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February 2012

MTV's 'True Life' casting fans for furry episode

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (6 votes)

MTV's True LifeMTV's True Life has issued a casting call for furries aged 16-25, and potential cast members are already posting about it. [tip: sohjin]

True Life is is billed as following "unique persons in their everyday situations, and [documenting] the problems and goals they face." Their most recent episodes were "I'm A Chubby Chaser", "I Can't Please My Parents", "I'm A Sex Offender" and "I Have Diabetes".

True Life previously covered the fandom in infamous "Sex2k" segment Plushies and Furries.

Review: 'The Animal Fable in Science Fiction and Fantasy', by Bruce Shaw

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (8 votes)

The Animal Fable in Science Fiction and Fantasy; image by Howard V. Brown from 'Startling Stories', November 1939Academia strikes again. This scholarly study, #20 in the McFarland’s “Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy” series, edited by Donald E. Palumbo and C. W. Sullivan III, presents a literary and historical analysis of the theme of intelligent animals in modern (20th) century science fiction and fantasy.

Though animal stories and fables stretch back into the antiquity of ancient India, Persia, Greece and Rome, the reasons for writing them and their resonance for readers (and listeners) remain consistent to the present. This work argues that they were essential sources of amusement and instruction--and were also often profoundly unsettling. Such authors in the realm of the animal fable as Tolkien, Freud, Voltaire, Bakhtin, Cordwainer Smith, Karel ?apek, Vladimir Propp, and many more are discussed. (back-cover blurb)

McFarland & Co., April 2010, trade paperback $35.00 (vii + 260 pages). Foreword by Van Ikin.

Review: 'Stories of Camp RainFurrest'

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (8 votes)

Stories of Camp RainfurrestSeattle’s first Furry conventions began in 1998. There were eight annual ConiFur Northwests, growing from 275 to 525 attendees, before they self-destructed after the 2005 event.

Rainfurrest (or Rainfurrest Anthropomorphics International) was first held in 2007 to be ConiFur’s replacement. It seems to be more successful; Rainfurrest has grown from 370 attendees in 2007 to 1,420 last year.

Practically all Furry conventions have souvenir “conbooks”, and two or three short stories by members are a feature of these. Rainfurrest 2011 decided to take this a step further.

Dallas, TX. FurPlanet Productions, September 2011, trade paperback $10.00 (108 pages).

Toronto brewery hosts 'Menagerie' art show

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

MenagerieThe Steam Whistle Brewery, in Toronto, Canada, is hosting an exhibition of "a series of anthropomorphic illustrations".

Entitled Menagerie, the art show features the work of nineteen local artists, who explore "the idea of anthropomorphism as a form of self-extension".

The exhibition, featuring images of a number of different species, runs until February 26. Entry is free.

'Rango' wins Annie for Best Animated Feature; 'Kung Fu Panda 2' takes Best Director

Your rating: None Average: 4 (6 votes)

annie-award.jpgAt the 39th Annual Annie Awards, movies featuring anthropomorphic animal characters took many top awards.

Rango was the big winner, with four awards, including Best Animated Feature. The movie with the most nominations, Kung Fu Panda 2, only won two, but one of them was Best Director for first time theatrical director Jennifer Yuh Nelson.

Other such movies with wins include Rise of the Planet of the Apes, winning Character Animation (in a Live Action Feature), Winnie the Pooh, which won Storyboarding, and Rio, for Character Animation (in an Animated Feature).

Review: 'Otters in Space', by Mary E. Lowd

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (10 votes)

'Otters in Space, 2nd. ed.Despite the title, the protagonist of Otters in Space, Kipper, is a tabby cat.

The bus stop sign and shelter were in front of a giant, white church. The Church of the First Race was an historical building, preserved from the time when humans still walked the Earth. It dwarfed the taller but smaller-scale high-rises around it. It was the oldest building in New LA. Kipper had been inside once and sat on the monstrous pews, but, like most cats, she didn’t feel comfortable with First Race doctrine. It was a dog religion – they preached that humans, the First Race, had left Earth as emissaries to the stars and would return to bring all the peoples of Earth into a confederation of interstellar sentience. Someday. (p. 1)

“Otters in Space: The Search for Cat Havana”, by Mary E. Lowd.
FurPlanet Publications, January 2012, 2nd Ed.; trade paperback $9.95 (176 pages); ebook $5.99.

Josh Agle art exhibition inspired by furries

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (8 votes)

Josh Agle's Animal KingdomThe Corey Helford Gallery, in Culver City, California, is to play host to an exhibition by painter Josh Agle, also known as "Shag".

Entitled Animal Kingdom, the exhibition will display a number of Agle's paintings, created in his distinctive retro style. Each features one or more characters dressed as animals, including feline women, equine men, a boy dressed as a lamb, and men sporting antlers.

