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The full story of the lawsuit involving Peter S. Beagle, author of 'The Last Unicorn'

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At the end of April, I posted a Newsbyte regarding a charity art drive to benefit “lifelong furry” and renowned fantasy author Peter S. Beagle, in order to fund his legal costs and living expenses as he litigates a suit against his former agent.

That was the first I had heard of the troubles of The Last Unicorn’s author. Upon seeing that Uncle Kage had tweeted about this situation in 2016, however, I learned this suit had been going on for longer than I realized, and I took the time to look deeply into the situation.

What I found was horrifying, and the rabbit hole seemed to go deeper the more I looked. Today I'm going to go into more detail about this shameful situation, bringing it to light in the hopes that the more people who know, the more help Beagle will receive.

Get ready, this is gonna be a long ride. If you don't want to read every single detail, I implore you to scroll down to the "How you can help" section, or at least spread this message as far as you can. Beagle needs as many friends as he can get right now.

Peter S. Beagle is suing his former agent for elder abuse, fraud, defamation, and breach of fiduciary duty, among other related allegations, which you can read in full here [PDF].

Sofawolf gets a mention in 'Publisher's Weekly' spotlight on author M.C.A. Hogarth

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flightofthegodkingriffin.jpgMainstream outlet Publisher's Weekly ran a recent spotlight on author M.C.A. Hogarth that includes a nod to furry small press SofaWolf and the novel Flight of the Godkin Griffin.

In 2004, she offered “Flight of the Godkin Griffin,” a sword and sorcery fantasy diary, directly to her audience via LiveJournal, then a popular social blogging platform. (Hogarth still actively connects with fans there, at haikujaguar.livejournal.com.) Each entry ended with a question about a minor thing that could happen next, and readers who donated could vote and have an effect on the upcoming scenes. Years later, once prior publication on the Web no longer necessarily jeopardized a project’s print prospects, Hogarth sold this piece to the small press Sofawolf as a two-volume novel. Although Hogarth may have chosen to blaze the self-publishing path as a response to a traditional publishing industry that did not want her on her terms, she’s well-suited to a flexible, entrepreneurial approach to authorship, combining perfectionism with drive and marketing and management skills honed in the corporate world. “Self-publishing is more agile,” she says. “You can put things out faster, make decisions faster. It’s very rewarding for people like me, who write quickly and respond to change very quickly. There’s no set path anymore, even if you are traditionally publishing. You have to find weird opportunities and try them.”

Publisher's Weekly has been published continuously since 1872 and bills itself as the "International News Magazine of Book Publishing and Bookselling," with a circulation of over 25,000 publishers, librarians, booksellers and literary agents.

New furry fanzines turn to online distribution

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Tag #1 cover The cost of printing and distribution combined with minimal or non-existent sales always made fanzines a marginal proposition. But the format, if not the medium, is still popular with those seeking to try their paws at publishing.

Tag by Felix Greypaw and Hashiko Whitepaw offers an example of what you can do in just a few days; the first – so far only – issue was published May 16, including in-depth (and, alas, uncredited) articles about Dust: An Elysian Tail, Furcadia, and Wolf's Rain from Wikipedia, as well as furry-themed horoscopes and art.

Furry N' Fuzzy Magazine has made it to two issues, although it's overdue for the third. Featuring artists, t-shirt reviews, interviews, personal histories, the syndicated column Ask Papabear, photos of things that look furry, and copious ads, there's something for everyone.

One Scared Little Bird

Lauri and Jaakko Ahonen created an Indiegogo campaign for their darkly comic full-color graphic novel Jaybird. Evidently it was quite successful, as now it’s been published! “Little Jaybird lives in a very large house alone with his bedridden mother. Portraits of dignified ancestors look down upon him from dusty walls. At times also a curious spider peeks from between the cobwebs. Even though it’s safe inside the house, with its doors barred and windows boarded up, reality can’t be shut outside forever.” It’s available now for download (complete with original soundtrack music), and this September Dark Horse Press will release it in a hardcover book edition.

image c. 2014 Dark Horse Press

image c. 2014 Dark Horse Press

Back on the Road ['Extinctioners']

One of the classics of anthropomorphic superhero comics, Extinctioners by Shawntae Howard, is available again in digital form. Originally published in black & white by Shanda Fantasy Arts, Extinctioners: Road to Extinction #1 – 5 have been scanned for download by Angry Viking Press. “It was a time for celebration. The budding of young romances, the coming of age transition from child to young adult, and the promising hope of the future. Katherine Fela and Scarlet Starfox’s lives could not have been more different from one another, but the appearance of alien invaders would forever intertwine their destinies. ” Check it out at Drive Thru Comics. This version includes a brand new full-color cover.

image c. 2014 by Shawntae Howard

image c. 2014 by Shawntae Howard

Sofawolf Press calls for submissions via new system

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Sofawolf Press logo Furry publisher Sofawolf Press has announced use of a new submissions and reviews system, Submittable, aiming to simplify the process for both editors and creative types.

The following anthologies are currently open for submissions:

  • Heat #11 (romantic/erotic stories, comics and poetry): open until September 30th
  • New Fables (literary fiction and poetry): open until filled
  • Hot Dish #2 (longer romantic/erotic stories of 10,000–20,000 words): open until filled

Sofawolf is also accepting submissions for novels and graphic novels. Those interested can visit sofawolfpress.submittable.com to read submission guidelines and submit their work.

FurPlanet turns Bad Dog Books into digital download store

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Bad Dog BooksBad Dog Books' website has been repurposed as a store for FurPlanet's e-books and comics. 45 items are for sale, at prices from $2.95 to $9.99.

