September 30, 2015
Materialism is under attack from multiple quarters these days, not the least of which comes from the podcast-in-a-book known as Why Science is Wrong … About Almost Everything by Alex Tsakiris, who is obviously being provocative by insisting on “Almost Everything” rather than simply “Consciousness” in the title of his book. But that’s because Tsakiris believes that consciousness is at the root of everything, or at least everything that is most important to human beings. Jeffrey J. Kripal, the J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Religion at Rice University says: “Alex Tsakiris has articulated in this feisty work what many of us in the academy have felt but have not quite had the courage to say. Alex writes as our conscience here, as he calls us all to balk against the silly and self-contradictory script that is reductive materialism.” In his review of the book in Fortean Times, Jerome Clark wrote: “What makes Tsakiris’s book so eye-opening and often hilarious is that it exposes hardline defenders of the old order as woefully, even militantly, ignorant. Tsakiris politely pushes them until they’re forced to confess as much, if they haven’t slammed down the phone by then…Tsakiris’s book isn’t fat and scholarly, but it’s smart and cheeky…” Ryan Ashton, who runs a Philosophical Commentaries blog, has some equally nice things to say about both the book and its author: Why Science is Wrong…About Almost Everything is a very interesting and thought-provoking read. It is also remarkably easy to read…The dialogue format and Tsakiris’s sharp questioning style also make me think of him as a modern day Socrates—a compliment of the highest order…Thanks to Alex Tsakiris for all of his great contributions to the philosophy and science of mind!”
September 28, 2015
It seems that Peter Costello’s In Search of Lake Monsters had a great influence on people who first read it when it first appeared years ago. Both Glasgow Boy, who runs the authoritative Loch Ness Monster website, and Nick Redfern in his review of the book at Mysterious Universe, both admit that it had an impact on their interest in cryptozoology during their formative years; Redfern even avows that “it remains one of my cryptozoological favorites.” But, as Redfern says: “It’s important to note that the resurfacing of Costello’s book is not an exercise in nostalgia. Anomalist Books are very careful and discerning when it comes to the issue of what should be republished…. This is a book that is important, entertaining, revealing, and thought-provoking.” Indeed, this classic book is more than a mere reprint: the new edition contains a new Afterword by the author, an Introduction by Loren Coleman, and a Preface by Bernard Heuvelmans, the “father of cryptozoology” who had a great influence on Costello himself. “For me personally,” writes Glasgow Boy, “the force of the book’s argument remains. I may not agree with [Costello's] identification of the various animals described, but that there is a case to be answered rather than rejected remains.”
September 25, 2015
Joshua Cutchin’s A Trojan Feast: The Food and Drink Offerings of Aliens, Faeries, and Sasquatch has been widely praised, but two reviews of the book in particular stand-out. The first, written by Jerome Clark, appeared under the title “Otherworldly Dining” in Fortean Times (#329). “Joshua Cutchin boasts an impressively original concept for a book on anomalies: fortean food…” writes Clark. “What Cutchin has done is to survey a fairly staggering range of literature on folklore, anthropology, food science, psychedelics, ufology, and cryptozoology, seeking people’s claims to have consumed something—food, liquid, pills—in the course of an extraordinary encounter… [Cutchin] is a fortean in the fullest and finest sense. He has ideas, and they’re creative and provocative ones, but he doesn’t insist they’re certainly, or even probably, true. He thinks the entities in these narratives are in some sense ‘real’ but that our perceptions of them are filtered through culture. Most forteans these days hold to some version of that hypothesis, but he is among the first to imagine that the food allegedly consumed in these alleged encounters is a drug akin to DMT, able to alter brain molecules and manipulate the senses…Cutchin keeps his head secured in a keen fortean appreciation of uncertainty and ambiguity, not to mention the likelihood that these phenomena are way beyond our understanding. A splendid job all around.” The other noteworthy review, which appeared in Mysterious Universe, comes from Nick Redfern, who calls this “the definitive study of an aspect of the paranormal that has, until now, been vastly unappreciated and consistently misunderstood…[Cuchin shows that] the usually bland nature of the food provided by today’s extraterrestrials has its parallels in the food of the faeries, which was made to appear and taste enriching and delicious—but, in reality, was nothing of the sort: it was all a ruse. As for why such theatrical games are played, this gets to the heart of the puzzle. Cutchin suggests that food offerings become a part of the experience because the phenomenon—which is so strange and alien and to the point of being almost beyond comprehension—’prefers symbolism and mythology as the currency of conversation.’ This is a very important statement that is absolutely central to the overall story…[Cutchin] suggests that the theater of entity food is designed to ease the shock of encountering the unknown. That’s to say, we are shown something to which we can relate, which comforts us, and which calms us: food. The nourishment from beyond, then, is ‘a symbolic vehicle to facilitate interaction.’…A Trojan Feast absolutely nails it…this is a fantastic piece of work.”
September 4, 2015
No one does books like Dr. Karl Shuker. His knowledge of zoology is encyclopedic. To call his research “thorough” is an understatement. He prizes evidence above all else. And he does it all with wonder, curiosity, and humor. That just about summarizes his latest work for Anomalist Books: A Manifestation of Monsters: Examining The (Un)usual Suspects. Check out that extraordinary cover painting–every one of those creatures is featured in the book, which by the way contains a great foreword by American cryptozoologist Ken Gerhard. If you liked Karl’s previous work for us, Mirabilis: A Carnival of Cryptozoology and Unnatural History, you are sure to love this one as well.
