Review: 'Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989-2015', by Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (5 votes)

Cover to Fred Patten's 'Furry Fandom Conventions'. Cover art by Yamavu.

First off, let me engage in an act of self-disclosure: I recently finished writing Furry Nation, a personal history of the birth and growth of our community and its treatment at the hands of entertainment and news media that will be published in the fall by Cleis Press. I interviewed numerous furs for the book, unknown and well-known, Fred included.

I found myself concerned it would be a conflict of interest for me to opine on Fred’s work, with the temptation to belittle it in comparison to my own. However I was happy to find Fred’s book unique in its own right. It is a work of scholarship I could never hope to duplicate. In fact, I wish it had been published a year or two earlier; it would have been an immense help to me in writing about furry conventions worldwide, a topic not covered in great detail in my own non-fiction work.

Furry conventions from A to Z

Furry Fandom Conventions begins with a brief overview of the various kinds of furry gatherings and a succinct timeline of the fandom’s origin and spread. Even though the timespan covered is in the book’s title, the conventions themselves are described not chronologically but alphabetically, from the first “Abando” convention in Brazil in 2008 (with 15 attendees), to the last “ZonieCon”, held in in Tucson, Arizona in 2001 (57). The decision to alphabetize makes perfect sense: if you’re curious about say, Further Confusion, it makes it a lot easier to trace its history in one place rather than flip through the entire book looking for each year’s summary.

Finally, after a long wait: 'Tai-Pan Universe #51'

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

tp51-52-medium.pngTales of the Tai-Pan Universe #51, a furry science-fiction shared-universe fanzine that was announced in July 2015 as coming soon is finally here. It came out in July 2016, and is a double issue: #51 & #52. With a glossy cover and square binding, it feels more like a book than a fanzine.

As editor Gene Breshears describes it,

We're calling it a double issue, but at 162 pages and with 20 stories, issue 51-52 contains more than four ordinary issues' worth of tales!

It's available for $15 from Rabbit Valley, or from the Tai-Pan Literary and Arts Project. Back issues can be ordered, too - again from Rabbit Valley and also from Second Ed, at a discount. But the news isn't all good...

Review: 'Capricious: A Texan Tale of Love and Magic', by Julie Cox

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

Book cover with a satyr-like silhouetteHere's a book that you might not immediately think of as furry. Capricious: A Texan Tale of Love and Magic, by Julie Cox.

At first, the book cover resembles the Kokopelli rock-drawing designs from the American Southwest. But if you look closely, you'll note that there are hooves and horns and, by gosh, that's furry enough for me!

Luke loves two things: his land and Sally. He pours a lot of magic and effort into one of them. The other he pretends to just like as a friend. Nobody is fooled except Luke.

Circlet Press, June 2014, 305 pages, ebook $6.99, paperback $14.95 (US). An audio version can be heard on the Nobilis Erotica podcast.

Newsbytes archive for January 2017

Your rating: None Average: 3 (5 votes)

Contributors this month include dronon, Equivamp, Fred, GreenReaper, Greyflank, InkyCrow, Patch Packrat, Rakuen Growlithe, RingtailedFox, and Sonious.

Editorial: Furry - Our deliverance or our destruction?

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (12 votes)

When perusing written news articles about furries written outside the fandom you’ll usually run into the typical faire. Some articles will talk about furries and try and introduce their unknowing audience to what the fandom is. Others will talk about the local convention in town and why the denizens will be seeing all these costumes about. Heck, some will not even be about the fandom at all and will just be using the term to talk about pets or the band Super Furry Animals.

However, 2017 has started off on a very interesting foot as two articles showed up on the feed which don’t take the tired and treaded routes. Both looked at pieces of the fandom and their relationship to the recently inaugurated president, Donald Trump and what he stands for in society in general.

One article from Slate covered a Kyell Gold book and discussed how the virtues with in could counter Trump. The other, from Motherboard, describes another piece of fandom and their alt-right tendencies and pondering if crass anonymity can lead to crass actors acquiring power.

So let’s go over these two articles and what they have to say about furry fandom.

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic licencing woes caused cancellation fears

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (6 votes)

Freedom Fighters Emblem / Archie Sonic Online, by DrawLoverLaLa

A mainstay of the Sonic and Furry Fandoms for the past quarter-century was feared no more.  The Sonic the Hedgehog series of comic books published by Archie Comics Publications since 1993 have not been cancelled, thankfully, only delayed.  As of December 2016, the comic has reached 290 issues, and is the longest-running licensed comic in history (surprassing Conan the Barbarian's 275 issues), the longest-running sci-fi comic (surpassing Star Trek's 212 or so issues), and holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest-running comic book based on a video game.

Time to nominate the 2016 Ursa Major Awards!

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (4 votes)

Ursa Major Awards logoFrom January 12 to February 28, 2017, it's time to nominate your favorite furry creations for the 2016 Ursa Major Awards!

Is there a furry comic, story, movie, video, podcast, or anything else with furry content that brightened your day last year? Nominate it – don't put it off until the last minute!

You can nominate up to five things in each of twelve categories. If you're unsure what to nominate, check out the 2016 Recommendations… and you can nominate titles that aren't on that list! It's there to give ideas, to help you find furry stuff that you might not have heard of.

Sometimes, a Nomination or a Recommendation feels like it fits into more than one category. You can browse previous years (like the 2015 Recommendations) to see where something should go. As of 2016 there's a new category: Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction Work.

