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25 Years of Furry Conventions

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Recently your humble ed-otter and his mate, Sy Sable, put up on YouTube a recording of the presentation they did at Further Confusion 2014 (in San Jose, California) celebrating 25 years of furry fandom conventions. That’s right, 25 years ago (well, 26 now!) in January of 1989 the very first furry-themed fan convention and seminar, ConFurence Zero, took place at a little Holiday Inn located in Costa Mesa, California, with a membership of just under 100 and an actual attendance of 65. At Further Confusion last year the co-directors of the original run of ConFurence (Mark and Rodney, sable and mink) lead a well-attended discussion about the early furry cons, how ConFurence came about, and where they’ve been since then. Afterwards, Changa Lion (of Furry.Today) went about creating a slide show and video sampler to go along with the recording of the discussion — and now, it’s available up on YouTube. Have a look — and learn some furry history.

image c. 2015 by Daphne Lage

image c. 2015 by Daphne Lage

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This is fandom history gold! Thanks so much for posting this! :-)

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My "Furry Frolics: The First 25 Years of Furry Fandom's Conventions" is 248 pages (more with illustrations), but I can't find a publisher who will print it. They all say, probably rightly, that it would be a $20 book (more if it includes the illustrations), and the average furry fan would not spend that much for a book of dry statistics.

Fred Patten

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Maybe you could release it as a digital download, should reduce the cost. Or break it up into a few volumes - wait five years and then release them in ten year increments :)

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How about offering both a (cheaper) ebook version and a print-on-demand paper version? While it would be great to have such a book published by one of the current furry publishers, there is no lack of options for self-publishing and it would be much better than nothing. And while there may not be many people interested in a printed version, those who are interested (including me) would love it and would be willing to pay a premium for a book with such rare information. It's extremely difficult to learn about the early days of the fandom since so much used to happen in paper fanzines and conventions.

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Always love seeing moments of the furry fandom archived for future reference; sites like Flayrah, Wikifur, and others are great for keeping our memories and timelines fresh and accurate :)

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Rod's In-Fur-Nation has been going for almost as long, I think! We're glad to syndicate it here. :-)

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Here is my announcement of my "Furry Frolics" book:

https://www.flayrah.com/5456/furry-convention-history-project-can-you-help

I still need some information, mostly on events that happened at conventions and are not in the conbooks printed before the conventions. What were Fursuit Parade totals? How much was donated to an official charity? What were some convention charities? Who designed some conventions' T-shirts? Contact me at fredpatten@earthlink.net if you want to help.

Fred Patten

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About the author

Mink (Rod O’Riley)read storiescontact (login required)

a Mink from Garden Grove, California

Ed-otter of In-Fur-Nation. Califur programming director. Co-founder of ConFurence.