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anthologies

Leo Awards, furry fandom's third annual literary awards, announced

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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.

"Dogs of War II: Aftermath" anthology to be released at Midwest FurFest 2017

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (8 votes)

Cover art by Teagan Gavet.Dogs of War II: Aftermath, edited by Fred Patten, is launching at Midwest FurFest 2017 in Rosemont (Chicago), Illinois over the November 30-December 3 four-day weekend. You can pre-order it from FurPlanet, and after the con you can find it for sale through their online catalogue.

Dogs of War II: Aftermath is an all-original anthology of 20 short stories and novelettes of anthropomorphic animals (not just dogs) in military scenarios, from battle action to boot camps, from the past to the future, on land, at sea, and in space. This is designed to appeal to both s-f & fantasy fans, and fans of military s-f.

From bioengineered military dogs with Artificial Intelligence to a fawn trying to prove he's a stag, a horse sailor on a warship, a canid/ape space war, a self-aware robot bird, a fox soldier passed over for a deserved promotion, reindeer Vikings, animal Sea Bees constructing an island airstrip, and more; these are stories for your imagination and enjoyment.

Review: Seven Deadly Sins: Furry Confessions, edited by Thurston Howl

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (4 votes)

Seven Sins.jpgDISCLAIMER: I have a story in here. Way deep down in the sloth section.

This a collection of dark and often adult tales (or tails, if you pre-fur) that explore the Seven Deadly Sins of Christian fame: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth. Trouble makers all, to be sure. It's a rich field of study has reveled countless bumper crops of stories (true and fictional) and offers a handy umbrella to pull together the best of the worst of us storytellers.

Even Dr. Who has a Seven Deadly Sins themed anthology out there.

Still, for all the familiar ground these most famous of sins represent, this was an ambitious collection.

Overall, the anthology itself felt a little rushed. Not the stories themselves, mind you. I don't think there were any clunkers here. There were a few stories, however, that left me wondering what they were saying about their selected sin. Each story feels like it got the right amount of editorial attention.

My quibble is of a Macro sort. Seven Deadly Sins: Furry Confessions called for a sharper editorial eye then I think it got. Too often, very similar themes and acts follow too closely in one story to the next. That's bound to happen in the close quarters of the pages between a book cover.

And, I have to admit, part of my kvetch, might be my fault. I read all the interludes first. They knocked my socks off and I skipped every story to get to the mystery tormenting our hosts. As a result, I'm complaining about the holes in a magic show when I went out of my way to see how the tricks were set up before watching the magicians perform.

So, take my quibble with a few grams of a salt lick. THP is a new publisher and they've made quite a commitment to themed anthologies. I feel they are going to get better with each one. I know I'm looking forward to being there to watch them grow.

Presenting my story thoughts in the order that they appeared, with the interludes excluded and withheld to the end.

The 2016 Ursa Major Award winners

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The 2016 Ursa Majors Awards logo.The 2016 Ursa Major Awards have been announced on Friday afternoon, June 30th at the Anthrocon convention in Pittsburgh. The Ursa Major Awards, for the best anthropomorphic fiction of the past calendar year, are presented in twelve categories by the Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association (ALAA), and are voted upon by the public on the Ursa Major Awards website.

Symbol of a Nation slated for Anthrocon release

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Front cover of the book Symbol of a Nation, art by Jenn 'Pac' Rodriguez Symbol of a Nation, edited by Fred Patten, is launching at Anthrocon 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania over the June 29-July 3 five-day weekend.

Symbol of a Nation is an all-original anthology of 11 short stories and novelettes featuring the anthropomorphized official animal (or bird) symbols of nations. This is designed to appeal to both s-f & fantasy fans, and fans of political science.

Below are the list of countries and animals that will be included in this set:

Belgium – lion
Chile – Andean condor
Denmark – mute swan
Italy – wolf
Malaysia – tiger
Mauritius – dodo (extinct)
Namibia - oryx
Romania - lynx
Singapore - lion
Spain - bull
U.S.A. – bald eagle
Vietnam – water buffalo

2016 Cóyotl Awards winners announced

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Coyotl.jpgThe 2016 Cóyotl Awards have been announced at the Furlandia convention in Portland. The Cóyotl Awards, for the best anthropomorphic fiction of the past calendar year, are presented by the Furry Writers' Guild, and are voted upon by the 150+ members of the FWG.

