It is not often that the stars align perfectly to shine down on an independent press. Not too long ago, that happened for eSpec Books. We were approached with the query of “Do you have any cryptid fiction?” Now if you know me at all, you understand what a dangerous challenge a question like that is. My answer, of course, was “No, but we could.”

You see, I did have the benefit of not only knowing what cryptids were, but also being associated with several authors already inclined to such subject matter.

For those who are a little fuzzy on this area, in 1758, Carl Linnaeus produced the 10th edition of his scholarly work Systema Naturae, the seminal work in zoology that set the standard for such things as nomenclature and classification. The first five editions of this book included a section called Animalia Paradoxa, or creatures accounted to exist, for which no tangible evidence has yet been produced. Creatures similar to Bigfoot, and Nessie, and the Jersey Devil, though not specifically those.

To this day, all over the world, lore and legend speaks of such creatures lurking in the shadows and the depths, fantastical beasts that both terrorize and titilate the human mind. The passion for such creatures is the foundation of cryptozoology, and while many would denounce such a discipline, there are scientifically verified discoveries of creatures formerly on the cryptid list.

So…back to that query. It was from the folks at Box Mountain, LLC, the curators of Cryptid Crate, a monthly subscription box featuring, of course, cryptid-related content.

Within a matter of a few hours, a blueprint had formed, a plan was in place, and fifteen authors were already lined up to write stories. What we had first invisioned as a single volume containing three novellas blossomed into not just a series, but an entire imprint to represent that series and any future cryptid content our fertile minds can ferment.

With great delight, we announce Systema Paradoxa, to be released under the NeoParadoxa imprint.

Cryptid Crate SystemaParadoxa

There are creatures lurking in our world. Obscure creatures long relegated to myth and legend. They have been sighted by a lucky—or unlucky—few, some have even been photographed, but their existence remains unproven and unrecognized by the scientific community.

These creatures, long thought gone, have somehow survived; creatures from our nightmares haunting the dark places. They swim in our lakes and bays, they soar the night skies, they hunt in the woods. Some are from our past, and some from other worlds, and others that have always been with us—watching us, fearing us, hunting us.

These are the cryptids, and Systema Paradoxa tells their tales.

The premiere volume in this collection is When the Moon Shines, by John L. French, which will debut in Cryptid Crate’s January subscription box, with future volumes being featured quarterly. Due to the nature of such subscriptions, we are not sharing the details of John’s story or the full cover at this time.

The current plan for the series is to produce titles to coincide with the quarterly features, with long-distance plans to produce anthologies and a deluxe field guide featuring full-color artwork by artist Jason Whitley.


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