For the first time in eleven years, Bad Dog Books has added a new anthology title to its popular FANG and ROAR book series. FANG was started in 2005 for adult M/M homosexual erotic short stories, and ROAR appeared two years later as its non-erotic counterpart. Now we're getting CLAW, for adult F/F lesbian erotic short stories. Along with many other titles, CLAW will be released at the FurPlanet table at Anthrocon 2018.
The furry fandom has a problem. At least that is what is heard when you go onto Twitter, Youtube, or any other social media gathering on the internet these days. As the United States continues to have moments of harsh self reflection as to what their country and leadership represent, the frustrations of those in the fandom from the states has seemingly turned inward on itself.
Many are debating over free speech, its boundaries, and how it is under attack. There is one large article by Rakuen about it on this site, and another by the creator of Dreamkeepers on DogPatch Press. In addition, one particular furry comedian who has received heavy criticism as of late, 2 Gryphon, has decided to join the group of Alt-Furrys in posturing opposition to those that would oppose his views on what freedom of speech should entail.
However, my definition of exercising free speech is a bit different than most would see it. For to me, the meaning of exercising here is not the commonly defined physical exertion required to talk, but instead to expose and cast out the demons schakeling one’s soul and community in hopes of ousting it from the spirit and freeing them from those binds.
So in that sense, let’s strap in and prepare for the long and painstaking process of this exorcism of free speech and its relationship to furry fandom.
The Ursa Major Awards, established in 2001, are a recognition of furry media across several categories, only some of which are literary. Anyone in the fandom can nominate and vote. The Cóyotl awards, formed in 2012, are specifically literary, and are selected by members of the Furry Writers' Guild – although winners don't have to be in that group.
The Leo Awards have a different arrangement. It was founded by Furry Book Review, a multi-author blog started by Thurston Howl of Thurston Howl Publications (which is separate from the Awards). Nominations can come from the blog's reviewers, or from published authors with enough credibility. Reviewers aren't required to be writers themselves, so the prolific reader can have a say in nominating the stories they like the best.
A video released last weekend caught viral attention both inside and outside the furry fandom. In this presentation, a member of a rap group known as the Insane Clown Posse talked with his daughter about being swindled by an online marketplace selling inferior fursuit knockoffs.
Violent J of the ICP and his daughter, introduced as Ruby, discussed their personal experience with an online retailer of OISK, a seller on the website DHGate. The family-friendly breakdown goes over how the final product differed greatly from what was advertised on the site.
The well-produced skit is a good conversation starter, particularly when it comes to the topic of these organizations that would take advantage of the dreams of future fursuiters by siphoning money in return for low-quality costumes.
Looking to buy yourself furry merchandise, but unsure of what to buy? Fear not! There are at least three furry subscription box services on the internet for you to choose from. Boxsona, Fur Delivery, and Furry Mystery Box are all ready to deliver furry merchandise direct to your door.
If you haven't heard of a subscription box service before, it's a recurring (sometimes monthly) delivery of niche products. More well-known examples include Loot Crate (nerdy products) and BarkBox (products for dogs). It's like someone took the idea of loot boxes from the gaming world and put them in real life.
A movie version of the stage musical Cats has been partially cast. Actors announced include Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, James Corden and Taylor Swift. The movie will be directed by Tom Hooper. No announcement has been made on how the cats of the movie will be represented, as in as CGI special effects or the iconic pseudo-fursuits of the stage musical. Anouncements have said the movie will begin "shooting" in November, suggesting the movie will be live action.
The only actor to be connected to a character is Hudson, who will be playing the part of Grizabella, meaning she will be singing the song standard “Memory” for the movie. Some outlets have reported that McKellan will play the part of Old Deuteronomy, but this seems safe speculation rather than confirmation (there has been humorous speculation as to what part Swift will play, though no one seems to care much who Corden will play).
In my recent review of The Adventures of Peter Gray, I made a note that the book had furry characters which it termed furren. It is not something that I spent much time on but, in combination with some other reviews I've seen, it might be worth expanding a little.
During a review of Once Upon a Forest by The Nostalgia Critic, he noted that the children were called furlings. This lead him to ask, “Why is it fantasy films always have trouble just saying the word kids? It’s always furlings or younglings or Shia LaBeouf. Just call them what they are. Kids."
Similarly, in a review of Vampyr on Zero Puncuation, Yahtzee criticised using the terms ekons and skals for what were vampires and ghouls respectively.
Although to be fair to Vampyr, it does seem that ekon and skal are referring to specific subtypes of vampire. In such a case, it does make sense to use specific terms and it wouldn't be unlike the various vampire clans that feature in Vampire: The Masquerade.
The common issue that is brought up in all three reviews is the use of new word to describe something that already has a perfectly suitable word. Why is this done and is it a good thing to do?