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M. C. A. Hogarth

Book review: "Earthrise" by M.C.A. Hogarth

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

The book cover of Earthrise.Earthrise, the first book in M.C.A. Hogarth's Her Instruments trilogy, is a comfy space opera which includes some furry critters. Based on my last visit to her work (books 1 & 2 of The Dreamhealers), the furry species are nice and familiar. The crew of the TMS Earthrise has a centaur with wings, a phoenix, a mated pair of bipedal felines, and a throw-pillow tribble with strong mental powers. Most of these are descendants of slave races that humans created centuries earlier.

The assembled characters have an almost whimsical balance, yet they still feel realistic. When we join them in the story, they're a well-meshed crew. There's a comforting alienness to each of them, a diversity that avoids stereotypes, but claims labels of diversity within diversity, if that makes sense. We mostly see them through the eyes of their captain.

Review: 'Rose Point' and 'Laisrathera', by M. C. A. Hogarth

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (4 votes)

Rose PointThese are books 2 and 3 of M.C.A. Hogarth’s Her Instruments space opera trilogy. Earthrise, book 1, was reviewed in Flayrah in June 2013.

The fact that Maggie Hogarth commissioned professional s-f cover artist Julie Dillon to paint the covers of this trilogy instead of doing their covers herself, as she usually does for her books, shows that Hogarth considers them especially good (or at least especially salable). And you know how good her fiction usually is.

Rose Point, by M. C. A. Hogarth, Tampa, FL, Studio MCAH, October 2013, trade paperback $16.99 (349 [+1] pages), Kindle $5.99.
Laisrathera, by M. C. A. Hogarth, Tampa, FL, Studio MCAH, May 2014, trade paperback $16.99 (402 pages), Kindle $5.99.

Review: 'Mindline', by M. C. A. Hogarth

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

Mindline by M.C.A. Hogarth This is the conclusion of M.C.A. Hogarth’s The Dreamhealers Duology. I reviewed the first book, Mindtouch, here on September 1, 2013.

In that novel Jahir Seni Galare, the colorless elflike Eldritch esper, has just entered interstellar Seersana University. His roommate is Vasiht’h, a short, skunk-furred centauroid winged Glaseah. They are both espers, but Jahir is an involuntary telepath to whom the impact of other minds is painful. In the course of Mindtouch, the two aliens develop a strong friendship, Jahir learns to control his talent – somewhat – and the two graduate.

Jahir intends to use his telepathic talent to become the galaxy’s first xenotherapist, reading his patients’ minds to help heal them. The question is whether there is any danger of the esper medic’s becoming overwhelmed by his patient’s mind.

It would be just his luck to begin his residency by reporting to the hospital as a patient. Jahir Seni Galare, nascent xenotherapist, Eldritch noble and apparently complete lightweight, sat on a bench just outside the Pad nexus that had delivered him to the surface of the planet Selnor. He had his carry-on in his lap and was trying to be unobtrusive about using it as a bolster until the dizziness stopped. (p. 1)

Tampa, FL, Studio MCAH, January 2014, trade paperback $15.99 ([1 +] 341 [+ 7] pgs.), Kindle $5.99.

Review: 'Claws and Starships', by M. C. A. Hogarth

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Claws and Starships by M.C.A. Hogarth When the results of Earth's genetic experiments fled their makers, they took their own name as they left humanity behind; centuries later, the Pelted have spread into a multi-world alliance of cultures and languages, cribbed from Terra or created whole-cloth. Claws and Starships collects six stories of the Pelted, ranging from the humor of a xenoanthropologist on the wrong side of mythology to more serious works considering the implications of genetic engineering in a far-future classroom seeded with the children of those laboratories. Come stamp your passport and visit the worlds of the Pelted Alliance in all their variety! (back-cover blurb)

If you want to say that I have a conflict of interest reviewing this collection as I wrote the afterword to it, go ahead. I have been a fan of M.C.A. Hogarth’s “Pelted Alliance” furry science fiction stories since I discovered them in YARF! and other furry fanzines in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I included one, “Rosettes and Ribbons” from Yarf! #58, January 2000, in Best in Show, the first anthology of furry fiction. I was glad to see this first collection of Pelted short fiction, along with six illustrations by the author, in an e-book in December 2011, and I felt honored to be asked to write this afterword, for this new trade paperback edition in June 2013.

