Sanderson's Cryptofiction
Long before Jurassic Park, cryptozoologist Ivan T. Sanderson had his own vision of a world where dinosaurs and other fossil saurians came back to battle with mankind. In a short novella (or better, a long short story), Report on the Status Quo, published as a stand-alone book, Sanderson (under his fiction-writing pseudonym, Terence Roberts) offers an alternate history of a post-WWIII world that finds itself under siege by monstrous creatures from the past.
Sanderson's fiction is not well-known; he wrote a trio of military espionage stories set in the Caribbean and a children's adventure book or two, but despite his wide interest in both cryptozoology and Fortean subjects, this appears to be his only foray into speculative fiction. (I'd be interested in hearing about any that I've not seen.)
Report on the Status Quo is one story (with full illustrations by Sanderson) now collected in my latest cryptofiction-oriented anthology: Sauria Monstra: Dinosaurs, Pterosaurs, and Other Fossil Saurians in Classic Science Fiction and Fantasy. Further details, contents, and more samples of Sanderson's accompanying sketches at Coachwhip Publications.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Another Classic Cryptofiction Reprint
Now available, a 2-novel omnibus, Frank Aubrey's A Queen of Atlantis and its (loose) sequel, The Devil-Tree of El Dorado. This is typical "lost race" fiction, with strange people, and stranger creatures. Each novel has its primary "creature" antagonist (the first has a deadly flying monster, the second a man-eating tree) along with additional imaginative beasts (several pulled from the annals of cryptozoology). Details at Coachwhip Publications.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
A new novel, Kronos, has the following description:
"Two years after his wife's death, oceanographer and former navy SEAL, Atticus Young, attempts to reconcile with his rebellious daughter, Giona, by taking her on the scuba dive of a lifetime-swimming with a pod of peaceful humpback whales in the Gulf of Maine. But the beauty of the sea belies a terror from the deep-a horrific creature as immense as it is ancient. There is no blood, no scream, no fight. Giona is swallowed whole by the massive jaws. Only Atticus remains to suffer the shame of the survivor and his inconsolable grief turns to an unquenchable thirst for revenge.
"Drawn by the spectacle, Trevor Manfred, a ruthless billionaire, approaches Atticus with a proposition: Trevor will make available all the advanced technology of his heavily armed mega-yacht, the Titan, to aid Atticus in his death-quest. In return, Trevor is to receive the beast's corpse as the ultimate hunting trophy. But in the midst of the hunt, Atticus makes a terrifying discovery that changes the way he sees the ocean's creatures and begs the question: what is Kronos? The answer sets him on a new and much more deadly course."
Not sure if this is cryptofiction or not, haven't read it yet, but could be of interest. Also noted that another addition to Steve Alten's Meg series is due to come out soon.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Now available, Invertebrata Enigmatica, a collection of classic science fiction and fantasy stories involving insects, arachnids, and other invertebrates. Some are straight-forward fantasy, mystery, or supernatural stories, but many qualify as cryptofiction (involving encounters with unknown species). Details and contents available at CoachwhipBooks.com.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Sea Monsters in Fiction
Now available, Cetus Insolitus: Sea Serpents, Giant Cephalopods, and Other Marine Monsters in Classic Science Fiction and Fantasy. This 391-page anthology has 26 stories of strange creatures from the deep, ranging from humorous to horrific. Some will be familiar to those who have seen my online cryptofiction collection, while other stories are more difficult to find. Many are of interest to cryptofiction fans, though a few are just sci-fi/fantasy or adventure with monstrous protagonists. (Out of the Deep, for example, is an apocalyptic story of attacks by intelligent man-eating fish.)
A few gems: From the Darkness and the Depths, a discussion of photography leads to the story of an encounter with an invisible octopus; The Tail of the Big Sea-Serpent, a very early story in comedic "tribute" to the well-known Daedalus sea serpent sighting; The Finless Death, a fantastic twist on dangerous creatures from the bottom of the ocean.
Available at your favorite online bookstore, contents at Coachwhip Publications (retails $14.95, but is showing up a bit cheaper for B&N members).
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Now available: Beyond the Great South Wall, by Frank Savile. This is a classic romantic-adventure novel involving mysterious clues to an ancient culture that lead to the frozen south (and a prehistoric horror...) First published in 1901, it has a decent (if corny) storyline, interesting characters, and plenty of escapades.
Ordering info at CoachwhipBooks.com.
Monday, May 05, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
A new adaptation of Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth will be shown on ION television on Sunday, January 27. Starring Ricky Schroder and Peter Fonda, it's two hours long and features a mysterious underground passage in Alaska leading to a lost world, "complete with prehistoric creatures, primitive tribes and amazing discoveries."
