Saturday, 21 February 2009

The Diary of Inhuman Species II

How to discover an astonishing monster a day? Easy; just visit Stan's website, where he publishes one each day. You can also order his book, which I did. It is small (16x16 cm), but is quite heavy for its size. That is not surprising, as its 416 pages are printed on good quality paper, and except for the introduction almost every one has one of his monsters on it. So you can probably just visit his site, but the advantage of a book is that you leaf through it at any moment you please, and you cannot do that with a website, can you? What is the story behind all this? Well, it turns out that poor Stan is a victim of aliens; he is one of those abductees who were carried aloft and away. In his case, memories came back afterwards. The foreword of his book tells the story in a much more interesting way than I could, so I will simply quote it. By the way, the text in the book is provided in French as in English, so take your pick. I'll quote the English version: "Although it has never been proven that Stan had a 'close encounter of the fourth kind', there is no doubt that he suffered an intense psychological shock that day, some sort of psychological trauma that locked him into a daily ritual, a compulsive need to give form on paper to these supposed visitors. At precisely the same time each day, he lapses into a near-hypnotic state as though his hand were acting as the cosmic mouthpiece of some invisible force." The message is clear; poor Stan, compelled to retrieve near-hidden images of these aliens from memory, has to make one drawing each and every day. The book contains the ones from March 5, 2007 to March 4, 2008.
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Here is an example of a double page; the gray bit in the centre is where the two pages come together (I will not break a book's back to get a better scan). The little rectangle at the bottom of each page contains some data on the species. The Labeet on the right is 'U A T'; that means its sex is Unidentified, its mood is Aggressive, and it is Terrestrial. Half of the book is in colour, and I have chosen a few of those. Here are two more; I am not certain why, but they are among my favourites.
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Except from the abduction background story told in the beginning of the book, there is no story connecting the various aliens. But there are some sketches in the back, and I did find an intriguing page that does seem to tell a story. Here it is:
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We see some heavy-duty worker types with four arms. Great!; they must come from hexapod stock, and clearly exhibit the principle of centaurism, freeing not just two but four limbs from locomotion. They seem to carry a brain on their back, but the bottom row shows that this is a creature in its own right, looking like a grumpy brain on cute little feet. Stan, what is the story here? As I wrote before, Stan's remembered aliens are not the kind that call out for detailed criticism of their biological likelihood. It may be Darwin Year, but let's not judge these animals against the demands posed on them by nature red in tooth and claw. It would not be fair to attempt to determine the survival of Stan's aliens in terms of whose genes will get past along by being fit in the conventional evolutionary sense, and whose will sadly get stuck in the evolutionary doldrums. They should perhaps be measured with a different yardstick; I say that we should apply the degree to which they tickle a sense of humour to measure their fitness. Then they will not just survive, but live long and prosper.

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