Here’s something we missed: The Giggle and Learn series, written and illustrated by Kevin McCloskey. The latest book is called Snails Are Just My Speed. Here’s what Toon Books has to say about it: “Did you know snails build roads like engineers and go undercover in camouflage like spies? Did you know they can be smaller than a seed or bigger than a grown-up’s hand? Kevin McCloskey mixes snail science, art, and hilarity for the newest book in his Giggle and Learn series, praised by The New York Times as ‘a winning combination of facts and gross-out fun.'” Looks like a little Science goes a long way… eventually…
Deep in the fuzzy heart of Texas in February 2018, Furry Fiesta had convened at a brand new facility in Dallas to compensate for their continued growth in attendance. When the festivities came to a close, it was announced that 3,866 were in attendance. This number ups its ranking in the list of most populous furry conventions, it now being the fifth largest.
It replaces Further Confusion, one of the original large furry conventions from the early years of furry. The convention from San Jose, California has always had a strong following. It’s pilot year in 1999 saw it as the third largest furry convention behind the first major gathering of Confurence, another Californian convention, and the soon to be leader of the pack Anthrocon, which was in the Philadelphia area at that time.
Further Confusion is currently in a creepingly slow decline since peaking in 2014 at 3560. As of 2018 they are now at 3415, which is still higher than they were the year before they reached their peak. This stagnation in growth can be more likely contributed to factors of seasonal competition from other growing conventions rather than the Californian convention’s own actions. Furry Fiesta, being among them, which occurs only a month after it. But also Biggest Little Fur Con (Reno, Nevada) which is geographically within 4 hours San Jose, both contribute to some stiff competition for the long running event.
Get a writer, an artist, a musician, and a programmer in the same room and what can you make? Well a video game, obviously. However, you need to remember you only have one of each, so you’re not going to be making the next Skyrim in your lifetime. So what do you do? Well, use the visual medium of gaming to tell the story you want to tell in a slightly more interactive way. You’re now on your way to creating a visual novel.
While most visual novels could barely qualify as games to some, these literary heavy games are the go to for the more well-read, and perhaps more ‘casual’ gamer, that doesn’t mind letting the words immerse them in their worlds.
The genre has already had notoriety in Japan for awhile, but just like the anime craze heading to the West in the 1990s, this storytelling medium is starting to get recognition in other parts of the world. Digital platforms, such as Steam, are allowing for niche games to find a market where one may not have existed before. And if furries know anything, for better or worse, is what happens when niches connect by wire (or wireless these day).
Our fandom, in the past couple of years, has shown that it too has caught onto the rising genre and has jumped in with both paws, and for the lack of a better term— are leaving their mark upon it.
This week, the furry world was rattled by news from the fandom’s bidding site of Dealer’s Den when a record setting bid closed out a battle to acquire a fursuit from the highly in demand Made Fur You. The final bid came in at $13,500 dollars by Desafinado, a fursuit collector who already has two to their name made by Mischief Makers, dropped the wad of cash to secure their third. They plan on making a horned cat character named Sage with it. They have done an interview over the transaction with Dog Patch Press that can be found here.
If anyone was curious as to what the suit will be. This is the character I am looking to get done. I was debating between this one and my bunny; but there are some other makers I would prefer to have my bunny done by, so Sage is the choice. pic.twitter.com/fzy1kzto55— Desafinado (@DezziFae) January 30, 2018
The transaction has brought up many critical statements. In those they note that the amount of money is the amount of a car, or a sizable down payment on a mortgage. Of course, such comparisons to practical commodities overlook the fact that the purchaser in question may already have shelter and a mode of transportation that they are secure and happy with. Finances are a very personal thing, and it takes some perspective to realize that there is always someone out there who will make a less practical financial decisions in the world when they are secure in the needs department. In fact many furry artists bank on this.
It's been a slow month here on Flayrah, judging by both the number of articles and newsbytes submitted. I know Sonious hasn't had as much free time lately, and my job's been keeping me busy, and then I caught the flu. (All better.) Now that it's February, I've still got a pile of tasks to get out of the way, and then hopefully things will pick up.
