Annotated Bibliography

Cryptozoologicon (The) – Conway, Kosemen, Naish

cryptocon The Cryptozoologicon, Volume 1
John Conway, Memo Kosemen, Darren Naish
102 pp.

A unique book on fictional zoology “[theorizes] hypothetical animals to life” with new and highly original artwork and imaginative writing. “Cryptozoologicon” means the Book of Names of Hidden Animals – it is very fun and gets you thinking about the evolutionary implications of cryptid claims. This is Volume One with more volumes on the way (at least one more). The credentialed authors seemed to have great fun with this one and hope to lend support to the idea that cryptozoology literalism has to die – it must widen to consider the wider influences of ethnology and mythology. The introduction describes the field of cryptozoology in a nutshell, with a smart, skeptical, scholarly point of view. Each entry is a summary of what is known or conjectured about the cryptid. While remaining generally within the confines of zoology, the authors indulge in descriptions and illustrations of what the proposed cryptid might really be. The self-styled field cryptozoologist will probably not find this book enjoyable as the authors admit this is an artistic indulgence with a bit of satire that is critical of the foundational people of cryptozoology. But it’s a lovely (sometimes very silly) diversion into imagination fueled by biological reality. Aimed towards a reader a step above the general public, one who takes zoology seriously (includes some jargon familiar to those who read academic journals in zoology and paleontology), but not so seriously that we can’t enjoy a little “exercise in informed speculative crypto-fiction” that illustrates how evolution works. Easily available on Kindle and a bit more pricey in paperback due to the self-publishing company used.
-Sharon Hill


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