THE RETROGRADE GALLERY
Ammonites, nautaloids and generally weird molluscs
Another fascination that started in childhood and continues as I approach the second (maybe third?) one. I love those creatures without backbones that live under water, wield a bunch of tentacles, and usually have pretty big brains. As a little kid, I was quite frightened whenever I saw an octopus on TV, and don't even get me started about that terrifying giant squid Kirk Douglas fights in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It took my swimming instructor quite a while to convince me that there wasn't one of those beasties lurking at the bottom of the public pool at the University of Saskatchewan.
There were advantages to growing up in the prairies: Loads and loads of ammonite fossils out there, including on my grandfather's farm. One day he gave me some and with the help of the diagrams in Carol Lane Fenton's books, I discovered the incredible diversity and beauty of those amazing extinct creatures.
Incidently my story "Ammonite City" (originally published in the great Latent Image magazine) is coming out next month as part of my latest collection The Progressive Apparatus & Other Fantasticals. My fossil friends do make an appearance but it is more of a cameo set among overall neighbourhood strangeness.
Insects and arthropods! Plus Bee Women dressed in Pierre Cardin-inspired outfits.