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The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials

Patrick Huyghe

Illustrated by Hary Trumbore

Avon Books

US Paperback Original

ISBN 0-380-78128-X

136 pages; $12.00

Date Reviewed: 12-08-1998

Reviewed By: Rick Kleffel © 2002


Non-Fiction, Science Fiction

Extraterrestrials -- Aliens -- are the only type of monster that has anywhere near the muscle of the vampire in modern horror fiction. But there are many who claim to have seen extraterrestrials in fact. Apparently, some of them have been abducting a large percentage of humans and subecting them to night time proctological examinations. In 'The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials', Huyghe categorizes not just those aliens tend to abduct humans, but just about every type of alien that credible humans claim to have seen. Alas, this means that we are not treated to pictures of the blone bomshells from outer space. But Huyghe is organized, specific and ostensibly dealing only with "real" aliens. Anyone who is interested in -- or has seen -- monsters of the alien persuasion will surely find something of interest in this book.

Huyghe's work is "down to earth", even though it does deal with extraterrestrials. "This volume is based entirely on eyewitness reports of alleged aliens," he writes in the introduction. He's scientifically divided his aliens into four categories -- humanoid, animalian, robotic and exotic. With each of those groups he has created sub-categories, including the all-too familiar short grey, reptilian, etc. Alas, "blone bombshell" is not to be found here, so you know that this is a serious work. Trumbore's illustrations are adequate black and white renderings, one for each alien. They're nothing to write home about, but this is a field guide, and perhaps the authors felt that color plates were uinsuitable for the rough-and-ready conditions the book might find itself used in.

There's a lot of variety here in they type of alien described, as suggested by the categories. There's also a great variety in they type of encounter described. Some, such as an Italian woman's encounter with little men who look like the midgets from the center of the earth in the old black-and-white Superman TV series are almost comic in nature. Others, such as the story of two men in Sweden who were attacked by blobs of protoplasmic matter, sound like horror movies. The book is indexed by case date and includes a bibliography. For any one wanting an illustrated primer on the basic types of monsters that are apparently visiting our planet on a regular basis, Patrick Huyghe's 'The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials' is probably the only game in town.