Ila France Porcher
Friday, 18 September 2015
New Shark Book Coming Soon!
One of the illustrations : the eating shark "inhales" as it takes the food--note jets from gills
My new book, SHARKS | Their Natural Behaviour sets forth fifteen years of underwater observations of the sharks I studied in Tahiti. I wrote it for anyone interested in shark behaviour, or sentience in animals in general. My study followed the precepts of cognitive ethology, and during hundreds of hours of underwater observation, over a period of fifteen years, I tried to understand what sharks are really like.
As marine animals, separated from us by half a billion years of evolution, their reality comes to them through very different senses, of which no human mind can conceive. Yet, they showed clear signs of intelligent awareness, and a range of feelings, including excitement, fear, happiness, and rage. In spite of the vast gulf of time between us, their sentience was clear to see.
Indeed, people in the future may see humans as just one of countless intelligently aware, and specialized life forms on this planet, none superior to another, and all interdependent in the beautiful, transcendent web of life.
I found it very hard to write, since the ordering of a vast amount of material on many species was necessary. In contrast, The Shark Sessions was written chronologically, which gave it a natural order.
But I discovered Hack 16, a trick from a book called Mind Performance Hacks--Tips and Tools for Overclocking your Brain, by Ron Hale-Evans. If you have ever felt attracted to Sudoku or word puzzles, this all-encompassing book of Hacks will be your final satisfaction--every sort of mental hack ever discovered is in it, including some very unusual ones.
Anyway, for organizing masses of information, Hack 16 worked like a miracle. Twenty-four hours after I discovered it, I had this inter-tangled myriad of shark actions ordered into little groupings from which the chapters soon emerged, creating an easy flow from one subject to another.
Having spent the summer doing the illustrations, its ready for the final polish. If you would like to read and review it for me, I will be delighted to hear from you!
After taking the food, the shark shakes it and rises...
Ila France Porcher