Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Month: January, 2015

Tales from the Guild: Music to Your Ears – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer, submits this review:

tales-from-the-guild-music-to-your-ears-edited-by-anthroaquatic-67102Tales from the Guild: Music to Your Ears, edited by AnthroAquatic. Illustrated by Blaquetygriss.

Las Vegas, NV, Rabbit Valley Books, September 2014, trade paperback $14.95 (133 pages).

The Furry Writers’ Guild was, to quote its website, “founded in 2010 to promote quality anthropomorphic literature and provide support to writers active in this field.” To put it another way, also quoting its website, “The aim of the Furry Writers’ Guild is to be a place where writers of all demographics, genres, and abilities can come together and help improve the quality of anthropomorphic fiction and support its creators.” One must have “at least one short story, poem, or novel-length work featuring anthropomorphic characters/themes published in a paying venue (either inside or outside the furry fandom), paying either a flat fee or a per-word rate for your work, [or have] at least two short stories, poems, or novel-length works featuring anthropomorphic characters/themes published in a non-paying venue (either inside or outside the furry fandom). This includes conbooks. Please note that comics/graphic novels and self-published writing (including work posted on personal websites and gallery sites like FurAffinity) do not count toward membership.”

The FWG created the annual Cóyotl Awards in 2012 for excellence in anthropomorphic literature, as voted upon by the FWG membership. The FWG currently has 101 regular members and 6 associate members; the difference being that the regular members are all authors, while the associate memberships are open to others active in the anthropomorphic literary community such as furry anthology editors, furry specialty book publishers, furry book reviewers, and the like.

Now the FWG has started its own anthology series, “a collaboration of the Furry Writers’ Guild”, to showcase the writing of its members. This first tiny (5” x 8”; 133 pages) volume, Tales from the Guild, consists of eight original short stories, edited by AnthroAquatic (a.k.a. Sean Rivercritic), and illustrated by Blaquetygriss (identified on the publisher’s website as Aisha Galland).

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3D Social Network IMVU loves furries, wants to meet you at FurCon.

by Patch O'Furr

I don’t often see outside companies actively reaching out to the small but thriving Furry subculture.  Not directly.  If I had to guess where it would happen, I’d guess for Second Life users.  But there are signs that Furries count as modest but valued audience, for some game media like Furvilla aimed right at them.

One of these companies, IMVU, reached out:

“IMVU is the world’s leading 3D social network with over 130 million registrants… IMVU’s users seek and create new connections, lives, and lifestyles in a completely user-generated world that combines custom avatars, chat, community, content creation, commerce, and anonymity.”

It was cool of them to search my blog to talk about their plan for Further Confusion:

“I’m writing to connect with Dogpatch Press and let you know that Mountain View-based IMVU will be at the show to embrace the furry community, many of whom are a part of IMVU’s 3D, avatar-based social network. As a company, we meet “furries” every day on IMVU but look forward to meeting them in real-life at FurCon 2015.

If you plan to be at the show, stop by and see us at FurCon – we expect out “fan table” to be in an area outside the Dealer Marketplace – 2nd floor of the San Jose Convention Center in a walkway/hallway leading to the adjoining Marriott hotel.”

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On Jan 15, the Ursa Major Awards nominations open for 2014’s best furry works.

by Patch O'Furr

UMAweb1_2a

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

For fans of anthropomorphic/furry fiction:  2014 has rolled over to 2015!  Are you ready?

If you’re wondering what you may have missed in 2014, go to the Ursa Major Awards website.

The 2014 Recommended Anthropomorphics Reading List has just been closed out.  It contains all of the works first published or released during the January–December 2014 calendar year that have been recommended by furry fans, in eleven categories:

  • Motion Picture
  • Dramatic Short Works or Series
  • Novels
  • Short Fiction
  • Other Literary Works
  • Graphic Novels
  • Comic Strips
  • Magazines
  • Websites
  • Published Illustrations
  • Games

Recommendations for 2015 are now being taken, although the first compilation of 2015 recommendations will not be published for several weeks.

