My line of classic reprints aims to make available in affordable and attractive editions rare texts exploring ancient history, the supernatural, and speculative fiction. In choosing what to reprint, I follow a few rules: 1.) The book must be worth reading. 2.) It must be a book that is not currently in print from a traditional publisher. 3.) I have to be able to produce an edition that is less expensive and more attractive than the overpriced cut-and-paste or scan-and-print copies from other on-demand publishers. Because these books are in the public domain, they are widely available as eBooks, but many also deserve a place on the skeptical xenoarchaeologist's bookshelf and should look as beautiful as they are important.
Cory's Ancient Fragments
Edited by E. Richmond Hodges
Hardcover, 250 pages, $22.13
This book collects in one place nearly everything that the Greeks and Romans preserved of the historical records of the Near Eastern civilizations that preceded them. Until the translation of the cuneiform inscriptions of Mesopotamia, these fragments were nearly all that was known about Assyrian and Babylonian history and religion.
Cory’s Ancient Fragments contains the texts of the Phoenician cosmology of Sanchuniathon, the controversial fragments of Berossus that some believe document extraterrestrial contact, as well as fragments about Atlantis and other vanished civilizations.
I. P. Cory first published Ancient Fragments in 1826 and delivered the much expanded second edition in 1832. In 1876, E. Richmond Hodges re-edited the work, adding a wealth of new material but deleting fragments he found distasteful, especially those that touched on cosmology instead of Biblical history.
This library-quality hardcover edition reproduces the 1876 revised edition of Cory's Ancient Fragments in an attractive edition designed to stand the test of time. This edition updates references for easy cross-referencing and restores selected fragments from the 1832 edition omitted from the 1876 edition.
Sea Monsters Unmasked
Paperback, 250 pages, $13.49
Henry Lee's Sea Monsters Unmasked is a classic volume in the skeptical canon, casting a critical gaze on the myths and legends of the sea, including the Kraken, the sea-serpent, mermaids, and more. Lee's investigations into the reality behind these myths were more than a century ahead of their time, finding the actual encounters with real life animals that inspired some of the most widespread of sea legends.
Lee was among the first to argue that sea serpents could be explained by a line of swimming dolphins, anticipating modern skeptical arguments by more than 100 years. Lee was also among the first to publicize the connection between the decay of shark carcasses and the sightings of "plesiosaur" bodies in the ocean, a mistaken identification that still occurs today.
This edition is an unabridged republication in one volume of the editions of Sea Monsters Unmasked and its sequel, Sea Fables Explained, published by William Clowes and Sons, Limited in 1883, including all of the original illustrations.
Cerberus: The Dog of Hades
Paperback, 49 pages, $5.49
Cerberus is the hell-hound of Greek mythology, the monster guarding the gates of Hades to make sure the unwanted do not pass. Maurice Bloomfield's classic study of Cerberus traces this three-headed dog back to its Indo-European mythic origins to explain just why the Greeks placed this strange beast at the gates of the Underworld.
This edition is an unabridged republication of Cerberus, The Dog of Hades: The History of an Idea published by The Open Court Publishing Co. in 1905. A new appendix of selections from standard sources and original translations of Greco-Roman discussions of Cerberus has been prepared specially for this edition.
"We cannot ... ignore the wonderful yet simple Indo-European myth which is begotten of high reason and keen appreciation of myth-making opportunity." -- Maurice Bloomfield.
The House of the Octopus: Essays on the Real-Life "Cthulhu Cult" of the Pacific
Edited by Jason Colavito
Paperback, 48 pages, $5.49 / eBook (EPUB format), $1.25
In “The Call of Cthulhu” (1926), H. P. Lovecraft described a global cult that worshiped the octopus-headed extraterrestrial god Cthulhu, his minions, and the megalithic undersea city in the Pacific where they rested dead but dreaming until the day of Cthulhu’s glorious resurrection.
While Lovecraft’s undersea monster drew on a number of mythic sources, surprisingly and unbeknownst to Lovecraft, there was a real religion in the Pacific that reproduced with uncanny accuracy the major details of the Cthulhu myth as given in the story. In Samoa the war god took the form of an octopus, lived in a great stone palace called the House of the Octopus, and was periodically reborn in a glorious resurrection. His followers prayed to him for blinding red rage.
This book reprints five classic essays by scholars, missionaries, and travelers on the octopus god of the Pacific and his cult, including the startling details of what can be seen as a real-life "Cthulhu cult" of the Pacific. This volume is designed as a companion volume providing background on the real-life materials used in Cthulhu in World Mythology.
The Chaldean Account of Genesis
Paperback, 293 pages, $13.71
George Smith's The Chaldean Account of Genesis (1876) is one of the most important contributions to the understanding of the development of Near Eastern myth cycles ever published. This volume delivered to a shocked Victorian audience the first reports of the Babylonian Flood legend, of the Epic of Gilgamesh (then known as Izdubar), and the uncanny parallels between the Hebrew Bible and the myths and legends of Babylon.
This edition is an unabridged republication of the 1876 first edition of this important work, which highlights George Smith's astonishing scholarship and the amazing amount of information Smith was able to collect and publish in the first years after their discovery.
It is astounding just how much Smith got right and just how fast so much became known about some of humanity's oldest literature.
This edition includes all of the original illustrations from the 1876 edition along with an attractive new cover design inspired by the Ishtar Gate of Babylon.
J.-H. Rosny Aine
eBook, 33 pages, $1.99
The Xipéhuz (1887) is a classic of Francophone science fiction, a novella that concerns the appearance in pre-Sumerian Mesopotamia of mysterious extraterrestrial beings composed of energy and communicating through light. Written by the Belgian author Joseph Henri Honoré Boex (1856–1940), better known as J.-H. Rosny Aine, the novella anticipates many of the themes found in H. P. Lovecraft, including prehistoric visitation from non-anthropoid extraterrestrial beings, their advanced science and culture, and these beings' indifference to the fate of humanity. Now this essential science fiction masterpiece is available in a fresh, modern translation as a standalone ebook.