Below are listed the winners and nominees of the 2016 Cóyotl Awards.

Best Novel

Winner

The Digital Coyote by Kris Schnee

Nominees

Black Angel by Kyell Gold
Dog Country by Malcolm F. Cross
Flower’s Curse by Madison Keller
Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada

Review: 'Five Fortunes'

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

Five Fortunes Five Fortunes, edited by Fred Patten (FurPlanet), is a collection of five novellas from some of the best writers who write for general audiences in the Furry Fandom. The five stories provided in this anthology are as follows:

  • Chosen People by Phil Geusz
  • Huntress by Renee Carter Hall
  • Going Concerns by Watts Martin
  • When a Cat Loves a Dog by Mary E. Lowd
  • Piece of Mind by Bernard Doove

I am not sure how well the the term "fortune" applies to the five works, so on that level the collection doesn't feel as if it is all that well tied together as a theme. However, with five long works here it's not too problematic to have them each be their own thing. It's not like there's a lot of "destiny" fans out there. Each story approaches the nugget of self-determination from a different angle: from being mindful of doing the right thing (Geusz), to the finding one's self (Hall), to finding a way to survive the week (Martin) or the condition of one's life overall(Doove).

It's a furry sampler of novel sized works. This size is perfect for people who don't always like short stories because the story's over just as they get to know a character, but also don't wish to invest in story cover to cover. If, somehow, you don't know these writers or their universes, then this is a good place to start learning.

Review: 'An Anthropomorphic Century', edited by Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (6 votes)
AnAnthropomorphicCenturyFront420.jpg
Cover art by Mark Brill

Edited by Furry Fandom's most beloved Eagle, Fred Patten, An Anthropomorphic Century reprints stories ranging from 1909 to 2008, including the talents of Peter S. Beagle, Philip K. Dick, Michael H. Payne, Phil Geusz, Renee Carter Hall, and more… including myself.

Starting with "Tobermory" by Saki in 1909, Fred does an excellent job putting these stories in a historical and social context. Around the midpoint, however, the historical context begins to soften just a little. The stories are excellent, but not all are milestones, so I would have enjoyed a bit more perspective in what was going on in the real world when they saw print.

Fred may have decided to let the newer stories stand on their own rather than distracting readers from the work themselves. Perhaps this was a good decision; the collection puts on no airs that of a textbook, after all – but Fred Patten is an expert historian of two fandoms (the other being anime). I couldn't imagine a person better suited to bringing external context to these stories.

Disclaimer: I have a story in this anthology. I'll address that story last.

Gods with Fur — and Feathers, Scales…

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)
Gods with Fur; cover by BlackTeagan (Teagan Gavet)
Cover by Teagan Gavet

Fred Patten’s newest anthology, Gods with Fur, goes on sale this week at Anthrocon 2016. Published by FurPlanet Productions, the 453-page trade paperback contains 23 original stories by Kyell Gold, Mary E. Lowd, Michael H. Payne, and many more – featuring gods of anthropomorphic worlds, and our anthropomorphic gods.

You may know of Egyptian mythology’s jackal-headed Anubis, but have you heard of wolf-headed Wepwawet? We're familiar with China’s Monkey King and the native North Americans’ Coyote (who say they’re gods), but what of the Aztecs’ 400 drunken rabbits?

Here are historic gods, the gods of their authors’ series (Kyell Gold’s Forrester Universe; Heidi Vlach’s Aligare, Kris Schnee’s Talespace), and totally original gods.

Review: 'Furry! The Best Anthropomorphic Fiction Ever!', edited by Fred Patten

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Furry! The Best Anthropomorphic Fiction Ever! I read this back in 2006; it was a present from a friend who I swapped books with. I had forgotten that I had a detailed review of the stories on Bookcrossing.com.

