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Melange creates 'first' furry section at a non-furry publisher

Edited as of Wed 23 May 2012 - 00:54
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Publisher Melange Books couldn't decide how to categorize author Phil Geusz's new novel, Stick and Bones – so it created a "Furry/Anthropomorphic" section for works in the genre.

Phil, whose novel joins his No Glory Sought series and C. A. Withey's Savagery in the section, highlighted the novelty of such treatment from a non-furry-specific publisher:

To my knowledge this is the first time that anyone, anywhere has done such a thing.

Melange spares no buzzwords in promoting the "downright magical" topic, describing furry as "the dynamic new genre that's pushing the limits and breaking the rules in every possible direction [...] where the young, cutting-edge authors with new ideas have all vanished to."

Read more: Furry writers discuss Melange at the FWG forums


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I wish them good luck publishing other works in the genre. Finding the right category for predominantly furry works can be tricky; dronon and I went back and forth trying to pick the perfect Dewey filing number for WikiFur's cataloguing record:

809.3876 Literature > By Topic > Specific Topics in Literary Theory
[Science fiction encyclopedias/guides is 809.38762 - maybe we can pick a slightly different number to split off furry?]

791.4334 Arts And Leisure > Amusements and Recreation > Public Entertainments > Film, Radio, And Television > Film
[animation/anime; this is where Fred Patten's Watching Anime, Reading Manga is]

741.59730 Arts And Leisure > Drawing; Decoration; Design > Drawing — Technique; Caricatures and cartoons; Specific drawing techniques > Comics; Graphic Novels > Not set > English language comics > U.S.A. comics [encyclopedias/fanboys/culture]

813.0876 Literature > American literature > American Fiction > Anthologies And Criticism > Not set > Fantasy Fiction And Science Fiction
[Furry!/Best In Show is 813.0876608, which I guess where WikiFur's initial one came from - it's unfair to call it just American fiction, but that seems to be where other things are categorized; not preferred because this seems to only contain actual fiction]

790.2 Arts And Leisure > Amusements and Recreation > Amusements
[biographies and encyclopedias of entertainers/entertainment, e.g. queer encyclopedia of film and television, slapstick queens, theatrical costumes]

Less useful:

790.3 Arts And Leisure > Amusements and Recreation > Amusements > Dictionaries And Encyclopedias
[closest in description I could find, but only one entry]

305.9 Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Groups Within Society > Other [mostly about GLBT]

367.9 Social Sciences > Social work, social welfare and societies > Social Clubs [but this is really clubs]

Bonus WTF: 305.908 The Intelligent And Other Disadvantaged Groups

We eventually settled on 809.38766 - Fantasy fiction criticism/discussion - on the basis that furry tends to be closer to fantasy than sci-fi. Alas, we never did manage to get Flayrah's record updated, due to restrictions on who can edit records for serial publications.

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In the publishing industry, everything is American unless it’s not – and sometimes, even then it is.

Around 2000, I was invited to write the history of the introduction and spread of Japanese animation in America, for a British book, “Animation in Asia and the Pacific” (later republished by Indiana University Press). So I wrote 17 pages on Japanese-language English-subtitled giant robot TV cartoons coming to the Japanese-community TV channels in major cities in 1976, their discovery by comics & s-f fans who spread them via videotaped copies, the first American anime fan club in 1977, the American fans getting Japanese pen-pals and trading videos of American TV programs for anime that wasn’t coming to America, the spread of anime fan clubs and videotape trading throughout North America in the late ‘70s and ‘80s, and so on. I titled this “Anime in America”, meaning both the U.S. and Canada since I mentioned fan clubs in Toronto and a few other Canadian cities. The editor said that my history was excellent, but that he was changing the title to “Anime in the United States”. I pointed out that Canada was covered as well. “Oh, everybody knows that Canada is really part of the United States, culturally speaking, at least.”

Fred Patten

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Wow, those buzzwords are a lot of b.s.

By the way, they are awesome. Especially the "new" part.

Screw all you "furry is centuries old!" apologists; so are my grandparents, and I love them, but they aren't exactly exciting.

Edit: I just implied my grandparents are hundreds of years old, which is not true. However, it is unintentionally hilarious, so I won't edit it out.

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At the first furry con I went to (FC 2012), I got a dealer table to casually test and see if I should stock more to bring my book business there again. It went OK, more of a thing I'd do to make a con be fun and business if I'm already going for fun. (It was a lot of cartoon/animation/comics/sci fi, not specifically furry).

When I went checking around for more opportunity, I noticed that one of the only non-fiction books on furries, that isn't self published or by a "furry publisher", isn't advertised with the rest of the publisher's catalog. It's kept on a "secret" page. I would probably keep a separation too, if I do stock more material to take to these cons and add to my existing business.

Labels can be limiting. This sort of reminds me of how some people were against The best animated feature category for the academy awards, started in 2001. They think animated features already aren't respected enough as serious movies, and won't get to contend against other movies.

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This is pretty cool news. It becomes a bit pathetic when the publisher starts trying to oversell though. The "dynamic new genre" has been around for a long time, even if the motivation has differed. Even if we use the furry fandom as it stands now it's been around about four decades.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Categorization can be quirky. I remember for years "TV Guide" didn't characterize "Star Trek" as science fiction -- they called it "Adventure."

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I could kinda see that for TOS . . . or for Star Wars.

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I reference to Peter Cat could they just classify Phil Geusz works as science fiction?

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I actually suggested listing "Stick" as SF. (This is Phil). They said it "felt wrong" for that particular story, and I have to agree.

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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.