Review: 'Jonathan', by Russell O’Neil

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Jonathan The spirit of Thorne Smith lives! Or it did in 1959, when this novel was published. Transformation was never so funny, or so inebriated, as when they wrote it.

There were no moral implications in Arthur Green’s watering the Scotch; it was purely an executive maneuver. A less efficient administrator might simply have apologized for having forgotten to stock his trailer with whiskey, but Arthur knew that his particular victims would then merrily have forgiven him and produced their own. If they were to drink, as they surely were, it was obviously better to have them do so from his unproofed stock than from their own authentic supply. (p. 1)

Arthur is the Hollywood producer of a Western being filmed on location somewhere in the Mexican desert. In the production company are Arthur, the harried producer; George McKaye, the matter-of-fact director; Jonathan Cartwright, the reluctant scriptwriter and Carol Holloway, his loyal secretary; Max, the practical horse wrangler; Bruce Gentry, the egotistical cowboy star; Melissa Drummond, the self-centered leading lady; and Beverly Dawn, a ditzy starlet. And Lightning, Gentry’s noble steed, who is in reality Gladiola, a well-trained but dimwitted and oversexed mare.

Jonathan, a heavy drinker and practical joker, is only at the production in the desert because his contract forces him to be there for on-the-spot rewrites. Jonathan loathes being away from “civilization” (the largest metropolises where alcohol is readily available), so he brought a large supply with him. He also loathes the vain Gentry, who takes advantage of his stardom as much as he can. Jonathan has been trying unsuccessfully to get Arthur Green to film one of his non-Western screenplays for three years. Jonathan seldom travels anywhere without Carol, his super-efficient secretary who is his pal in his binges, keeps him from getting fired, and has a crush on him.

NYC, Appleton-Century-Crofts, March 1959, 214 pages, $3.75. Based on an idea by Ann Noyes Guettel. Frontispiece by Doug Anderson.

Video review: 'Indigo Rain', by Watts Martin

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Isiah reviews Watts Martin's 2013 novella, "Indigo Rain", set in the author's Ranea universe.

Indigo Rain can be purchased at FurPlanet. See also: Review of Indigo Rain by Fred Patten.

Flayrah's story ratings now reflected in Google search results

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

It's a hard life for search engines, and sites like Flayrah with varying page layout don't help. But thanks to a few hours with Google's data highlighter, it'll be easier for one of them to identify who wrote what, what a story is about, and how well it was received.

What does this mean? Well, more comprehensive search results, hopefully – but perhaps the most noticeable change will be the visibility of ratings when those results are displayed:
Rakuen GrowlitheRestrospective: An illustrated chronology of furry fandom, 1966-1996

Flayrah ratings on Google

The rating displayed for users depends on the ratings received on their story submissions. This change will roll out incrementally as Google reindexes the site.

Also, Califur 2014 is hosting the Ursa Major Awards presentation next Saturday at 5PM. Flayrah's up for Best Magazine again for the stories we published in 2013 – join me there to celebrate if we win… and to commiserate if the ponies win Best Website again.

Review: 'Top Dog', 'Dog Eat Dog' and 'A Dog’s Life', by Jerry Jay Carroll

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Top Dog Just running at first. Nothing before that. No memories of childhood and family. No early struggles. No career. No friends. No opinions. No country, city, neighborhood, no home where I laid my head at day’s end. No idea how I spent those days.

Running. One minute oblivion and the next I’m in a forest, shafts of the dying day falling through the trees and dappling the ground with patterns of light and dark. Quail scurry, small animals freeze as I pass. I have no questions about my place in the scheme of things. The wind is in my face and nothing seems more natural than running. It’s the beginning and the end and everything in between.

But there’s something wrong. I detest exercise. If it didn’t send the wrong message, I’d step from the Rolls and ride a sedan chair across Wall Street to the lobby elevators. The times what they are, my bearers would be a multicultural lot, a rainbow of muscular young men raising me above the mob. So some fragments of memory flash like strobe lights in a vast and dark chamber.

The flicker of feet beneath catches my eye. But they aren’t feet. They are paws. Something soft and wet bangs the side of my face. My tongue. The realization slowly dawns as I run. I’m a dog, a huge dog. (Top Dog, p. 1)

One day, William B. Ingersol sat in an office high above Wall Street conducting corporate takeovers.

The next day, he was a big dog, surviving by instinct alone in a strange new world.

