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2010 Ursa Major Award nominations open

Edited as of 10:27
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Nominations are open for the 2010 Ursa Major Awards, intended to recognize the best works published in the field of anthropomorphics.

Nominations close on February 28; voting starts March 13 and closes April 17. Furry fans may nominate up to five works in each category.

Available awards include Best Motion Picture, Dramatic Short Work or Series, Novel, Short Fiction, Other Literary Work, Graphic Story, Comic Strip, Magazine, Published Illustration, and Game.

Read more: Coverage of last year's rule changes and award winners. Consider Flayrah's 2010 articles for Other Literary Work!


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"[...]intended to recognize the best works published in the field of anthropomorphics." ...asides everything that is excluded for various differing views on morals and opinions.^^

*chuckles* Let's see who gets to win those this time. I think we need more "awards" like these, though, but it's good to see something like that and I'll keep my fingers crossed for some of my favourite artists to win, looking forward to the results again.
Especially as I might discover some nice new comics and magazines thanks to them, so, I certainly appreciate this list.


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As you say, regardless of the value you put on individual winners, the complete list of nominees has significant worth.

I would still like to see a juried award at some point. Perhaps I can arrange something in my copious free time . . .

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What's wrong with that Ursa Major illustration? Bears are NOT digitigrade!

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Get the lynch mobs ready.

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Artistic interpretation? Many classical illustrations of the constellation also give their feet that appearance.

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Last year's Ursa Majors really, really, really made me angry with the furry fandom.


I had no problem with the movie being nominated; it was a popular movie with very vaguely animal characters. Furthermore, I would have had no problem with it winning any other year. I mean, most years, we don't get anything furry, really. So, we have to nominate stupid movies with only vaguely animal connections, or stupid movies with one talking animal character, or otherwise. And so, in a normal year, Avatar would have been fine for the Ursa Majors. A little sad that most years we can't even get one truly furry movie, but that's not for this rant to address.

But 2009 was not a normal year.

Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox. Not only was there a movie out with fully anthropomorphic characters, it was also really very good. I mean, it wasn't perfectly furry, there were humans and these were quote/unquote "wild animals," and it was still a kid's movie, but this was the closest we've gotten ever to a mainstream furry movie (okay, I think it didn't actually do that good in the box office, but that's neither here nor there). Seriously, it should have gotten Best Animated Picture at the Oscars, that movie beat the crap out of Up. For Christ's sake, it should have swept the Ursa Major awards for no other reason than it featured Love from Robin Hood on the soundtrack.

I cried when I heard that song come on in the theater.


And the best part? You can't make it back up this year, because last year wasn't a normal year; this isn't a call to action to vote for the real furry movie this year, because, guess what? There isn't any!

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If I could give your comment a 6 star rating I would. In fact if your comment could be given a FaceBook like, I would sign up for FaceBook just so I could give your comment a Liking. Bravo, I don't think I can add much else.

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Oh, don't get me started on Facebook integration for Drupal. I sunk days into trying to get that to do something useful.

In the end, I realized that a simple feed suffices for our purposes. Most "social networking features" just get in the way.

I guess I could add another star, but I don't particularly feel like messing up our current layout. :-)

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Are the Ursa Major Awards supposed to be specific to animal anthropomorphism, do they mean anthropomorphism in general? And if the former, are they supposed to be limited to real animals and maybe fictional animals well established in cultures?

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The definition on their page is "a non-human being given human atributes".

In practice, like the definition of "best", it is given to the nominating public to decide.

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After reading up a little about the Hugo Awards, it looks like such an approach seems appropriate if they wish to emulate the Hugos. Some of the winners of a Hugo were questioned if they were actually science fiction or fantasy, with a little overlap while probably solidly falling into other genres. So this is not a unique issue or approach.

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Well, in either case, Avatar ain't anthropomorphism; they're alien, which is by definition other. Furthermore, they aliens were neither anthropomorphic animals either real (they were "catlike" and "doglike" but neither cats, dogs, or any other animal), nor any fictional animal (they were not anthropomorphic dragons or Pokemon or anything else).

