Digging through the bookshelf this morning, I decided to think a bit about what books I would recommend as a starting point for those who wanted to dig more deeply into paranormal topics. Consider the following list a work in progress. Some of these are no longer in print and really hard to find although sometimes you can get them fairly inexpensively on Half or the like.
So long, 2013. Professionally, it was very good, with a number of books coming out including Extraterrestrials and the American Zeitgeist and The Chaos Conundrum, along with the podcast and radio interviews those entailed. For those of you who’ve read TCC, the pic to your left is the actual crop circle I discuss in the book. I failed to unearth it in time for publication, so consider this a value added feature. For those who are wondering what the crop circle is about, I can only urge you to buy the book…
2014, so far, looks to be a year with a lot of work that will probably see the light of day sometime in 2015. Right now, chief among these is the working-titled Paranormal Paranoia, for Rowman & Littlfield, which explores the relationship between conspiracy and paranormal culture and television science fiction in the 1990s. I’m also working on secret-so-far projects codenamed SIENNA SMOKE, SLEDGEHAMMER GOLDEN, and EIGHTH WRENCH which I will only reveal once I’ve finished them…! Of course, there is also the looming (and priority-dominating) sabbatical project for Mott Community College.
So, if 2013 was the year of paranormal stuff, 2014 is going to be the year of heavy history, eduction, and pop culture stuff. It’s the other side of the coin I inhabit.
It wouldn’t surprise me if there are some other, smaller, projects here and there. In 2013 I did some writing for The Schlager Group’s Milestone Documents resource as well as collaborated on a revision and expansion of a test and assessment system for WW Norton’s Worlds Together, Worlds Apart textbook. Both of those projects were highly enjoyable.
I’m still mired in the research phase for the new book which, in this case, involves viewing lots of television and taking lots of notes. Dark Skies is a particularly dense watch and I’ll probably end up watching some episodes several times to map out all the (honestly) obnoxiously clever references. I’m most looking forward to checking out some of the background viewing from the 1970s like Project UFO and Kolchak as well as some “factual” shows like In Search Of… and the always-entertaining Alternative 3.
Anyway, happy new year to you all. Stay tuned.
In The Chaos Conundrum I wrote a bit about archaeoacousitcs, the emerging science (or pseudoscience) of flooding ancient sites with wide-spectrum noise in an attempt to gauge how it was used (aurally, anyway) centuries or millennia ago.
Paul Devereux and Jon Wozencroft have done a lot of work on this, and there’s some interesting information about the procedure here. I first heard of this from a post on writer Warren Ellis’s website a few years ago (this one here, I believe).
I recently appeared with Jim Harold on his UFO Encounters podcast with the first interview about The Chaos Conundrum. He very kindly is allowing me to share it with you. I urge to to go check out Jim’s Paranormal Plus Club for more great audio, as well as his excellent free podcasts.
The Chaos Conundrum: “‘A compelling and very personal look at the impact the paranormal has had on the way we view ourselves and the world in which we live.'”
NOW AVAILABLE from the Redstar books online store, on Amazon in a few days, and in e-book versions as soon as we possible can. Nick Redfern, prolific author on the paranormal calls it, in his foreword, “A major contribution to paranormal research and observation.”
(I, of course, would never doubt the judgement of Nick Redfern
Writer and filmmaker Paul Kimball (who, through his wonderful work in editing the book, knows as much about what’s in it as I do), says that it is “A compelling and very personal look at the impact the paranormal has had on the way we view ourselves and the world in which we live.”
Personally, I’m excited to have this out there. It’s an eclectic book, but Paul Kimball’s edits and suggestions made the book much more cohesive and compelling that it might otherwise have been. It was the most thorough editing relationship I’ve had since graduate school and the book is much stronger for it.
There are some photos, ranging from a strange radio tower in downtown Flint to a family picture from 1932. I look at everything from Roswell (ugh!) to the connections between religion, the paranormal, and extremist politics. The best way I can describe this book (and one that I’ve used in conversations with friends) is that The Chaos Conundrum is what you’d get if you sat me down, bought me a beer and said, “Okay- what do you think about all of this?”
That said, it’s not what you’re expecting. Honestly, it’s not what I was expecting when I started writing it. But, in a way, it’s the sort of book I’d wanted to write for a very long time.
BUY IT HERE! (From Redstar)
BUY IT HERE! (From Amazon)
To the right is the cover to my new book, due out in time for the holiday shopping season.
I’m excited about this one, not least because it contains a foreword by Nick Redfern, one of the greatest authors on paranormal issues in the world today (not hyperbole, seriously). From the foreword:
Aaron Gulyas’ The Chaos Conundrum is a thoughtful, and thought-provoking, compilation of papers on a wide variety of paranormal phenomena. Or, as it’s collectively known in circles where the unusual is typically the usual: profoundly weird stuff. A cursory glance at the titles of the essays, and their attendant subject matters, might make some readers assume they are stand-alone pieces with no connecting or unifying parts. Well, those souls would be wrong. Actually, they would be dead wrong.
The connection is not so much the issues and topics that Gulyas places under his supernatural microscope. Rather, it is the fact that the essays all invite us to do one thing: address and consider alternative theories, paradigms, and ideas to those that the established figures of the paranormal would prefer we adhere to.
I invite you to indulge yourself in the work of a man who has made a major contribution to the domain of paranormal research, writing and observation.
Read it, consider it, and learn from it. Just don’t be an ostrich about it.
See, that’s pretty dang cool, right there.
This is a pretty diverse collection of essays on everything ranging from UFOs to religion to achaeoacoustics, which is pretty interesting. I also get to talk a bit about Gray Barker, who I touched on briefly in Extraterrestrials and the American Zeitgeist. As I wrote about here, a couple years back, visiting the collection of his papers in West Virginia was an incredible experience and it was nice to be able to write about his work and its effect on me from a more personal perspective.
This one has been a much more intensive and compressed writing experience and the editing has been a really nice experience, with Paul Kimball of Redstar providing some great insights.
At this point, I’m thinking this may be my last (or close to my last) word on the paranormal for a while (at least in this particular form). I’m really looking forward to this one hitting the streets.