The first entry in a new teen series and the origin saga for the incredibly popular, multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling Honor Harrington adult science fiction adventures. Young Stephanie Harrington is none other than the founder of a pioneering family dynasty that is destined to lead the fight for humanity's freedom in a dangerous galaxy. [publisher’s blurb]
Yes, but this story isn’t entirely new. In January 1998, Baen Books published More Than Honor (review; YARF! #58), an anthology of three original novellas by different authors set in Weber’s “Honor Harrington” universe.
The lead novella was Weber’s own “A Beautiful Friendship” (pages 3-132), the beginning of this same story. It appears with minor expansions, retitled as “Unexpected Meetings”, as chapters 1 through 12 (pp. 3-129) of this novel.
The second part, “With Friends Like These…” (chs. 13-29; pp. 133-352), is an original sequel. This rewritten novel version is the first in Baen’s new Star Kingdom series of Young Adult s-f books.
Ursa Major-award winning author M.C.A. Hogarth has released her latest novel in e-book format: Even the Wingless, the story of an empath ambassador sent to a violent court of shapeshifting dragons, there to try to mend a failing treaty... or be consumed by savagery.
The novel, intended as a “fourth” Fuzzy novel after H. Beam Piper’s Little Fuzzy, Fuzzy Sapiens, and Fuzzies and Other People, is based on the 1962 Hugo-nominated Little Fuzzy, which entered the public domain in 2006.
Two other Fuzzy novels, William Tuning’s 1981 Fuzzy Bones and Ardath Mayhar’s 1982 Golden Dream: A Fuzzy Odyssey, have been disowned from the Fuzzy canon. However, three months after Fuzzy Ergo Sum was published, Golden Dream publishers Ace Books charged that it was in copyright violation.
Featuring a world populated by anthropomorphic animals, Grandville has an allohistorical setting in which France won the Napoleonic Wars and invaded Britain.
The Saga of Rex, by Michel Gagné
Illustrated by the author
Berkeley, CA, Image Comics, Nov. 2010
Trade paperback $17.99 (200 pages)
Michel Gagné is probably better known in animation fandom than in furry fandom. His major credits include animation on the feature films An American Tail and All Dogs Go to Heaven for Don Bluth Studios in the 1980s; on Quest for Camelot, The Iron Giant and Osmosis Jones for Warner Bros. in the 1990s and early 2000s; and on The Incredibles and Ratatouille for Pixar in the 2000s.
Gagné has worked on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and other TV and video game animation projects. His personal animated short films such as the 1995 Prelude to Eden (video) have often been nominated for the animation industry’s Annie Awards.
In comic books, DC Comics has asked Gagné to write and draw a Batman serial. In 1997, he began self-publishing picture and comic books with his first Rex book, A Search for Meaning: The Story of Rex. His books earned Ursa Major Award nominations in 2002, 2005, and 2006, for the colored edition of his first Rex book and for two issues of his comic, ZED.
In 2004 Gagné was invited to create a story for annual comic-book anthology Flight, edited by Kazu Kuibishi and (then) published by Image Comics. Gagné wrote and drew a second story with his fox cub Rex, The Saga of Rex, serialized in Flight #2–7. Now Image Comics has collected the story into a 200-page full-color trade paperback, printed on high-quality paper.
Exiled: Clan of the Claw, Book One
Edited by Bill Fawcett
Stories by S. M. Stirling, Harry Turtledove, Jody Lynn Nye, John Ringo, Michael Z. Williamson
Riverdale, NY, Baen Books, August 2011, hardcover $25.00 (294 pages)
Exiled: Clan of the Claw is ostensibly alternate-universe science fiction, not fantasy. Editor Bill Fawcett postulates that the Giant Meteor that struck the Earth 65.5 million years ago, causing the extinction of the dinosaurs (according to one theory), never occurred.
The dinosaurs continue to live, evolving into an intelligent humanoid reptile “man” – the Liskash. Mammals evolve, too, resulting in an intelligent humanoid feline “man” – the Mrem. The two are instinctual deadly adversaries; both use “mind magic” against each other, but this is arguably a psionic talent, not a supernatural power.
When the Atlantic Ocean breaks into and fills the dry Mediterranean basin 5.3 million years ago, it cuts off the Mrem to the north from the Liskash to the south – except for one Mrem clan stranded in our world’s North Africa. Vastly outnumbered by its vicious Liskash neighbors, the isolated Clan of the Claw begins a desperate trek around the New Water to reunite with its Mrem brethen, in four novellas by different authors in this “Book One of a new series”.
After a long journey, up-and-coming artist and writer Amy "Ringshadow" Meister (FA) has entered the publishing market with her first e-book, Rainbow in the Dark (originally named "Like a Rainbow in the Dark", as a tribute to the Ronnie James Dio song of the same name).
The story, set in an anthropomorphic/furry universe, concerns a closet-gay wolf-raccoon hybrid named Marcus Midnight, a fictional rock star, and his power-metal band Guillotine. After a successful musical career spanning twelve years and six hit albums, Marcus feels burned-out and extremely lonely.
This slim volume is described on the Sofawolf LiveJournal as "a straight western crossdressing romance." It is more a straight Western, except for steamy interludes where the crossdressing hare gunslinger and the fruit bat sheriff lose their clothes and get into each other’s fur.
Sixes Wild is intended for an adult audience only and contains explicit sexual material of Male/Female nature. It is not for sale to persons under the age of 18.
