Review: 'Will of the Alpha', edited by Rechan and Kandrel
Will of the Alpha is a work of anthropomorphic fiction for adult readers only. (publisher’s advisory)
That is especially true of this anthology of a dozen short stories. “A little over a year ago”, co-editor Rechan says in his Forward [sic.], “I noticed that there was very few furry media products aimed specifically at titillating the audience’s kinks. […] This book has a little something for everyone, be it orientation or fetish. Within these pages you’ll find extensive bondage, pony play, puppy play, flogging, objectification and power exchange. […] For your comfort, the stories have been organized by severity, with the first, ‘Savage Toys’, being the lightest, and the final story ‘Attachments’ being the most intense.” (p. 5)
The cover labels this “a BDSM anthology”. BDSM is defined by Wikipedia as standing for “bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, masochism.”
FurPlanet Productions, February 2012, trade paperback $19.95 (246 pages; on Amazon). Illustrated by Dbull.
‘Savage Toys’ by Kandrel is narrated by Rupert, the very proper fox partner of Sir Humphrey, the decadent dragon gentleman.
The cuffs had been the first thing Sir Humphrey had requested. We had taken tea, sat prim and proper like gentlemen, when he had asked the question. ‘Tell me of the southern savages, Rupert.’ It was his favorite topic: salacious news of recently-discovered tribes, with customs so alien and fashions so unique. (p. 6)
Sir Humphrey wants to try out all these alien customs, especially those involving lots of bondage. The picture of the small, impeccably-dressed fox clambering over the immense dragon to tie him in cuffs and gags and chains is amusing.
But the dragon’s eagerness would not last indefinitely. I was running out of innovative ways to restrain him, and when the wonders ceased arriving, I had no doubts that my tenure as ‘Sir’ would be short-lived. (p. 11)
Rupert must balance his life of luxury and ease as Sir Humphrey’s paid companion with his sense of when the dragon is tiring of him.
‘The New Toy’ by Ianus J. Wolf is Simon, a new cougar member of a gym whose well-toned, close-knit clientele are heavily into games of bondage and dominance. Simon is eager to be accepted as a regular member. He agrees to become the personal toy of Michelle, a dominatrix rabbit, and Terry, her stallion husband, not really knowing what he is getting into. He finds out, in graphic detail.
In ‘Furlough’ by Mangi, Charlie, a brown wolf, gets an involuntary one-week furlough (without pay) from his dead-end job. He spends the week at Divine Dreams LLC living a fantasy where he is Jason, an employee working on an important project who is kidnapped and sexually tortured to make him tell all about Project Darius. The more he holds out, the more he is tortured by a sexy arctic fox – which is just what he wants.
In ‘Breaking In’ by Sparf, Alan, a small wolf, is constantly belittled at work by his boss, Mr. Simmons, a larger wolf. To help Alan relax after work, his friends take him to a club where he gets a chance to be a masked dominator. His first “client” turns out to be his hated boss! Can Alan exercise enough self-control to keep from seriously injuring Simmons?
‘Of Pets and Amour’ by Elijah Lapso is a one-page poem from a dominator to his love-puppy.
‘Missed’ by Rechan is about the longstanding lesbian dominatrix-slave relationship between Miss Pendigrass, border collie librarian, and Rachel, mink teacher; and what happens to that relationship when Rachel gets interested in a male.
In ‘Dinner Theatre’ by Ashe, CJ Bennett the hare and Ryan Archer the white tiger are secret homosexual lovers in a Master (Ryan) – Slave (CJ) relationship. When CJ’s polar bear business client learns of their secret and tries to blackmail him, Ryan and CJ’s boss have a surprise for him.
In ‘Memories’ by Tarl “Voice” Hoch, a rabbit woman shopkeeper catches a wolf shoplifter and cuffs & binds him in a chair while waiting for the police to come. Taking advantage of the situation, she proceeds to slowly sexually molest him. Gee, it’s taking the police a long time to arrive …
‘Sweetly Sadistic’ by Elijah Lapso is another short poem; a sequel to the first one. Love-puppy sure does like to be dominated!
