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Fandom history book "Furry Nation" to be previewed at Anthrocon by author

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FN.jpg Those attending Anthrocon this year that have an interest in non-fiction works about our little fandom will not want to miss the session I am hosting on Sunday, July 2nd to preview my book looking at the history of furries, Furry Nation. The book gives this "greymuzzle" freelance writer's perspective, having been in the fandom since 1988; a journey which all began with a surprise invitation in the mail to something called a 'furry party' being held at a Philadelphia Sci-Fi convention.

Furry Nation tells the story of the fandom’s birth and growth, from the earliest “funny animal” comic book fans and convention organizers to the worldwide fandom it is today. Artists, fursuit builders, and fans of all stripes are profiled, and of course our rocky relationship with the Hollywood animation community is also examined. In the book’s final chapter a genetic scientist discusses the possibility that genetic therapy will someday transform humans into actual anthropomorphic animals. Furry has indeed transformed many lives, including my own in ways I never expected— personal experiences that became a part of Furry Nation.

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

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (4 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.

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

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (3 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.

Review: 'Bodies in Motion', by Robert Baird

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 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.

Review: 'Dog Country', by Malcolm F. Cross

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

dogcountry.jpgThis review is part of my commitment to reviewing anthropomorphic literature during Furry Book Month.

A crowdfunded war fought by genetically identical dog-people created as soldiers and emancipated into a world that doesn't understand, or always approve of, their special talents.

What could possibly go wrong?

Edane, Ereli and their hundreds of brothers were grown and trained to form fighting units, but the company that created them was shut down when they were still, biologically, children.

Now adults, some scrape a living as mercenaries, doing odd jobs, or fighting for a betting audience. The lucky ones have a career in MilSim, a realtime combat simulation game, but some figures in the sport are starting to argue that they're too good and shouldn't compete.

Self-published, 2016, ebook (288 pages) $4.99 (US) / £3.99 (UK).

Review: 'Splice: Conditioning', by Cocoa

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This review is part of my commitment to reviewing anthropomorphic literature during Furry Book Month.

Described as a 'dystopian sci-fi erotic novel', Splice: Conditioning is set in a near future where natural disasters have made large parts of the USA uninhabitable and plunged many of its citizens into poverty.

One light in the darkness is the presence of Splices: genetically engineered, anthropomorphic dogs who act as companions and sex toys, as well as taking over some of the riskier or more unpleasant jobs.

Because of the dangers inherent in creating human-sized dogs capable of rational thought and tool operation, each Splice has a Conditioning Phrase known to its creators and owner, and is programmed to enter a submissive, obedient state when this is spoken.

Self-published, 2016, ebook $2.97.

Review: 'Flower's Fang', by Madison Keller

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

This review is part of my commitment to reviewing anthropomorphic literature during Furry Book Month.

Arara is the smallest Jegera of her year, constantly bullied for her appearance and desperate to leave her village as soon as the coming of age ceremony is complete.

Sels of the flower Kin is a prince without his race's magic powers, travelling towards his last opportunity to choose a sedyu-bonded companion from the newly adult Jegera.

It's no surprise that these two outcasts find each other, and their magic bond, nor that the lowly runt turns out to have a vital part to play in the future of both races. But watching the drama play out, and the underdogs have their day, is hugely enjoyable. Some tropes are tropes for a reason.

Hundeliebe Publishing, 2014, trade paperback $14.99 (354 pages), ebook $2.99 (99c during October 2016).

October 2016 is Furry Book Month

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (11 votes)

FBM logo 200.pngThis October, we're raising the profile of anthropomorphic literature and bringing furry stories to a wider audience.

The Furry Writers' Guild has joined forces with some of our fandom's great authors and publishers to offer special deals during the month, from free shipping and discount codes to free books.

'Furry Fandom Conventions' still needs information

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

Fred Patten says:

My book on furry fandom conventions throughout the world, from the first in January 1989 through the end of 2015, was supposed to be sent to the publisher, McFarland, on March 1st (about 280 manuscript pages). Instead McFarland has given me an extension to try to get information about some conventions that have a lot of question marks because their committees are not answering my requests for information. The questions are things like “Who was Western Pennsylvania Furry Weekend 2015’s guest of honor?”, and “Who were Arizona Fur Con 2015’s conbook cover artist and T-shirt artist?”

