2011’s Planet of the Apes movie, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, is unusual in that it has no novelized tie-in. Instead, the movie release’s tie-in book is Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes, an almost-coffee-table hardcover novel featuring an original “offstage” story by Andrew Gaska (from a plot by Gaska, Rich Handley, Christian Berntsen, and Erik Matthews) set during the events of the 1968 movie, imaginatively depicted by “over 50 illustrations from various top talents in the industry, including full-color paintings by Jim Steranko, Joe Jusko, Dave Dorman, Barron Storey, Sanjulian and Mark Texeira, starship design by Andrew Probert, character portraits by Matt Busch and more!” (publisher’s catalogue).
In the 1968 movie, four astronauts are sent in frozen hibernation on a 2,006-year mission to explore an extrasolar planet. One dies en route; the other three, Taylor, Landon, and Dodge, find a planet inhabited by intelligent apes and feral humans. The astronauts are separated, and the story follows Col. George Taylor (Charlton Heston) as he interacts with the gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees; discovers Landon lobotomized and Dodge’s body stuffed and mounted in a museum; and ultimately learns that this is not an alien planet, but Earth in the far future.
Los Angeles, Archaia Entertainment, August 2011, hardcover $24.95 (268 [+ 4] pages).
My problem is that furries tend to start with furry, and add the science fiction later. The visual of a walking, talking fox/cat/rabbit/whatever is introduced in the mind of the furry author, and an explanation is cobbled together as an afterthought. To call this a disservice to science fiction is an understatement.
The comic strip Unity written by fluffy (the author is dedicated to the pseudonym, even putting it on the spine of this collection of the first major storyline), is a rare example where the science fiction does not suffer as a consequence of the furry aspects of the piece.
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)
The nominees for the Ursa Majors are here, and if you are reading this, I expect you to have already voted for at least the category this column is about. You really already should have seen at least four of the five movie nominees, as they are readily available from wherever you happen to rent movies, and most rentals nowadays cost fewer than two bucks, so seriously, what’s your excuse?
If you haven’t watched them yet, go. Watch them. Now. This article will be waiting for you when you return.
It's not easy to admit feelings for a long-time friend; but for the classmates in Mitti's debut graphic novel, their first admission must be to themselves.
It is 1955 and best friends Clover and Logainne are looking forward to graduating from Lincoln High School and getting on with their lives. However when Clover fumbles for an excuse to avoid going to the senior prom with someone, she blurts out Logainne's name as her intended date. Now the whole school thinks there is more to their friendship than meets the eye, putting both their reputations and Logainne's honors student status at risk. As they scramble to contain the damage, at least one of them begins to wonder where her heart truly lies. (back cover)
This is a mature content book. Please ensure that you are of legal age to purchase this material in your state or region. (publisher’s advisory)
In an anthropomorphic mixed-species medieval world, Stannis, the eighteen-year-old rabbit narrator, sells himself into slavery at the Slavers’ Guildhall in Jazinsk’s capital for the 100 ducats it will bring to his impoverished mother, and to remove one mouth to feed among his large family. He immediately begins to learn his new status:
The [slave] lynx’s eyes widened, snapping away from mine to look over my shoulder. A moment later, a single clawtip touched the back of my neck, just above the collar that had already begun to itch. ‘That was your one free mistake,’ the [raccoon] slaver said, her voice suddenly full of ice. ‘I warned you before you crossed that threshold: your life is no longer your own. At this point, it no longer matters what happens to you. If I were a harsh master, I’d have beaten you the instant you spoke. If I were a cruel one, I’d have beat you before I collared you and made you thank me for being owned. You won’t always be told the rules. They may change without warning. They may not exist. Regardless, you must do your best to obey. Eventually, you’ll fail, and even if you don’t, you’ll still suffer for it. I’ll try to teach you the basics of your new life, but I will not hesitate to reprimand you, even for rules you do not yet know. Do you understand?’ (p. 8)
Bonds of Silver, Bonds of Gold is a novel of humiliation. Primarily sexual humiliation, described in graphic detail, but whatever kind his masters, their families, and his fellow slaves can put Stannis into.
It's like a 90s straight porn for VHS
Note: Like the work reviewed, this piece contains strong language.
Housecats Fluffy and PKP (Princess Killer Pinknose) had it easy living as the pampered pets of musician Colin and novelist Dana Wickey -- until the humans got into financial hardship, and had to get JOBS that took them out of the house during the day. This was 2001, when American households were getting their first home computers. Dana tries to teach Colin how to go onto the Internet, while Fluffy lounges in the background taking notes.
