an animal whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated, such as the yeti.
Last year, I had the pleasure of helping James Bojaciuk of 18thWall Productions to edit a series of novellas by some of the finest speculative authors of my acquaintance. ‘Cryptid Clash’ started as a joke on Facebook, and swiftly snowballed into an exciting project – one I’m proud to have been involved in.
The premise of the series was simple. Each author was to choose two cryptids and come up with a situation in which they could meet – and then battle to the death.
Preferably, said battle would involve a lot of collateral damage, in the form of innocent victims and property destruction. I’m pleased to say each of the authors outdid themselves, with stories ranging from the chill shores of Loch Ness, to an alien planet in the far future. I even got to contribute, with a novella of my own.
- In William Meikle’s “The Mouth of the Ness”, a band of vikings discovers a monster which may usher in the end of the world and seek to defeat it with a monster of their own.
- In Gav Thorpe’s “Conquest of the New World”, two predatory species go to war on a futuristic colony world, with the colonists caught in the middle.
- In David Annandale’s “The Thunder of Madness”, monsters, spies and occultists clash amid the chaos and confusion of World War I.
- In CL Werner’s “The Himalayan Horror”, a Nazi expedition to Tibet finds itself caught between the guardians of the mountains and a horror from the trenches of the First World War.
- In Nikki Nelson-Hicks’ “Rumble”, a natural gas station becomes the battleground between two creatures from Mongolian legend.
- And in my contribution, “Inzignanin”, the Lee County Lizardman finds itself at the mercy of a phantasmal nightmare and its mindless followers.
Each of the novellas is currently available for the Kindle, at Amazon.com and its various subsidiaries. I encourage to pick one up and give it a read. Maybe leave a review as well, if you’re of a mind. Speaking as a co-editor and as one of the authors, I know all of us involved would appreciate it.
You can also hear interviews with a few of the authors over at the 18thWall blog, if you’re interested in learning a bit more about them, and their works. And why not check out the cover artist’s Tumblr for more of their work?
Also, if you’ve already read and enjoyed the series, you’ll be happy to know that Round 2 is in the works. But more on that later…