The 2014 Ursa Major Awards nominations open on January 15, 2015, and are open through the end of February.  Go to the UMA website to nominate your choices for the Best Anthropomorphics of 2014 in the above eleven categories. Voting for the Awards is open from March 15 through April 15, 2015 on the UMA website. Nominations and voting are open to all. Instructions are on the UMA website.

Voting for the 2014 Ursa Major Awards will open on March 15, 2015 and close on April 15.  Go to the UMA website to nominate and to vote. The presentations of the 2014 Ursa Major Awards will be made at Morphicon 2015, in Columbus, Ohio on April 30-May 3, 2015.

– Fred Patten

Cast Away on the Letter A – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer, submits this review:

Cast Away on the Letter A, by Fred. [Translated by Richard Kutner.]download (2)

NYC, Candlewick Press/TOON Books, September 2014, hardcover $16.95 (45 [+ 1] pages).

I have been waiting for over forty years for this book! In the 1960s and early ‘70s, before I concentrated upon Japanese comics and furry literature, I was an obsessive fan of French-language cartoon albums; bandes dessinées. I did not only buy those that came to Los Angeles; I mail-ordered them from Paris and from Brussels. I also got the three major weekly magazines; Spirou, Tintin, and Pilote.

In 1965, Pilote began serializing the work of a new cartoonist: Fred. There was nothing quite like it, but it was in the same surrealistic, psychedelic league as Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay, The Kin-der Kids by Lyonel Feininger, and Krazy Kat by George Herriman. Fred became an instant star among the creators of French-language comics. His greatest work was the Philémon series, 15 volumes from 1972 to 1987. Other memorable works, short series or single albums, were (titles translated) The Little Circus; The Bottom of the Air is Fresh; Timoléon (three volumes); Okay, I’m Coming; Hmm; and The Story of the Crow in Tennis Shoes.

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FURRY GOOD IDEAS: Fursuit of the Year award and fashion show, and more.

by Patch O'Furr

One of the few search results for "fursuit fashion show."

One of the few search results for “fursuit fashion show.”

Read to bottom for Fred Patten’s informative comment that inspired this.  

In 2014, fun hobby blogging exposed me to many new ideas that could use more development.  This blog is for underexposed, underrated topics.  That’s subculture, and it’s about fan love.  I love sharing it!

Looking back at some articles about new ideas and opportunities, I think they could use a feature.  FURRY GOOD IDEAS joins previous special features here.  

I was going to call this “What Furry needs”.  But nobody really NEEDS these. This isn’t preaching what’s best for you.   It’s just observation from one enthusiastic fan, inspired by other fans.  It comes from a thriving subculture that ‘s expanding with a convention every weekend, somewhere in the world.  That makes a lot of room for ambitious proposals.  This is an attempt to highlight ideas with popular demand, appeal, or opportunity to make real.  Share yours too!

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The Guardian Herd: Starfire, by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez – Fred Patten’s book review.

by Patch O'Furr

Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer, submits this review:

The Guardian Herd: Starfire, by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez. Illustrated by David McClellan; map.
NYC, HarperCollinsPublishers/Harper, September 2014, hardcover $16.99 (245 [+ 4] pages), Kindle $8.89.download

This is blurbed as, “The first book in a gripping new tween fantasy series about winged horses—perfect for fans of the Warriors, Survivors, and Guardians of Ga’Hoole series.” It reminds me more of older fantasies about magical horses, not officially but pretty obviously intended for horse-obsessed adolescent girls: The June 1988 The Heavenly Horse from the Outermost West by Mary Stanton, and its May 1989 sequel, Piper at the Gate; or Meredith Ann Pierce’s Firebringer trilogy (Birth of the Firebringer, November 1985; Dark Moon, May 1992; The Son of Summer Stars, May 1996; and the collection The Firebringer Trilogy, June 2003). Now there is Jennifer Lynn Alvarez’s The Guardian Herd series. Amazon.com is already advertising the second book in the series, The Guardian Herd: Stormbound, to be published in April 2015.