Agle found inspiration in the furry subculture and anime fandom:

I love looking into subcultures. [...] I love that people throw themselves into it wholeheartedly

Agle was particularly inspired by fursuiters, the subset of the furry fandom which dresses up in costumes, and intrigued by the notion that "people are 'hooking up' in costume at furry conventions":

In my paintings, I always try to reference our connection to our prehistoric selves as human beings. Since we're descended from earlier mammals, maybe these people are more in touch with their primal being.

Animal Kingdom's initial reception is scheduled for February 11; the show ends on the 29th.

York Revolution baseball team holds auditions for mascot

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (8 votes)

York Revolutions' DownTownThe York Revolution, a professional baseball team based in York, Pennsylvania, is holding auditions to find a performer for DownTown, the team's blue, vaguely avian mascot.

Auditions will be held 2–4 PM on Saturday, February 18 at Sovereign Bank Stadium, 5 Brooks Robinson Way, in York City. Applicants must be friendly, energetic, dependable, outgoing, in good physical shape, work well with children, have reliable transportation to and from the stadium, and be at least 16 years old. In order to fit into the mascot costume, applicants must also be between 5'6" and 6'2".

Candidates will have to perform a two-minute skit during the audition. Those chosen to join York Revolution's promotional squad (the Shipley Green Team) will be paid $7.25 an hour, and the person selected to play DownTown will be paid $60 per game.

Review: 'The Peculiar Quandary of Simon Canopus Artyle', by Kevin Frane

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

The Peculiar Quandary of Simon Canopus Artyle; art by XianJaguarFor most of his wizarding life, Simon Canopus Artyle lived in the same splendid little house that was nestled up against the trunk of a giant tree. The tree was an Ephaian Oak, only it was much larger than any normal Ephaian Oak should be, having grown to its inordinate size due to the fact that Simon had spent over two centuries living in proximity to it, and magic flowed through Simon more readily than it did most people, including other wizards. When a wizard lives anywhere, though, giant tree or no, a full-fledged community typically grows up around them within five or six decades, since, as a general rule, a wizard is a very good thing for any town to have (and after this happens, most wizards decide against packing up and leaving, since the inevitable will inevitably happen again, and most simply can’t be bothered to make the effort anyway). (p. 1)

This opening paragraph indicates the leisurely, relaxed style in which Frane presents this somewhat Georgian anthropomorphic comedy of manners. Simon Artyle, a fox wizard of a couple of centuries (although he looks to be only twenty-nine or thirty), is a reader, a lover of books and libraries, to such a degree that other wizards have made him their Grand Historian of Magic, Wizarding, and Spellcraft.

“The Peculiar Quandary of Simon Canopus Artyle”, by Kevin Frane. Illustrated by XianJaguar.
FurPlanet Productions, June 2010, trade paperback $9.95 (vii + 78 pages; also at Amazon).

Review: 'Welcome to Cappuccinos', by Graveyard Greg

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (4 votes)

Welcome to Cappuccinos; cover by MitternachtGraveyard Greg explains in his Foreword how he came to write this novel. Firstly, there was the Second Life virtual-reality world, for which he created a jackal persona with a red Mohawk wearing black jeans and red sunglasses. Secondly, there was his brief job as a barista at a Starbucks. Thirdly, there was John “The Gneech” Robey’s series Fictionlets: The Extremely Brief Adventures of Bridgid and Greg, each of 400 words or less. Fourthly, there was his own imagination, which blended them together, named his jackal Venti and gave him a job as a part-time barista at a Starbucks clone, and he was off and running in a series of short-short-short chapters of one page or slightly over each. Voilà; Welcome to Cappuccinos! (exclamation point optional).

FurPlanet Productions, January 2012, trade paperback $19.95 (246 pages). Illustrated by Mitternacht.

Review: 'Bridges', by Kyell Gold

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

Bridges; art by KeoviThis is a mature content book. Please ensure that you are of legal age to purchase this material in your state or region. (publisher's advisory)

This novella is the first in FurPlanet’s ”Cupcake” series of works that are too short to be novels, but are long enough to stand on their own. It is also the winner of the Ursa Major Award for the Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction of 2010. Finally, it is the fourth of Gold’s “Forester Universe” stories, set in the same world as his Waterways, Out of Position, and Isolation Play.

FurPlanet Productions, February 2010, trade paperback $9.95 (vii + 114 pages; at Amazon); Kindle $7.99. Illustrated by Keovi.

Baltimore area furs offer prizes for convention name ideas

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

A group of fans near Baltimore, Maryland plan to start their own furry convention, and are looking for naming ideas – for which they appear to be willing to pay. [skippyfox]

Prizes on offer include a $50 gift card, free admission, a t-shirt and a "super special" ribbon. Entries (one per person) must be in by Tuesday night.