DECEMBER 20, 2012... "End of the World" Edition
Just in time for you to read it before the end of the Mayan calendar brings devastation or fifth-dimensional evolution down upon our planet, here is an interview I did with the author of the recent novel, BIGFOOT DOWN, Mr. Bruce Phillip Hood. He is an interesting character, with whom I've had many hours-long phone conversations. If he seems a bit reserved in some of the responses below, just know that he is only trying to hide some aspects of the strange and interesting plot of his suspenseful and humorous novel about a captured Bigfoot.
I asked Mr. Hood for an author bio several times, but being a man of mystery of some sort he never sent one. So, I wrote one for him, which he, surprisingly, approved. Here it is: "Bruce is an artist, novelist, grand schemer, and transhumanist lapsed Catholic, and loves a strong martini shaken not stirred." He describes his book, alternatively, as "a Dadaist thought experiment," or "A mule eyed piece of Dadaist humor." I found it to be a rollicking good read, with some intriguing suggestions about the potential craziness that could occur were a Bigfoot and human society to intermingle.
It should be noted that, despite the violence and suspense in the book, BIGFOOT DOWN is NOT a "Pro-Kill" Bigfoot book.
|Back cover, detail. Art by Joshua Kemble|
is the Debut Novel by
BRUCE PHILLIP HOOD,
out now as an Amazon Kindle eBook.
"The Closest You Will Ever Get to a Sasquatch Without Smelling His Breath!"
This is perhaps one of the strangest and most challenging Bigfoot novels ever written. It depicts a creature at once not like that of the B-movies featuring a slasher/killer monster, but also not as corny as the "Forest Brother" featured in the recent "Letters from the Big Man." Instead, we find a being every bit as complex and intelligent as any human, if not more, yet one with the strength of a bulldozer. Part suspense novel with all the twists and turns and intriguing ideas of a Dan Brown story, part "Blackhawk Down," and partly like the novel "Ishmael" (which features interspecies philosophical discourse with a gorilla), BIGFOOT DOWN will twist your categories of of what is possible with a Bigfoot-human encounter, all while challenging at the core the idea of what it is to be "human." Who is the savage beast, and who is the higher intelligence? What is right and wrong when all usual parameters for ethical judgement have broken down? Who will one day rule the earth if civilization falls, or if Bigfoot proves to be capable of mastering technology? Who is civilized, and who the beast? Entertaining and intriguing, this novel is much a Dadaist thought experiment as it is an engaging read. Bruce Phillip Hood's Bigfoot suggests a scenario where we are not only not the only intelligent life forms on the planet, but in some ways, potentially, we may have been surpassed. When Claude Michel puts his big foot down it shakes the human world at its core, and it should shake you up as a reader, as well.
"Deep in the wild of Canada’s Boreal Forest, in a place chosen for its isolation, a botanist experiences a series of break-ins that threaten his life’s work. The perpetrator is caught in the act and gunned down. When the smoke clears the botanist and committed naturalist realizes he has bagged a live Bigfoot, now barely clinging to life. Stricken with grief, he summons all his resources to right this wrong. What happens next is a bloody clash of cultures with a creature filled with intelligence. An outsider chosen by the beast himself serves as biographer for a story of love and fear, hope and tragedy, humor and horror and, in the end, a true tale of friendship and loyalty. Bigfoot Down is as close as you will ever get to a Sasquatch without smelling his breath."
|The author, Mr. Hood|
Visit the BIGFOOT DOWN Facebook page and Like it for updates, book excerpts, reader reviews, and discussion about the book.
Visit the dedicated BIGFOOT DOWN web site for a full array of ordering options and other cool things... http://bigfootdown.com/
|Mr. Hood, Author of Mystery|
Steven Streufert: Hello Bruce, are you there? I'd like this interview to be just as lively and interesting as the many phone conversations we've had. But first, a simple question...