Claws and Starships consists of the novella “A Distant Sun” and the five short stories “Rosettes and Ribbons”, “The Elements of Freedom”, “Tears”, “Pantheon” and “Butterfly”. These are the Pelted stories that do not feature Alysha Forrest, Hogarth’s feline-based Karaka’An woman, the main character in the series. The first Alysha Forrest stories were rewritten into Hogarth’s novel Alysha’s Fall (Cornwuff Press, September 2000), and she has starred in most of the Pelted short fiction since then.

But there have been these six other stories that show the Pelted universe is more than just Alysha’s adventures. Claws and Starships packages them together neatly for the fans of the Pelted universe, and of really good furry interstellar science fiction.

Illustrated by M.C.A. Hogarth, afterword by Fred Patten, Tampa, FL, Studio MCAH, June 2013, trade paperback $12.99 ([2 +] 203 pages), Kindle $3.99.

Review: 'Mindtouch', by M. C. A. Hogarth

Your rating: None Average: 4 (7 votes)

Mindtouch It is unfair to compare Hogarth’s novel set at a university in her Paradox universe with Pixar’s recently-released Monsters University, but the superficial parallels are obvious. Instead of the no-two-are-the-same monsters, there are the seeming-dozens of different species of the Pelted, and some humans, wandering about prestigious Seersana University. Instead of a big green eyeball and a blue-lavender furry monster as main characters, there are a pale, tall humanoid Eldritch and a short, furry centauroid winged Glaseah.

The big difference is that in Monsters University, the cast all look different but are all from the same culture. In Mindtouch, the different species are from different societies. The students may know intellectually that they are in for some “different” experiences at S.U., but it is still a shock when they happen.

Orientation began, as he had half expected, with a speech by the associate dean of the College of Medicine, of which the xenopsychology school was a part. He was one of the Seersa, the foxine Pelted who’d given the world its name, a lean and grizzled elder with salt-and-pepper fur and the intensity of a medic. Jahir listened to his monologue while marveling that he was actually here … sitting in a chair in an auditorium filled with aliens. The woman in front of him had silk-furred ears that were trembling from the effort of catching every word. The ends of the rows had spaces for centauroids to recline, or the more avian aliens to perch. He was, very definitely, no longer home, and if the stress of his danger at being so crowded was giving him a headache, well … it was worth it, for the newness of it. (pgs. 28-29)

Studio MCAH, July 2013, trade paperback $16.99 ([3 +] 408 [+ 7] pages), Kindle $5.99.

Review: 'Claws and Starships', by M.C.A. Hogarth

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

'Claws and Starships' front coverClaws and Starships: A Collection of Pelted Short Fiction by M.C.A. Hogarth is a selection of six short stories that I enjoyed reading just recently. Set in her Paradox universe, the Pelted consist of many races of anthros created by humans in the distant past through bio-engineering. (Read more about them.) Since then, they've grown, diversified, colonized worlds and reconciled with their creators. This particular collection shows a cross-section of several different Pelted cultures, ranging from the technologically advanced to more primitive societies.

Originally published in electronic format in December 2011 (at US$4.99), online sales proved so successful that in June 2013, paperback and Kindle versions became available. That's a good sign! The whole thing is just shy of 50,000 words and over 200 pages long. (ISBN: 9781466035553, 1490427228 and 9781490427225.)

Review: 'Earthrise', by M.C.A. Hogarth

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (5 votes)

EarthriseMaggie Hogarth sent me a review copy of Earthrise (she sends me review copies of all her books; hint! hint!) with a note that I might not want to review it for Flayrah since the main characters are a human and a Space Elf Prince, not Furries.

But there are plenty of bioengineered Pelted, and at least one genuine alien, as major supporting characters in this adventure set in her 25th century interstellar civilization. Hogarth has a lot of fans who read Flayrah, and who will not want to miss one of her Pelted Paradox novels. Earthrise is prominently labeled Book 1 of the “Her Instruments” trilogy, so expect it to end with more to come. Rose Point, Book 2, will be published late this year.

Tampa, FL, Studio MCAH, April 2013, trade paperback $15.99 (410 pages), Kindle $5.99.

Furry short fiction anthology 'What Happens Next' due July

M.C.A. Hogarth e-book blocked, reinstated by Amazon after Games Workshop trademark claim

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (4 votes)

Spots the Space MarineM.C.A. Hogarth is a furry artist and writer whose works have appeared in several publications. A guest of honor at Midwest FurFest 2003 and 2009, her short story In the Line of Duty was the winner of the 2003 Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction. Recently, Hogarth's e-novel Spots the Space Marine was the target of a claim of trademark violation by Games Workshop, developer and publisher of tabletop wargames Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000, and The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game.

