Monday, April 01, 2013

Next Book: Seas, Sharks, and Serpents

I’ve never announced a book before I had a draft done, but I have a bad habit of starting projects and then getting drawn away, so I wanted to make a public commitment to this one.
So…I’m embarking on my next nonfiction work, on the marvels of marine life. Seas, Sharks, and Serpents (working title) will explore whether there could be an unknown behind some “sea serpent” reports, but I want to put the subject in context. Sea serpents, whether we find them or not, are just one marvel amid countless marvels, and countless animals, including sharks and whales, are still being discovered or await discovery. That context includes exceptional marine creatures (based on size, uniqueness, or critical role in the ecosystem) from the Devonian through the present day. I’m not a biologist, so this won’t be highly technical, but a naturalist trying to convey vey the awe and wonder of the seas along with sound science. The subject is broad, so any book will be a little of a “highlight reel,” but I aim higher than that: for a readable work that will draw a broad audience to the discoveries, mysteries, and conservation challenges of the seas. (I've decided I like "naturalist" as a self-description: for hundreds of years, it has included the dedicated amateurs as well as the degreed experts who pursue knowledge of the natural world.)

I’m already deep (ha-ah) in the research, starting with the well-known sources on these topics and then trawling (get it?) for updates, new discoveries, and new perspectives. What I’m asking for is any information you’d like to share that my searches of publications/websites/libraries might miss: lesser –known but credible books, articles, web pages, and accounts concerning new species, possible new species, and other advances in marine zoology. I can only offer Acknowledgements and my promise to make the book something worth contributing to. (I am also, of course, happy to reciprocate by sharing my own material on anything you are looking into.)  Thank you!

NOAA Photo Library Image - map00329
"Bathymetrical Chart of the Oceans - Showing the "Deeps""
 by Sir John Murray, 1899 (NOAA) 

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