I'm sharing old news, sure, but the book's still available in many formats and you'll enjoy it.

It makes me smile thinking how in 2006, I didn't know any of these Furries, and thanks to the Furry Writers' Guild I know many of them. At least virtually so.

This collection [available on Amazon] was divided into three sections:

  • Living Together: Furries and Humans
  • Living Apart: Alternate Furry Worlds
  • Living Within: Transformation

Video Review: 'The Furry Future', edited by Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (5 votes)

Isiah reviews The Furry Future.

See also: Review by dronon.

Review: 'The Furry Future', edited by Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

The Furry Future Furry fiction is replete with references to its characters' ears, tails, paws, and how they notice scent in the world around them. While adding to a story's atmosphere, in many cases the characters could, with minor modifications, be written as humans. In The Furry Future, editor Fred Patten wanted to depart from cursory furriness.

This is an anthology of short stories more firmly rooted in science-fiction, not fantasy, in which the existence of its furry characters tries to be relevant to its stories.

FurPlanet Productions, January 2015, trade paperback $19.95 (446 pgs.), eBook $9.95. Cover by BlackTeagan.

Review: 'ROAR Volume 6: Scoundrels' edited by Mary E. Lowd

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

roar6.jpgMary E. Lowd takes over the editing helm of the ROAR series from Bad Dog Books, taking on the theme of "Scoundrels" for this year. The 28 stories in ROAR volume 6 explore scoundrels from the light-hearted to the most dire.

Ms. Lowd went out of her way to look for writers who hadn't written for the furry fandom before and quite successfully brought back gold (along with fan favorites like Kyell Gold).

By the way, the table of contents is slightly off. There's a story out of order and the page numbers get a bit off. Considering the wayward story is about a dog being chased by his future father in law, you might say that he's trying to do this.

FurPlanet Productions, July, 2015, trade paperback $19.95 (294 pgs.). Edited by Mary E. Lowd.

Review: 'Inhuman Acts: A Collection of Noir' edited by Ocean Tigrox

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Inhuman Acts: A Collection of NoirInhuman Acts: A Collection of Noir is tied together with a framing sequence as Stanley Rivets, private investigator, reviews 13 case files given to him by a mysterious figure.

It's my least favorite narrative in the book as many of these all new stories simply take place on incompatible worlds. Stanley (or his host) is, I imagine, giving the introduction to each story. The introductions are done well enough, but they aren't exactly in the flavor of (nor consistent with) the foreword.

That's OK. You're not really paying for the foreword, nor the introductions. These stories of anthropomorphic noir all stand alone well enough. Some stories are weak in their presentation of the anthropomorphic aspect of the story-telling; by that I mean these stories could too easily be about humans. This doesn't bother some furries.

The best of the collection mix the science fiction, the fantastic, and the crushing atmosphere of dark or darkening worlds to create Ocean Tigrox's vision of furry noir.

Disclaimer: I have a story in this collection.

FurPlanet Productions, September 24, 2015, trade paperback $19.95 (316 + 2 pgs.). ebook from BadDogBooks.com $9.95 Edited by Ocean Tigrox, cover by Seylyn.

Review: 'Naughty Sexy Furry Writing: Enter At Your Own Risk' by Rainfurrest volunteers

Your rating: None Average: 2.4 (5 votes)

NSFW:Enter At Your Own RiskThe RainFurrest Annual Charity Anthology was created to celebrate and showcase the literary aspect of the anthropomorphics fandom as well as to raise funds for charity. NSFW: Enter At Your Own Risk is the adult version. Lots of sex with anthropomorphic animals.

Features the following writers, all who donated stories: Bryan Nickleberry, Rechan, Cheshire, Bill Kieffer, Kits and PJ Wolf, and featuring art by Dr. West, Bill "Greyflank" Kieffer and P. Gaither with a cover by Rhari.

The collection is nice, not as uneven as some anthologies, although some stories could use a bit more proof-reading.

Disclaimer: I am one of the story writers of the anthology. I am also the biggest offender in the proof-reading sense.

Illustrated, Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Publications, September 2015, trade paperback $10.00 (124 pages).