It was on December 13 that Hogarth received an e-mail from online retailer Amazon.com, informing her that they had stopped selling Spots the Space Marine. The explanation given centred around the use of the phrase "space marine". Although an archetype of science fiction dating back to 1932, Games Workshop holds trademarks on the phrase in the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe.

3 Jaguars Web Comic Kickstarter

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

M.C.A. Hogarth is running a Kickstarter campaign to launch her new web comic The Three Jaguars, a comedic slice-of-life about the intersection of art and business. Prizes include cameos, product advertisements (drawn by the artist), original art and postcards. The Kickstarter is 263% funded, with a week to go. Prizes are limited.

Review: 'Black Blossom', by M.C.A. Hogarth

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

Black Blossom: A Fantasy of Manners Among AliensThis is labeled “The Third Book of Kherishdar”, following The Aphorisms of Kherishdar (reviewed in Anthro #18, July-August 2008) and The Admonishments of Kherishdar (Flayrah, April 4, 2012). Those two were slender “chapbooks” of less than 60 pages each, establishing the society and culture of the alien, ancient civilization of the Ai-Naidar of Kherishdar, in a series of parables of less than two pages each. Black Blossom is a full novel, telling of the culture shock that comes to the Ai-Naidar when a human comes to live among them.

See also: M.C.A. Hogarth's 'Black Blossom' tops $4600 on Kickstarter

“Black Blossom: A Fantasy of Manners Among Aliens”, by M.C.A. Hogarth.
CreateSpace, September 2012, trade paperback $18.95 (376 [+ 4] pages), Kindle/e-book $6.99.

M.C.A. Hogarth's 'Black Blossom' tops $4600 on Kickstarter

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (5 votes)

Nesthae, the Exception of the Ai-NaidarM.C.A. Hogarth is raising money on Kickstarter for print, e-book and audiobook editions of her fantasy of manners serial Black Blossom, sequel to The Aphorisms of Kherishdar and The Admonishments of Kherishdar (review), featuring the Ai-Naidar – a race of feline aliens.

Money raised is to go towards "cover art, layout; all the things that make a physical book great." Backer rewards include the book, e-book or audiobooks, calligraphy bookmarks, and related short fiction.

A week from conclusion, the fundraiser has passed several stretch goals, and stands at $4646 of its initial $1500 goal (with 95 backers).

Update (30 Aug): There are now 100 backers, for a total of $4770.

M.C.A. Hogarth publishes audiobooks of 'Stormfront', Kherishdar collections

Your rating: None Average: 2 (5 votes)

M.C.A. Hogarth is now publishing audiobooks of her works, professionally narrated and unabridged. Her first three offerings are "Stormfront," a military SF adventure from her Pelted universe (home to Ursa Major-winning story "In the Line of Duty"), and the two Kherishdar collections, The Aphorisms and The Admonishments, featuring the catlike aliens, the Ai-Naidar. Audiobooks are available from Audible.com, iTunes and Amazon.

Review: 'Flight of the Godkin Griffin', by M.C.A. Hogarth

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

Flight of the Godkin Griffin is an example of anthropomorphic literature at its best. It is told in the form of the diary of Mistress Commander Angharad Godkin, 48 years old, from the eve of her long-awaited retirement after thirty-four years in the army of the Godkindred Kingdom; at once obviously an inhuman army on another world.

Flight of the Godkin GriffinAngharad has been recuperating at Fort Endgame after being wounded at the battle for Glendallia; a Pyrrhic victory in which she lost most of her cavalry unit and half of her command staff. She is just packing to leave when she is summoned to the office of the Fort’s commander:

The Mistress General hovers behind a desk, overlooking several maps and emitting a palpable air of tension. She has never elucidated her bloodlines to me, though to be named Godkin she must be the product of the interbreeding of at least ten species, as I am. In appearance, she is mostly mammalian, leaning toward genet or marten with rounded ears and a striped tail.

‘Mistress General, you wanted to see me?’ I ask.
‘Yes,’ she says curtly. ‘Angharad Godkin, you are hereby assigned to replace the provincial governor of the newly pacified province of Shraeven, on orders of the Godson.’
My beak drops open in shock. Any soldier in the Godson’s army can retire … unless they’re on active duty.
Casandre sighs. ‘Sit, Angharad.’
I refuse. ‘I’m retiring tomorrow.’
‘Not anymore,’ she says. ‘I’m sorry, Angharad, truly, but the Godson himself sent the orders. It’s time for Governor Chordwain to step down.’ (p. 3)

Sofawolf Press, June 2012, trade paperback $17.95 ([iii] + 243 pages). Illustrations, map by the author.

Two new anthologies of Furry short fiction coming in June

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

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.