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Return of the Ghost Warrior

Ten years ago furry fandom — and animation fandom in general — saw an amazing new event with the premier of Kaze: Ghost Warrior. A multi-species fantasy adventure, it was most astounding for having been financed, designed, voiced, animated, and rendered by one person. Now creator Amadhia Albee — having spent the interim as a professional effects animator — has decided the time is right for a resurrection of the warrior tiger. Kaze: Winds of Change is to be a new series of audio dramas following Kaze and his world, this time with a full crew of voice actors, musicians, and singers involved. The project has a Kickstarter campaign going — and as of this writing they have already exceeded their goal, but you can still contribute to get involved and be kept up to date.

image c. 2014 by Amadhia Albee

image c. 2014 by Amadhia Albee

'Kaze, Ghost Warrior' released for free; new series to be introduced at Anthrocon 2014

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

The full verison of Kaze, Ghost Warrior (2004; Flayrah review) has been released to YouTube, in advance of a panel at Anthrocon 2014 covering a planned successor series.

E. Amadhia Albee: On Friday, July 4th at Anthrocon from 3-4pm in room DLCC 319-321, after a short retrospective about where the search for Hollywood funding succeeded and where it failed, we will be introducing the production team behind Kaze: Winds of Change, the new series that chronicles the love between Kaze and 'Bay, and the fall of the Kenmai dynasty.

We will be announcing an open casting call for the remaining parts in episodes 1 & 2 (scheduled for release at FurWAG in early October of this year), and we will be sharing a teaser recording of some of our principal cast doing a read-through of one of the scenes from the upcoming episodes. Close to 4p, we will be sharing a major bit of news that will likely have great appeal to Kaze fans.

Review: 'Songs in the Year of the Cat', by H. Leighton Dickson

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Songs in the Year of the Cat This is Book 3 of the Tails from the Upper Kingdom; the direct sequel to To Journey in the Year of the Tiger and To Walk in the Way of Lions. In those two, Captain Kirin Wynegarde-Grey, a genetic lion-man (yes, he has a tail) and commander of the Empress’ personal guard in a far-future post-apocalypse dynastic China (with touches of feudal Japan) that has forgotten its past, leads an expedition consisting of his geomancer brother, his snow leopard-woman adjutant, a young tiger-woman scholar, a cheetah-woman alchemist, and a mongrel-man (mixed feline) priest into unknown western lands. They encounter canine nomads in what was Mongolia, and really exotic animal-peoples in what was Europe; and they learn the true history of the world and the apocalypse that destroyed it. The expedition is much smaller when the survivors return to the Empress’ court in the Upper Kingdom two years later, just as the Year of the Tiger has ended.

In the Oriental Zodiac, the Year of the Tiger is followed by the Year of the Rabbit – except in Vietnam, which recognizes the Year of the Cat. (True; look it up.) In this novel, the future Vietnam is called simply Nam, and there is no word for rabbit. (In the real world and the present, the Vietnamese word for rabbit is ‘tho’.)

And so, we begin our story with the birth of a baby, the weeping of a dog and a cup of hot sweet tea, naturally in the Year of the Cat. (p. 1)

CreateSpace, July 2013, trade paperback $14.99 (i + 312 pages), Kindle $2.99.

Sword in his Hand, Swords in his Mouth

“When his village is enslaved and his wife kidnapped by the malevolent Mastodon Mathematician, a simple farmer must find his inner warrior! Granted the form of the Sabertooth Swordsman by the Cloud God of Sasquatch Mountain, our hero embarks on a treacherous journey to the Mastodon’s fortress, along the way getting beaten to a pulp by ogres, plague mutants, the king’s army, and goats!” We can’t make this stuff up folks. That’s why we just present it to you! It’s called Sabertooth Swordsman, and it’s coming in hardcover from Dark Horse Press this November. This black & white fantasy graphic novel was written by Damon Gentry (Eerie) and illustrated by Aaron Conley (Prophet). In addition to the story it features guest pin-up art by the likes of Mike Allred, Brandon Graham, David Lafuente, and others. For a first look, check out the preview article at Invade My Privacy.


image c. 2013 Dark Horse Press

Review: 'Tails from the Upper Kingdom', by H. Leighton Dickson

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (5 votes)

To Journey in the Year of the Tiger

It was hard to believe that a man could see twenty-three winters before he began to live. It is harder even to believe that his life began all at once, on one night, with the occurring of three obscure and apparently random things; the death of a bird, the flash of golden eyes and the first of One Hundred Steps. But for Kirin Wynegarde-Grey, it did happen, just this way. His life began, as all great and terrible things do, in the Year of the Tiger. (p. 1)

And that, boys and girls, is how to begin a novel!

