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Review: 'The Northern Approach', by Jim Galford

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The Northern ApproachThis is book 4 of The Fall of Eldvar by Jim Galford. I reviewed book 1, In Wilder Lands, here in March 2012; book 2, Into the Desert Wilds, in November 2012, and book 3, Sunset of Lantonne, in February 2014.

The first two are a two-part subseries, “the wilding story arc”, within the larger saga of The Fall of Eldvar. Sunset of Lantonne is a standalone adventure. The Northern Approach, which debuts at Rocky Mountain Fur Con 2014 this month, continues roughly where both Sunset of Lantonne and Into the Desert Wilds end. The planned book 5, Bones of the Empire, will wrap up and complete the series.

What this means is that it is assumed the reader is familiar with the events in at least Sunset of Lantonne. The Northern Approach begins almost a year after the fall of Lantonne at its climax; but in terms of the action it follows immediately, without any synopsis.

Eldvar is a world of humans, elves, dwarfs, talking dragons and more, including wildings which are anthropomorphic animals. The story’s focus on the wildings is why the novels of The Fall of Eldvar qualify for review on Flayrah.

Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, August 2014, trade paperback $13.99 (432 pages), Kindle $2.99.

Review: 'The Art of Henrieke', by Henrieke Goorhuis

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The Art of HenreikeThis is the fourth volume in Sofawolf PressArtistic Visions series of art-sketch format albums, each showcasing one of the best artists in furry fandom. Each is a professional artist, but is especially well-known in furry fandom for convention conbook covers, badge art and other commissioned art, and trades with other Furry artists; many of which are posted on DeviantART, Fur Affinity and other art websites.

The art in these albums emphasize anthropomorphized-animal cartoons and similar humorous work, rather than realistic animal depictions. Other Artistic Visions albums have showcased the work of Hibbary (Hillary Leutkemeyer), Brian and Tracy Reynolds, Kenket (Tess Garman) and Ursula Vernon. These are all American artists.

The Art of Henrieke is the first to feature a European artist. Henrieke Goorhuis, a Dutch artist born in 1990, has become very popular in just the last five years for European Furry convention art and T-shirts, commissioned art featuring fans’ personal icons and for commissioned art for European zoos. Her most popular character is her own cartoon icon, Kiki the ring-tailed lemur.

Good artbooks speak for themselves. Almost every page of The Art of Henrieke: Sketches, Works in Progress, and Commentary by the Artist is crammed with sketches and finished line art.

St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, January 2014, trade paperback $14.95 (75 [+ 1] pages).

Interview: Polish con-runner and forum admin Lemurr

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (11 votes)

Pablo Lemurr, by Maciej 'Agent'WeFurries interviews furry convention-runner and administrator Pablo Lemurr. Transcription: Solovari.

Nickson: Soo, Lemurr, hi!

Lemurr: Hi-hi, hello.

Nickson: OK, so, who wants to start?

Pillgrim: Lemurr, please, introduce yourself to our listeners and tell us what you do in normal life. When did you become a furry, how did you get to know about this sub-culture and so on?

Lemurr: I am a professional web designer and a programmer. I've been furry for, like, five years. I came upon the fandom from browsing some YouTube channels; then I saw the keyword, googled it and came up with some Polish forums. Nothing really special, I guess.

Nickson: Can you tell us more about your fursona?

Lemurr: I don't think it will be a surprise. My fursona is an anthro lemur. Nothing special or fancy like colored fur, just a plain lemur.

Nickson: It's interesting that you are a lemur because sometimes people choose different species.

Hi-jera: What's more interesting is that he pronounces it like l'amour.

Lemurr: I am sorry about the pronunciation, I just pronounce it this way - lee-murr. What's pretty annoying is that everyone thinks I chose this fursona because of Madagascar, but it's not so. I just like the stripy tail and stuff.

Review: 'Into the Desert Wilds', by Jim Galford

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Into the Desert WildsThis is Book 2 of “The Fall of Eldvar”. I reviewed Book 1, In Wilder Lands, here in March, saying, “Galford’s first draft of In Wilder Lands was over 200,000 words, which he was persuaded to edit down to about 150,000 words/452 pages. He has lots of material for a sequel and for other novels set in Eldvar, not all of which will feature the wildlings [the anthro characters]. If they are all as good as In Wilder Lands, readers will look forward to them even without wildlings.” In other words, I liked it and I recommended it. However, the review got comments that the story was obviously based on a role-playing game, and “I never read anything based on a role-playing game.”

