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Review: 'God of Clay', by Ryan Campbell

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God of Clay - The Fire Bearers: Book One The cover bears the line, The Fire Bearers: Book One, letting you know it ends on a cliffhanger. It is, in fact, the first volume of a trilogy.

In the prehistoric past, when men shared the world with anthropomorphized animal-gods, there were two very different brothers in a tribe. Clay, the older brother, respects and worships the old gods who control all men’s lives, while irreverent Laughing Dog mocks the unseen gods, and swears that he controls his own destiny. The brothers love each other, in their own ways, but their differences lead both to disaster.

Doto crouched in the forest, his clawed fingers pressing down beneath the grasses and bed of fallen leaves to touch the earth below. He went out, out, into the soil, into the trunks of the trees, the branches and leaves, the grasses and ferns. He felt the air swaying branches, the sunlight on the leaves. He felt the rodents skittering across the forest floor. […] He leapt from branch to branch and winged over the canopy. He spread himself out, farther and farther. Through the keen eyes of the birds and the considering gaze of a monkey clinging to a branch above, he could see himself, crouched on the ground far below, so still that he was nearly undetectable. […] All the surrounding life lived through him. But all was not right. There was an uneasiness in the forest, somewhere around the edges. Could great Atekye have risen herself up in the south of the forest, swelling her swamps to flood the forest floor once again? (p. 1)

Sofawolf Press, September 2013, trade paperback $17.95 [on Amazon] ([5] + 259 [+ 2] pages), Kindle $7.99. Illustrated by Zhivago.

Furry short fiction anthology 'What Happens Next' due July

'Delhi Safari' to get an "American-style" release across India on October 18

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Animation Xpress, vol. 10 #371 for October 4 reports that Delhi Safari, the CGI animated feature about an angry monkey, a laid-back bear, a scheming parrot, a mother leopard, and her cute cub trekking across India to the human city of Delhi to protest the strip-mining of their forest, will release on around 300 screens across India on October 18. The Hindi-language feature has a strong Bollywood voice cast.

Animation Xpress has a long interview with Krayon Pictures’ Nishith Takia that shows its poster and new promotional art. “Our film has got screened at Annecy International Film Festival and has also won the best Animated Feature Film at FICCI FRAMES in India, has boosted our confidence in the way the film has come out.” The film has a positive School Contact program at over 3,000 schools across India because of its strong pro-ecology message.

Delhi Safari has been dubbed into English with an all-star cast (Jason Alexander, Cary Elwes, Christopher Lloyd, etc.) for an American release sometime during 2013. Its English-language trailer was shown on Flayrah last May.

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.

Blotch's Skyrim fan-art sells for $5500 at FC 2012

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Dragonborn, by BlotchA piece of Skyrim fan-art by Blotch sold for $5500 at Further Confusion 2012's art show last weekend. [sibe/reddit]

The mixed-media work depicts a battle between a leopard-like Khajiit and a non-morphic dragon. [dA, FA]

Videl, the winning bidder, was enthusiastic about his purchase:

It was totally worth it! Love the work of Blotch and love Skyrim!!

The most expensive furry art show piece sold to date is Goldenwolf's "Eyes of the Night", which was auctioned for $10,000 at Further Confusion 2004.

Update (29 Jan): Videl says he was bidding on behalf of his roommates as well as himself.

Thailand smuggler tries to check a leopard to Dubai

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Flying first class may help you avoid luggage charges, but it doesn't mean you can pack endangered animals in there, as the BBC News reports.

A man flying from Bangkok to Dubai was arrested by undercover police after trying to check in suitcases containing rare juvenile animals: two leopards, two panthers, an Asiatic black bear and two macaque monkeys, all sedated and packed in carefully-crafted containers.

Freeland Foundation director Steven Galster observed the arrest:

It was a very sophisticated smuggling operation. We've never seen one like this before. The guy had a virtual zoo in his suitcases.

Bombay Leopards Hunting Humans

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From a national park on the edge of Bombay, India, leopards have killed ten people this month that has prompted forest officials to let loose pigs and rabbits to feed the big cats.

The killings are up from previous years, and six of this month's deaths occurred outside the park as leopards extended their range in search of food.

Big Cats in south west England

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BBC Online reports that the British Big Cats Society has compiled evidences which seems to corroborate the growing number of sightings of lynx, leopards, and pumas in the South West of England, and has called for a serious study of the problem by appropriate public agencies.

Asianwildlife Consultancy Co.Ltd. communicating on behalf of clouded leopards

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Asian Wildlife Consultancy Co. Ltd., (AWC) is an organization that works internationally to improve Wildlife Management Standards. It strives to achieve its mission through a team of specialists not only from the field of wildlife but also from other fields like marketing, architecture, accounting, information technology, etc. It provides a number of services like consultancy in concept design and development, conservation breeding programs, animal exchange programs, animal feeding programs, animal enrichment programs and many others each complimenting its mission.

There are a number of conservation projects that have been initiated by AWC.These projects can be seen here.

Animals deal with poacher themselves

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Perhaps some of the animals of the Kruger National Park of South Africa know that the best defence is a good offence. Its reported that a poacher, toting an assault rifle and an axe was killed, by an elephant and a leopard!. This South African site has the details.

Black a lucky colour for cats

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Usually, being an odd colour is bad news in the animal kingdom, but for some cats, such as jaguars and leopards, being melanistic seems to be a good idea.
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute and the University of Maryland think studying jaguars and how the gene that regulates the colour of their fur might also change other aspects of their body, such as possibly making them more resistant to disease. Making wild black cats very lucky indeed!
Of course, this doesn't explain why some big cats, like lions and tigers, don't have a melanistic phase. Except, of course, in furry fandom!

How would you like your Leopard served? Rare, Medium or Well Done??

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The taste for different meats is sometimes a product of different cultures. The consuming of a certain animal will give you certain powers. This is a product of living and being brought up a certain why. I bring this up as while turning on CNN on TV I caught a partial story about the consuming of Leopard meat. I have heard of people eating both Lion and Cougar meat in the past so I did a web search on CNN.com on this story to find out the whole story.

Singapore Leopard Gets Gold

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...tooth, that is. The six year old clouded leopard broke her tooth while chewing on a log, thus requiring a gold crown. Perhaps she's part beaver? Story from Reuters.

Cambodia's rare species are being killed off at an alarming rate

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Over 250 elephants, tigers, rare bears, and leopards have been estimated to have been killed in Cambodia and it's provinces in the last 18 months. Estimates aren't available for 21 of the 24 provinces of this war torn country, but the rare animals being removed from populations currently estimated at 500 elephants, 200 tigers and even less leopards is astounding. Many of these illegal hunting operations involve the police and military. Outsiders fear these rare tigers and elephant sub species will become extinct in the near future.

Leopard Man shuns society

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Tom Leppard has had 99.9% of his body tattooed with leopard spots, and has replaced several teeth with a set of fangs. According to Ananova, he lives in a hut, bathes in a river, and has dropped out of society. The Guinness Book of World Records has a short video of him.