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2013 Ursa Major Award winners announced at Califur 10

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The winners of the 2013 Ursa Major Awards for the best anthropomorphic literature, artwork and websites published in 2013 were announced May 31 at a ceremony during Califur 10.

Many categories had undisputed leaders; others were very competitive. Slightly Damned edged out Twokinds by just ten points in Best Graphic Story (which it won by more than 500 points last year), and Best Published Illustration was decided by eleven points.

While attendance at the ceremony (~35) was similar to prior years, the number of ballots cast declined again, from 1,782 two years ago to 1,113 in 2013 and just 856 this year.

Voting begins as 2013 Ursa Major Awards ballot released

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Ursa Major Awards banner by EosFoxx Here is the final ballot for the 2013 Ursa Major Awards. The voting is among the five titles in each category getting the most nominations. In several categories, there are six finalists because of ties for fifth place. In the Best Short Fiction category, only four finalists are listed because of too many ties for fifth place.

Voting is now open. Due to a technical issue, nominators will need to acquire a new key. The deadline is April 30.

As is not unusual, there were so many nominations for the fourth, fifth, and sixth place nominees in most categories that one more nomination could have made the difference between a title’s getting on the final ballot or not. Please nominate next year.

The 2013 Ursa Major Awards will be announced and presented at a ceremony at the CaliFur X convention, May 30-June 1, 2014, at the Irvine Marriott Hotel, 18000 Von Karman Avenue, Irvine, CA 92612.

2013 Ursa Major Awards nominations about to close

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Ursa Major Awards Nominations for the 2013 Ursa Major Awards, for the best anthropomorphic movies, novels, comic strips, games, etc., will close on February 28. Voting for the winner will begin on March 15 and will close on April 30. The awards will be presented at CaliFur X on May 30 to June 1, at the Irvine Marriott Hotel, Irvine, California.

If you have not nominated yet, you have only a few more days to do so. All titles first published or released during the 2013 calendar year are eligible. The awards are given in eleven categories: Motion Picture, Dramatic Short Work or Series, Novel, Short Fiction, Other Literary Work, Graphic Novel, Comic Strip, Magazine, Published Illustration, Website, and Game. The final ballot includes the top five titles nominated in each category.

To nominate (by February 28), and to vote (March 15–April 30), go to The 2014 Recommended Anthropomorphics List will be posted after March 1.

2013 Ursa Major Awards nominations open

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Ursa Major Awards Nominations for the 2013 Ursa Major Awards are now open. The awards, voted upon in 2014, celebrate the best anthropomorphic literature and art first published during the previous calendar year.

The awards are selected by a two-stage process of nominating and voting. Members of the public send in up to five nominations in each of the eleven categories. The top five nominees in each category (more in case of a tie) are then presented on a final ballot for a public vote.

The eleven categories are: Motion Picture, Dramatic Short Work or Series, Novel, Short Fiction, Other Literary Work, Graphic Novel, Comic Strip, Magazine, Published Illustration, Website, and Game.

Many nominations are likely to come from the 2013 Recommended Anthropomorphic Reading List, which has been built up through prior recommendations. However, inclusion on the List is not necessary for nomination if a work is otherwise eligible.

Fred Patten's CaliFur IX con report

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Califur IX intro screenSorry, but my CaliFur report this year is even skimpier than last year’s. That’s just the way it is.

Like every year since CaliFur V, CaliFur IX took place at the Irvine Marriott Hotel in Irvine, California, on May 31–June 2, 2013. This year’s theme was “FURtual Reality”. There were two guests-of-honor: Maxwell Alexander Drake, the Author GoH, author of the Moonbeam Young Adult Fantasy Award-winning novels in 2009 and 2011 (the first two novels in his Genesis of Oblivion Saga), and their publisher, Imagined Interprises, Inc. in Las Vegas; and NecroDrone, the Artist GoH, “BDSM Illustrator and Dominatrix extradiordinaire!” Official attendance was 1,178; an increase of over two hundred. Due to my continuing poor health, I was in a wheelchair, with my sister Sherrill pushing me. We could only attend for Saturday the 2nd.