This stereotypical Frontier drama, set in a small town in Arizona, is an unusual mixture of funny animals and anthropomorphics. Most of the folk of White Rock are typical funny animal characters who could just as easily have been humans: Six (Six Shooter), the hare outlaw; Doc Richards, the fox saloon-keeper; Harding, the bloodhound deputy sheriff; Morgan, the squirrel farrier; the ’yote native Americans; Morris, the villain’s marmot henchman; and so forth.
And then there is Jordan Blake, the fruit bat sheriff.
Fell is the sequel to David Clement-Davies earlier book, The Sight. The Sight was an excellent book following a wolf family, living in Middle Ages Transylvania, as they struggled through a prophecy and learned to deal with a legendary power and the crazed aspirations of an ex-pack-member.
Fell claims to deal with the mixed destinies of a wolf, Fell, and a human child, Alina. In reality, Fell is relegated to a minor character in his own story, only getting about a fifth of the chapters, and the aspects that might have interested fans of The Sight have been vastly minimised.
Flayrah contains reviews of Clement-Davies' previous books The Sight and Fire Bringer (which is similar to The Sight but deals with a herd of deer living in Britain slightly after the events of that book). Another review of Fell, feeling pretty much the same way, is written by Darfix.
Nordguard, Book One: Across Thin Ice
by Tess Garman & Teagan Gavet
St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, June 2011
Hardcover $39.95 (75 pages), paperback $19.95
Tess Garman (Kenket) & Teagan Gavet (BlackTeagan) – better known under their joint pseudonym of Blotch – have a well-deserved reputation for anthropomorphic light humor, with numerous cover paintings and their webcomic-turned-graphic novel Dog’s Days of Summer.
Now the duo show that they are equally adept at drama, with the beginning of a cold, cruel tale of murder and treachery in an anthropomorphic Far North.
Furry fans should definitely not miss “Nordguard: Across Thin Ice”.
Red Sails in the Fallout: A D&D Gamma World Novel
Paul Kidd (Wizards of the Coast, July 2011)
Paperback $7.99 (307 pages); Kindle $6.39.
This second novel in Wizards of the Coast’s “Gamma World” series is considerably Furrier than the first. As before, the setting is 150 years after a Hadron Collider catastrophe has destroyed civilization, creating a world in which “the survivors of some mythical future disaster must contend with radioactive wastes, ravaged cities, and rampant lawlessness. Against a nuclear backdrop, heroic scavengers search crumbled ruins for lost artifacts while battling mutants and other perils.”
“Red Sails in the Fallout” is not just anthropomorphic, it is flamboyantly and bizarrely Furry.
Sooner Dead: A D&D Gamma World Novel
Mel Odom (Wizards of the Coast, Feb 2011)
Paperback $7.99 (307 pages); Kindle $6.39
The setting's premise is that a Hadron Collider accident in 2012 destroys civilization. 150 years later, “[survivors] must contend with radioactive wastes, ravaged cities, and rampant lawlessness. Against a nuclear backdrop, heroic scavengers search crumbled ruins for lost artifacts while battling mutants and other perils.”
Mel Odom is a veteran writer of authorized-series melodramatic paperback novels who, probably not coincidentally, lives in Oklahoma, “the Sooner State”.
Don’t look for any deep characterization or character development, just non-stop action. The mutants include many talking humanoid animals, which is how this novel qualifies as Furry.
H. Beam Piper’s “Little Fuzzy” (1962) was about the discovery of a small, cute, furry mammal on the planet Zarathustra, and the battle against the Charatered Zarathustra Company to have the Fuzzies recognized as intelligent natives.
Now John Scalzi has rewritten the same story, but with plenty of big differences. Fans of Piper’s Hugo-nominated novel can debate whether the original needed a revision, but none can deny that Scalzi’s version is enjoyable in its own right.
“Fuzzy Ergo Sum”, by Wolfgang Diehr
Boalsburg, PA, Pequod Press, March 2011
Hardcover $38.00 (299 pages), Kindle $7.99
H. Beam Piper’s “Little Fuzzy”, about the discovery by humans of cute furry natives on the planet Zarathustra, was first published in 1962. It became a minor classic, being nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1963, and inspiring four other Fuzzy novels up to 1982.
Two of those not by Piper were later declared to be “not canon”, and Piper’s three Fuzzy novels were published together in 1998 as “The Complete Fuzzy”. As soon as the copyright on “Little Fuzzy” expired in 2006, numerous public domain editions were published in paperback and Kindle, and on the Internet by Project Gutenberg.
Now a new Fuzzy novel has been written by Wolfgang Diehr, a Piper fan who moderates the Piper Worlds discussion group on Yahoo.com. Diehr wrote the novel over three years with the editorial assistance of John F. Carr, the Piper expert who edited many of the Piper reprint collections for Ace Books in the early 1980s, and Carr has published Diehr’s novel through his Peqoud Press.
Though first published in 1979, The Animals of Farthing Wood played a fairly substantial part in my childhood. I didn't read the book, but I eagerly awaited the animated series to follow the animals' journey, supplemented by the episodic magazine released in tandem. In my early teens, I picked up an abridged version of some of the sequels, but it was only recently that I managed to obtain the original novel by Colin Dann.
The book chronicles the journey of the animals of Farthing Wood – driven from their home by its destruction to make space for human development – to the fabled White Deer Park, a nature reserve across the country. The animals realise that they need to stick together to make the trip, and take an oath to help and protect each other; vital when your party consists of such varied woodland critters as voles and mice, through an adder, to foxes and birds of prey. The party is led by Toad, who was captured by humans, escaped and made his way through White Deer Park back to Farthing Wood.