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Another cryptofiction novel from Clint Romag, The Ape Cave Horror: The Sasquatch Encounters Two. From the news release:
"Three years have passed since Chad Gamin escaped the massacre in Canada. Thinking he was safe in Longview, Chad didn't realize that the danger was so near. Over the last year, hikers and campers have gone missing around the Mount Saint Helens area. Andrew Bridgeston, a Sasquatch enthusiast, is positive that one of these legendary creatures is involved with the disappearances. With his team of Sasquatch hunters, he is determined to capture one and volunteers the help of a reluctant Chad. "They discover a hidden cave system and what they find in the depths is an unimaginable horror. Attacked and hunted, their only chance to survive is to find a way back to the surface. Even then, it may already be too late."
Available from the usual online bookstores.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Cryptofiction on Kindle
I've been fooling around with the new Kindle ebook format that Amazon is now pushing. I've put up three anthologies of classic cryptofiction, two relating to cryptozoology, and one on cryptobotanical stories. Details here. I haven't decided whether to bother putting some of the larger nonfiction works out in Kindle editions, as I don't know that there's going to be a real market there, but it's a possibility.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
The Passenger Pigeon Trap
I've added another old-time radio program to that (so far rather small) section of the cryptofiction library. This one is an episode of the long-running Fibber McGee & Molly show, from 1948, titled, "The Passenger Pigeon Trap." Despite being told that the passenger pigeon is extinct, Fibber claims he sees one every day. As the story unfolds, Fibber learns he had an unfortunate hand in the demise of Molly, the last passenger pigeon, held at the Cincinnati Zoo... The show is corny, but fun if you have an interest in classic radio humor.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Short Cryptofiction: Yeti-Chasing Nazis
A collection of short stories by Jim Shepard, Like You'd Understand, Anyway, includes a yeti-themed story titled "Ancestral Legacies."
From the LA Times:
"There are also quests in this collection, foolhardy expeditions for political or sociological reasons, yet driven by foolhardy inner demons as well. Ernst Schafer, who narrates 'Ancestral Legacies,' has been sent by the Third Reich to search for the 'Nordic-Aryan legacy' while stirring up British-Tibetan tensions in the Himalayas; he's skeptical of Himmler's bogus theories but happy to exploit those state-provided funds. A self-proclaimed man of science -- "I'm interested in the racial origins of inventiveness. . . . [B]efore this mission I myself had begun branching out into the more positive aspects of eugenics" -- Schafer is more intent on justifying his quest for the mythical yeti: 'I've been mocked for devoting my life to a legend. But legends have moved whole nations, and held them together.'"
From the NY Times:
"'This is the roof of the world. An immense, sequestered place, the highest of the high plateaus, many times the size of the Reich. I'm still sick. The porters still gesticulate and exchange private jokes when they assume my attention is elsewhere. Beger's bad ankle is still swollen. Somewhere I've misplaced my certainty.'
"So opens 'Ancestral Legacies,' with Shepard's trademark sucker punches displayed to full effect: an attention-getting opening sentence (nicked from Mingtao Zhang's 'Roof of the World,' and 10 bucks for anybody who knew that already), a sneaky reference ('the Reich') that slips in a setting and a point of view while ostensibly describing the scenery, the establishment of internal and external conflict in a few short phrases -- we've met several other characters and learned that the narrator is both watchful and ill -- and a paragraph closer that works in a lovely turn of phrase while establishing our hero's state of mind, then and now. All this in the tale of two Nazi scientists trekking through Tibet on a search for the yeti as a way of proving racial theories beloved by Himmler. I can think of six writers offhand, myself included, who might drag that idea through a 400-page first draft tentatively titled 'Misplaced Certainty.' Shepard gets the job done in 15 pages, tipping his hat to H. P. Lovecraft and M. R. James and still coming out ahead."
Friday, September 14, 2007
The Cage (Cryptofiction Novel)
A new horror tale involving a number of cryptozoological and mythical creatures: The Cage, by Jason Brannon. Involves a traveling caravan ("Captain Omaha's Cryptozoological Fair and Freak Show"), a zoo, and a storm that traps visitors in a deadly situation. Quite a few of the well-known cryptids (the dangerous ones, at least) make an appearance.
Not for the faint-of-heart, but a quick skim shows that it is readable and imaginative. (At some point, when I've had time to catch up on my reading, I'll put reviews of this, and a few other cryptofiction novels, up on BFR.)
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
A remake of the cryptofiction classic film, Creature from the Black Lagoon, is currently in pre-production, with a planned release date in 2008. What does this mean? For starters, be a little more wary than usual of alleged photographs from South America showing bipedal aquatic creatures with scaly skin...