HOW DID YOU CHOOSE BIGFOOT AS A SUBJECT FOR YOUR FIRST NOVEL, AND WHAT ABOUT BIGFOOT INTRIGUED YOU ENOUGH TO WRITE ABOUT IT? HAVING READ YOUR BOOK, I WOULD SAY THERE IS A LOT MORE THAN JUST THE BIGFOOT TOPIC IN THERE.
November 23 at 5:20pm
Bruce Hood: I was on a fishing trip with a couple of friends one of which was Canadian. We had been drinking a lot and got on the subject of Sasquatch and I came up with "Breakfast With Bigfoot" as a title and we all thought it was funny and after a half gallon of Canadian Mist it was pretty funny.
November 23 at 9:53pm
Steven Streufert: Bruce, CAN YOU LET US IN ON THIS JOKE? AND, HOW DID THIS DRUNKEN MOMENT TURN INTO A FAIRLY SERIOUS (THOUGH STILL QUITE FUNNY) BOOK ABOUT BIGFOOT?
November 23 at 11:50pm
Bruce Hood: I believe that a Sasquatch like creature or group of creatures exists so I am not mocking on that level. I am not so much making a joke out of Bigfoot like that stupid beef jerky commercial as I am exploiting the lore of Bigfoot. Gorillas eat their own feces, that’s a fact but when you see them chewing away on film its funny and that’s also a fact.
November 24 at 8:37am
Steven Streufert: PERHAPS OTHER PRIMATES ARE FUNNY TO HUMANS AS THEY REVEAL THINGS ABOUT OURSELVES? AFTER ALL, WE ARE PRIMATES, APES, TOO. AND, IN MANY WAYS, OUR BEHAVIORS ARE ABSURD AND PRIMITIVE. HOW DID THIS AMUSING ASPECT FIND ITS WAY INTO YOUR NOVEL, AND WHAT IS THE FUNCTION OF THE BIGFOOT WITHIN IT? ARE YOU COMMENTING ON HUMAN SOCIETY, OR ARE YOU MEANING TO REVEAL IN YOUR BIGFOOT CHARACTER THINGS YOU BELIEVE MAY BE TRUE OF THE BIGFOOT AS A SPECIES? WHAT SORT OF RESEARCH MAY YOU HAVE DONE INTO THE BIGFOOT AS REPORTED IN THE RECORDS OF SIGHTINGS AND ANNALS OF THE SUBJECT?
November 25 at 5:10pm
Bruce Hood: I disagree with your premise that humans are apes. I don’t eat my own feces and I can with others of my kind make war on a grand scale, go to the moon, write a novel. I agree that human behaviors and bio mechanics share many commonalities with apes but humans are not apes like ants are not small trucks. I am saying that what makes something what it is, is as much about its nature as it is about its D.N.A. In this book I have done my best to reveal everyone’s nature no matter how wild it may be.
The research aspect of this book covered a lot of ground. I have come to the conclusion that these creatures do exist and were most likely pack hunted in to the mountains by smaller more organized groups of weapon using hominids. I believe that Sasquatch spends a good deal of time in the canopy of the Forrest ambush hunting and storing meat caches. I think that researchers might think of setting camera traps in trees in areas where they lose tracks or sign regularly. That Sasquatch might be standing twenty feet over their head in a tree. In “Bigfoot Down” I also chose to incorporate some of the more mystical aspects of the creature including an association between B.F. sightings and UFO’s and Orbs and other things I prefer to keep under my hat.
