Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Monday, June 01, 2009


I have known Tim for many years, and - despite everything that has been written about him in various quarters - I have always been fond of him. I have also admired him as a wordsmith, even though occasionally his writing comes over as if he is addressing a public meeting (to misquote Queen Victoria). However, he has well and truly surprised me now.

The first five episodes of his bloggo-serial (I am not sure if I can face calling it a soap opera, although that is pretty well what it is) went much as I had imagined, although it was funnier.

However, episode six has gone off at a totally unexpected tangent: Tim seems to be writing a 21st Century analogue of one of the classic rural children's books by authors like Monica Edwards, who was responsible for several cryptooish books of her own. The Wild One (1967) features the Surrey Puma, Operation Seabird (1957) a rare vagrant seabird, Dolphin Summer (1963) a quasi-fortean interaction between a schoolgirl and a dolphin, and Fire in the Punchbowl (1965) an out of place pine marten, whilst other books in the series have vaguely fortean themes.

Her books have sadly gone out of favour in recent years which is a great shame because they are jolly good, but Tim, as well as lampooning various elements in current forteana who really do benefit from having the mickey taken out of them has managed to resurrect the genre popularised by Ms Edwards for the 21st Century. (The children's mother is somewhat of an old hippy, has a boyfriend, listens to Fairport Convention, and the kids have broadband). This is the last thing that I was expecting, but it really is a highly entertaining development to the character of a man whom I always knew was complex, but now is becoming completely bloody enigmatic.

Well done dear boy.

1 comment:

fleury said...

topnotch stuff, Tim's writing, lashings of ginger beer, what say you old chap?