Same difference. (Top Dog, back-cover blurb)

William “Bogey” Ingersol is a notoriously ruthless financier under investigation by the SEC; a corporate raider who has bought companies to gain their assets then closed them, sending hundreds of people out of work. His guiding interest has always been, how can I make the most out of this? So when he becomes a mastiff-sized feral dog in the wild, he is too busy trying to survive at first to spend time worrying about what has happened to him. His human mind combined with canine instincts enables him to come out on top in fights with wolves and other predators.

Top Dog; NYC, Ace Books, September 1996, 0-441-00368-0 trade paperback $12 (330 pgs.)
Dog Eat Dog; NYC, Ace Books, February 1999, 0-441-00597-7 trade paperback $12 (297 pgs.)
A Dog’s Life; Garden City, NY, Science Fiction Book Club, April 1999, SFBC #18131 hardcover $12.98 (490 pgs.)

Furry DJ NeonBunny's "Eat, Sleep, Fursuit, Repeat"

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DJ NeonBunny has entered the world of music production with a song called "Eat, Sleep, Fursuit, Repeat". Inspired by deep house hit "Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat" [video] by Fatboy Slim and Riva Starr, NeonBunny set out to create an original track about fursuiting. As the founder and resident DJ of Frolic in San Francisco, he wanted to write a song about his favorite scene, and for the fursuiters who love to frequent the dance floor.

Review: 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' Princess Twilight Sparkle DVD (with bonus 'Equestria Girls' review)

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Princess Twilight SparkleHey, wolf moon! Come cast your spell on me!
- Type O Negative, Wolf Moon (with Zoanthropic Paranoia)

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was the first The Legend of Zelda game to be released with a brand new console (in this case, the Wii, though it was also a GameCube release). It also instantly became the furriest entry in the series, as the newest incarnation of Link had the ability to transform into a wolf with the help of his new sidekick, Midna.

Twilight Princess tells the story of a race of people who live in a twilight realm that is a separate world from the main series setting of Hyrule. They are apparently invading Hyrule, and the land is covered in a magical twilight, which causes Link’s lupine transformation. He eventually meets a mischievous imp named Midna, who offers to help Link, but appears to have ulterior reasons. Freeing Hyrule, and unraveling Midna’s mysterious past and her connection to the titular “Twilight Princess”, is the driving force behind the plot of the game.

Wait. Oh, dear. This is embarrassing. Turns out, I was supposed to be reviewing Shout!Factory’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Princess Twilight Sparkle" DVD, not The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Uh, moving on …

April 2014 Newsbytes archive

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Contributors this month include crossaffliction, dronon, earthfurst, Fred, GreenReaper, Higgs Raccoon, Kakurady, Patch Packrat, Rakuen Growlithe and RingtailedFox.

Announcement: 'Allasso' Volume 3 at last

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Allasso vol. 3: Storge Brian Lee Cook’s Allasso Furry book series/magazine was started in 2011, announcing two volumes per year. (He and I had argued over whether this meant semi-yearly or bi-yearly. He says bi-yearly and I say semi-yearly.) Vol. 1 was published in November 2011 as a 116-page trade paperback with 14 stories and poems [review], and vol. 2 in May 2012 as a 134-page trade paperback with 11 stories and poems [review]. Frequent contributors include Mary E. Lowd, Renee Carter Hall, and Tristan Black Wolf.

Vol. 3 was promised for December 2012, but never appeared, and e-mails to Cook were not answered. It was assumed that this was another “little magazine” that had ceased publication almost as soon as it had started. But vol. 3 has finally appeared without fanfare, dated by Amazon.com as May 13, 2014, in a 140-page trade paperback edition for $8.00 (Amazon.com’s discounted price is $7.20) with 12 stories and poems, all Furry.

Bad Karma shutters Ychan, Yiffy International, 420furs.org

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In a sudden move, Bad Karma Networks has closed the Ychan image board, furry art community and forum Yiffy International, and stoner fur community site 420furs.org.

When we're young the day stands still, but as we age time begins to speed us by until it seems there is never enough. We're proud of how far the community has come in the 11 years since we opened our doors, but sadly we no longer have the time to make this the site that you deserve. We'll miss you and the fun we've had together deeply - but remember that in every ending is a new beginning. We wish you the best in all your new beginnings to come!

