Ursa Major Awards
Twelve-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.
The 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.
The 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'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.
The 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)
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.
The 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.
The 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.
Edited by Fred Patten
Cover art by Teagan Gavet and Tess Garman
Trade paperback, 339 pages
FurPlanet Productions, June 2012
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.
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.
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.
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:
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’.
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.
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.
Hey there, we’re back among the living. Your ever-lovin’ ed-otter has been down with a very, very nasty sinus infection for no less than two weeks, and is only just now getting back to his feet. So it’s time to play some major catch-up with In-Fur-Nation, yes?
The winners of the Ursa Major Awards were recently announced at a Saturday afternoon ceremony at CaliFur in Irvine, California. The June 2nd show was emcee’d by CaliFur’s own Gary Whalen. GreenReaper was on hand to accept Flayrah’s award for Best Anthropomorphic Magazine. The full list of winners for 2011 looks like this:
Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture: Kung Fu Panda 2 (Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson)
Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Series or Short Work: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (Produced by Studio DHX)
Best Anthropomorphic Novel: Isolation Play, by Kyell Gold
Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction: “How to Get Through the Day”, by Kyell Gold
Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work: Nordguard, Book One, by Tess Garman & Teagan Gavet
Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story: Furthia High, by QuetzaDrake
Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip: Housepets!, by Rick Griffin
Best Anthropomorphic Magazine: Flayrah
1,782 ballots were cast in this year's voting, an increase of almost 30% on last year.
Only the winners were announced at the ceremony. However, due to a policy change voted upon by the ALAA Committee, the vote order of all nominees is available on the UMA website.
Read on for results. The story includes contributions from Fred Patten.