Monday, July 02, 2007
New Cryptofiction - LEE MURPHY'S HERETOFORE: UNKNOWN
Lee Murphy's newest cryptofiction novel has been released. Entitled Heretofore: Unknown . The synopsis, from Amazon.com , is as follows:
The world can be a dangerous place. Just ask George Kodiak. When a strange and extremely aggressive animal is shot and killed by police inside a local Voodoo priestess' family mausoleum, who better to identify the thing than "the guy who caught Bigfoot"? In this, the third installment of "The Kodiak Books" series, cryptozoologist George Kodiak comes to Louisiana to confirm an identity for what could possibly be the legendary Honey Island Swamp Monster. When a necropsy fails to nail down a specific species for the seven-foot, fur-covered beast with claws like a bear and double rows of very sharp teeth, Kodiak becomes embroiled in the world of Voodoo to investigate why this woman was keeping the animal inside her mausoleum. To find the answer, he will risk losing his sanity... and his life.
This is Murphy's 3rd fictional novel with the character of George Kodiak. In his previous entries, Where Legends Roam and Naitaka, the character has investigated cryptids such as Sasquatch and Ogopogo, and yes found them. Murphy has also carried the character of George Kodiak into at least two short stories. Remember the Coelacanth in Elementum Bestia and Throwback in Hominology Special Number II
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Steve Alten and Loch Ness
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Another independent Bigfoot movie is in the works. From the SunJournal:
"The hirsute creature will create many of the scares in the 45-minute horror/comedy, tentatively titled 'Big Stuff.'
"'It's not cutesy, cutesy or anything,' said Raymond, an artist from Massachusetts who settled in Buckfield six years ago. 'It'll be no "Harry and the Hendersons."'
"Imagine a movie by "Sixth Sense" creator M. Night Shyamalan, only with laughs, he said.
"Raymond came up with the idea for his story, set on Buckfield's Streaked Mountain, last year.
"He wrote a short screenplay and immediately began imagining whole scenes, using his mountaintop home, barn and fields as the location.
"He plans to shoot the film over four days this August or September.
"The cost: $15,000.
"He has raised about half of the money. He believes the rest will come."
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Another Cryptofiction Classic
Sunday, May 06, 2007
New (Old) Cryptofiction Story
Recently came across another classic cryptofiction tale, "The Last Haunt of the Dinosaur," from a 1908 issue of The English Illustrated Magazine. I've posted the text of this story to my classic cryptofiction archive. It's about average, not much of a plot, but it's great to run across a story I've not seen mentioned before.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
ELEMENTUM BESTIA - MAY 2007 RELEASE
Friday, February 16, 2007
Fantagraphics CZ Art
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Cryptids, et al in Popular Culture
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Jules Verne Birthday
Today marks the birthday of Jules Verne.
Verne, born Nantes, France on February 8, 1828, is one the pioneering authors in science fiction or speculative fiction. Verne died on March 24, 1905 in Amiens, France.
His work has a tinge of the surreal and features exotic locations and settings. But, amongst these aspects are elements of cryptozoology.
From the attack by a giant squid in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, to the fantastic prehistoric beast of Journey to the Center of the Earth. Verne’s imagination was a superb piece of fancy, that delved into the hear of cryptofiction.
For the daring reader therefore, on the birthday of Jules Verne, a partial listing of his cryptofiction entries to the world:
The Stories of Jean-Marie Cabidoulin
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Many of his books have been turned into films over the years, and he served as inspiration for future generations. Read a story or watch a movie, but remember Verne for one of the first cryptofiction authors of modern times.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
DVD: Harry and the Hendersons
If nothing else, it was a significant cultural milestone in public perception of cryptozoology. Harry and the Hendersons is soon to be released on a special edition DVD here in North America. From SpielbergFilms.com:
"If you've never seen 'Harry,' the premise is simple: The Henderson family has an unfortunate vehicular accident in which they think they've made road kill of a fabled Bigfoot. When the Hendersons take the creature home, they discover he's far from dead, and far from from the fierce beast that legend has made sasquatches out to be. From there on out, it's Bigfoot — or Harry, rather — in suburbia. Good natured comedy and thrills obviously follow.
"2007 marks the 20th anniversary for 'Harry and the Hendersons,' and the 10th year of the DVD format. And believe it or not, 'Harry' and DVD have never met in the United States. Until now.
"Universal Studios Home Entertainment will be releasing a Special Edition of 'Harry on the Hendersons' to DVD this April 24. For fans who have been waiting a decade to add this title to their Amblin collections, you'll be pleased to hear that the release will feature a number of previously unavailable special features.
"First, the film will be available in an anamorphic 1.85:1 picture, with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack to compliment (the film will also include subtitles in English SDH, French and Spanish). Bonus features will include an audio commentary by director William Dear" ...
"Also included are deleted scenes, a 'Harry...Finding the Missing Link' featurette, a 'Making of Harry and the Hendersons' documentary, plus a behind-the-scenes newswrap featurette and the film's theatrical trailer.
"If that's not enough, you can pre-order "Harry and the Hendersons" on DVD for a low $10.49 through Amazon.com."