‘Infinite Loop’ by Nathan Cowan is the only story here that is s-f instead of fantasy. The protagonist is Dr. Travis Walton, a human, or rather a second Dopple of the original wealthy Walton, activated after Walton was murdered and his first Dopple disappeared. Even though he feels mentally sure that he is a continuation of the original Walton, he is legally dead, his property has been given to his heirs, and nobody is looking for his killer since the authorities are sure that she is also dead (which Walton does not believe). Since the humans will not listen to him, Walton argues mostly with “chimerae”, artificial man-animal hybrids like Sentry, a NorBio Fidelus guard (a Doberman dog-man). Walton eludes his protectors and escapes to an isolated cabin that he knows about that is inhabited only by Persephone, a lioness-human sex-slave. Walton intends to start looking for his real killer, just as soon as he is through having graphic kinky sex with Persephone …
‘The Leather’s Always Blacker’ by Whyte Yoté is about Rike, a buck, who gets into a comfortable online Master/Slave relationship with Bill, a donkey. Rike wants to meet Bill RL. Is he sure? Yes! So Bill gives Rike his address, and Rike goes there, and … it’s not at all like he expected.
‘Attachments’ by H. A. Kirsch tells of the first really intimate meeting of Leo, a red fox, and Dary, a ‘Doberman-like’ dog. Leo knows that Dary is into ‘KinkFest’ stuff, but he doesn’t realize what that really means. Leo doesn’t want to disappoint his lover, so he agrees to go a little further than he intended to, and a little further again, and a little further still, and …
If the stories and poems are not graphic enough, the illustrations by Dbull (Timothy Dzon), one per title, leave nothing to the imagination. The anthology’s front cover by Kadath should be enough to let the reader know what he or she is in for. FurPlanet has given this an NC-17 rating
About the authorFred Patten — read stories — contact (login required)
a retired former librarian from North Hollywood, California, interested in general anthropomorphics
“I noticed that there was very few furry media products aimed specifically at titillating the audience’s kinks. […]"
"Few" is stretching it but "very few" is it's own kind of fantasy that's so bizarre it's gotta be kinky.
If what he means is "Sellable media" it's usually because kinks are rather specific so commissions are usually the way to go about that. Because no one wants to buy a book full of kinks if they are just into one particular one and will only get anything out of few of the stories. It's just good resource management. Are you going to buy a book cover to cover with your kink or a book of the same cost with your kink and some other you don't care for taking up some of the pages?
"Are you going to buy a book cover to cover with your kink or a book of the same cost with your kink and some other you don't care for taking up some of the pages?"
Honestly? I'd buy both. I'd just likely not read the content that doesn't do what I want. After all, I buy Heat magazine even if I'm not really interested in the gay stuff.
But then, I try to buy any sort of furry writing that's decent. Because I want to support the writers and encourage them to write more.
My point though is that there's very little sellable media that even addresses One kink per book. For instance, Transformation. An entire book of transformation stories, I think, would be great. TF isn't an interest of mine, but I know several people who are really into it, and it's an interesting topic, so it should exist. Fortunately, I do know that a TF anthology is in the works. The full passage (that I say in an entire paragraph) makes this more clear, and I do say that things like Macro are occasionally addressed, but by and large most available books (and art portfolios) are vanilla.
Guys, you do know getting turned on by funny animals is usually considered a kink to start with, right?
Thanks for the review! I really appreciate it.
I read this book a month or two ago and had been toying with the idea of writing a review myself, but it appears that Fred beat me to the punch. To add to what Sonious and Rechan already said, there is a lot of furry BDSM stories out there, and more than 90% of it is crap, so a collection like Will of the Alpha that has been subject to editorial review is a good find. Although some stories appealed to me more than others, there wasn't a bad story in the batch, although there were a couple that left me wanting to know what happens next.
One that I think deserves further elaboration is Nathan Cowan's Infinite Loop. Fans of his Fox Force series will immediately recognize it as fitting into that story setting, and those who haven't read the series should be warned that Infinite Loop contains some spoilers for the first two "books" of that series, Firefox and Technofox. I don't know whether any of the other stories in Will of the Alpha are part of a series.
Furry BDSM fiction is not for everyone, but both the book itself and this review do a good job of alerting prospective readers what kind of work it is. I would say without hesitation that to anyone who has seen that much and is still interested, Will of the Alpha gets a favorable recommendation from me.
Another BDSM furry book! ^^ It might be a nice change to see what gets considered publishable quality and how it compares to my own writing. They'd just be very awkward on the bookshelf if anyone comes to browse through it...
"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~
That's why you have one of your bookshelves have one of these cheesy secret passages to the room with the other bookshelves in it.
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