Still, we're not neglecting the site. If you've got an article or review, throw it our way! Also, I'll be attending Texas Furry Fiesta for my first time, where I'll be hosting two panels. The first is on foreign animated films, and the second is on the history of furry fandom. Improv events, which I also like to help run at cons when I get the chance, are already well-covered by several people at TFF - so I get to relax for a change!
Contributors to the Newsbytes this last month included 2cross2affliction, dronon, Equivamp, GreenReaper, and two new faces, BlindWolf8 and staghorne! And surprisingly, nothing from Fred - hope you're doing ok!
Though The Shape of Water is not traditionally furry (by either the "covered in fur" or the fandom definition), rarely does a movie about the romantic relationship between a human and a humanoid fish monster score 13 Oscar nominations. Writer and director Guillermo del Toro's science fiction fable, inspired by a famous scene in the classic Universal horror picture Creature from the Black Lagoon, is the odds-on favorite to win the Best Picture prize, which will make it the closest thing to a furry movie to claim that prize if it does.
In addition to its Best Picture nomination, it also gained nominations for del Toro in Best Directing and Best Writing (Original Screenplay) (along with screenwriting partner Vanessa Taylor). Del Toro had been previously nominated in the Best Original Screenplay category for Pan's Labyrinth (which was also nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, which is often credited as a second nomination for del Toro, though technically the nominee there was the country of Mexico due to the odd rules of the category). If del Toro wins for Directing, he will be third of a trio of Mexican directors nicknamed "The Three Amigos" to win the award this decade, after Alfonso Cuarón (winner for 2013 with Gravity) and Alejandro G. Iñárritu (winner for 2014 for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and 2015 for The Revenant).
Update: March 4, 2018: The Shape of Water has won Best Picture (Guillermo double-checked the envelope), making it the first science fiction movie to win the prize, with additional wins in the categories of Directing, Production Design and Original Score, giving it four total Oscars from its 13 nominations.
This Tuesday, ShiaCabbit, a member of the comedy skit group DifFURently that is known for performances on YouTube, tweeted that he had been aroused early in the morning by a fire that had consumed a neighboring complex. He took a recording of the inferno after having been evacuated from their own building.
So there’s a scary possibility that @Tihusky and I may lose everything we own. We woke up to this connected building here on fire. There’s a connecting section between these two buildings and the fire seems to have spread over. pic.twitter.com/OHGLbz31DL— Buncat @ ANE (@ShiaCabbit) January 16, 2018
Kenneth C. Fenske, better known in furry circles as LupineFox, has been found not guilty by a jury in a Bucks County court of sexual abuse charges which were widely reported in local media, and linked to the arrest of seven other suspects during 2016 and 2017.
The four day trial concluded after two hours of jury deliberations. LupineFox proclaimed his innocence throughout; unlike David R. Parker (RebelWolf), who plead guilty last August to federal child sex trafficking of the boy concerned, and assisted the prosecution. The defence focused on undermining the 16-year-old boy's testimony, calling it "a train wreck" and claiming that the ultimate goal was a payout in civil court.
Highlighted was the boy's recollection of Fenske taking off a fox costume (with "full long sleeves and pants, a zipper in the back, paw gloves, and a fox head with pointy ears") before the alleged rape – said to have occurred when he was 8, while attending furmeets at Fenske's house dressed as "Tony the Tiger". The builder of LupineFox's fox fursuit Renoir said it was made in 2015.
Nominations for the 2017 Ursa Major Awards will open on January 11, the first day of Further Confusion 2018. The awards celebrate the best anthropomorphic literature and art first published during the previous calendar year.
Find out more details at how to participate at our webpage: http://www.ursamajorawards.org/
The awards are selected through a two-stage process of nomination and voting. Members of the public send in up to five nominations in each of the twelve categories. The top nominations in each category are then presented for a public vote.
Surely, readers don't need the rules for a simple year end top ten list explained to them, but in case someone does, you can find them in one of the older lists.
Well, if you're familiar with the concept of Betteridge's Law, then you should already know the answer to that question. Hint: it's no. However, it's certainly an odd question to even present without a reason. So why ask?
