Thursday, October 29, 2009

Karl Shuker: New Book

The following press-release is just in from the main CFZ office in Woolsery, England:

Today Dr Karl Shuker is a world-renowned author on cryptozoology and animal mythology, with over a dozen books and countless articles to his name, but long before his first book on such subjects had been published he was already a prolific poet.

Yet in stark contrast to his continuing output of scientific writings, his poetry has remained largely unseen by the outside world – only his family, friends, and selected colleagues have ever read any of his very sizable collection of poems…until now.

At last, after having been hidden away for many years in a couple of dusty folders, a rich selection of Dr Shuker’s poems has finally been compiled, enabling the CFZ Press to present this world-exclusive to his many fans and poetry readers in general.

Just as his non-fiction writings have documented a wide range of subjects, so too do Dr Shuker’s verses – from the wonders of the natural world, and the mysteries of other worlds far beyond our comprehension, to deeply personal recollections and contemplations of his past, present, and future, his faith in God, and also a series of poems written especially for children.

Welcome to a world of star steeds and nightingales, childhood’s end and silent farewells, realms of dreams and shadows, memory’s mirror and ghosts from the past, Faerie worlds and flying horses, the voice of the winds and the music of the spheres, roses and rainbows, airports, angels, balloons, butterflies, clowns, dragons, elves, fireworks, monasteries, poppies, Stonehenge, tattoos, UFOs, unicorns, and much much more. Even Nessie, the Loch Ness monster, makes an appearance.

All of these and many others too await your company within the pages of this very different but truly delightful book by Dr Shuker, offering its fortunate readers a fascinating, unique glimpse of a alternate line of literary evolution equal to but hitherto overshadowed by his cryptozoological writings. So let his star steed transport you right now to a magical, enchanting world that only poetry has the power to create, deep within the glorious infinity of our own imagination.

Buy it now:

Friday, October 2, 2009

Love in an Alien Purgatory

Love in an Alien Purgatory: The Life and Fantastic Art of David Huggins (Anomalist Books, 2009) is a book that is as intriguing and thought-provoking as it is unique and alternative.

Written by well-known UFO researcher Farah Yurdozu (who, originally from Turkey, lives in New York City and writes regularly for UFO Magazine), the book tells the story of one David Huggins, a skilled artist who has experienced a lifetime of encounters of a distinctly "alien abduction" nature with...well, some form of intelligence from elsewhere.

And that's the refreshing thing about this book: it doesn't force any particular theory on the reader. Indeed, as Farah notes, very wisely and astutely, early on: "Although we still have very little evidence indicating that these visitors are from another planet, it is reasonable to assume that they are coming from another realm that is completely different from our earthly reality."

With that view, I am most definitely in agreement. And so, with that said, let's press on.

I used the words "unique" and "alternative" above for a very good reason. Rather than laboriously chronicle his experiences with apparent entities from elsewhere on reams of paper or in Microsoft Word, Huggins has taken a much different approach: as a very talented artist, he has used canvas, oils and more. In other words, the book is a definitively visual diary of Huggins' encounters; rather than a written one.

And what is the nature of those experiences? For the most part, they are of the type we have come to expect from people exposed to the "alien abduction" puzzle; such as: (A) childhood encounters with alien beings; (B) very personal and sexual experiences that seem to be linked with an agenda to create a hybrid, alien-human race; (C) evidence of longstanding interaction with advanced - yet curiously fragile, and perhaps even sickly - intelligences; (D) a suggestion that Huggins has been monitored on a large-scale for most of his life; and much more.

Of course, anyone who has had even the remotest exposure to accounts of alien abduction will instantly recognize that such assertions are absolutely staple parts of the subject. However, it's the artwork that really makes Huggins' story stand out.

After a fine introduction from Farah that firmly sets the scene, that relates the history of Huggins' experiences, and that allows us to understand what it is that drives and motivates the man himself, we see his story unfold before our eyes via a large body of very skilled artwork.

Indeed, Huggins is extremely good at capturing the apparent other-worldly nature of his visitors from the outer-edge.

For example, he claims longstanding contact with a female being he names "Crescent" - who appears to be a classic example of a "hybrid" entity. And the paintings of Crescent that can be found on (particularly) pages 20 and 28 - as well as those of other alleged hybrids at the top of page 51 - do, to my mind, superbly serve to portray the truly alien nature of the entities at issue.

However, those same images also suggest a sense of eeriness and detachment; and perhaps even menace. But that's just my own opinion, of course. Whatever the true nature of Huggins' encounters, he is to be congratulated for portraying the creatures in a fashion that is both memorable and slightly unsettling.

I don't know why I find them unsettling - but I do. Perhaps it's the long-black wigs and the obvious attempts to try and pass themselves off as more human-like than they really are - as they seek to secretly and stealthily move among us - that makes me come to such a conclusion.

Actually, the one thing that stands out more than any other in my mind, is that the particular entities in question seem to conjure up imagery not of literal extraterrestrials, but of Mac Tonnies' cryptoterrestrials - beings that originate right here on Earth, but who masquerade as aliens to hide their true nature and intent; which may not be entirely benign.

But, maybe I am wrong about the origin and intent of the creatures at issue. As I said, that's just my own view, having digested the words, pages and many paintings contained in the book. Perhaps the story that Farah tells of Huggins' experiences is a wholly positive one. Time, I earnestly hope, will tell.

Regardless of what lies at the heart of the alien abduction/hybrids story in general, and Huggins' story in particular, Love in an Alien Purgatory is a truly fascinating study of one man who has experienced some bizarre - and, at times, distressing - events in his life, and who has used his own skills and talents to try and make some sense of those same events in a positive, uplifting and always visually-appealing fashion.