November 26 at 1:36pm
Steven Streufert: Bruce, I DON'T THINK IT CAN BE ARGUED THAT BIOLOGICALLY WE ARE APES, BUT OF COURSE WE ARE APES OF A DIFFERENT KIND. IN TERMS OF SOCIOBIOLOGY, MUCH OF THE BASIS OF OUR HUMAN BEHAVIORS AND CIVILIZATION CAN BE FOUND ROOTED IN THOSE OF THE OTHER HIGHER PRIMATES. WE HAVE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ORDERING, HOWEVER, THAT ALTERS AND MITIGATES OUR INSTINCTS, GOALS AND ACTIONS. IT STRIKES ME THAT YOUR BOOK PLAYS WITH THESE ISSUES OF WILD, INSTINCTUAL EXISTENCE, CONTRASTED WITH THOSE OF CIVILIZED AND ORDERED HUMAN MODERNITY. YOUR CHARACTER OF BIGFOOT IS DECIDEDLY ADVANCED, WHILE BEING SHOCKINGLY "PRIMITIVE." ALSO, YOUR HUMAN CHARACTERS DESCEND INTO WHAT WE COULD CALL INSTINCTUAL SAVAGERY, WHILE THE BIGFOOT SEEMS IN MANY WAYS TO SURPASS THESE HUMANS IN ADVANCEMENT, AND EVEN INTELLECT. CAN YOU DELVE INTO THIS CHALLENGING AND PERPLEXING ASPECT OF YOUR BOOK?
November 26 at 5:01pm
Bruce Hood: We are said to share 96% of DNA traits with Chimpanzees which means that 4% is the difference between driving a fiat and chewing an old tire. I think that because RNA and DNA are still newer science that too much stock is put into the numbers. People might assume wrongly that these numbers reflect a closeness in nature that simply does not exist in real terms. The writer in me must deal with the nature of things for my work to feel real and at the risk of sounding boastful I think it does feel real. You have picked out a “Lord Of The Flies” aspect in my book that certainly is in there but as to my Sasquatch character he/she can hardly be judged as a moral agent. Claude Michel my Sasquatch is in a horrible spot and takes the necessary steps to make it out of a bad situation. I mean what do you do when a Bigfoot attacks? Sue it, or apply for a permit to kill it…..? So much of this book is dealing with the real issues that will arise with first contact.
November 26 at 5:58pm
Steven Streufert: OK, BUT I WOULD ARGUE THAT IT ISN'T PURELY INSTINCTUAL BEHAVIOR, AND THUS ENTERS INTO A MORAL DIMENSION. ON THE ONE HAND YOUR CHARACTER DEVELOPS AND DEMONSTRATES A RATHER HIGH DEGREE OF INTELLIGENCE, AND YES, CULTURE, ONE THAT SURPASSES IN MANY WAYS MOST OF THE BARBARIC HUMANS THAT HOLD IT IN CAPTIVITY. ON THE OTHER, HE ACTS IN GREAT SAVAGERY; BUT IN HIS SAVAGE ACTIONS THERE SEEMS TO BE A CONSCIOUSNESS BEYOND IMPULSE, AND AT TIMES A CERTAIN SADISTIC AND WARPED AWARENESS OF THE "MIND-FUCK" EFFECTS HIS ACTIONS MAY HAVE. WHAT HE DOES TO THAT DEER, FOR INSTANCE, IS SHOCKING. PLEASE DISCUSS THIS. ONE FEELS INCLINED TO ASK YOU, DO YOU FEEL THAT FIRST CONTACT BETWEEN THESE TWO SPECIES WOULD HAVE THAT "LORD OF THE FLIES" ASPECT, OR WOULD IT POTENTIALLY BE MUTUALLY EDIFYING AND BENEFICIAL? DOES YOUR CHARACTER "GET" THE NATURE OF THE BIGFOOT IN THE END, OR IS HE HORRIFIED AT THE RAMIFICATIONS? ALSO, DOESN'T THEIR FRIENDSHIP IN THE BOOK, HOWEVER STRAINED, DEMONSTRATE THE CLOSENESS OF THE SPECIES, DESPITE ONE BEING WILD AND LOOKING LIKE AN APE? DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE ANTHROPOMORPHIZED BIGFOOT, OR DOES YOUR HUMAN PROTAGONIST GROW TO UNDERSTAND AND INTEGRATE HIS "WILD SIDE"?
