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Con report: Furry Migration 2014

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Furry Migration 2014 con booklet Over Sept. 12-14 I attended Furry Migration, Minnesota's first furry convention, and it's off to a really strong start - 543 people, 115 of which were in the fursuit parade.

The convention was held in the Ramada hotel near the Mall of America and MSP Airport, and the guests of honor were Foxfeather R. Zenkova, Kyell Gold and Jeff Eddy (head of Sofawolf Press). Overall I had a very good time!

All first-year conventions are a bit wobbly, and Furry Migration is one of the least wobbly ones I've ever attented. They ran it really smoothly, especially registration - amazingly efficient. Apparently there was a bit of a last-minute shuffling of staff in the weeks leading up to the con, and there was no sign of it. The only major let-down was the limited sponsor brunch menu (probably due to budget constraints); some panels were unusually under-attended, but you can't blame staff for that.

Despite the attendance of 543, the halls never felt horribly crowded. Friday night was a little slow, while Saturday was a blast - this is definitely a social con! Now all it needs is a zoo or general-purpose lounge, although I'm not sure where they could put one. Aside from the con suite (well-stocked with drinks and snacks), one of the nicest places to hang out was in the fresh air, there was an inner courtyard with lots of chairs. Holding the evening bonfire there went really well, great energy.

Review: 'God of Clay', by Ryan Campbell

Your rating: None Average: 2 (1 vote)

God of Clay - The Fire Bearers: Book One The cover bears the line, The Fire Bearers: Book One, letting you know it ends on a cliffhanger. It is, in fact, the first volume of a trilogy.

In the prehistoric past, when men shared the world with anthropomorphized animal-gods, there were two very different brothers in a tribe. Clay, the older brother, respects and worships the old gods who control all men’s lives, while irreverent Laughing Dog mocks the unseen gods, and swears that he controls his own destiny. The brothers love each other, in their own ways, but their differences lead both to disaster.

Doto crouched in the forest, his clawed fingers pressing down beneath the grasses and bed of fallen leaves to touch the earth below. He went out, out, into the soil, into the trunks of the trees, the branches and leaves, the grasses and ferns. He felt the air swaying branches, the sunlight on the leaves. He felt the rodents skittering across the forest floor. […] He leapt from branch to branch and winged over the canopy. He spread himself out, farther and farther. Through the keen eyes of the birds and the considering gaze of a monkey clinging to a branch above, he could see himself, crouched on the ground far below, so still that he was nearly undetectable. […] All the surrounding life lived through him. But all was not right. There was an uneasiness in the forest, somewhere around the edges. Could great Atekye have risen herself up in the south of the forest, swelling her swamps to flood the forest floor once again? (p. 1)

Sofawolf Press, September 2013, trade paperback $17.95 [on Amazon] ([5] + 259 [+ 2] pages), Kindle $7.99. Illustrated by Zhivago.

Furry websites face broad denial-of-service attacks

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (15 votes)

Fur Affinity connection timeout Online furry communities are reeling after a series of distributed denial-of-service attacks now entering their second day, which not only knocked out Fur Affinity, but have impacted a variety of less-well-visited art and chat sites.

Fur Affinity has been practically unavailable since the disruption started, at 10PM EDT on Tuesday. Its forums, which initially remained up, went offline Wednesday afternoon.

SoFurry was the next-worst hit, with almost complete downtime since their attack started, also late on Wednesday, while Inkbunny, Weasyl, e621 and F-list have all suffered attacks.

Reactions to the attacks have been mixed, with Weasyl upgrading servers, while Inkbunny advised users to "take the opportunity to spend time with the important people in your life".

Jeff Goode's play 'Fursona Non Grata' to appear at Fangcon, with other stage events

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Fangcon 2014 Furstock Playwright Jeff Goode's Fursona Non Grata is to appear at Fangcon on the weekend of November 7-9 in Knoxville, Tennessee. This play premièred at Wild Nights last year in the Central US, and also played on the West coast at Califur IX. The performance will be a radio play featuring many of the performers in their roles at Wild Nights. There will be some casting, as well as a rehearsal.

This play is just one of the performances the convention will be offering. Fangcon's musical Guest of Honor is NIIC The Singing Dog, who is both a stage and studio performer. He will be presenting his newest album "Instinct". Another musician, Buck (or Husky in Denial) is debuting the album "Kay". These two are just the tip of the iceberg for entertainment. Rhubarb The Bear will be returning to Fangcon; and on stage for their first Eastern appearance is A Dozen Dead Furs - a metalcore band from Oklahoma.

Captain Carrot 1982 series being digitally released by DC on ComiXology

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (4 votes)

Zoo_Crew_1_cover_0.jpgDC is doing a digital release of Captain Carrot And His Amazing Zoo Crew! this year. First issue was released in 1982... now rereleased August 19th, 2014!

From Wikipedia:

Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! is a DC Comics comic book about a team of funny animal superheroes called the Zoo Crew. The characters first appeared in a special insert in The New Teen Titans #16 (February 1982),[1] followed by a series published from 1982 to 1983. The Zoo Crew characters were created by Roy Thomas and Scott Shaw!. Although the series, which was the last original funny animal property created by DC Comics, proved short-lived, it is still fondly remembered by many comic fans of its generation, and the characters appear occasionally in cameos in the mainstream DC Universe (this is made possible due to the existence of a "multiverse" in the DCU, which allows the Zoo Crew characters to exist on a parallel Earth).

