The Year of the Garuda is the original title for John Keel's The Mothman Prophecies. It's more obscure at first glance, but more accurate when describing the contents of the work, which rests somewhere between reportage and fiction. I'm dubbing it "The Summer of the Garuda" here at the Dojo for the simple reason that paranormal mysteries such as the Mothman and the broader sphere of UFO sightings which add context to that story are of keen interest to me at the moment.
I've been gathering up vintage books on UFOlogy for the sheer pleasure of reading this material for what it is, both an attempt to address a significant cultural event of the modern era and supply entertaining prose for a mind keen to absorb it. Books by the likes of the aforementioned Keen, as well as stuff by Gray Barker and Albert Bender is on my reading table. Given time I might even dust off those Von Daniken books which entertained me so much way back in the 70's. Flying saucers, like Bigfoot, is a fun subject to dabble around in. I'm an utter skeptic, but it doesn't mean I'm not enthralled by the likes of The Mothman Museum, which I visited earlier this year.
Also on the platter is the infamous "Shaver Mystery". Just after WWII, a man named Richard Shaver wrote some outlandish science fiction stories published in Amazing Stories and elsewhere by editor Ray Palmer (Yep! That's where that name came from.) about an elaborate underground society which dated from before mankind's time and which had enormous and terrifying machines which impacted out society in strange ways through mysterious rays. What makes the Shaver Mystery so curious is that Shaver claimed it was all true, and Palmer seemed to support that notion. The fact the stories sold like hot cakes probably had something to do with that.
And I've added to my library all six volumes of Jack Katz's The First Kingdom from Titan Books. These yarns were first published independently in the 70's by Katz, who was seeking to take the comic book format and tell an elaborate saga spanning countless years and copious pages. The series ran for fifteen years, a new volume or two each year. I gathered these once before in their original format, but long ago traded them away. It's a pleasure to luxuriate in this complex and often confusing drama once again, which is more like myth than anything else.
The Metal Men were one of DC's more delightful Silver Age creations. The whimsy and pure fun which attended to all their stories is charming. I've been trying to get around to reading these yarns for years and I've finally managed to do it. Fantastic stuff by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito among others.
On the TV front look for postings on the classic series The Invaders starring Roy Thinnes as a man desperate to prove that flying saucers are real. Also up is The Outer Limits, arguably the smartest science fiction show of its era (or any). These are truly upsetting shows which ask serious questions, and yet still entertain.
And along the way expect copious reviews (both classic and new) of vintage sci-fi movies, especially those focusing on alien invasion. There has been an absolute cavalcade of these, both serious and silly over the decades. Looking forward to revisiting some of my favorites and perhaps giving others a fair reevaluation.
All this (which is plenty) and more over the next few months. Summer is not officially here yet according to the calendar, but that's not gonna' stop me from enjoying these summer delights. "The Summer of the Garuda" indeed.
Special Note: I have changed my plans for this month and next, so I have altered this post. You're not mistaken if you remember it differently. My focus has increasingly shifted to UFO books for this summer leaving less time to read comics, but in a way making it even more a summer devoted to the Garuda.