Pousta, a Spanish language news site that covers fashion, design, music, and trends, posted an article about an early “fashion” of 2018 (Spanish). It covers a recent Internet meme around the consumption of detergent pods, and particularly its growth because of a video. This video is one of a furry YouTuber named Majira Strawberry with fellow fursuiter Arrin. The video ends with Arrin cooking a cheese pizza decorated with detergent pods.
Intimate Little Secrets (US$9.95 from FurPlanet) is an anthology of short stories written by Rechan with a cover illustration by Teagan Gavet. Originally I expected the stories to be short, erotic pieces, but this is not the case and approaching it in that way will not lead to a proper appreciation of the work. Sex plays a role in all the stories but they are more, as the title suggests, intimate secrets where we see how different characters interact and react.
The writing is excellent, particularly with regard to the characters themselves. Each one, even characters that only appear briefly, feel real and whole. In each story, we see situations where the characters lusts, needs, and vulnerabilities are all laid bare and you can't help but find yourself caring about the characters and wanting to know what their reasons for acting a certain way are.
"Well, we folks of the animal kingdom have our own version."
-Roger Miller, folk singer
Organized Christian theology has never really answered the question whether or not animals can be saved, but popular Christianity, as practiced by people rather than priests, has always seemed to think that salvation is available as much to animals as to humanity. A frequent way to tell the story of the Nativity is via the use of anthropomorphic animals. As a young child, I was at one time or another a lion and a firefly in various church Christmas pageants. Lions have traditionally been used in Christian art to symbolize Christ as King, though fireflies have never been very associated with Christmas in specific or Christianity in particular. I remember singing "This Little Light of Mine", anyway.
Which brings us to the original little light of Christianity and titular object of The Star. This is yet another retelling of the Nativity through the eyes of the animal kingdom, this time updated to slick CGI animated comedy. It's the same old story, but approximately 2.2 billion Christians around the world would attest it's a pretty decent story. So, it's got that going for it.
Writing a fantasy tetralogy is an ambitious project. I haven't even been able to write a full fantasy yet. To commit to four books, you have to have an epic story, set in an epic landscape, with engaging characters with strengths and weaknesses enough to get them to (and through) the rough spots.
In Legacy, Hugo Jackson achieves most of this easily. His heroes are likable, with relatable issues and strengths. The tale is G-rated without being trite. The fight and battle scenes are usually nicely described, and easy to follow.
Faria Phiraco is a resonator, a manipulator of the elements via rare crystals. It is an extraordinary and secret power which she and her father, the Emperor of Xayall, guard with their lives. The Dhraka, malicious red-scaled dragons, have discovered an ancient artefact; a mysterious relic from the mythical, aeons-lost city of Nazreal. With their plan already set in motion, they besiege Xayall, pummelling the city to find Faria and rip more of Nazreal's secrets from her.
When her father goes missing, Faria has to rely on her own strength to brave the world that attacks her at every turn. Friends and guardians rally by her to help save her father and reveal the mysteries of the ruined city, while the dark legacy of an ancient cataclysm wraps its claws around her fate... and her past.
On December 11, 2017, Thurston Howl Publications announced the launching of the new annual Leo Awards, to be administered by THP’s Furry Book Review program. They will be furry fandom’s third annual literary award, after the Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association’s Ursa Major Awards, presented for works since 2001, and the Furry Writers’ Guild’s Cóyotl Awards, presented for works since 2011.
The Leo Awards are still in the formation stage, but they will first be presented during 2018 for works published during the calendar year 2017. Nominations will be accepted by the Furry Book Review Program through March 1, 2018. The date of the announcement of the winners has not yet been set.
The Leo Awards will be given in the six categories of Novels, Novellas, Anthologies, Nonfiction, Short Stories, and Poems. Nominators must be authors of furry books, two short stories, or three poems, or the editor of an anthology of furry stories, during the past five years. (Or be one of the Furry Book Review’s reviewers. See the Leo Awards nomination list for the full rules.)
Unlike the two prior awards, the winners will be chosen by a FBR panel of five to ten author judges. The winners must be approved by 2/3 of the judges. The nominees will be considered for literary merit. Those that are approved of having such merit will be declared Leo Award winners. Thus it is possible to have multiple award winners in each category. The goal of the Leo Awards is to publicly recommend all of the furry works worth reading in each category every year, not just the single best.