But that's beside the point; the furry fandom votes for the movie. People who are fans of anthropomorphic animals. As an example, Trekkies may have liked Avatar; it is a sci-fi movie, and obviously should appeal to them. Yet, if there was a Star Trek fandom wide vote on the best Star Trek movie last year, they probably would have all voted for Star Trek, even if they happened to think Avatar was a better movie, because they know what they're voting for.

Fantastic Mr. Fox was furry; Avatar was filler so we could pretend that furry art in the mainstream hasn't disappeared off the face of the planet. And no wonder, when the professed fans can't even be bothered to care about it.

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Looking at previous winners, it looks alien based works have won several times before. Arguments over the definition of anthropomorphism (and numerous sci-fi fan complaints of excessive anthropomorphism in aliens...) aside, the awards could have easily narrowed the definition if they wanted, or excluded something if they thought it was ineligible. This just sounds like a disagreement in movie preference... except with yelling, name calling, and a some true Scotsman issues.

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The fact that you have no idea what I'm talking about is exactly what I'm talking about.

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Then what were you talking about besides the three points: you disagree on the relative quality of the movies, you think their use of anthropomorphism is too broad, and you conjecture the only reason people would disagree with you is lack of intelligence and sexual motivation? The former two are potentially valid opinions, although not more important than others in what is an open polling of opinions, from options approve by the award administrators. With the latter, I don't see the need to lash out, and trivialise other opinions by such defamation.

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The quality of the movies in question had nothing to do with anything. Avatar was not furry. The Ursa Majors are furry awards. Don't talk to me about "anthropomorphism," because the gosh-darn award isn't about "anthropomorphism," it's about furry. Why would there even need to exist an award for anthropomorphism, honestly?

and sexual motivation?

Well, you know, when quite a few awards categories nominations go to porn ...

But, seriously, I don't think that's all of it; I think a lot of the voters voted for a popular movie simply because it was popular. If you go by the amount of money made, it was the single most popular movie, well, ever. It was obviously designed to be liked. That people liked it makes sense.

It looked vaguely furry. IT WASN'T. I think the reason furries voted for it because I guess they thought it validated furry, despite being something that wasn't really furry. And then YOU come defend that delusion. Honestly, I got the feeling that a lot of furries didn't even see Fantastic Mr. Fox because it wasn't "popular" enough.

I guess I'm belatedly coming to the obvious realization that the Ursa Majors are a popularity contest, pure and simple.

Which I hate so much. I really, really, really hate that all furry is to a lot of people is a last resort for some kind of social life; it's not a fandom. Guests of Honor at Anthrocon have to ask what we're all fans of! But how could he know? WE DON'T EVEN KNOW! This vote proves it. It would be better if it was just a sex thing; at least we'd know what we were. People who jack off to cartoon animals! I could live that! I really could!

But we're not even that.

"But we're fans of each other, crossie!"

KILL ME. If I know one thing about me, it's that I don't deserve fans. We're all just worthless dorks on the Internet. And we don't even have a purpose.

This isn't even really about the darn awards; like Fantastic Mr. Fox being snubbed is really going to have an affect on future productions of cartoon animal movies. I just had faith that furries would for one moment set aside the social posturing and, you know, do what they'd said they do.

You know, be fans of anthropomorphic animals. Not vaguely catlike alien things. Anthropomorphic animals. That's two words. It's really simple. If it only has one of those things, it's not furry. Just got animals; not furry. Just got anthropomorphisism. Also not furry.

It's pretty easy.

Honestly, I would sell the entire furry fandom, including my friends in the fandom, up the river in a heartbeat for the chance to bring furry, real furry, to the masses. And you know what, if you are not willing to do the same thing to me, I have no respect for you as a furry.

Don't to me about "respecting opinions." Because furries haven't earned that respect.

In conclusion, yeah, I'm a bit angry. Also, if you think this is "defaming," buddy, you should've seen the first draft.

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Or I guess an alternative is not to be emotionally vested in prescriptively defining furry and its boundaries. The effort some put into defining and bestowing the title "real furry" seems so pathetic and ultimately meaningless. And an expected duty, besides being a decent person and having some comparable interests, seems to be a set up for disappointment (ok.. so is expecting people to be decent too).