August 25, 2015
Could the UFO experience be a type of outdoor poltergeist event? Normally, parapsychology and UFOlogy just don’t mix, despite the decades-long efforts of some highly respected researchers to call attention to the paranormal or parapsychological aspects of UFO events. But what if UFO experiences are the result of large-scale, unconscious, psychic forces? In his new book Illuminations: The UFO Experience as a Parapsychological Event, sociologist Eric Ouellet offers a novel approach to a phenomenon that has thus far resisted all other efforts to explain it—supported by a wonderful foreword by Jenny Randles. Combining research in parapsychology, sociology, and UFOlogy, Ouellet provides a thought provoking reassessment of several well-known UFO cases, including the Washington, DC, UFO wave of 1952, the Betty and Barney Hill abduction of 1961, the Rendlesham UFO incident of 1980, and the Belgian UFO wave of 1989-1991. While not claiming to have the final solution to the UFO mystery, he offers much food for thought and a refreshing outlook on a stubbornly elusive phenomenon. Ouellet is a professor of Defence Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada, and at the Canadian Forces College (Canada’s Joint Staff and War College). He has a Ph.D. in sociology from York University (Toronto, Canada), and he is the liaison officer for Canada with the Parapsychological Association. One more question to ponder: Could a UFO feed on the emotions of the witnesses in order to take form?
July 6, 2015
We have just released a raft of our best-selling books in reasonably priced, laminate hardcover editions. They are now available from both Amazon US and Amazon UK and other resellers such as Barnes and Noble online.
These books will only be available in hardcover editions for a limited time.
May 7, 2015
Can a small, almost mundane detail in accounts of anomalous events—be it encounters with UFO entities, faeries, or Sasquatch—reveal anything valuable about the nature of these unusual events? Probably not, right? Well, think again. This new book by Joshua Cutchin, A Trojan Feast, is an intellectual romp through some of the strangest material this side of the rabbit hole. In it, Cutchin examines reports of the food and drink offering of aliens, faeries, and Sasquatch, and discovers that all is not what it appears to be. A glance at some chapter titles illustrates the ranges of topics covered: the Sattvic Diet, Sleep Paralysis, Sexuality, Entheogens, Eating the God and Rebirth, and Absorption, Ointment, and the Entity Diet. Noted folklorist Thomas E. Bullard, who wrote the Foreword, says: “The humble subject of food in anomalistic accounts serves, in Cutchin’s measured, learned, and lucid argument, as proof that high strangeness events may be uncertain and discordant, but not incomprehensible.” We think this book is destined to be a fortean classic.
February 23, 2015
“Just because you have never seen a fairy does not mean that no one else has. This truth is apparent from the new book Seeing Fairies, by Marjorie T. Johnson.” That’s from an article entitled “Leave Your Wings at the Door” by Michael Tortorello in the October 1, 2014, issue of, yes, The New York Times. It’s not often that one of our books gets mentioned in old The Grey Lady, so we are thankful for the plug. That said, the book has been a catalyst for some very thoughtful reviews. One of them, by James McClendon, appeared in the excellent journal Paranthropology and is worth quoting at length: “Collections of anomalous experiences are valuable in that they allow evaluation of hypotheses regarding the incidence and nature of unusual perceptions. This endeavor sheds light on the nature of human consciousness….Marjorie Johnson’s collection of fairy accounts is in harmony with this theory in that many experiencers believe in what they perceive. People with a propensity for anomalous experience are unable to remain skeptical; their experiences generate belief. . .There are also a number of secondary elements within these experiences that support the idea that the propensity for fairy experience has genetic basis. All over the world, people have noted that propensity for anomalous experience runs in families. Johnson’s accounts support this hypothesis….The interpretation of anomalous experiences may be shaped by belief but they are not completely products of belief…Seeing Fairies is worth reading by anyone curious about the diversity of anomalous experience available to human beings.” More thoughtful commentary came from Malcolm Smith, whose review, entitled “What Sort of People See Fairies?” is also worth quoting at length: “If we discarded all [fairy] cases where we suspected, however weakly, that the witness had been in an altered psychological state at the time, and if we culled out, fairly or unfairly, all those who claimed ‘second sight’ or more than one encounter, we are still left with a couple of hundred testimonies for which the only reason for not believing them is that they are, well, unbelievable. Even if we further reject all those whose witnesses were pre-teenagers at the time, we still have a large number of first hand accounts which would be taken seriously if they involved a crime, or some other mundane event. It is the old Hynekan quandary: what do you do when perfectly credible people tell perfectly incredible stories?”
January 19, 2015
We can’t think of a better way to introduce our newest book, In Search of Lake Monsters by Peter Costello, than by quoting the words it inspired in Bernard Heuvelmans, the “father of cryptozoology,” who wrote: “Peter Costello authoritatively surveys the whole subject, supporting his arguments with a substantial bibliography, and displaying both the elegance of the born writer and the sense of humor essential to every occasion.” This pioneering classic in the field of cryptozoology is an overview of lake monsters reports from all over the world that provides a convincing explanation of the identity of these elusive denizens. This new edition of the book contains a new Afterword by the author, an Introduction by Loren Coleman, and a Preface by, yes, Bernard Heuvelmans. So don’t miss it.
December 3, 2014
This book is destined to be our most controversial book yet—and not just because of its title. In Why Science is Wrong…About Almost Everything, Alex Tsakiris, who is best known for the popular Skeptiko podcast, goes head-to-head with mainstream science on the issue on consciousness. He delivers a blistering attack on the entrenched view that humans are mere biological robots. Science is wrong about almost everything, he insists, because science depends on our consciousness being an illusion. And it’s not. In the course of the book, he discusses near-death experiences, mediums, telepathy, healing, psychic detectives, evolution, and much more. “Alex writes as our conscience here,” notes Rice University professor Jeffrey Kripal, “as he calls us all to balk against the silly and self-contradictory script that is reductive materialism.”