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May 2013

Redwall Abbey Minecraft map first step towards 3D game

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Soma Games Redwall logoOn April 10, Soma Games (a computer game company based in Oregon, USA) acquired the game rights for Redwall, the book series by the late Brian Jacques.

Jacques' series, spanning 22 books, was populated by a variety of anthropomorphic animals, including "noble" mice, moles, and badgers, and "vermin" rats, foxes, and weasels.

Soma's game, entitled Redwall: The Warrior Reborn, will be in 3D, allowing players to walk the cloisters of Redwall Abbey. On April 26, Soma Games started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. As of May 1, the campaign has raised almost $8,000 in pledges from nearly 200 backers, of a $11,000 goal. Pledge rewards include the game itself, MP3 and PDF files of game content, and party and mailing list invitations, signed books, and sculptures.

As a first step, a Minecraft build of Redwall Abbey, AbbeyCraft, will be created, to form a 3D representation of the abbey that is as consistent as possible with its literary depiction.

Review: 'Where the Blue Begins', by Christopher Morley

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Where the Blue Begins

Each in turn may call this a fairy story, a dog story, an allegory or a satire, but all will be moved by the beauty and the meaning--a beauty and a meaning that seems to live within the realm of those books that go on and on making friends and spreading enchantment.?? Gissing, its hero, is a dog who searches the world for an ideal, and then finds in the smoke of his own furnace fire a hint of the heavenly blue that he had been seeking. (blurb, slightly edited)

It is difficult to tell after ninety years just what an author was thinking, but I believe that Christopher Morley, a popular literary essayist and novelist, just wanted to have fun writing about a world of talking dogs. His last message to the public, written when he knew that he was dying in 1957, was, “Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.”

Mr. Gissing, a gentledog of leisure contentedly residing in Canine Estates with Fuji, his butler (a Japanese pug), on an income of 1,000 bones a year, becomes dissatisfied and leaves home to search for where the blue begins (a purpose to life).

Garden City, NY, Doubleday, Page & Co., October 1922, [10] + 215 [+ 1] pages, $1.75.

Vote to choose the mascot of the 2015 Pan American Games

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The 2015 Pan American Games are running an online vote until May 5 to choose their mascot. The six finalists, selected from 4,130 entries, are:

1) a Maple-leaf headed beaver 2) a moose 3) a multi-colour owl
4) a porcupine with multi-color quills 5) a raccoon 6) twins wearing hats

See more: Original finalist designs, prior to conversion to Pan Am colours and style by illustrator/animator James Caswell of Sheridan College.

Which is the best mascot for the 2015 Pan American Games?

Beaver
12% (4 votes)
Moose
15% (5 votes)
Owl
18% (6 votes)
Porcupine
32% (11 votes)
Raccoon
24% (8 votes)
Hat twins
0% (0 votes)
Votes: 34

Opinion: Street fursuiting is the most fun furry experience

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (9 votes)

San Francisco hosted the 14th annual How Weird Street Faire last weekend, with the theme "WEIRDI GRAS: Carnival of Peace." An informal fursuiter outing was organized through Meetup.com and its active Bay Area Furries group (independent from the mailing list), which runs many local events each month. I offered changing space at a nearby apartment, and scored a pair of "Disco Pants" for costuming, direct from the office of local web-based fashion startup company Betabrand. Afterwards, Betabrand was cool enough to post photos of modeling the pants on their "Model Citizen" section. (There's more photos on Reddit.)


Left to right: Kitten, Meerk, Patch. Background: Ty Cougar.

Any news media story that covers furries is likely to focus heavily on fursuiters, and their striking visual appeal and fuzzy glamor. Fursuiters can't represent the whole of furry fandom, when "furry" is a vague and broadly defined umbrella over anything related to anthropomorphic animals- but I think it's OK to consider fursuiters the expressive, theatrical soul of furrydom. There is an element of "ambassador" role to their hobby. Without the 15-20% of furries who wear fursuits and costumes for role-playing, you'd just have regular unglamorous nerds saying "meow! I'm a cat". That's what crazy people do.

Animation: 'The Painting' is coming

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Animation Scoop has the new American trailer and poster for the 2011 French animated feature Le Tableau (The Painting), due for May 24 release.

'Wastelander Panda' episodes available online on May 27

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'Wastelander Panda' Release dateA year ago, Epic Films released the prologue/teaser of Wastelander Panda, the post-apocalyptic tale of Arcayus, the Wasteland’s last remaining panda. Along with Rose (a human girl raised by his brother, Isaac), Arcayus treks across a broken world ruled by anarchy, in search of vengeance.