Parts of Yiffy International - formed by a three-way merger in August 2008 - had been up since 2002, while Ychan launched March 2008. 420furs.org opened in 2007 as Bakedfurs.org.

Rocket City FurMeet 11 cancelled for second time

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On May 2, Rocket City FurMeet CEO KO announced that RCFM 2014 was likely to be cancelled for a second year running. This follows last year's cancellation due to full-face masks not being allowed at the intended hotel.

KO reported that the replacement venue, the Amberley Suites Hotel in Decatur, Alabama, had had a water pipe freeze and break in January, flooding a large part of the building and leaving damage severe enough to render it unusable. RCFM staff were not informed of this development until early April. The hotel did shut down its room reservation system, but RCFM were not told about this either.

RCFM staff have spent the past month discussing other possibilities, such as holding the event at a campground or renting an unconventional arena space, but have been unable to come up with a realistic plan for hosting RCFM this year. They have also had discussions on whether they should simply end RCFM for good, closing the corporate entity and cancelling their 501(c)7 filing. KO stated, "I don't like the idea of never bringing the whole Family back together again, but two years of constant struggle simply to find a hotel we can afford has been very tiring on all of the Staff involved."

Furry artist FilthyRotten dies from surgery complications

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FilthyRotten (1979-2014)Furry artist FilthyRotten Jackalope (Tangela Parten, née Harris) has been reported dead following complications from emergency surgery at the age of 35.

A long-time resident of Atlanta, Georgia, and a long-time participant in the local furry community, FilthyRotten served as Volunteer Coordinator at Furry Weekend Atlanta from 2008 to 2013. She moved in June 2013 to Vancouver, Washington, with her husband DarkPatu (Paul Parten) and their three children.

On April 1, 2014, FilthyRotten posted pictures to her Twitter account from her stay at the Peace Health Services Hospital for a blood transfusion (due to a history of chronic internal bleeding), but by April 4, she posted that she would be heading to emergency surgery the next day. According to DarkPatu, "Complications after an emergency hysterectomy led to an infection in her brain and cranial bleeding."

Newly published: Fred Patten's 'Funny Animals and More'

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

Funny Animals and More Funny Animals and More: From Anime to Zoomorphics, based on Fred Patten’s weekly columns from Jerry Beck’s Cartoon Research animation website, was published March 26 by Theme Park Press. It is available in paperback and digital formats, and on Amazon.com.

The book is about animation and comic books rather than specifically anthropomorphic animals, but cartoon and CGI funny animals are a major theme. Topics include anime cat girls; Pokémon and Monster Rancher; Astro Boy and Atomcat; how a popular 1970s anime TV series led to the import of thousands of baby North American raccoons into Japan as pets, whose descendants are ruining thousand-year-old Buddhist and Shinto shrines today; animated Summer Olympics mascots like Misha the bear cub, Sam the eagle, Hodori the tiger, and Cobi the sheepdog, from 1972 to 2012; Patten’s favorite childhood comic-book funny animals like Amster the Hamster, Doodles Duck and his nephew Lemuel, Nutsy Squirrel, Dunbar Dodo, and SuperKatt, and how he would still like to see them animated; Crusader Rabbit; rats in animation; Reynard the Fox in animation; and Disney’s forthcoming 2016 Zootopia.

March 2014 Newsbytes archive

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Contributors this month include crossaffliction, Dahan, dronon, earthfurst, Fred, GreenReaper, Higgs Raccoon, InkyCrow, Kakurady, Patch Packrat, RingtailedFox and Sonious.

'Peanuts' to appear as big-screen movie in 2015

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Peanuts, the much-loved comic strip by the late Charles M. Schulz, is set to become a 3D animated movie.

The movie, scheduled for release on November 6, 2015, is being made by 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios. The writer is Brian Schulz (the grandson of Charles), and the producer is Charles Schulz's son Craig. Craig Schulz is keeping details a secret, saying only "it's about a round-headed kid and his dog, and that's about as far as I'm willing to go".

Ryan Reynolds listens to ‘The Voices’

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The Voices Here’s another movie with furry aspects for 2014 to add to the addendum to the addendum to the addendum; The Voices, a movie that Wikipedia helpfully describes as a “comedy crime horror thriller film”. It features Ryan Reynolds hearing voices from his pets, notably a dog who acts as his conscience, and a cat who would prefer he just kill people.

From the Yerf Archive