It is the reader’s option whether to take Dickson’s Tails from the Upper Kingdom series, of which these are Books 1 and 2, as science-fiction, set about 5,000 years in the future, or as high fantasy.

This is a powerful, post-apocalyptic story of lions and tigers, wolves and dragons, embracing and blending the cultures of Dynastic China, Ancient India and Feudal Japan. Half feline, half human, this genetically altered world has evolved in the wake of the fall of human civilization. (blurb)

Kirin Wynegarde-Grey is a genetic lion-man, and there are plenty of other half-feline men and women – leopards, tigers, ocelots, cheetahs, jaguars, lynx -- in these two books to please the reader.

“To Journey in the Year of the Tiger”, by H. Leighton Dickson. North Charleston, SC, CreateSpace, September 2012, trade paperback $14.99 (i + 343 pages), Kindle $2.99. 2nd printing, May 2013.

“To Walk in the Way of Lions”, by H. Leighton Dickson. North Charleston, SC, CreateSpace, October 2012, trade paperback $14.99 (i + 347 pages), Kindle $2.99. 2nd printing, May 2013.

'Calvin and Hobbes' documentary hits cinemas November 15

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

Dear Mr. Watterson It's been seventeen and a half years since cartoonist Bill Watterson published the 3150th (and last) strip of Calvin and Hobbes, the comic about a six-year-old boy and his sardonic stuffed tiger.

Since then, film director Joel Allen Schroeder envisaged a documentary about Calvin and Hobbes, and in 2007 began filming interviews with fans. In 2009, Schroeder created a Kickstarter campaign to fund his project, which raised twice its initial goal of $12,000. A subsequent campaign raised $96,000. Now complete, the movie (Dear Mr. Watterson) has been picked up by a distributor and is scheduled to arrive in theatres November 15.

Review: 'Divisions', by Kyell Gold

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (5 votes)

'Divisions' cover by BlotchDivisions is set in Kyell Gold’s Forester universe (Waterways, Green Fairy, Winter Games, etc.), and is the third in the series featuring the tiger Devlin Miski and the fox Wiley Farrel (Out of Position, 2009, and Isolation Play, 2011). The series is narrated in the first person by both Dev and Lee in mostly alternating chapters.

Each novel documents a year in their life. In Out of Position, 2006, the two seniors at Forester U. meet, become secret lovers, and at the conclusion Dev, on Forester’s football team, becomes the first “out of the closet” football player. Isolation Play, 2007, starts immediately after Out of Position and deals with the aftermath of Dev’s and Lee’s revelation: Dev’s hostile teammates, shocked parents of both, a reporter determined to use them in a sensationalistic story, and facing life after graduation.

Now in Divisions, 2008, Dev and Lee pursue equally their professional careers, their personal lives, and the results of their open homosexuality.

Divisions is a romance novel intended for an adult audience only and contains some explicit sexual scenes of a primarily Male/Male nature. It is not for sale to persons under the age of 18. (publisher’s advisory)

Sofawolf Press, January 2013, trade paperback $19.95 (xvi + 367 pages; on Amazon). Illustrated by Blotch.

A Little Girl and a Tiger

First off: Merry Christmas! And thank you for making us part of your lives for another year ^^

Also over at Cartoon Brew there’s a teaser trailer for a new short animation project by world-famous animator Andreas Deja. Here’s what they say: “Andreas Deja is a modern-day animation legend. He worked for 30 years at Disney where he was responsible for classic characters such as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Jafar in Aladdin, Scar in The Lion King, and Lilo in Lilo and Stitch. He left the studio a couple years ago to focus on personal projects, including producing independent animated films. This morning, Andreas teased audiences with a preview from his short film Mushka, featuring a girl and tiger as the lead characters. The film, which will be animated in a colored pencil style, is ‘a story of love and sacrifice set in Russia.’ On his blog, which also includes development sketches of the characters, Deja pointed out that he still has a long road ahead of him. He’s been working on story and pre-production this year, and plans to animate the film in 2013.”

Stalking Cat confirmed dead at 54

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (15 votes)

Stalking Cat (Dennis Avner)Dennis Avner, better known under his Native American name Stalking Cat, died November 5. He was 54.

OggyWolf and BlueCanary confirmed Stalking Cat's death with local officials. His body is being held in Tonopah morgue for his brother [tip: STrRedWolf]. No cause of death was stated, but some claim suicide.

A former U.S. Navy sonar technician, and programmer, Stalking Cat was famous for having had extensive cosmetic surgery to adopt the likeness of his totem animal, the tiger, in accordance with Huron traditions. His body modifications included a split lip, labret-based whisker-holding implants, dental surgery, and silicone injections. He was also extensively tattooed.

