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Ursa Major Awards

2012 Ursa Major Awards voting now open

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Ursa Major Awards banner by EosFoxxVoting for the Ursa Major Awards for the Best Anthropomorphic Literature and Art of 2012 is now open, and will continue until May 15. The winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony at Anthrocon 2013 in Pittsburgh, July 4-7.

Anyone may vote, and you are encouraged to ask your friends to vote also — please help to spread the word!

There are five nominees in each of eleven categories, except where there was a tie for fifth place. To be eligible, a work must have been released during the calendar year 2012; must include a non-human being given human attributes, which can be mental and/or physical; and must receive more than one nomination.

Read on for the nominees...

2012 Ursa Major Awards nominations close February 28

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Nominations for the 2012 Ursa Major Awards, for the Best Anthropomorphic Art and Literature of 2012, close on February 28. There is only one week left to nominate.

Anyone may submit up to five nominations for works first published during 2012 in each of the eleven categories — Motion Picture, Dramatic Short Work or Series, Novel, Short Fiction, Other Literary Work, Graphic Story, Comic Strip, Fanzine, Published Illustration, Website, and Game. It is not necessary to nominate for all categories.

The 2012 Recommended Anthropomorphics List may be used as a guide for what is eligible, but its entries on the List are not automatically nominated. Titles not on the List that were first published during 2012 are still eligible, in case some gems have been overlooked.

Discussion about potential nominees is welcome at the Ursa Major Awards LiveJournal community. Voting will take place from March 15 to May 15, 2013. The winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony at Anthrocon 2013 on July 4-7.

Kyell Gold withdraws from Ursa Majors to give others a go

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Kyell GoldTwelve-times Ursa Major Award winner Kyell Gold has announced his withdrawal from the Best Novel and Best Short Story categories this year, and for "a few more going forwards", to ensure that other authors win:

There is precedent in other awards for frequent winners stepping back. One of the people on the Ursa Major committee told me that in a musical award, when someone wins three years in a row, they are retired from that category by the award. That's not how the Ursas work: they have been very hands-off and admirably resistant to public opinion. When Stan Sakai won the Best Comic award multiple years running, they assured people that in time, other comics would win, and they were right. In response to my multiple wins, they have assured people that, in time, other authors will win.

I have no doubt that they are correct, given the profusion of talent in the fandom. In fact, each of the last two years I have been convinced I would not win one of the two awards (perhaps neither). But I have also observed that it would probably be better for the writing scene if that day comes sooner rather than later.

Last call for 2012 Anthropomorphic Recommended List; UMA nominations open January 17

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Ursa Major Awards banner by EosFoxxThe ALAA’s 2012 Anthropomorphic Recommended List will close on January 15, 2013, to allow for last-minute recommendations of last-week-of-2012 releases. The 2012 Ursa Major Awards nominations will open on January 17, the first day of Further Confusion 2013.

Go to the Ursa Major Awards website on January 17 to register for an online nomination form. You may cast up to five nominations in each of eleven categories: Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture, Best Dramatic Short Work or Series, Best Novel, Best Short Fiction, Best Other Literary Work, Best Graphic Story, Best Comic Strip, Best Magazine, Best Published Illustration, Best Website, and Best Game. If you do not have five nominees in any category, you may nominate less. To be eligible, a work must have been released during the calendar year 2012; must include a non-human being given human attributes (anthropomorphic), which can be mental and/or physical; and must receive more than one nomination.

If you cannot think of anything to nominate, you may refer to the 2012 Recommended List. That has at least five titles in each category, recommended by Furry fans. Remember, 2012 Recommendations are not nominations for the awards. Nominations of a work are separate. You may nominate a work that has not been recommended if it meets the eligibility criteria.

2012 Recommended Anthropomorphics Reading List: December update

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Ursa Major AwardsThe Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association, which administers the annual Ursa Major Awards, has updated the 2012 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.

There is less than one month to add your favorites of the year to the List. 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 2012, if they are not already on the list.

CyberConnect2 announce 'Solatorobo' sequel

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Japanese game development studio CyberConnect2 is working on a sequel to Solatorobo: Red the Hunter, gaming news websites are reporting.

CyberConnect2's president Hiroshi Matsuyama made the announcement at Salon del Manga de Barcelona, a Spanish manga and anime festival, last weekend. It is probable the game will be released for the Nintendo 3DS, although no platform has been officially given.

Review: 'The Ursa Major Awards Anthology', edited by Fred Patten (by dronon)

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Ursa Major Awards anthology coverThe Ursa Major Awards have been running since 2001, and one of the more difficult categories to vote in has been "Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction", due to the works being scattered across various fanzines, magazines, con books and web pages. So I'm very glad that Fred Patten has edited together The Ursa Major Awards anthology: a tenth anniversary celebration, published by FurPlanet (2012), allowing us to read eleven stories from across the fandom collected under one cover. (341 p., ISBN 9781614500520)

See also: Reviews by Roz Gibson and Watts Martin

The original idea was to print the winning short story from each year of the Awards, but because Kyell Gold has won the popular vote consecutively from 2006 to 2011, this felt a little unbalanced towards the other contributors, so only three of his works appear here. (It skips In between from 2008 and Bridges from 2010.)

To pad out the book a little more, three Ursa-nominated stories were also included. Most of the works are about 20-30 pages in length, with occasional illustrations from artists such as Synnabar, John Cooner and Vicki Wyman. The gentle, moonlit cover art was done by Blotch.