Review: 'Rose Point' and 'Laisrathera', by M. C. A. Hogarth

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

Rose PointThese are books 2 and 3 of M.C.A. Hogarth’s Her Instruments space opera trilogy. Earthrise, book 1, was reviewed in Flayrah in June 2013.

The fact that Maggie Hogarth commissioned professional s-f cover artist Julie Dillon to paint the covers of this trilogy instead of doing their covers herself, as she usually does for her books, shows that Hogarth considers them especially good (or at least especially salable). And you know how good her fiction usually is.

Rose Point, by M. C. A. Hogarth, Tampa, FL, Studio MCAH, October 2013, trade paperback $16.99 (349 [+1] pages), Kindle $5.99.
Laisrathera, by M. C. A. Hogarth, Tampa, FL, Studio MCAH, May 2014, trade paperback $16.99 (402 pages), Kindle $5.99.

'Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS' full roster revealed

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FoxThree years ago, Nintendo announced Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS, the latest in Nintendo's series of fighting games featuring various Nintendo characters. As the game's Japanese version launched this Saturday, the full roster for the game is now known (though it had actually been leaked back in August). The starting roster can be found here. The furry part of the complete roster will be covered after the break, so don't click on Read More if you're worried about spoilers.

The game will be hitting stores everywhere else October 3, with the exception of Germany, which gets it a day early due to a national holiday. Lucky them.

Review: 'The Art of Hibbary', by Hillary Renee Luetkemeyer

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

The Art of HibbaryThis is the fifth volume in Sofawolf Press' Artistic Visions series of art-sketch format albums. The first four each showcase one (or two) of the best artists in furry fandom; Kenket (Tess Garman), Brian and Tracy Reynolds, Ursula Vernon and Henrieke Goorhuis. Each is a professional artist, but is especially well-known in furry fandom for convention conbook covers, badge art and other commissioned art, and trades with other Furry artists; many of which are posted on DeviantART, FurAffinity and other art websites.

Hibbary (Hillary Leutkemeyer) has been a member of DeviantART for over a decade, and she was Artist Guest of Honor at Furry Weekend Atlanta 2013, but otherwise she is little known in furry fandom. This large (8½” x 11”) volume of Artistic Visions should change that.

St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, July 2014, trade paperback $14.95 (99 pages).

Roz Gibson's 'Griffin Ranger' meets Kickstarter goal

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

Griffin RangerRoz Gibson's Kickstarter campaign for the novel Griffin Ranger reached its goal of $6000, and its stretch goal of $6500, meaning the book will now have five to six interior illustrations by artist Katie Hofgard. Seventy-five backers combined for a total of $6,525, including 10 backers who donated over $100.

Ever since I was little, I loved reading books with animal protagonists. There’s a decent range of books like that written for a juvenile audience, but not a whole lot for people who’ve reached drinking age. Even if I found one, most of the time it was meant to be a statement on the human condition, or a silly parody. Poor griffins fared even worse in fantasy books. They were either portrayed as dangerous monsters, flying war horses, or ‘noble companions’ to the human protagonists (basically—glorified houseboys with feathers.) I wanted to write something different, something that could be enjoyed by an adult audience, with an older protagonist, living in a world that was advanced beyond medieval level, where the nonhuman characters were not reduced to supporting roles.(Kickstarter page)

The book is planned to be released in January of next year, depending on editing and when the editing and art for the cover can be finished. The book is already written, and a part two is also planned.

Review: 'Slightly Damned', by Sarah 'Chu' Wilson

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

Slightly Damned Book OneThese are the first two collections of the wacky fantasy Slightly Damned full-page, full-color internet weekly comic strip by Sarah “Chu” Wilson. She has won the Ursa Major Award for both the Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work (these book collections) and for the Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story, for both 2012 and 2013. If you haven’t read “Slightly Damned” yet, these are a lot more fun than reading through the strip’s online archives a page at a time.

The back-cover blurb, which establishes the mood as well as the plot, says:

Rhea has a big problem: SHE’S DEAD. Too burdened with sin for Heaven or Purgatory, yet not quite bad enough for Hell, Rhea is sentenced by the grim reaper to the obscure Ring of the Slightly Damned. There she finds that death is only the beginning of her worries as she contends with dysfunctional Demons and their perplexing pets, a socially awkward Angel with a cute ‘n cuddly curse, a goofy god, and even… herself. The afterlife just ain’t what it used to be!

Slightly Damned, Book One, by Sarah “Chu” Wilson, Phoenix, AZ, Slightly Damned Comics/Orlando, FL, Ka-Blam Digital Printing, June 2012, trade paperback $39.95 (unpaged [276 pages]), digital download $4.99.
Slightly Damned, Book Two, by Sarah “Chu” Wilson, Phoenix, AZ, Slightly Damned Comics/Orlando, FL, Ka-Blam Digital Printing, May 2013, trade paperback $39.95 (unpaged [318 pages]), digital download $4.99.

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