Cryptozoology, BioForteana, Zoological Oddities, Unusual Natural History

BioFortean Review Book Review

Trilobites!
Kenneth Gass
Specialized Quality Publications, 2005
ISBN 0-9634906-8-0

Reviewed by Chad Arment

This short book (at 110 pp., more novella than novel) is an interesting addition to the genre of cryptofiction. I suspect the author has no interest in cryptozoology, per se; rather, the story developed from his interest in paleontology. The premise of the story (I don't think I'm giving anything away), is the discovery of living trilobites, while exploring the repurcussions of that discovery. And, (again, not giving anything away) these aren't just trilobites... they're bad trilobites. Thus the great death's-head trilobite image on the cover.

Now, as stories go, this one could have used an editor to point out some thin spots. It has a very bare-bones plot, but the idea is unique (most cryptofiction involving extinct species focuses on the more obvious predators) - there are many potential avenues that could be explored in greater detail if the story was fleshed out. But, I'm not going to be overly critical here, as this book is not the typical scream-and-bleed horror story, and (as some investigation into the publisher shows that it is apparently operated by the author) is more the province of self-publishing than mass-market thriller. (Speaking of physical quality, the book is in high quality paperback binding.)

The general cryptofiction reader (and few they are) will probably not find this story interesting enough to pick up. Those who collect cryptofiction titles, however, and are willing to just take it as is, will find a rough story that has several entertaining points and some intriguing aspects that don't follow the typical SciFi-style monster story. (The book, the author states, is adapted from a screenplay he wrote, so maybe we'll see it on the small screen in the future.)

The book retails for $18.99 at Amazon, but you can pick it up for $10 (includes s/h) from the author at http://specializedqualitypublications.com.

Book Reviews (Cryptozoology and BioForteana):