Bad Dog Books promoTwo free e-books are on offer for those wishing to try before they buy: Kyell Gold's collection Gold Standard, and "Thou Shalt Not Kill" by FuzzWolf.

Promoted authors include Kevin Frane, Ben Goodridge, Cyanni, and Rechan; over 40 are represented in total, including anthologies. Art packs by Kadath are also available.

Buyers may download "DRM free" works in both epub (Nook, Sony Reader, iBooks) and mobi (Kindle-compatible) formats.

New products are to be announced via a dedicated blog and on @BadDogBooks.

Bad Dog Books, founded in 2005 by Alex Vance, became a FurPlanet imprint in 2011.

'Doc Rat' cartoonist Jenner to draw 'Aus Doc' editorials

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Doc Rat (Dr. Benjamin Rat)Part-time furry cartoonist and full-time MD Jenner, creator of UMA-nominated strip Doc Rat, has become an editorial cartoonist for Australian Doctor.

Jenner, better known in the medical world as Melbourne GP Dr. Craig Hilton, has been cartooning for over 25 years. Within the fandom, he is best known for the adventures of Dr. Benjamin Rat, which started June 2006.

The position at Aus Doc opened up after the retirement of Dr. Bob Futcher. [tip: Fred Patten]

A War for the Earth

Endtown is an Ursa Major Award-nominated black & white web-comic by Aaron Neathery. “A mutagenic plague followed by a global war fought with disintegration weaponry has left much of the Earth a desert of fine powder, and what remains of humanity fragmented into humans, animal-like mutants and bloodthirsty monstrosities with lots of teeth. The surface, still teeming with the mutagenic virus, has become the domain of the dreaded Topsiders: Well-organized, technologically advanced, and heavily armed un-mutated humans sworn to exterminate mutations of any kind in order to clear the way for the eventual resurgence of a new, genetically clean humanity. Faced with annihilation, mutants and ‘impure’ humans have retreated into the depths of the planet to form communities and hope to win, or at least survive, what may prove to be mankind’s final war.” The strip continues weekly on Gocomics, and now Jarlidium Press have announced that the first two years of the comic will soon be released in two paperback volumes. Pre-orders have already closed, but the books will be available for general sale this June.

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

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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.

Rabbit Valley call for writer submission for 2013 anthologies

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Rabbit Valley are looking for authors to submit stories for their ongoing anthology projects. They will be publishing several anthologies in 2013 and need authors to submit stories for review. Check out their submissions page for details.

Listen: Isiah Jacobs interviews Andrew Rabbit about their anthologies [25Mb MP3, 28:13]

Twokinds Comes To Print

For the first time on printed paper, Keenspot will soon be releasing Twokinds as a pair of full-color graphic novels in trade paperback.  This Ursa Major Award-winning on-line comic is written and illustrated by Thom Fischbach. “After waking up without any memory of his past, the lone mage Trace finds himself in the company of Flora, a girl from a bestial species known as the Keidran. Along with a reluctant Basitin warrior named Keith, they journey in search of a place to call their own. But with war between the races brewing, love conflicts with loyalty.” Volume 1 includes a special 5-page epilogue that was not printed on line. Though the release has been pushed back a few times, both Volume 1 and Volume 2 are currently set to hit the shelves this October. You can order them both at the Mile High Comics web site.


image c. 2012 by Thomas Fischbach

The Ursa Major Awards Anthology

As Furry Fandom’s Ursa Major Awards enter their 10th year, Fred Patten (a long-time member of the Awards’ parent organization, the Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association) has collected and edited some of the best winners and nominees from the Awards’ “Short Fiction” category into a new book, the Ursa Major Awards Anthology. It’s coming at the end of June from Fur Planet Productions. Featuring short stories by Brock Hoagland, Michael H. Payne, M.C.A. Hogarth, Chas P.A. Melville, Kristin Fontaine, Kyell Gold, Jim Hayden, Samuel C. Conway, Paul Di Filippo, and Naomi Kritzer, as well as original illustrations, the anthology also features a new wrap-around cover by Blotch. Sample copies of the anthology were available at Anthrocon — and sold briskly. You can find out more at Fur Planet Productions’ pre-order page.


image c. 2012 Fur Planet Productions

Melange starts its 'first ongoing fully-anthro series' with 'Unimaginable Road'

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The Unimaginable RoadOn May 27, Melange Books published The Unimaginable Road; the first book in Eddie Drueding's "Arraborough" series, revolving around the mysterious going's-on in a small town on a strange planet inhabited by anthropomorphic animals.

As Flayrah reported, Melange is the first non-furry publisher to create a separate listing for furry/anthropomorphic work. Eddie was one of those who requested that it be added, as he felt that no existing category fit his work. He is the third author to be published in it, after furry regular Phil Geusz and fellow newcomer A.C. Withey.

More about the series can be found on its Facebook page, and the book's entry on Melange's website. The author can be reached through Facebook, or at EddieDrueding@hotmail.com.

Melange creates 'first' furry section at a non-furry publisher

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Publisher Melange Books couldn't decide how to categorize author Phil Geusz's new novel, Stick and Bones – so it created a "Furry/Anthropomorphic" section for works in the genre.

Phil, whose novel joins his No Glory Sought series and C. A. Withey's Savagery in the section, highlighted the novelty of such treatment from a non-furry-specific publisher:

To my knowledge this is the first time that anyone, anywhere has done such a thing.

Melange spares no buzzwords in promoting the "downright magical" topic, describing furry as "the dynamic new genre that's pushing the limits and breaking the rules in every possible direction [...] where the young, cutting-edge authors with new ideas have all vanished to."

Read more: Furry writers discuss Melange at the FWG forums