November 28 at 6:43pm
Bruce Hood: I once worked with a guy who had a nephew that worked security at a large shopping mall in Los Angeles. One day a woman parked on the sixth floor of the mall’s parking structure and walked to the open edge and sat down on a cement rail then proceeded to swing her legs around and let them dangle in the air. The motion caught the security guards eye and he jogged toward the structure across the parking lot and started yelling up to her. The woman seeing the guard stood up on the railing. This made the nephew run even faster. The woman jumped and the young security guard positioned himself and caught her in his arms. That young man’s name is Conrad Cave and he is now a quadriplegic, the woman perished a few days later. She was at the back end of a long bout with cancer. Instinct? Heroism? Foolishness? To this day I do not know what motivated this young man’s actions. I choose to see the scene as an act of chivalry.
Claude Michel the Bigfoot in my book begins his interactions with humans from a position of weakness, flat on his back with serious injuries. Immobile, he is totally reliant on his captors for everything, so he learns to play the game like a dog learns to wag his tail; but he blames these people for his situation. In the bush Claude Michel asked no one for permission. He was a law unto himself, with the power to enforce. Now his survival required a social component. The once mighty hunter was now a salesman of sorts. This intake of human knowledge was a survival tactic on some level. This birthed in the creature resentment and some passive aggressive masochistic acting out as well as some out right physical assaults. The creature does his best to fit in, studies human nature; but is the interest real or is he just trying to look good at his parole hearing? That is for the reader to decide.
I read a book about this guy that walked around Africa in the early seventies. I don’t remember the title or the author but I remember that he had made a friend of a bushman who had been taught English by some missionaries and was then sent west to Bible College. Five years later the bushman came back to his country with a doctor in divinity. He disembarked from his plane to a small crowd of people including the Author and a few missionaries. He stripped naked right in front of them, and walked from the tarmac straight into the desert, leaving his clothes and suitcase on the runway. You ask if meeting humans will benefit Sasquatch. Will the meeting be edifying? I say that it all depends on what’s in it for us. Historically we exploit.
I think B.F. researchers are naive about the ramifications of such a find. What if a capture has already occurred? What if everyone involved was silenced by threat of prosecution under the auspicious of national security? D.N.A. is patentable. Pharmaceutical companies may find incredible curatives in the blood of such a creature. Lastly you asked about the buck that Claude Michel hunts down beats into submission then rapes. I don’t really know what you want me to say about that; I mean it’s not really bestiality is it? Out of context it sounds tawdry but I can assure anyone thinking of buying the book that the killing, raping, dismemberment, and consumption of this deer is handled by myself with dignity and grace. I would not have left the scene in the book if it was not crucial to the plot and served the higher calling of literature.
November 29 at 12:29am
Steven Streufert: YOU SAY THAT IN HIS NATURAL STATE HE WAS A LAW UNTO HIMSELF. IN CONTACT WITH HUMANS HE ENTERS A KIND OF SOCIAL CONTRACT. HOWEVER, HE NEVER SEEMS TO BE COMFORTABLE WITH THESE CONSTRAINTS, AND RATHER RAPIDLY SEEMS TO MASTER NOT ONLY CERTAIN FORMS OF HUMAN KNOWLEDGE, BUT ALSO THE ABILITY TO PLAY WITH HUMAN EXPECTATIONS. IN ESSENCE, HE IS A CONSUMMATE GAMES PLAYER. DID YOU MEAN FOR YOUR BIGFOOT TO EXPOSE HUMAN SHORTCOMINGS, TO IN EFFECT REVEAL A SORT OF HIGHER WILD ETHICS? IT SEEMS TO ME THAT YOUR BIGFOOT REPRESENTS A COOPTING OF HUMAN CULTURE AND A SURPASSING OF IT, AS IF THE BIGFOOT REPRESENTS A POTENTIAL EVOLUTIONARY SUPERIORITY THAT MAY SOMEDAY TAKE THE PLACE OF HUMANITY WHEN THE SHORTCOMINGS AND FOLLIES OF MAN CAUSE OUR DEMISE. AM I REACHING HERE? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS MATTER? WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY ON AN OVERCROWDED AND POTENTIALLY DYING PLANET, WHEN CONTRASTED WITH THIS AMAZINGLY ADAPTABLE AND INTELLIGENT WILD BEAST?