The Epic of Gilgamesh
The World's Oldest Epic Poem
FREE eBook download
One of the most cited sources for ancient astronaut theorists, the Epic of Gilgamesh began as a series of unconnected Sumerian stories around 2150 BCE before being combined into the oldest written epic by Akkadian scholars around 1900 BCE. The version we have today was edited by Sin-liqe-unninni around 1300-1000 BCE. The rediscovery of the epic by George Smith in the 1870s was a sensation. Originally, Smith thought the story concerned the biblical hero Nimrod, though this was later proved wrong. Instead, the epic tells the story of a demigod, Gilgamesh, who ventures with his companions (originally 50, like the Argonauts, but later just one) to the ends of the earth to slay monsters. The epic also contains the earliest known account of the Great Flood, a touchstone for all alternative archaeologists.
This FREE eBook edition is based on the 1901 William Muss-Arnolt translation, with supplementary material from two later public domain translations.
The Legend of Perseus: A Study of Tradition in Story, Custom and Belief
Edwin Sidney Hartland
Paperback, 528 pages, $13.99
Edwin Sidney Hartland's The Legend of Perseus was published in three volumes between 1894 and 1896. Like its better-known contemporary, James Frazer's The Golden Bough (1890), Hartland's Perseus attained a degree of fame and widespread citation as a convenient compendium of myths and legends. Hartland explored the Greek myth of Perseus, exhaustively tracing its parallels in ancient, medieval, and modern folklore to understand the continuity of story, custom, and belief across time and space. Hartland demonstrated the widespread nature of the supernatural birth of the hero, his encounter with a witch, and his rescue of a fair maid. However, the book proved controversial because Hartland drew parallels between the supernatural birth of Perseus and that of Jesus. This edition brings together all three volumes of Hartland's work in a new, one-volume abridgment that presents all of Hartland's main text and a selection of his footnotes.
Ophiolatreia: Serpent Worship
Paperback, 148 pages, $5.49
Modern occult and conspiracy writers argue that a race of reptilian beings, possibly of extraterrestrial origin, have secretly been in control of the earth since the dawn of time. They also claim that global elites, ancient and modern, have worshiped these reptilian creatures. However, the same evidence these writers use to image alien snake people had previously been used by an earlier era of occult writers as proof of the mystical power of serpent or phallic worship.
Ophiolatreia: Serpent Worship explores the myths and lore of snakes, snake gods, and related myths. The author suggests that such mythologies arose not from ancient aliens or lizard-creatures but from the worship of the human phallus as the generative principle. While modern scholars dispute some of the book’s more tenuous claims, the fact that the same evidence could be used to support speculation about phallic worship and prehistoric extraterrestrial contact calls into question any occult claim whose sole evidence is mythological.
Ophiolatreia was published anonymously in 1889 and is believed to be the work of Hargrave Jennings (1817-1890), a Rosicrucian writer on occult subjects. This volume is an unabridged reprint of the 1889 edition.
The Great Flood: A Handbook of World Flood Myths
Sir James G. Frazer
Paperback, 278 pages, $9.99 / eBook (Kindle edition), $2.99
Sir James G. Frazer (1854-1941), the famed author of The Golden Bough, examines the prevalence of flood myths around the world to identify the folkloric origins of the widespread belief that the world was once submerged beneath the waters while only a few humans survived. Writing in the introduction to this remarkable volume, Frazer explains his goal: “My purpose is to discover how the narratives arose, and how they came to be so widespread over the earth; with the question of their truth or falsehood I am not primarily concerned, though of course it cannot be ignored in considering the problem of their origin.” Frazer sought no simple answer; indeed, he concluded that flood myths have a range of origins, including both independent developments and diffusion from a common source. Today, Frazer’s collection of world flood myths remains one of the most comprehensive ever assembled and a treasury of information for students of comparative mythology.
About the Book
The Great Flood grew out of Frazer’s 1916 Huxley Lecture at the Royal Anthropological Institute and was published as the fourth chapter of Frazer’s Folk-lore in the Old Testament (1918). This edition reprints the complete text of The Great Flood along with an abridged selection of the original notes.
Curiosities of Indo-European Tradition and Folk-lore (150th Anniversary Edition)
Walter Keating Kelly
Paperback, 232 pages, $7.99
Curiosities of Indo-European Tradition and Folk-lore (1863) was historian Walter Keating Kelly's one and only book on mythology, and it sought to popularize for English-speaking audiences the exciting new science of mythology being developed in Germany. The author was particularly taken with German Sanskrit scholar Adalbert Kuhn's idea that the earliest Indo-European myths were associated primarily with thunder and lightning. Today, Keating's book remains the most important and influential English language source for Kuhn's ideas, as his works were not translated into English in his own time.
Keating, however, did more than report the German findings; he illustrated and expanded upon them with incidents from English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish lore. Consequently, the Curiosities is a treasure-house of comparative mythology and folklore, recording hundreds of myths and legends, famous and obscure. In these pages are stories of the sun and of storms, of werewolves and the Wild Hunt, of witches and wishing rods.
The Curiosities was extremely influential in its time, widely-cited in Victorian scholarship and widely read among both scholars and the general public, who were fascinated by its expert explication of obscure myths and legends. It is widely believed to have been instrumental in stimulating the collection of British folklore, and it remains a foundational text for the study of Indo-European mythology and folklore.
This edition is an unabridged republication of the 1863 first edition published by Chapman and Hall.
Note: Prices are current as of February 2013 and may be subject to change without notice.