First look: Furry play 'Fursona Non Grata' is the real deal

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It's hard enough getting to know your fiancée's family at the best of times, let alone when they're a bunch of animals. Such is the premise of Fursona Non Grata, a two-act play read at Califur IX.

A woman raised by furries, brings her fiance home for Thanksgiving to meet the family for the first time. Fur-larity ensures.

The play was first read in June 2012, and was presented as a radio play at Wild Nights in April. In contrast to Furry Tales – which held a reading at Anthrocon 2007, and left furs amused, but with reservations about the show's groundingFursona Non Grata has actual research behind it.

Playwright Jeff Goode created Disney's American Dragon: Jake Long and wrote The Eight: Reindeer Monologues. While demurring to identify as a furry himself, he attended Califur I, and was guest of honor at Rocket City FurMeet 2007 and Oklacon 2008; from this, he's put together a story which is, if fanciful, at least more of an exaggeration of reality than an apologetic for CSI's fursuit fetishists.

A Furry Play Needs Funding

Hello again! Back from CaliFur in Southern California. And speaking of that…

We’ve mentioned before Fursona Non Grata, the new furry-themed play written by Jeff Goode (creator of American Dragon: Jake Long and The Eight: Reindeer Monologues). In case you need a recap: A young woman has been raised by furry fans. One day, she brings home her fiancee’ to meet the family… As it turns out, Jeff and the Sky Pilot Theater Company staged a readers’ theater version of Fursona Non Grata at CaliFur this year — to laughter, thunderous applause, and a standing ovation. The producers of Fursona announced that for the actual on-stage production of the play (scheduled for next year) they are looking to have some actual high-quality fur-suits constructed… and that costs money. So, they have started up an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds. Check it out here to find out more about what they need. And keep your eyes on InFurNation to find out when the play will premier!

image c. 2013 Jeff Goode

Santa Ana gallery's 'Art of Furry Fandom' connects public with Furry past and future

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Mark Merlino and his friend Rod O'Riley might be called "first wave" furries from original geek culture, when that meant underground comics, fanzines and pen-pals. They held the first parties that turned into conventions, and WikiFur calls them "founding members of organized furry fandom." Mark owns The Prancing Skiltaire.

Rod's most recent accomplishment is The Art of Furry Fandom, at Avantgarden art gallery in Santa Ana, CA. It opens concurrently with this year's Califur, this weekend. In his journal, Mark calls it a dream he's had for over 30 years.

According to the gallery:

AVANTGARDEN is proud to present "Women Desperately Seeking Escape...a Series" photographically captured on film and digitally by ELLEN SEEFELDT. We also welcome JAY RIGGIO'S hand cut pasted collage work, SHARLYNORA WILKINSON's paintings, and The Art of Furry Fandom, curated by RODNEY STANSFIELD. This exhibit runs June 1–29, opening reception June 1, 7–10pm.

Mark reminded me of a similar show in 2012 in San Jose during Further Confusion, with "more artists, more art, same kind of independent gallery". Actually, there were two: a Slave Labor Graphics show, and "People-Shaped Animals" at Kaleid Gallery.

Andrew W.K. to join panel at Brony convention; let's discuss furry con guests

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Bronies: are they furry? Skipping that topic, let me just say this makes me like Andrew W.K.:

The unruly, boisterous rocker will be part of a panel answering the question, "What Would Pinkie Pie Do?"... The king of partying hard claims that he is the living embodiment of the positive, party pony.

In this interview, the rocker known for a bloody-nosed image discusses why he's a Brony, his love for cupcakes, and ponies with "nice, fragrant hair."

My CaliFur VIII con report

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Califur VIII: It's startingCrossaffliction is working on a sort into categories of all Flayrah’s posts. He has started at the beginning in January 2001, and is so far through September 2004. He notes that as of that date, there are only seven Furry convention reports. “[T]hey seem to have fallen out of fashion as of late. In case you hadn't noticed.”

