The Cryptozoologicon (Volume I): here, finally


My last book – Cryptozoologicon Volume I, co-written with John conway and CM “Memo” Kosemen – is now available (alternatively it can be ordered here from Amazon) (Conway et al. 2013) [an ebook version is also available]. The launch event takes place this Friday (December 6e) at Conway Hall, London: he will be presenting lectures from the three of us, and tickets are still available if you want to book and attend.

The basic premise of Cryptozoology You will be familiar with it if you are a regular Tet Zoo reader. Inspired by the many speculative zoology exercises that have long been typical of cryptozoological literature, we have taken a bunch of mysterious creatures (some reasonable, some stupid, some ridiculous and disproved) and crafted our own visions of them; our own speculations on their evolutionary history, ecology and biology. The overall point of view is skeptical (my god how much I hate that some cryptozoologists see this as a bad thing …): we are providing a historical review and assessment of the mysterious creature involved (there is much more text here that in Every yesterday) (Conway et al. 2013).

What kind of things are we presenting? While I would like to give out a whole bunch of juicy details, I’ll try to contain my excitement since, duh, I want you to buy the book. But I’ll say the cryptids covered include Gambo, Row, De Loy’s Monkey, Beast of Gévaudan, Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu, Dingonek, Buru, Ahool, Con Rit, and Mngwa. Remember: we offer our own speculative interpretations of these creatures, and some of our ideas might surprise you. Some will not, because (in places) our speculations are consistent with general ideas discussed elsewhere in the cryptozoology literature. It’s hard to reasonably argue, for example, that Yeti and Bigfoot are anything but hominids. Moreover, if they are hominids, could they be pongines that could have a major impact on our vision of the evolution of the earth and bipedalism? Ha ha, it’s all revealed… uh, in the book.

Like with Every yesterday, the volume is illustrated: beautiful color illustrations of John and Memo at the top of each entry. If you enjoyed the material produced by John [go here] and memo [go here] before, you will love this book. A few of my own illustrations appear throughout as well, but they aren’t as eye-catching.

While the main part of the book is devoted to the discussion of specific cryptids, a long introduction deals with the history of cryptozoology, the role and contribution of Heuvelmans and other key cryptozoologists, the ascent and the fall of the ISC and the interplay between science, skepticism and speculation. As previously indicated in other critical overviews of cryptozoological research (Meurger & Gagnon 1988, Magin 1996, Naish 2000, 2001, Loxton & Prothero 2013), many ideas in the cryptozoological literature – promoted by Heuvelmans, Ivan Sanderson , Roy Mackal and other eminent authors in the field – are inherently illogical, ill-founded, mistaken, and weak: I fear these people were not exactly shining beacons of brilliant scholarship, but guilty of botched research, to suggest ridiculous ideas and being very overwhelmed by the things they wrote about.

However, as I said before, the main takeaway from skeptical approaches to cryptozoology is that skepticism does not require rejecting or rejecting cryptozoology: if, as many of us think, cryptozoology concerns as much culture, folklore, psychology, eyewitness behavior and so on since they are “mysterious creatures”, an interest in cryptozoology does not require acceptance of the real existence of cryptids . I love animals, but the cultural and psychological dimensions of cryptozoology are always fascinating and worth studying.

2013 has already seen the publication of a very important volume on cryptozoology: Daniel Loxton and Donald Prothero are also skeptical Abominable sciences! (Loxton and Prothero 2013) *. Of course, we don’t yet have a real idea of ​​how Cryptozoologicon Volume I will be received (although some very positive reviews are already online), but here’s hoping. If you like it and read or watched it, please consider posting a brief review on amazon. And yes, Tome ii is on its way very soon. Until then, I’m sure the launch event will be fun – speaking of which, yuck… let’s get back to preparation.

* A book that I have now read and that I want to reread as soon as time permits.

I’ll probably have more to say about the book in the near future, but I’ll be fine for now.

For previous articles on the Cryptozoology and its content, see …

Refs – –

Conway, J., Kosemen, CM & Naish, D. 2013. Cryptozoology Volume I. Irregular books.

Loxton, D. & Prothero, DR 2013. Abominable sciences! Columbia University Press, New York.

Magin, U. 1996. Saint George without dragon: Bernard Heuvelmans and the sea serpent. In Moore, S. (ed) Fortéennes Studies Volume 3. John Brown Publishing (London), pp. 223-234.

Meurger, M. & Gagnon, C. 1988. Lake Monster Traditions: an intercultural analysis. Fortean Times, London.

Naish, D. 2000. Where are the monsters? The highlights 132, 40-44.

-. 2001. Sea snakes, seals and coelacanths: an attempt at a holistic approach to the identity of large aquatic cryptids. In Simmons, I. & Quin, M. (eds) Fortéenne Studies Volume 7. John Brown Publishing (London), pp. 75-94.


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