Spike "Boss Pony" Nico, founder of club Rainbow Tiger, passes on

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

On Janurary 13, Equino Faukland, a friend of Spike Niko, posted about the passing of the founder of Rainbow Tiger to the club's group:

Hello my friends from Rainbow Tiger. I wish I was coming to you with something other than bad news, but with a heavy heart I must inform you that yesterday Spike Nico, the Boss Pony of the Rainbow Tiger passed away. Some of you might know that Spike was sick back in June with some lung issues and was in pretty bad shape. However, always the fighter Spike pulled through and was in full recovery. However his illness resurfaced this winter with a vengeance. He died in his bed yesterday from complications of his illness.

Review: 'The Secret Life of Pets', Cute and colourful fluff

Your rating: None Average: 4 (6 votes)

A dog sits in front of a door, waiting for its owner to come home.The Secret Life of Pets [trailer] is the first of two animated movies released in 2016 from Illumination Studios, most known for its films Despicable Me and Minions.

Compared with their competition at Disney and Pixar, Illumination relies less on strong storytelling and instead leans more heavily towards pure charm to make their movies successful. In the past, they've accomplished this with cute and colourful characters, and a child-friendly sense of humour.

With that history in mind, The Secret Life of Pets continues its studio's charm offensive, compensating well for a bland and forgettable story.

VancouFur 2017 drops art show after failing to find new staff

Your rating: None Average: 2 (1 vote)

VancouFur 2017 logo Canadian furry convention VancouFur will have no art show at this March's event, due to a failure to replace departmental staff who resigned mid-October.

We are very sorry to announce that VancouFur's Art Show has been cancelled for 2017 due not being able to secure adequate staff and leads for the department. We thank everyone who put time and effort into the department this year and we hope that it can resume in future years!

Artists who paid for panels in the show are being contacted to arrange refunds.

The news follows the resignation of art show lead Mesa and her partner Silvermink, following their attempt to get a fan alleged privately of attempted rape banned from VancouFur, which led to intense debate for several weeks.

Newsbytes archive for May to December 2016

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (6 votes)

Due to Earthfurst and Dronon having to reconstruct these Newsbytes from Twitter, Facebook and the archive.org Wayback Machine, the formatting may have been changed from the original links. Hopefully everyone has been attributed correctly! A few URLs have been replaced because the original ones stopped working.

Contributors during this period include Acton, aquariusotter, Ahmar Wolf, crossaffliction, dronon, earthfurst, Fred, GreenReaper, Greyflank, Huskyteer, InkyCrow, Kakurady, Patch Packrat, Rakuen Growlithe, RingtailedFox, Snow The Fennec Fox, Sonious and TyphonDog.

2016: A grueling year of growth for furry fandom

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (12 votes)

There have been many articles speaking to the harshness and cruelty of the year 2016. This time in history has been seen in such a negative light that people have gone so far as to make horror trailer parodies of the year itself. Barring the turbulent political results in countries such as the United States and United Kingdom, many celebrities who brought forth stories of endearment and inspired a generation passed on this year.

But just like you this year the furry fandom has been filled with reminders of our own mortality and that while some may try and use the fandom as an escape from these very realities, death and political strife caused by our interactions have made themselves apparent this year more than any in recent memory.

Review: 'Furries: A Documentary', by Eric Risher

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (10 votes)

Two fursuiters stand side by side, contemplating the city at night. Furries: A Documentary [trailer] is a 33-minute video about furry fandom directed by Eric Risher. The project started as a short student film he made for university in 2009 called Through Fox's Eyes [trailer], after which he began gathering footage to turn it into a full documentary.

In 2015, Eric used Kickstarter to fund the final stages of the production, and doubled the modest $2,500 he'd hoped to receive. The completed work appeared in May 2016 – as did the online release of another fandom documentary, Fursonas (81 min.) by Dominic Rodriguez, who'd secured more attention and better distribution.

I think Furries is definitely the stronger of the two; it projects a much more positive vibe!

Review: 'The Secret Life of Pets', animated film

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (10 votes)

A group of pets stare at a cityscape. The Secret Life of Pets [trailer] is Illumination Entertainment's latest CG animated film offering, released on July 8, 2016. It's an entertaining comedy that's been doing quite well at the box office. I went to a weekday early evening screening, and the theater was packed with about an equal mix of adults and kids. Everyone seemed to enjoy it!

The story starts in an apartment building in Manhattan. Max (voiced by Louis C.K.) is a terrier who adores his owner, a young woman named Katie. One day she brings home a second dog, a huge, shaggy brown Newfoundland named Duke. Max and Duke don't get along at all. Their conflict results in them getting lost in the city, avoiding animal control officers and a gang of abandoned pets led by an insane white rabbit named Snowball. Meanwhile, the other pets from the apartment building embark on a quest to find them, led by Gidget, a white pomeranian.

Review: 'Bodies in Motion', by Robert Baird

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

Bodies in Motion coverThis review is part of my commitment to reviewing anthropomorphic literature during Furry Book Month.

Romance and sex have always surrounded travel, and the vehicles we use for it. Even in the age of mass transit, there's still a thrill in leaving the known behind and moving as a stranger among strangers.

A sense of movement, freedom and adventure pervades these seven tales of M/F erotica, each set in, or set in motion by, a different form of transport.

Self-published ebook, 2016, pay what you want.

From the Yerf Archive