ALAA Hall of Fame inaugurated at Rainfurrest 2012

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ALAA logoThe Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association (ALAA) has inaugurated its Hall of Fame with its first three inductees, announced tonight at a ceremony at the Rainfurrest 2012 convention in Seattle.

The ALAA Hall of Fame is intended to honor those so prestigious that it is impossible to imagine the field of anthropomorphics without them. A person - a character - a book - a film - a comic strip - a Hall of Fame honoree is as well known to the general public as Sherlock Holmes, Superman, or William Shakespeare.

The inductees to the ALAA Hall of Fame are chosen by a vote of the fifteen members of the ALAA Committee during July, with runoffs extending into August if necessary. There are many potential honorees, and those outvoted in one year may be renominated in future years.

2012 Recommended Anthropomorphics Reading List: September update

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Ursa Major AwardsThe Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association, which administers the annual Ursa Major Awards, has updated the 2012 Anthropomorphic Reading List to include the titles recommended by furry fans through the end of August. 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 2012, if they are not already on the list.

Send in your recommendations and read the List to see what other fans have recommended. Have you read all twenty-one comic strips, for example? What have you been missing?

Review: 'The Ursa Major Awards Anthology', edited by Fred Patten (by Watts Martin)

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The Ursa Major Awards Anthology; A Tenth Anniversary Celebration
Edited by Fred Patten
Cover art by Teagan Gavet and Tess Garman
Trade paperback, 339 pages
FurPlanet Productions, June 2012

This anthology is drawn from the first decade of winners – and in some cases, nominees – for the Ursa Major Awards, furry fandom's rough equivalent to science fiction fandom's Hugo Awards.

The Ursas are a popular vote; any fan can nominate a work in one of several categories, as well as vote on the final ballot. The Ursas started in 2001, organized by longtime fan and editor Fred Patten, who's also the editor of this volume (as well as a frequent reviewer on Flayrah).

Many of the stories feature illustrations from their original publication; all are introduced by Patten.

Compare: The Ursa Major Awards Anthology as reviewed by Roz Gibson, and by dronon.

Review: 'Housepets! Can Be Real Ladykillers' (Book 3), by Rick Griffin

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Housepets! Can Be Real LadykillersHooray! Rick Griffin leads off this third annual collection of his Ursa Major Award-winning Housepets! comic strip with a real title page. A snarky title page, but nevertheless a title page.

For those who are not already reading Housepets!, the Monday-Wednesday-Friday-updating Internet full-color strip (and why not? It won Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip for three years running, 2009 to 2011, and it’s free), Book 3 collects the strips from May 31, 2010 to June 3, 2011. These are the story-arcs #31, “Spot McCloud Presents Comics” to #42, “Not All Dogs”, plus all the one-off gag strips between.

North Charleston, SC, CreateSpace, August 2012, trade paperback $13.95 (56 pages; non-US purchase available).

Review: 'The Ursa Major Awards Anthology', edited by Fred Patten (by Roz Gibson)

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The Ursa Major Awards Anthology; A Tenth Anniversary CelebrationI was recently asked to read and write reviews of two furry anthologies — The Ursa Major Awards Anthology, edited by Fred Patten, and Roar #4, edited by Buck C. Turner.

I’ll have to preface this with I probably wasn’t the best person to ask to do this – I virtually never read anthologies, and I don’t particularly like short stories. But seeing as I seem to be one of the few people out there who still reads and can put together a semi-coherent review, this makes me one of the go-to people for opinions about furry comics or writing.

Compare: The Ursa Major Awards Anthology as reviewed by Watts Martin, and by dronon.

Since a number of the stories in the Ursa Major Awards Anthology are part of longer series, Editor Fred Patten helpfully writes synopsis of each story’s background, which helps immeasurably if you’re not familiar with particular story world. I’ve actually read several of these stories when they originally appeared, including the first two:

Review: 'Endtown 1' [and] 'Endtown 2', by Aaron Neathery

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Endtown 1
Endtown 2

Endtown has been a black-&-white Monday-Friday webcomic since January 18, 2009. Its popularity has grown fast, and it was shortlisted for the 2011 Ursa Major Award in the Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story category. A rave review by Bill Sherman in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (June 24, 2011) [originally on Blogcritics] began:

A snappy blend of Boy and His Dog sci-fi plus funny animal comics, Aaron Neathery's Endtown is one of the underseen gems in web comics. Originally debuting on the Modern Tales site - and more recently migrated to GoComics - the weekday series charts the travails of the beleaguered underground survivors of a mutant spawning radiation plague.

Endtown is set six years after a cataclysmic war has destroyed almost all life on Earth, leaving only a lifeless, desertlike surface and a few subterranean towns. The survivors are divided between the airtight-suited Topsiders, ruthless 100% human purists who kill other survivors on sight because they may be mutants, and the mutants and “impure” humans who try to survive in the underground enclaves. The “mutagenic plague” transformed its human victims into horrific monsters or, what makes this strip of Furry interest, anthropomorphic animals.

These two very handsome reprint collections present the first two Endtown story arcs. Volume 1 has the complete short ‘A Fistful of Beans’ (January 18 to March 27, 2009), and the beginning of ‘Gustine’s Quest’ (March 30, 2009 to January 14, 2011). Volume 2 completes ‘Gustine’s Quest’.

Furry Movie Award Watch: June

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Alright, my first time at bat as an Ursa Major movie pundit worked out, as Kung Fu Panda 2's win put me at three for three predicting the movie awards I set out to predict. Read on for my reaction to the awards and my first guess at next year’s nominees and winner.

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

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