Once the humans are out of the house for the day, the cats have unlimited access to their new computer to get onto the Information Superhighway. Fluffy wants to make enough money (using the Wickey’s names and SSNs) so their humans can become financially independent, quit their jobs, and return to spending all day at home with their music and their writing and fussing over the cats. But she has reckoned without PKP, her aggressively psychotic sister who doesn’t know when to stop. Soon the cats have become computer-savvy enough that they are in danger of getting Colin and Dana arrested for insider trading …
That was in Hilgartner’s Cats in Cyberspace (Meisha Merlin Publishing, September 2001). Now it is ten years later, but only a few months in story-time.
The Annies are done and the Oscars were last Sunday. Rango inevitably won Best Animated Feature, so there is really not much reason to go on about it. Meanwhile, the Ursa Major nominees will be announced next month, so guess what next month’s column will be about.
For now, however, we might as well begin the process all over again; that’s right, I’m going to call next year’s Oscars and Annies right now!
I mean, everyone knows it’s going to be Brave, anyway.
Science Friction is a work of anthropomorphic fiction for adult readers only. (publisher’s advisory)
Whew! Is it possible to write a plot synopsis of this X-rated farce that’s not X-rated itself? Well, let’s try.
A dark rumpled figure sat on a subway bench next to a semi-conscious arthropod that had defecated in its pants. In a darkened corner of the moving tram, teenage crustaceans giggled like axe murderers as they passed a battered, dirty needle back and forth, injecting each other with a viscous amber liquid. Lights on the metal jalopy flickered on and off like an epileptic seizure.
Standing in the middle of the car while avoiding eye contact with anything that moved, slickly-dressed business mammals rocked with each jolt of the car as they checked their investments on shiny phones while worrying about end-of-the-year bonuses, keeping their ties straight and getting mugged. A skuzzy combination of squid and octopus shoved tentacles lined with stolen watches into the faces of whoever would look at them. (p. 10)
Right away we are plunged into the seamy underside of New Jerusalem. Well – New Jerusalem is almost nothing BUT seamy underside. The whole city is a slum beneath the floating cities of the planet Ishun, which hover serenely overhead.
The floating cities are supposed to be for the elite, but really are not much better. Oh, they do have their polished business districts and fancy upper-class neighborhoods – but Ishun has crime everywhere. So ground-bound New Jerusalem is the real pits!
This is a mature content book. Please ensure that you are of legal age to purchase this material in your state or region. (publisher's advisory)
This novella is the first in FurPlanet’s ”Cupcake” series of works that are too short to be novels, but are long enough to stand on their own. It is also the winner of the Ursa Major Award for the Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction of 2010. Finally, it is the fourth of Gold’s “Forester Universe” stories, set in the same world as his Waterways, Out of Position, and Isolation Play.
As an artist, I'm supposed to say condescending phrases like "as an artist," so (ahem) as an artist, I have to say that the art in Concealment isn't just good, it's really, really good. I keep picking it up just to flip through the pages. More on that later; let's get to the story first.
Concealment is a story about self-acceptance. It revolves around this moral: be true to yourself and accept yourself for who you are.
Graveyard Greg explains in his Foreword how he came to write this novel. Firstly, there was the Second Life virtual-reality world, for which he created a jackal persona with a red Mohawk wearing black jeans and red sunglasses. Secondly, there was his brief job as a barista at a Starbucks. Thirdly, there was John “The Gneech” Robey’s series Fictionlets: The Extremely Brief Adventures of Bridgid and Greg, each of 400 words or less. Fourthly, there was his own imagination, which blended them together, named his jackal Venti and gave him a job as a part-time barista at a Starbucks clone, and he was off and running in a series of short-short-short chapters of one page or slightly over each. Voilà; Welcome to Cappuccinos! (exclamation point optional).
For most of his wizarding life, Simon Canopus Artyle lived in the same splendid little house that was nestled up against the trunk of a giant tree. The tree was an Ephaian Oak, only it was much larger than any normal Ephaian Oak should be, having grown to its inordinate size due to the fact that Simon had spent over two centuries living in proximity to it, and magic flowed through Simon more readily than it did most people, including other wizards. When a wizard lives anywhere, though, giant tree or no, a full-fledged community typically grows up around them within five or six decades, since, as a general rule, a wizard is a very good thing for any town to have (and after this happens, most wizards decide against packing up and leaving, since the inevitable will inevitably happen again, and most simply can’t be bothered to make the effort anyway). (p. 1)
This opening paragraph indicates the leisurely, relaxed style in which Frane presents this somewhat Georgian anthropomorphic comedy of manners. Simon Artyle, a fox wizard of a couple of centuries (although he looks to be only twenty-nine or thirty), is a reader, a lover of books and libraries, to such a degree that other wizards have made him their Grand Historian of Magic, Wizarding, and Spellcraft.