EXTRAS AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION FOR STRANGE SEAS
If you find yourself interested in learning more about whales, or channeling, or Suzy McKee Charnas the writer, here are some links and some news. [As always, more to come.]
INFORMATIONAL WEBSITES AND LINKS
The best place to go for information about author Charnas is her own professional website. To hear her read excerpts from her other in-print works, go to her suite at the Radio Free Gallery of Authors' Voices, . (They have a short bio and picture there, too. It's an interesting counterpoint to the official autobiography on her professional website.) You can also read her notes about a research trip on whaling she made as this book was nearing release.
Everything you want to know about whales can be found at the end of a link on the Whale-Watching-Web site.
To get an idea of some of the kinds of shennigans that in the past have gone on at the International Whaling Commission news, follow this link to our "News" page. Be prepared to get angry. For suggestions on putting your anger to useful work, check these locations:
The International Whaling Commission [IWC] home page.
Earth Island Institute's International Marine Mammal Project (IMMP)
The Marine Mammal Center.
The Global Whale Alliance [website not responding on 5 December 2002]
The Whale Conservation Coalition of Japan homepage (in Japanese); and in English. There is a description in English of their programs on Animal-Net. The WCCJ has been quoted in opposition to a Japanese plan to farm whales for "research", and had an informational display and booth at the IWC meeting in Shimonoseki, Japan, on May 19, 2002.
Animal-Net/The International Animal News Exchange is another fine place to go for news updates and information.
Can't forget Greenpeace.
Phoebe Wray, longtime activist in whale preservation and regular attendee and delegate at IWC meetings, has written a thoughtful essay on native whaling, which she has kindly allowed us to present here.
Jim Nollman has been working with cetaceans for years, studying the way the communicate and attempting to build understandings. Read his Interspecies website, and consider a Google search on his name.
The New Bedford Whaling Museum website is an excellent place to start learning about the history of the whaling industry. Select topics from their left-margin buttons and follow the series of articles. The museum has an interesting page of further links which are primarily intended to teach you about whales (it's a bit out of date, with some dead links, unfortunately). Ah, yes, there's a physical museum, too: 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, Massachusetts, 02740. Telephone (508) 997-0046. For scholarly research in the history of whaling, the new Kendall Institute, which was supposed to open later in 2002 [but still shows their old web page as of 5 December 2002], will combine the resources of several local organizations.
Speaking of museums, you can visit the website of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, which was important to the author in reaching an understanding of our place in the universe. A search of their site for whale-related exhibits and papers turns up dozens of hits; or run your own search on your own choice of subject there.
Humphrey the Whale became part of American culture. Amazon lists several books about himall written for children, and some still in print. An adult book The Great Whale Rescue [Tiede, T. with J. Kindleton, Pharos Books, NY (1986)] seems to be out of print. Humphrey is used widely as an example in grade schools in California and elsewhere.
-SOME ADDITIONAL NOTES ABOUT HUMPHREY-
Some notes on the context of the book, with vetting by the author:
Suzy's book The Vampire Tapestry is mentioned in Strange Seas as an example of a work that comes both from directed labor and from insight brought by dreams. It's in print in a handsome trade paperback edition from a small Southwestern Publisher called The Living Batch Press, but is distributed by the University of New Mexico Press; available from the usual source. There's also a Microsoft Reader e-book edition from ElectricStory, available now via BN.com and PreviewPort, and (with a small discount) via Amazon.
Dorothea Dreams was a book Suzy was working on in the mid-80's, at the time these questions were first arising. It's back in print from Backinprint.com, after having been unavailable for more than a decade. You can apparently buy it from the publisher; and it's usually in stock at Amazon.
Loren Eiseley's The Immense Journey is key to understanding Charnas' thought, and her personal history. Usual place. Read the editor's preface to the 1962 "Time Reading Program" edition; it sums it all up very well. Prof. John Becker at Fairleigh Dickinson University includes it his course in American nature writing. Prof. David Lavery at Middle Tennessee State University had an elegant tribute site to Eiseley but has taken it down while he puts together a book on the subject (we'll try to let you know when it's scheduled for publication); he still maintains numerous pages of great interest to SF/F fans).
Channeling as presented in Strange Seas began with the original books by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, about a medium who channels an entity calling itself "Michael":
Messages from Michael (1983)
All were published in paperback, by Berkley.
Taken together, these books are both a detailed explanation of channeled communication between us and entities like Miriam, and an attempt to provide some intelligent analysis of the topics and the information that comes from such sources through a competent trance medium.
Please note that neither Michael nor Miriam ever tells questioners what they should do in a given situation (even when we desperately want to be told). They say that their work is to answer questions in a way that helps questioners come to their own understanding of their individual pasts and the planet's past, and to make their own (hopefully wiser) decisions taking into account this input from a very different perspective.
That said, if you look you will find that there is plenty of very specific direction and advice available from people claiming to channel one such entity or another. For a list of everything imaginable about "Michael" (and there's a lot), you can go to one of the many commercial sites on the web; a Google search will find them for you. Remember that their goal may be different from yours, and may involve transferring money from your pocket to theirs. We are naturally suspicious of self-styled mediums who promise to solve all your problems and provide enlightenment if you'll just pay them a few hundred dollars, or who build large followings by creating systems of "knowledge" designed to accomodate the desires and prejudices of questioners.
This is not what Suzy Charnas, or Quinn Yarbro, have written about or advocated. Quinn Yarbro took great care in her books to present the channeled material from the entity called Michael without any alteration or sweetening, as serious students would prefer and find most useful. So, why are these books out of print, while bookstores are full of volumes of the most astonishing gushings of "channeled" material from supposedly similar sources? [Note: This is not a difficult question, and is only worth 5 points; but it will be on the Final.]
Of the many sites on the web claiming to dispense wisdom from entities purported to be Michael, some may actually be tapping into similar sources. But for the original, unadorned communications from the mid-causal teacher named Michael and the one named Miriam, we recommend the works of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Suzy McKee Charnas.
Other exploratory sites of interest:
Ed Bacon maintains a very large directory of thematically linked websites having to do with metaphysical explorations, health and wellness, and self-understanding.
Traveling north to Alaska:
This is a road book as well as a book of explorations in the metaphysical. The last third of the volume describes the author's attempts to match the reality of this world with the links to the Other. And it's some damned nice travel writing, too.
You can go to Alaska yourself, in person or on the web.
* Whale-watcher's guide to Alaska
Virtualguidebooks.com Quicktime Panoramas of places in Alaska; 242 of them.
The Alaska Marine Highway, run by the state Department of Transportation. Ferries, not cruise ships; but they do admit that you can tour Alaska's coast on their boats.
Go to Juneau; follow in the author's footsteps; and tour the glaciers.
* Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau
* the Alaska State Ferry System home page
* Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau
Glacier Bay and Gustavus, Alaska:
* Glacier Bay's home page
Touring on the Thunder Bay:
* a Virtualtourist trip report on Glacier Bay etc.
Places you can go on the Hidden Knowledge websites:
Strange Seas Background and Info page updated 31 May 2005