Since questions to these conventions’ website “contact us” addresses are being ignored, does anyone have the e-mail addresses of any individual staffers for these conventions? On details like the name of Arizona Fur Con 2015’s convention book cover artist, AFC 2015 had 725 attendees. Does anyone have its convention book, and is there a cover artist credit in it?

Following is a list of the conventions not replying. The e-mail addresses of any of their individual staffers will be appreciated. Or if anyone knows any of their individual staffers, just tell them that I am trying (unsuccessfully so far) to contact them.

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: 4.7 (3 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.

'The Art of Zootopia' now taking preorders on Amazon

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (7 votes)

This one's for Fred.

The Art of Zootopia

The Art of Zootopia by Jessica Julius is now available for pre-order from Amazon; it will be available March 1 (three days before the March 4 opening of the movie) for $36.00 US (before any applicable taxes, shipping, handling and whatnot) in hardcover. Amazon points out that the The Art of Kung Fu Panda 3 is frequently bought with The Art of Zootopia; together, they are $65.60 at Amazon.

Review: 'Otters in Space 2: Jupiter, Deadly' (Volume 2) by Mary E. Lowd (by Greyflank)

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (5 votes)

Otters in Space 2: Jupiter, DeadlyIn an upifted universe, where the humans sneaked away when no one was looking, Earth is largely cats and dogs. The dogs rule, at least in North America, and otters rule in space. In the first book, Kipper is hunting a mystery that takes her into space and eventually Mars where the perfect cat world is found. Provided, of course, that you were a perfectly bred cat.

In Otters In Space: Jupiter Deadly, Kipper encounters aliens or possibly uplifted reptiles who seem bent on attacking Jupiter and friendly otter spacecraft. Before she can finish saying, "It's not my problem," a distress call goes out ... from another rather defenseless feline utopia.

This book is less subversive, the action is more in your face and Skipper's otter crew-mates are as loony as ever. The sequel is wonderful! And all the characters get fleshed out much better in this book. The political intrigue is explained and the dog culture is better explored. I like that in confronting the system, the average dogs that make up that system are better explored, rather than making the system outright evil or two dimensional.

Spoilers below!

See also: Review by Fred

Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, July 2013, trade paperback $9.95 (227 pages), Kindle $6.99.

'Furry Fandom Conventions' needs information

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Fred Patten says:

This is a last call for information about furry conventions. For the past two years, I have been compiling a history of all furry conventions throughout the world from 1989 through the end of 2015. My book, Furry Fandom Conventions, has been accepted by an academic publisher, McFarland. It covers 113 furry conventions in North and South America, Asia, Australasia and Europe. The manuscript is currently up to 278 pages. My deadline for finishing is March 1, 2016.

Most of my missing information is for details that happened at the conventions, such as attendance totals, the number of fursuiters in the Fursuit Parade, or the amount of the charity donation; therefore what was published in the conbook before the convention is of no help. Many convention committees have given full information, but others have not answered at all. I suspect that some lack of replies are due to my requests going to a minor committee member who is not answering or passing them on to the chair. So a public announcement might reach a chairperson or another committee member who wants their convention represented in my book with all questions answered.

Also, I am trying to get at least one illustration for each convention — art such as website logos, conbook covers, posters, illustrated membership badges, illustrated hotel room keys; whatever a committee wants to submit. McFarland says that none of the illustrations on the Internet are of high enough resolution for book publication, so I cannot just framegrab an illustration from the Internet. They need a high resolution electronic file of 300 DPI or better.

Review: 'Otters in Space: The Search for Cat Havana' by Mary E. Lowd (by GreyFlank)

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (4 votes)

Otters In Space: The Search for Cat HavanaIn an uplifted universe, where the humans sneaked away when no one was looking, Earth is largely cats and dogs.

The dogs rule, at least in North America, and two sisters are trying to get more feline representation in what is supposedly a democracy. Events conspire to separate the sisters, and the level headed sister, Kipper, is forced into a wild adventure to find her sister, or at least solve the mystery that seems to threaten them both.

This is book one of three, with the third coming out soon.

See also: Reviews by Fred and dronon.

FurPlanet Publications, January 2012, 2nd Ed.; trade paperback $9.95 (176 pages); ebook $5.99.