I actually thought Fantastic Mr. Fox should have won the award. Although when it didn't, I wasn't bothered since I knew quite a few people, including furries, that rather disliked the movie. But if such a vote came up again after having thought about such things a lot more now, I probably would reconsider, without the posturing and extrinsic reasons partially motivating my original selection. (Not that I thought either movie was exceptional as a whole, but at least good and enjoyable.)

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If you're not emotionally vested, what's the point? If you're not emotionally invested, you're not a fan, which is short for fanatic, not "mildly fascinated guy". I don't understand your position at all.

If you don't care, what are you doing here?

And the funny thing is, this is the average furry's response. "Let's not get angry here. Oh, no. That would be bad. We might lose a friend, and we have so few of them to start with."

We should be shouting at the top of our lungs debating this kind of thing. Feelings should be hurt. Toes should be stepped on.

Look, this story, right here, should be full of people arguing, trying to get their version of furry's best example the award. Instead, the biggest debate this month? Some nerd trolled the fandom with some stupid crap about fursuits, and succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.

What upsets me is not that your personal definition of furry is different from mine; it's that you don't have one.

Look, worst case scenario, you lose a "friend" who you actually only see in real life is once or twice at some con. Am I not right?

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If you're not emotionally invested, you're not a fan, which is short for fanatic, not "mildly fascinated guy".

It sounds like you are trying to say I am not emotionally invested in furry at all, but that conclusion follows only if you read half the words in the first sentence of the previous post. I have emotional investment in my interests and what I do with them. I am not emotionally invested in what other people's interests are, and especially not how others use some word (since it is easy enough to use qualifiers or a different word if it differs from what I need).

What upsets me is not that your personal definition of furry is different from mine; it's that you don't have one.

No, I have a definition in mind. So far it appears your responses are a rejection of differing opinions via straw men like this (or a matter of failure of communication on my part, or a failure of reading comprehension on your part). And how I define things hasn't been relevant since I've been talking about the awards' definition and potential validity.

Looking at the past winners, nominations, and recommended lists of the Ursa Majors, it looks pretty clear that their definition of anthropomorphism is broader than creatures directly derived from real and classic mythological animal. And this isn't a recent thing, it looks like they have been consistent all the way to the beginning of the awards. Furthermore, it seems pretty congruent with the averaged interests of many of those in the fandom, even if individuals' interests vary in overlap. Also, the awards give no indication of that one should vote for the "most furry" option instead of the "overall best" option within their bounds.

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I missed the deadline for submitting things to the 2010 Recommended List, so here's a whole bunch more things to consider for nomination!

Recommended Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work or Series:
The Penguins of Madagascar, Season 2
A Town Called Panic
Meet Buck
Simon's Cat

Recommended Anthropomorphic Short Fiction:
Squonk and the Horde of Apprentices

Recommended Anthropomorphic Comic Strip:
The Dawn Chapel
The Abominable Charles Christopher. (How, how can this great artwork have been overlooked? Why hasn't this fellow been invited to a con as GoH yet?)

Recommended Anthropomorphic Graphic Story:
Skin Deep
Fission Chicken: Armageddon Creeped Out
The Abominable Charles Christopher: Book One (published version of the webcomic)
Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites. (Series has won 3 Eisner Awards. Canine paranormal investigation.
Sample chapter here.)
The Saga of Rex (so cute!)

Recommended Anthropomorphic Magazine:

Recommended Anthropomorphic Game:
Jolly Rover (by Brawsome)
Delta One (by Blendsoft Productions)

Recommended Anthropomorphic Miscellany:
Anthropomorphic Dreams (fiction blog)
ACTFur On Air (Australian furry podcast with *great* energy!)

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The Ursa Majors, no matter how much the people who run it think so, is totally irrelevant...

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don't you mean "...are totally irrelevant..."?

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Anon, the ultimate purpose of the Ursa Majors isn't meant to be about the awards. In a fandom that's so heavily biased towards artwork, it's an attempt to make people aware of other stuff that's out there. Books. Short stories. Comics. Games. Zines. Websites. The awards are merely there as a carrot dangling on a stick, to encourage people to suggest things. Fine, judging by your opinion, it might not work as much of an incentive, but sitting around complaining isn't going to do anything. Either help or suggest how to make it more relevant, or suggest an overhaul of how it works in the first place.

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I believe he was trollin'.

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a developer, editor and Kai Norn from London, United Kingdom, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.