Stalking Cat was a guest of honor at Rainfurrest 2007, and appeared at CritterConDiego 3 in 2002.

More coverage: BME ModBlog (inc. interview) - East County Magazine [tip: Higgs Raccoon]

Review: 'The Species of Blessing Avenue', by Graveyard Greg

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

The Species of Blessing AvenueThe Species of Blessing Avenue consists of three short stories: “The Species of Alone” and “The Species of Rivals”, published by Smashwords in June and October 2010, and “The Species of Triumph”, published here for the first time. All three feature Israel Kevinson, a hunky and gay teenager who lives on Blessing Avenue.

From the start, you couldn’t tell that this was anthro fiction. And it isn’t, exactly.

Sometimes I get philosophical when I’m dealing with the jocks, especially when I’m holding one of them by the ankles, suspending them over the toilet. This is what my dad calls a ‘swirly’, but seeing as how he’s old I can’t hold it against him for knowing such a corny name. Anyway, the reason for my getting all Socrates-like is this: a bully is someone who preys on those who are weaker, right? Well seeing as how I’m preying on the bullies who think they can pick on my friends, does that make me a bully? I don’t think so, and neither do my friends. Maybe I’ll take a class on it when I go to college because questions like that make me think. (p. 3)

There are references to Izzy’s mothers blonde hair, and to bodybuilding and martial-arts videos with Arnold and Jet Li. It’s not until p. 17 that Izzy turns into a lion – he’s a werelion!

Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, May 2012, trade paperback $9.95 (78 [+ 1] pages)

'The Croods' print distributed at Comic-Con

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

'The Croods' art printCartoon Brew reports that animator/director Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch) was giving out this colored print for The Croods, the coming 2013 Disney animated feature, at the Comic-Con last week. We don't know yet if any of its animals are anthropomorphic, but there are enough exotic non-human critters to please most Furry fans.

'Swami Ayyappan' rides tigers, fights demons, unites with idol

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (20 votes)

Swami AyyappanAnthropomorphic? Noooo … But how can you not like an animated TV movie about “‘Swami Ayyappan’, based on the life story of a boy ‘Manikandan’ who became one with God worshipped by millions”?

That is on Indian TV, of course. Animation Xpress for 2 July reports that,

Swami Ayyappan is slated to premier on national TV channels and subsequently distributed as DVDs during the upcoming Sabarimala season in various languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu & Kannada. [What, no Hindi?]

Sabarimala is a place of pilgrimage that welcomes devotees irrespective of religion, caste or creed. [Not many Christians, I’ll bet.]

Review: ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ is Furry Jesus

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

Madagascar 3 I was in a bad mood all day when I went to see this movie. A real bad mood.

I was looking forward to seeing it, however, because I decided it would cheer me up. I wasn't expecting it to be great and cheer me up; I expected it to be bad, and then I would get to take out all my frustrations on it in my review.

Essentially, if this movie was not the second coming of Furry Jesus, I was going to rip it a new orifice which I would then proceed to assuage my rage.

Can I even write that?

Anyway, you read the headline; this movie cheered me right up in the way I did not expect it to. By not sucking. Also, by not only not sucking, but by really not sucking a lot.

Review: 'Freedom City', by Phil Geusz

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Freedom CityFreedom City may be Phil Geusz’s most didactic s-f novel to date. The undated setting is roughly 100 years in the future. The locale is Freedom City, a nation-state on a very large and complex artificial platform constructed in international waters in the Caribbean. Geusz’s futuristic bioengineering transmutation science is displayed here. Most citizens of Freedom City are happy to remain human, but Harvey Foote, the protagonist, and his major rival have had themselves transmuted into a funny-animal rabbit and a cat for pertinent reasons. The rabbit-man has a large rabbit staff; so does the cat-man, but his staff includes funny-animal tigers, pumas, lions, leopards, a Siamese cat, lynxes, jaguars, and every feline that can be imagined. The story makes it clear that not only have humans chosen to be turned into anthropomorphic animals, there have been gender and age changes as well. Foote is a dynamically young 83 years old.

The novel is narrated by the rabbit-man, who is the manager of the Rabbit’s Foot Casino, the largest (76 floors) hotel/casino on Freedom City. He has had himself and his staff bioengineered into funny-animal rabbits partly as publicity for his Rabbit’s Foot, but mostly as a statement of individuality; to show what Freedom City’s science and technology can do, and to thumb their noses at the U.S. government which says, “You aren’t allowed to do that!”

FurPlanet Productions, March 2012, trade paperback $19.95 (275 pages; also on Amazon).

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.

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