Here’s an e-book we recently stumbled across: Legacy by Hugo Jackson is the author’s first book, and also the start of “The Resonance Tetralogy”, which presumably means there will be three books to follow. “Faria Phiraco [a fox ] is a ‘resonator’, a manipulator of crystals from the moon who wields control of the elements. It is a rare and secret power which she and her father, the Emperor of Xayall, guard with their lives. But they are not alone… The Dhraka, malicious red-scaled dragons, have discovered an ancient artefact, a mysterious relic from the mythical, aeons-lost city of Nazreal. Their plan already in motion, they besiege Xayall, launching upon the city to find Faria and tear more of Nazreal’s secrets from her. But she knows nothing, except that the powers hunting her threaten the entire world. With her father missing, Faria has to rely on her own strength and brave the world that attacks her at every turn. Friends and guardians rally by her to help save her father and reveal the mysteries of the ruined city, while the dark legacy of an ancient cataclysm wraps its claws around her fate… and her past. She soon realises that this is not the beginning, nor anywhere near the end. A titanic war spanning thousands of years unfolds around her, one that could yet cost the lives of everyone on Eeres.” The book is available for the Kindle on Amazon, at it seems to be getting good reviews from the readers quoted there.
The Wolf Chronicles trilogy is the story of why wolves and humans can never be friends. Or why they MUST be friends. Actually, I am not sure of anything. If there is one thing at which Hearst excels, it is Being Mysterious.
Nominations are open for the 2011 Ursa Major Awards, intended to recognize the best works published in the field of anthropomorphics last year. Nominations close on February 29; voting starts March 15 and closes May 4 (to allow last-minute voting from Morphicon).
Furry fans may nominate up to five works in each category. The 2011 Awards will be announced and presented in a ceremony at CaliFur VIII in Irvine, CA, June 1–3, 2012.
Available awards include Best Motion Picture, Dramatic Short Work or Series, Novel, Short Fiction, Other Literary Work, Graphic Story, Comic Strip, Magazine, Website, Published Illustration, and Game.
If you cannot think of five worthwhile nominees in each category, see the 2011 Recommended Anthropomorphics List on the Ursa Major Awards website for suggestions.
I first learned of Overton’s death upon the return of my owner to our humble walk-up apartment. I had been rereading Robert Pinsky’s excellent translation 'The Inferno of Dante', an artifact from Imogen’s time in our lives, when I heard the familiar clump-clump on the stairs and the jangle and click of locks being opened – notably more urgent than usual. I did not have time to close the book or even move too far away from it. I imagined my owner’s imminent surprise. The book would be the first thing he would notice, no doubt. The reading light that had been off when he departed would be the second. (pgs. 1-2)
On the first page, Randolph, the Labrador retriever “with a nose for murder”, establishes himself as the first-person narrator, an intellectual and erudite – and rather garrulous - dog; moreover, as a dog who is hiding his intelligence from his owner, Harry, and other humans.
Long articles could be (and have been) written on the adventures of Donald and Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Gandy Goose and Homer Pigeon. In the last decade, most American propaganda cartoons have been re-released on DVD, so we can see them for ourselves; they are also on YouTube.
Volumes could also be written of the wartime funny-animal comic book and newspaper comic strip characters who fought the Axis, usually on the Home Front against saboteurs and hoarders. World War II's talking-animal propaganda novels are less well-known. In fact, they are forgotten today except in movie-adaptation credits. That’s too bad, as the books are still enjoyable reading.
The 2011 Recommended Anthropomorphics List will close on Sunday, January 15, giving fans just three weeks to recommend any titles released at the end of the year. Nominations for the 2011 Ursa Major Awards open on January 12 (the first day of Further Confusion 2012).
Too much Furry fiction, written inside the fandom and in mainstream s-f, is based on the stereotype of anthropomorphized animals bred by humans to be a prejudiced-against, believed-inferior underclass; laborers, servants, sex objects, cannon-fodder soldiers – slaves – who revolt against their creators to win equality.
