As a kid, I was attracted to strange books.
I still have most of my favorites. Among them is In The Wake of The Sea-Serpents by Bernard Heuvelmans. Mine is a Hill and Wang edition, published in 1969.
The dust jacket is long gone, which is a pity, because the book is considered rare now. Even so, I wouldn't sell it because it holds too many memories and it's still a great source for building fictional sea monsters.
For a kid, this book was a treasure trove of sea monster stories. Heuvelmans took entries from old sailing ship logs, from eyewitness testimony and accounts, from newspaper articles the world over. It's a matter-of-fact, scholarly presentation of written evidence for sea monsters, and as such it's a dry read. But kid me reveled in every detailed description, in every black-and-white drawing contained within the pages.
It still makes for fascinating reading. I'm sure that many of the sightings were mis-identification of perfectly ordinary creatures, but -- hey, the oceans are deep and vast.
One thing nine-year-old me didn't have was the internet. But if I'd had it, I'd certainly have been watching a YouTube series called Bedtime Stories.
My friend Terry emailed me and suggested I take a look at Bedtime Stories. I did, and now I'm passing the link on to you. If you share my fascination for the strange, the unexplained, and the Fortean, I think you'll enjoy BedTime Stories too.
Each episode presents an incident, phenomena, or subject with a mysterious or paranormal bent. What sets Bedtime Stories apart from other similar sites is the inclusion of skepticism. They don't shy away from debunking their own stories.
I'm sure you've probably heard of 'the Bloop.' If not, the Bloop is the loud undersea sound recorded by NOAA a while back. At first, people -- some scientists included -- suggested the Bloop was created by some enormous but unknown sea creature. The volume of the Bloop, which was recorded by microphones 3000 miles from the source, suggested a creature of truly monstrous size.
Subsequent research into the Bloop later determined that the sound was made by melting methane ice, deep in the ocean. The ice shifted and hit the bottom and the scraping, with the gas release, made the sound. No kraken were involved.
Most of the 'paranormal' sites list the Bloop, to this day, as evidence of some gargantuan sea creature. Bedtime Stories is the first I've seen to accurately correct that assertion.
If you're interested, click the link below to head to Bedtime Stories. I suggest you start with the episode on sea monsters. It's a fascinating presentation. I knew about the German U-boat incident and several of the others from my old book -- but kid me would have loved this web series. Adult me certainly does.
SUNDRY WRITING UPDATES
Just this week, I've nearly completed the audio review for Three Mean Streets, and have also reviewed the first four chapters of Every Wind of Change.
Both sound amazing. I've never really appreciated the extent of a voice actor's work until now. They're not just reading the books while a microphone records. They're doing different voices. Adding anger or terror or sadness to the words. I suppose I've sat at a keyboard and watched words crawl across a screen for so long I've forgotten that words are more than letters and the spaces that separate them.
So they're not 'merely' narrating. They're acting. It's a dimension I've just not seen associated with my books.
Three Mean Streets will be released first. Every Wind of Change, which weighs in nearly twice the length of Mean Streets, will take longer, but it's coming!
PULP MAGAZINE COVER
WILD WILD WEB
I've got something a bit different for this week's Wild Wild Web entry.
This gentleman, Patrick A Bartmess, makes musical instruments and devices. They're unique and creative, and here's one of them playing with an accompaniment of cicadas. Enjoy!