I gather from some of the comments I have received on social media that a good number of my followers think I post too much on Twitter about the material I am researching for my new book rather than my usual diet of UFOs and pyramids. In pre-pandemic times, I imagine I would have bounced ideas off people in real life, but I don't have that luxury as often today. Now, I grant you that it is very different content, and sometimes more explicit, but I do not control history. If people see a significant difference between writing about James Dean's much duller than you would imagine sex life and George Adamski allegedly paying blond teenage boys for sex while telling people they were Venusians visiting his hotel with cosmic secrets, I can only shrug and wonder. But, good news! I have finished more than ten of my book's twelve chapters, and there is not much left. Then I will have nothing to talk about!
Regular readers will remember Scott Creighton, who has published a number of poorly researched books about Egyptian history containing various occult and fringe conspiracy theories. I criticized him in a previous review for writing about medieval Arabic-language pyramid myths as an accurate guide to ancient Egyptian practices, and it seems that he didn’t quite take the lesson.
In an interview last week with radio host Jimmy Church, which stretched into hours of familiar conspiracies, former America Unearthed host Scott F. Wolter claimed that an agent of the United States government had contacted him to help publicize the disclosure of UFO secrets. “We want to talk to people who are considered credible,” Wolter alleged that a government agent told him. “That’s why they reached out.” Wolter said that over the past five years he has become convinced that space aliens are visiting the earth, that they walk among us, and that the government knows about it. He declined to provide details about what “the military and the government” want him to disclose, but he said that the military’s disclosure plans have been put on hold due to Pres. Trump’s erratic behavior and domination of the news cycle. “The government is frustrated by that,” Wolter claims. “There’s a reason they want people to know.” Therefore, they logically chose a failed former cable host with a third-rate blog to reveal the most momentous story of discovery in human history.
I have now sent my agent the final revision to my book proposal for my book about James Dean, flying saucers, and midcentury panics. My agent seems confident that publishers will be interested, and it is out of my hands now. I imagine this is the point when I urge Apollo and the Muses to intervene. “Happy is he whom the Muses love: sweet flows speech from his lips. Hail, children of Zeus! Give honor to my song!”
My first and most influential book, The Cult of Alien Gods: H. P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture, was published fifteen years ago this week. In the crush of work on my two new books, I nearly neglected to mark this important anniversary. When I published the book back in 2005, I received heavy criticism both from those interested in H. P. Lovecraft and those interested in space aliens. Both groups felt I had done a disservice to them by explaining how the modern ancient astronaut theory grew out of the influence of Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos on the authors of one of the hypothesis's key texts, Morning of the Magicians. But now, after all this time, this conclusion is so widely accepted that some who discuss it no longer credit it to me, for it has passed into the realm of fact. It is an honor, I suppose.
The Cult of Alien Gods is not perfect, nor is it the book I would write today. I was only twenty-three when I wrote the book, twenty-four when it was published. Despite selling thousands of copies, I have never seen a dime of profit from that book. (I earned some initial royalties which did not cover the costs incurred writing the book, and since then the magic of accounting has kept the book perpetually shy of the threshold for receiving a check.) Nevertheless, it both made my reputation and locked me into a niche from which I only now have a chance to grow beyond.
I have mixed feelings about this anniversary. For the realm of the mind and for the historical record, it is good that I wrote the book. Without it, I would never have discovered so many secrets about history and culture. But I do wonder if I had held off whether I might have been able to grow my career in a more mainstream direction. I can remember how proud I was of having a published book when I applied for jobs in publishing back in 2005, 2006, and 2007, only to have editors turn up their noses. They published literature, you see, and I wrote about déclassé aliens. They couldn't have me on their staff lest I corrupt their Olympian literary taste. Yeah, but you can Google my name and see how many people have built on what I've done. No one knows who any of those editors are.
My recent book The Mound Builder Myth is now available in audio book format, narrated by Charles Henderson Norman. The audio edition runs eleven hours and eight minutes. The publisher did not share the audio version with me, so I have only heard the brief sample available through Audible.com. Not being an aficionado of audio books, I cannot say whether this is typical of the narration of others. I would have preferred a more emotional reading with a greater range of vocal intonation, to match the dramatic rhythm with which I wrote. But that is just me.
In other news, I completed my review of the edited manuscript of Legends of the Pyramids and returned it to the publisher for typesetting. I also wrote a new overview for my James Dean/flying saucer book proposal and am waiting for my agent's office to finish their review to see if I hit the mark for a more personal and passionate case for the book. I hope to hear back on final changes this weekend.
Since I am working on my books and not blogging this week, I am cross-posting my newsletter news items for those who do not subscribe.
I'm an author and editor who has published on a range of topics, including archaeology, science, and horror fiction. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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