Geusz’s stories are more gentle, more imaginative, and more philosophical – and on an inner level, more emotive and dramatic. The Lapists are humans who believe that late 21st-century/early 22nd-century humanity has become lost in a callous, soul-deadening materialism, and who not only create a new thoughtful, more caring religious brotherhood, but transform themselves physically through futuristic biosurgery into rabbit-people as a sign of their faith.
What is it like to be an anthropomorphized rabbit-man in a world of humans in near-future America?
We can’t make this stuff up folks (if we could we’d be out there doing it!). Here’s the publisher’s description of Mousenet, the first novel by Prudence Breitrose: “When ten-year-old Megan helps her uncle invent the Thumbtop, the world’s smallest computer, mice are overjoyed, and they want one for every mouse hole. The Big Cheese, leader of the Mouse Nation, has orders: follow that girl—even if it means high-tailing it to Megan’s new home on the other side of the country. While Megan struggles as the new girl, the mice watch, waiting for their chance. But when they tell Megan the biggest secret in the history of the world—mice have evolved, and they need her help—she isn’t sure anyone will believe her. With all of Mouse Nation behind her, Megan could become the most powerful girl alive, but just how will she create a Thumptop for every mouse?” It’s illustrated throughout by Stephanie Yue, and it’s available in hardcover (at Amazon and everywhere else) from Hyperion Books.
Hoo-hah! Roscoe, does this bring back memories! Memories of all the rip-roaring space operas that I devoured during my junior-high and high-school years. Among my favorites were the Chalice of Death stories by Calvin M. Knox, in Science Fiction Adventures magazine; the last of which was the wonderfully-titled “Vengeance of the Space Armadas” (collected into Lest We Forget Thee, Earth by Ace in 1958).
A hundred thousand years ago, there had been a planet called Earth. It had been a proud world ruling a thousand vassal stars, but its stellar empire had turned upon and annihilated their conquerors, and wiped the name of Earth from the maps of space. ~~~~ But Earthmen still survived . . . a strange race of worldless men and women, by tradition advisers to rulers, but never themselves ruling. Wanderers through myriad planets, their origin was a half-forgotten legend. …
It was later revealed that “Calvin M. Knox” was a pseudonym of Robert Silverberg, who had hacked out the Knox stories in his spare time while a college student, for beer money. Silverberg said later that they made it hard for the critics to accept him as a “serious author”. [Ed Valigursky's 'racy' cover likely didn't help. Update: See Mr. Silverberg's comments.]
You know what? I’m damn glad that he wrote them, because uncritical teenagers need blood-&-thunder space opera just as much, if not more, as they need Serious Literature.
I suppose video games have assumed the popular-fiction role that pulp magazines such as Captain Future, Planet Stories, and Startling Stories used to fill. Kudos to Sean for bringing space opera back to print with his “D-Evolution” s-f novels, of which Death Drop is the first.
The Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association, which administers the annual Ursa Major Awards, has updated the 2011 Anthropomorphic Reading List to include the titles recommended by furry fans through the beginning of December. This list is often used by fans to nominate in the next year's Awards.
All fans are invited to recommend worthwhile anthropomorphic works in eleven categories (motion pictures, dramatic short films or broadcasts, novels, short fiction, other literary works, graphic stories, comic strips, magazines, published illustrations, websites, and games) first published during 2011, if they are not already on the list.
This month is the “last chance” to recommend anything anthropomorphic first appearing in 2011.1 The List has been revised this year to include Furry websites. If you have any favorite websites that were not previously eligible, please recommend them now.
It all started with Buffy, the Vampire Slayer in 1992. Or did it? It presumably took a few years for the popularity of the movie, the 1997 Buffy TV series, its spinoff Angel, and all of their authorized merchandising calendars, CD soundtracks, cell phones, clothing, comic books, etc., to reach pop culture critical mass.
In 2007, I was asked to review the first four paperback novels in a series about Kitty Norville, a midnight radio talk hostess who is also a werewolf; and the various handsome vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, and “normal” human assassins [!] who come into her life.