The Guardian Herd: Starfire’s first obvious similarity is in having a large equine cast; in this case, of pegasi rather than unicorns or regular horses (called land horses here). The dramatis personae (this is too serious for just cast) lists 32 winged horses divided into five herds, led off by the newborn Starfire of the Sun Herd. This does not include Stormbound, the protagonist of the second book. There are over-stallions, lead mares, captains, medicine mares (a herd’s doctor), mated mares, single or widowed mares, yearlings, and foals; each individually named and described. If Alvarez intends to write a novel about each, she could go on forever.

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ROAR vol. 5 – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer, submits this review:

roar ROAR vol. 5, edited by Buck C. Turner

Dallas, TX, Bad Dog Books/FurPlanet Productions, July 2014, trade paperback $19.95 (325 pages). 

ROAR vol. 5, the approximately-annual anthology of “literary” (non-erotic) anthropomorphic short fiction under the Bad Dog Books imprint, contains stories on the theme of Secrecy. Editor Buck C. Turner says in his Foreword:

“This volume features stories based around secrets, a theme which brought out amazing plot twists and tense revelations. Keeping secrets brings an inevitable tension to life, one which no one fully escapes. […] Secrets can give their holders power and pain as they must wrestle with the decisions on how – or if – to utilize the information they possess. This is the task these fourteen authors, the largest number I’ve accepted to a ROAR volume, have undertaken.” (p. 10)

Warning: this is a long review, to cover fourteen stories.

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Happy Furry New Year! A look back and what’s coming soon from Patch and Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Furry New Year from Spottacus, Majik, Maczyn, DakotaBakrCassie, Stormy, Relaxing Dragon, Cyclone, Scoob, ChairoTrail HorseZarafa, Kalu, Patch, and all the Bay Area Furries. (Pic by Amenophis.)  At the San Francisco Bay Bridge, the crowd was super excited to hang out with us before the fireworks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

It was a great year, and it’s a huge honor to host Fred Patten’s articles.

 

The blog got active in May 2014. It’s had around 3 posts and a few thousand views per week.  (All relative to focus of topics, for a small niche of fans.)

The top article of 2014 was about November’s “Wild Things” party (NSFW), with 7,000 views.  The second was about John Waters and furries. Third was about a photo art gallery show.  It’s interesting that these three involved local, live events in San Francisco.  Fourth top article was Talking with the directors of College Humor’s “Furry Force” – associated with a many-millions-viewed Youtube animation that I submitted to the Ursa Majors recommended anthropomorphics list.

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Paved with good intentions – Furry Newsdump (1/5/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Story tips are always welcome.

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In the Media

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You Can’t Get Inside – a profile of the furry community from within. furries

Michael Arthur writes at The Hooded Utilitarian.  “Profiles written in good faith by outsiders are thin on the ground.  Accurate ones do not exist.  Do not feel discouraged.  If you really “got it” like we get it, you’d be one of us.”

The article doesn’t just verbalize getting it, it IS that.  Great essay!  (When I read it, I was glad it supports criticism I’d already written about the Buzzfeed article, below.)

Arthur writes about being “Zapped with that funny feeling” that is Furry… it reminds me of something from a while back, in the same post where I mentioned that President Obama hung out with a furry.  “The furriest thing ever”. Here’s being zapped:

Photos, Furries, and Photos of Furries.

Flavorwire makes a small notice that positively shares the below article.

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Edmonton Oil Kings hockey hosts fursuiter race. “It’s looking hairy at ice level!”

by Patch O'Furr

On video: “Louis the Lion battles for racing supremacy in the first ever Frantic Furry 500!”

Sometimes I joke about my low interest in sports. (Sorry, Canadians!) I’d love it if the teams were all mascots, while one sports guy runs around for laughs.

I imagine mascots worry about being upstaged by fursuiters. But the furries showed they’re good sports to Louis.

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