He is right. I have complained about the difficulty that this makes in writing a history of Furry fandom. Early s-f fans wrote convention reports of five to ten pages in their fanzines. When Sam Moskowitz wrote his history of s-f fandom in the 1930s, and Harry Warner, Jr. wrote his of s-f fandom in the 1940s, and I wrote a history of the World S-F Convention from 1939 through 1948 in 1976, we had no trouble getting information on the conventions because of the long, detailed con reports in the fanzines. But there has been little of this in Furry fandom. A Furry con report tends to be little more than, “I went to the con and I had a good time”, or, “A lot of people caught the con crud”, or posting a half dozen or so photos of unidentified Fursuiters.

To do something about this, here is my very incomplete report of CaliFur VIII just past. I hope that other attendees can add to it.

2012 Ursa Major Awards venue announced

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The 2012 Ursa Major Awards, for the best in anthropomorphic literature and art of 2011, will be presented in a ceremony at Califur 8, at the Irvine Marriott Hotel in Irvine, California on 1–3 June 2012.

The 2011 Awards were presented at Morphicon 2011 in Columbus, Ohio on 13 May 2011. The Awards have been presented at Califur once before, in 2007.

New hotel aids Califur revival

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Syber and Skittles prowl the halls (photo by Orzel; more)

Visitors to this month's Califur had low expectations after last year's disappointing experience.[1] Instead, hotel and convention staff delivered what attendees dubbed "the best Califur by a wide margin", "light years better than the last time" and "the best year yet".[1][2][3]

The registration count rose 23% to 720,[4] with several dealers reporting a decent profit.[5][6][5][7] The event made much of its safari theme, printing the now-common personalized room keys. Several fursuiters played along, accessorizing their costumes with plastic guns and crossbows; at least 87 participated in the fursuit parade.[8]

Some commented adversely on the presence of Cal Cotton, a dealer in real fur tails, mink-tipped floggers and scrimshaws.[9][10] It was not their first year, though, and despite recent activism against the use of real fur in plush toys, many attendees saw no real problem.[9][2]

Califur 4's venue was memorable for all the wrong reasons — a disappointing ice-cream social,[11] filming (albeit by furries) in the halls,[12] and a wedding reception forcing the event into what one con-goer described as a "furry ghetto" of black curtains.[13][14] The curtains were so notorious that their lack was advertised as a feature of the new hotel, the Irvine Mariott.[15]

Califur 4 gets mixed reviews

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A new hotel and the steampunk theme were the most noticeable things about Califur this year. Held May 15-18 at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine, California, the fifth Califur convention attracted 587 registered attendees.[1]

After con staff felt that they had outgrown the Holiday Inn, they arranged for Califur 4 to be held at the Hyatt Regency. Califur 4 did not come close to filling the event space in the hotel, as there was a wedding, a senior prom, and other events the same weekend.[2][3][4]

Hotel staff put up a black curtain to separate Califur areas from space being used by the other events, which annoyed some Califur attendees.[2][5][6] There were reports that non-Califur people, some possibly drunk, were disregarding the curtain and bothering Califur attendees.[7][8]

Some attendees felt that the convention was unwelcome at the hotel,[6][5][9] but most still admit that individual hotel staff were friendly or at least professionally polite.[10][2]

CalifurDiego 2007 open for two nights while Comic-Con closes admission

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Comic-Con International has stopped selling passes for most days amid record attendance. Only a limited number of Sunday passes remain.[1]

However, Califur Diego will still be open to San Diego area furries on Friday and Saturday at 8pm at the Horton Grand Hotel in the Gaslamp District.[2] The Horton Grand is located at 311 Island Avenue in San Diego, California 92101. Donations are welcomed by the organizers.[3]

Califur Semi-Occasional Monthly Newsletter for May 2007

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Califur Semi-Occasional Monthly Newsletter for May 2007
Registration News.
Programming News.
Special Announcement.