This was my introduction to the paranormal romance genre. It seemed like around 2005, every paperback publishing company had started an annual series by a female author about a mid- or late-twenties woman who gets involved with sexy male supernaturals, usually vampires. Undead and Unwed; Tall, Dark & Dead; Bitten & Smitten; Love Bites; Sex and the Single Vampire; Magic and the Modern Girl, and How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire are some typical titles.
A couple of years ago, the paranormal romance spread to novels for adolescent girls. The difference is that the protagonists are teenagers or young-twenties with raging hormones, who either are or get involved with shapeshifters who turn into superficially ferocious but really gentle (to them) fuzzy animals. Cases in point: the Kindle-published Serengeti Shifters series, by Vivi Andrews, featuring hot young lion shapeshifters (“Warning: This book contains sizzling heat, adult language, no-holds-barred cat fights, and hot shifter lovin’ with an alpha male who takes inspired leadership all the way to the bedroom.” -- four novels so far), and the Granite Lake Wolves, by Vivian Arend, starring lusty young werewolves (also four books).
Tiger’s Curse (January 2011, hardcover $17.95 (402 [+ 31] pages); audio CD $18.24)
Tiger’s Quest (June 2011, hardcover $17.95 (479 [+ 5] pages), audio CD $18.99)
Covers by Katrina Damkoehler; art by Cliff Nielsen. NYC, Sterling Publishing Co./Splinter.
I have been a fan of Bill Willingham as a writer (his art is good but not spectacular) ever since he wrote and drew the Elementals comic book in the 1980s. I still think that Elementals vol. 2 #15, July 1990, is one of the most perfect superhero comics ever written, and I have been reading his Fables for DC Comics/Vertigo since it started in 2002. (The second story arc of Fables, “Animal Farm”, was on the ALAA’s Recommended Anthropomorphic Reading List in 2002.)
But I’ll admit that I totally missed his first novel, Down the Mysterly River (Austin, TX, Clockwork Storybook, April 2001, 230 pages, 100 copies), when it came out ten years ago. Now Willingham has heavily revised it and it is published as a major children’s fantasy under Tor Books’ juvenile Starscape imprint, with twenty-five chapter heading illustrations and an endpaper map by his Fables partner, Mark Buckingham.
Starscape describes it as a “children’s book”. It is, but of the sort that has reviewers comparing it to the Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, the Oz books, The Wind in the Willows, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, and others with lots of talking animals and/or are dramatic fantasy adventures – books that most Furry fans will have read. While I wouldn’t rate it quite as high as a classic, this is an adventure that readers of all ages will enjoy.
“… this action-packed space opera will take you to an exotic new world, filled with bold characters and species and surprises at every turn.” (back cover blurb)
This world is certainly exotic. Its intelligent species are the Geedar, well described (and depicted on the cover by ‘Notorious’; Robin McLean) as a doglike people (pp. 11-12):
Sithon, in spite of all the hardships he had suffered as a child, had grown into a fine specimen of an adolescent Geedar. Long of torso and strong in the legs, his arms reached down past his knees, a trait which allowed him to run on all fours or, more usually, on his digitigrade hind legs. His thin, muscular arms ended in hands with thick, black paw pads on the undersides of his fingers, and short, dark claws. […] He had tall, pointed ears, a long snout with a square black nose at the end which stayed wet and shiny unless he was too sick or dry, and blue-grey eyes like his mother’s. The fur covering Sithon’s body was a light grey, like the rest of his family.
This is a straightforward copy of Kafka’s text, with just the descriptions of Samsa-as-an-insect changed to make him a kitten and to do kittenish things. “He lay in bed on his soft, fuzzy back and saw, as he lifted his head a little, his brown arched abdomen divided into striped bowlike sections.”
Upon seeing the picture of a woman in a fur hat and fur boa, “Samsa felt a powerful urge to leap upon the sample clothes and scratch at them thoroughly, but as soon as it had come, it passed.”