The prologue's producers have now announced that they have completed work on the story, which will be released on May 27. The story is divided into three episodes, entitled Isaac & Rose (13 mins), Arcayus & Rose (15 mins), and Arcayus & Akira (8 mins).

Two private screenings will be held in Adelaide, South Australia, for the production's cast, crew, and those who supported the project through its Pozible crowdfunding campaign. The episodes will then be made publicly available on the project's official website and YouTube channel.

Review: 'The Fortune Teller's Poem', edited by Andres Cyanni Halden

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The Fortune Teller's Poem Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

Wikipedia says that this nursery rhyme dates back to at least the 1570s, and that, before it was printed and ‘fixed’ in the 19th century, there were many variations.

Andres Cyanni Halden uses this standardized version. He has gotten seven authors – six plus himself – to each write a Furry story around one of these ‘days’. Most are erotic gay stories. Each story has a small frontispiece illustration by Amaze.

The Fortune Teller's Poem is a work of anthropomorphic fiction for adult readers only. (publisher’s advisory)

FurPlanet Productions, June 2011, trade paperback $19.95 (237 pages), Kindle $9.95. Illustrated by Amaze, cover by Horrorshow.

'The Night of the Rabbit' to be released on May 29

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The Night of the Rabbit box artThe Night of the Rabbit, an upcoming release by German game developer Daedalic Entertainment, tells the story of Jerry Hazelnut, a twelve-year-old boy who dreams of becoming a wizard.

As his summer vacation winds down, Jerry meets the Marquis de Hoto, a magical anthropomorphic rabbit in a snappy suit. He offers to take Jerry on as an apprentice and to teach him the ways of the Treewalkers, who use a special type of magic to conjure up portals and travel between worlds. As a demonstration, de Hoto leads his apprentice through a tree portal into Mousewood, a peaceful world inhabited by anthro mice, squirrels, and other critters, which acts as a hub to reach further worlds.

One week left to vote for the 2012 Ursa Major Awards; 2013 Recommended Anthropomorphic List now open

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Voting for the 2012 Ursa Major Awards, for the best anthropomorphic literature and art of the calendar year 2012 in eleven categories, closes on May 15. If you have not voted yet, you have a week left to do so on the Ursa Major Awards website.

In addition, the Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association has closed the 2012 Recommended Anthropomorphic Reading List. Recommendations for the 2013 Reading List are now being accepted.

All fans are invited to recommend worthwhile anthropomorphic works in eleven categories (motion pictures, short fiction, dramatic short films or broadcasts, novels, other literary works, magazines, graphic stories, comic strips, published illustrations, games, and websites) first published during 2013, plus miscellaneous items. This List is often used by fans to nominate in the next year's Awards.

The Ursa Major Award finalists for 2012 are . . .

Book review: 'Freak's Amour', by Tom De Haven

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Freak's ArmourFreak's Amour, by Tom De Haven, is simply a masterpiece. This is some of the best weird literature that few seem to have heard of or remember. It's been out of print for 27 years. I started it once, long ago when I was just getting into science fiction and weird genre stuff. It was a bit arty and demanding for a teenage reader, and my interest wasn't up to the challenge at the time. Now, I have to give it very high recommendation after finding it again.

I suggest that anyone into classy lit as well as furries and pulp/pop culture go get it now, even if it takes your last two bucks. It's one of those obscurities that could be worth quite a lot if it was less available – and I say that as a professional book dealer – but it earned enough acclaim to get several printings, so it's cheap and easy to get secondhand. (In fact, I've just noticed a comic/graphic novel forthcoming: info below.)

Two new anthropomorphic animation projects seek funding

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Animation Scoop’s Jerry Beck announces two new crowdfunded animation projects, both anthropomorphic.
Ghost of a Tale
One is Ghost of a Tale – a video game featuring a mouse warrior-bard in a medieval world, by Lionel “Seith” Gallat, a former supervising animator or animation director at DreamWorks and Illumination. Gallat’s Indiegogo site shows he has raised €28,407 toward a €45,000 goal, with 12 days to go.
Dogonauts
The other is Dogonauts – Enemy Line by Justin Rasch, a stop-motion animator on ParaNorman and lots more, mainly video games. Rasch has been working on Dogonauts for four years and has finished the production, but needs money for the post-production: score, mixing, 3D post and color correction. He has a 2’21” trailer (which frankly looks like another variation on Fredric Brown’s 1944 s-f novelette Arena) with his pitch, and has raised $12,383 toward a $14,000 goal with 21 days to go.