December 1 at 4:58am
Bruce Hood: Claude Michel may or may not be an intellectual superior to his captors. The question is does he in the wild really need any gold? The question being posed is does intellect make him morally responsible for his actions? What happens when humanity makes contact with a being that understands our ethics in detail and simply doesn’t care? I’ll tell you what happens; a whole lot of fun is what happens. As far as the future of mankind, I give the whole of humanity about twenty to sixty years without some divine intervention. Say the planet does die out... it’s just a whisper in a silent universe.
December 2 at 5:16pm
Steven Streufert: I'M TRYING TO GET AT WHAT YOUR BOOK IS ABOUT AND WHAT IT MEANS. IT IS PART SUSPENSE THRILLER, PART COMEDY, AND PART PHILOSOPHICAL CONSIDERATION. WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO WRITE IT, AND WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE YOUR READERS GET FROM IT BEYOND A GOOD READ?
December 2 at 7:25pm
Bruce Hood: I know you are and I know that you might get the feeling that I am being aloof, but I feel like readers should fill in the gaps for themselves. I love that Joe Cocker song, “You Can Leave Your Hat On.” I think that a reader knowing all my motivations takes away the fun of the read. I remember when I first started talking with you and you agreed to read the book. I didn't hear from you for some time and I emailed you and asked if you had finished the novel. You wrote back and said that you had finished in a very short and curt answer that did not include the slightest hint of how you felt about the work one way or the other. I know you better now and looking back it's funny, but at the time I thought, Oh well he must have hated it. I waited a day or two then emailed you again to ask how you liked it and you said you were still too traumatized to know. I have had some good reviews since then but that was and will always be my favorite.
December 3 at 11:24am
Steven Streufert: OF COURSE YOU KNOW I WAS KIDDING ABOUT BEING TRAUMATIZED, BUT THERE WERE INDEED SOME RATHER SHOCKING MOMENTS IN YOUR BOOK. BEYOND MY INQUISITIVE QUESTIONING, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU'D LIKE TO SAY ABOUT YOUR BOOK AND YOUR IDEAS, OR ABOUT YOURSELF, THAT COULD SERVE AS A CONCLUSION AND SUMMATION? DON'T HOLD BACK. CONSIDER IT AN OPPORTUNITY TO SAY EVERYTHING YOU'D LIKE ABOUT YOUR BOOK TO THE READING PUBLIC IN GENERAL AND PERHAPS THE WORLD OF BIGFOOT AND BIGFOOTING IN PARTICULAR.
December 3 at 4:31pm
Bruce Hood: If you say you weren’t traumatized Steven I believe you, but you would not be the first person to admit to having a white knuckle read. I was traumatized writing the book. This book progressed when all of the characters started speaking for themselves. I might have started out as the director but in the end I was just a scribe. I wrote the entire novel from cover to cover without a story line, I was rudderless until the characters came to life and guided me. To the Bigfoot community, I now count myself among your numbers. I believe that we are 6 to 16 months out from real PROOF of the creature’s existence.
I think with that proof there will come a time of prideful vindication for those in the fold but I believe that time will be followed by others rushing in picking up the torch and running away with it. Just remember that you believed when no one else believed. Then the game will be about law and advocacy.
In closing I want to give you my heartfelt thanks, Steven. I love that you like the book; you own a Bigfoot bookstore for crying out loud. bigfootdown.com
December 3 at 6:29pm
Steven Streufert: IT REALLY IS A GRIPPING AND OFTEN FASCINATING READ, AND IT HITS THE GROUND RUNNING. THOSE WHO HAVE READ THE BOOK WILL KNOW WHAT I MEAN WHEN I SAY I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO... THE SEQUEL! THANKS FOR DOING THE INTERVIEW, BRUCE.
December 3 at 6:52pm
Bigfoot Down: OK, that was great! Thanks to both of you for the interview.
December 5 at 4:22pm
|Original cover art sketches|
The BIGFOOT NEWS AND REVIEW
[Read the satirical article here: http://www.northcoastjournal.com/news/2012/12/20/four-bigfoots-apocalypse/ ]