Yes, Eldvar is a world with humans, elves, dwarfs (dwarves?), orcs, zombies, anthropomorphic animals, and lots of magic. Still, to repeat what I said, “You are missing a good book, game-related or not.” As far as I am concerned, the biggest problem with Into the Desert Wilds (wraparound cover by Darryl Taylor) is that it continues the story from Book 1 without an adequate synopsis of what went before. But that does not matter as much as it might have, because In Wilder Lands ended with the main characters escaping certain death in their forest lands home by being transported to a new, desert land more than a thousand miles away from their enemies. It is a new setting for them and the reader alike.

“Into the Desert Wilds (The Fall of Eldvar, Book 2)”, by Jim Galford. (Kindle preview.)
CreateSpace, August 2012, trade paperback $13.99 (436 pages; on Amazon), Kindle $2.99.

Review: ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ is Furry Jesus

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

Madagascar 3 I was in a bad mood all day when I went to see this movie. A real bad mood.

I was looking forward to seeing it, however, because I decided it would cheer me up. I wasn't expecting it to be great and cheer me up; I expected it to be bad, and then I would get to take out all my frustrations on it in my review.

Essentially, if this movie was not the second coming of Furry Jesus, I was going to rip it a new orifice which I would then proceed to assuage my rage.

Can I even write that?

Anyway, you read the headline; this movie cheered me right up in the way I did not expect it to. By not sucking. Also, by not only not sucking, but by really not sucking a lot.

Two new anthologies of Furry short fiction coming in June

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The Ursa Major Awards Anthology; A Tenth Anniversary CelebrationAlready Among Us; An Anthropomorphic AnthologyI was preparing this announcement, but GreenReaper has given away part of it on Newsbytes.

Fred Patten, who has been writing Furry book reviews since 1962, and who edited the first anthology of anthropomorphic short fiction, Best in Show, in 2003, has edited two new anthologies of anthropomorphic s-f & fantasy that will both premiere in June 2012.

  1. Already Among Us: An Anthropomorphic Anthology, will be published by Legion Publishing of Birmingham, AL on June 4. It will be available in a $18.95 hardcover and $9.99 trade paperback (x + 390 pages) [now $13.49], and $8.99 Kindle version, with a wraparound cover by Roz Gibson.
  2. The Ursa Major Awards Anthology: A Tenth Anniversary Celebration, will be published by FurPlanet Productions of Dallas, TX. It will go on sale at Anthrocon 2012 on June 14, as a $19.95 trade paperback, x + 380 pages, with a wraparound cover by Blotch.

An African Tale (Tail?) with a Very Long Name

Your humble In-Fur-Nation crew is back from a quick trip to WonderCon, which this year happened to be in our back yard. Lots of cool new stuff to talk about, which we’ll get started on right away. First up: Samuel E. Kirkman Jr. is an illustrator and independent comic artist whose on-line opus comes with one dilly of a name: Ouwangalaymah. Whew, try that one fast. Also known as The “Tail” of the Name of the Tree, here’s the description from The Illustrated Section: “The tale begins as everyone forgets, the name of the tree that is. Yofti, a hyperactive ringtail, along with the tortoise, an orphaned wildebeest calf adopted by a pair of dik diks and a rather arrogant kudu become central characters as the story begins to unfold. Using an ancient Bantu folk tale for the ark of the story, the author spins a yarn of classic underdog-dom. Leaping lemurs, a lazy lion, and one tenacious tortoise help highlight the need to perceive in spite of ones own limitations.” The first few sections of the comic are available as downloads for purchase right now.

Review: 'In Wilder Lands: The Fall of Eldvar', by Jim Galford

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

In Wilder Lands (new cover)Eldvar seems like a stereotypical fantasy world, inhabited by humans, pointy-eared elves, dwarves, and orcs alike; some of whom are skilled magic-users. But they all persecute the animal peoples, the wildlings, like Estin.

While the town [the city-state of Altis] may have been run by an amalgam of races, his kind were not welcome. (p. 2)

North Charleston, SC, CreateSpace, August 2011, trade paperback $13.99 (452 pages), Kindle $2.99.

New species of lemur believed found in Madagascar

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Katzenmaki (Phaner furcifer)The BBC reports from the forests of Daraina, Madagascar, where wildlife researchers believe they've found a new species of fork-marked lemur.

The lemur has a distinctive structure beneath its tongue, which Dr. Russ Mittermeier suggested might be used to capture nectar.

The discovery may save the lemur's habitat from the axe.