CRYPTID: The Lost Legacy of Lewis & Clark  AUTHOR'S EDITION

A Novel by Eric Penz

2006 JADA Press Book of the Year Honorable Mention

2005 Top Cryptofiction Book of the Year on

2002 3rd Place PNWA Literary Contest, Adult Genre Novel

Editor's Choice, Reader's Choice, and Publisher's Choice awards, as well as  prestigious Star Books designation


If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’m sure your father subscribed to this advice much like my own. This sage advice could perhaps apply to me releasing an Author’s Edition of my debut novel, Cryptid. The book was well received by both reader and critic. Sales were and still are admirable for a first novel. So then why bother with a new edition?

Good question. And I’m not sure I have an equally good answer. All I can say is that in the years since Cryptid was published I’ve lived with a nagging concern. The book as originally published was just not quite me. Like a picture hanging on the wall askew enough to place a sliver in your mind until you leveled it that fraction of a degree, I’ve had a sliver for Cryptid. And with the new brave world of ebook publishing, putting out a new edition is now feasible. So why a new edition? In short, because I now can. It’s time to pluck the sliver free.

More specifically, the story was simply not complete. As the subtitle implies, this story involves Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. The story begins with their amazing adventure. And yet, these two American heroes do not appear on screen. It’s time to fix that. I’ve included with this edition a new first chapter that was not included in the previous edition. This chapter stars both Lewis and Clark, though perhaps not quite as history might envision them.

And so, I proudly present to you the Author’s Edition of Cryptid: The Lost Legacy of Lewis & Clark. Like many Director’s Cut versions of movies, this edition is the story as I believe it to be best told. It is now more me. That is not to say it is perfect. Quite the contrary. It is still a first novel, complete with all the quirks and imperfections that accompany an author’s early work. I wouldn’t change those for anything. That would be like removing a birth mark from your first born son. There are changes I could make, but I will save those for the film version.

Without further ado, I present to you my first born son as I envisioned him to be. Enjoy the hunt.


Uncover the secret evidence of Sasquatch within Lewis and Clark's lost journals in Eric Penz's Cryptid, a cryptofiction award-winning novel. Two centuries in the making, Cryptid is the final chapter of the Lewis & Clark story. As with any good tale, the best secrets have been kept until the end.


Something haunts the woods of Olympic National Park, a nightmare in hiding. Its existence has been kept secret by a conspiracy that stretches back to President Thomas Jefferson and the Lewis & Clark expedition. The truth that we have not been alone on this earth would have forever been lost except that some species just won’t die.

Dr. Samantha Russell has spent her career seeking for truth in the only way she knows how, on her hands and knees, painstakingly digging it up from the crust of the earth. When the truth arrives by way of FedEx, she cannot help but see it as nothing more than another scientific hoax, especially considering the source. Dr. Jon Ostman has practically been excommunicated by the scientific community for his interest in such subjects as the American Sasquatch.

Suffering from her father's tragic sense of curiosity, though, Sam can't resist the question begged by the bones contained in the wooden crate. How could they be bones and not fossils since Gigantopithecus had been extinct for 125,000 years?

Driven to know the answer, Sam delays going to her father on his deathbed and instead pursues Jon to a remote corner of Washington state where he is about to make the greatest discovery involving the origins of the human species, a discovery Lewis and Clark may have already made two hundred years earlier. However, Sam is not the only one pursuing Jon, for one of our nation's first secrets is still being kept by all means necessary.

And if they do survive the centuries-old conspiracy, they will not only rewrite American history, but they will prove that we are not the only intelligent, bipedal primate to survive extinction.

Opening Lines

Silent hooves churned through the road's fresh mud. Steaming breath came slowly from his horse's nostrils with each stride. His own breath, too, formed and faded, formed and faded in the sharp morning air. The bits of mud spraying up all about them hung as if weightless in that same malevolent, unmoving air.  Read more...

Hot Buzz

Arguably the best piece of fiction founded on cryptozoology since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost World. Cryptid bridges the gaps between various genres, deftly combining elements of historical mystery, thriller, and science-fiction in a single package graced with believable, fully realized characters from history and from the author’s fertile imagination. Its climax is worthy of best-selling thrillers by Nelson DeMille or David Morrell. In terms of historical mystery, Cryptid meets the standards set by Max Collins in works such as Stolen Away and Road to Perdition. Run, don’t walk, to get a copy while they last.

—Michael Newton, Mysteries magazine

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Thank you for your reader reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and elsewhere. Your feedback is what keeps me writing. Perfecting the craft is never-ending and a challenge I’ve become addicted to. If you’d like to submit your reader review to be included in my Review Ticker, read more…

Eric Penz

He earned an environmental biology degree from Eastern Washington University in 1995. Soon after he completed a literary program in commercial fiction at the University of Washington. He is also an alumni of The Film School. In 2012 he sold his insurance agency to begin a financial advisor practice and focus on his writing.  Read full bio...