Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Month: May, 2016

Furry Network’s new content policy gets panties in a bunch.

by Patch O'Furr

Sorry, I couldn’t resist a flippant headline. I’m laughing with the subjects of the story. Some of the crinkly among us will consider panties and similar undergarments to be literally just something to wear. And who am I to judge? It’s not my place to “change” them.

This reminds me of an amusing topic at Reddit’s r/furry community. It asked, if furry fandom had a motto, what would it be? Winner- “Yes, I am into that”.

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There’s an endearingly permissive spectrum of Things Furries Are Into. At the far end is a topic that’s naturally going to be more uncomfortable than any other.  You see, quirky curiosities like Vore aren’t going to happen outside of fantasy and imagination.

voredThis one (let’s name names – “cub”, babyfur, littlefur, AB/DL, age play) is likely to be nothing but consenting role-play.  But people get squeamish.  We’ve all been vulnerable kids or responsible caretakers at some point.  I don’t like slippery-slope overreaction, but it makes an extreme test of the coexistence of two fundamentally different camps.

I call it the Big Umbrella from Disney to Dirty.  Day and Night furs. This shouldn’t have to be said but many furries want NOTHING to do with dirty stuff.  The divide of clean vs. adult is unresolvable with this hobby.  But you have to remember that your parents had sex AND raised kids.  Duality is part of life.  Handling it poorly is a problem with neurotic, puritanical America, where sex is scary and murder is entertainment. Torture-porn is box office gold but a TV nipple-slip is a scandal.

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Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den, by Aimee Carter – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

51EIKDGiLnL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den, by Aimée Carter
NYC, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, February 2016, hardcover $16.99 (307 pages), Kindle $6.99.

Besides furry fiction, there is a category of children’s fantasy about human children learning that they can talk with animals, and that the animals have civilizations of their own. The best of these include the Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis, in which human children discover a large fantasy dimension. Average examples include the recent Secrets of Bearhaven, Book One, by K. E. Rocha, where 11-year-old Spencer Plain learns that his parents can talk with bears and they have helped the bears establish a secret bear society hidden within our own. And then there is Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den, by Aimée Carter.

Simon is 12 years old and miserable. He’s picked upon by school bullies and he has no friends. He shares a cramped NYC apartment with his scarred Uncle Darryl. Nobody will tell him why Uncle Darryl is horribly scarred, or why his father is dead, or why his mother has been gone for a year on a zoological assignment – she sends him frequent “I love you” postcards from all over the country that don’t really tell him anything.

Or why he can suddenly talk with animals. He doesn’t tell anyone about this because Uncle Darryl apparently hates animals, even though a mouse he names Felix has become his best friend, and he could prove that he can talk with pigeons easily enough.

Then a one-eyed golden eagle tells him he’s in terrible danger, and his mother suddenly reappears, and Simon discovers that his mother and Uncle Darryl have been hiding the secret that they can not only talk with animals, too, but can change into them, but there’s no time to explain anything because they have to escape RIGHT NOW from an army of rats who want to kill them, and he’s really a hidden prince of all birds, but not the crown prince because he has an older twin brother that nobody told him about, and …

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“Shut Up, You’re Weird Too” from furries around the world – NEWSDUMP (5-27-16)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com

Canada’s CBC Radio – “‘Fursonas’ unzips the complex world of furry fandom.” Interview with Dominic Rodriguez (Video the Wolf), director of the movie.

Criterioncast.com reviews Fursonas.  Joshua Brunsting calls it: “…a tender and nuanced meditation on a community that’s still trying to find itself… a noteworthy achievement for having the skill and will to let the narrative breathe.”

Furries Love Zootopia. On Uproxx, they smartly highlighted part of an interview with Video to point this out.

“Brisbane ‘furries’ find community and acceptance inside animal suits.”  ABC News in Australia covers a “haven for the shy and socially awkward”.

Mexican news interview with Paco Panda (Tip: Fred Patten.)  Translated from Spanish. Paco el Panda is identified as an artist in Guadalajara.

aqui_me_voy_a_quedar_by_pandapaco-d8cxaxa

San Francisco Bay Area Furries get one of the best Furry News articles ever.  How the furry community rallied when Zarafa Giraffe lost his head. Don’t miss our articles that mention it here and here already… it’s too good not to link again.

Bay Area Furs are very photogenic.  “Photo Du Jour: Furries Like Taking Tourist Pics Too.”

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“Species Identity Disorder” is absurd, and Boomer The Dog is awesome.

by Patch O'Furr

Joke news is fun.

The Hard Times is a punk rock version of The Onion. They put out some of the funniest fake news anywhere.

“No One of Any Gender Wants To Use Venue Bathroom”

Did you hear news controversy about sharing bathrooms with trans people?  Personally I pee on hydrants, so I don’t give a shit about where other dogs pee.

On a Furry topic, here’s a news story that reminds me of Poe’s Law (the internet rule that says that parodies of extreme views will be taken as sincere, unless you tell people it’s a parody.)

Willamatte Week: Getting a Grip on Furry Fandom and Species Dysphoria Blues.

“It’s 2016. Time to check your Cishuman privilege.”  Cishuman… ha ha it’s fake, right?

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Ursa Major Awards and a furry fandom game-changer – NEWSDUMP (5-24-16)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com

UMAweb1_2aUrsa Major Awards announced.

WE’RE #2! Awooooo!!!  “Best Magazine” went to Heat from Sofawolf Press. Next year, maybe Dogpatch Press can get #1 with a shameless award campaign with sexy fursuit pin-up poses. (As fursuiter on staff, it’s not that I don’t have standards… I would enjoy it just as much as anyone who wants to see it.)

Congrats also to Furries Among Us, edited by Thurston Howl, a nice success for a new small publisher.  Then there’s the interesting topic of “Best Website” for FurAffinity.

FurAffinity hacked – furry problems reach wider community.

VICE: “Another Day, Another Hack: Furry Site Hacked, Content Deleted.”  Flayrah reported loss of six days of data and how the problem is being addressed.

Source code for the FurAffinity site was gained through a security hole.  The code ended up on flash drives distributed at Biggest Little Fur Con, even left around at random.  Shortly afterward, personal accounts were accessed.  Some people who used passwords in common with other accounts (Google etc.) reported attempts to access those. Password reset was done for all users, locking some users out of their accounts if they weren’t linked to current email addresses.

Dogpatch Press got tips, although the info was already on this gossip forum.  There was also an informative link to a timeline of FurAffinity’s problems maintained by Eevee.

There’s a long pattern of problems.  But then it couldn’t have been easy to build a large fan-based site with a very shaky business model.  In my opinion, it shows outside stigma as much as inside mistakes, and a positive testament to fan commitment.

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Light: A Tale of the Magical Creatures of Zudukii, by T.S. McNally – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

51RBL+HsboL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Light: A Tale of the Magical Creatures of Zudukii, by T. S. McNally. Revised First Edition.
Syracuse, NY, Bounding Boomer Books, February 2015; trade paperback $9.99 (158 pages), Kindle $4.99.

Back in May 2015, I reviewed Light, by T. S. McNally. My review was generally positive, but I did have several complaints:

“Light is more or less worth reading, but this is one of those books where you have to grit your teeth and plow through leaden prose and grammatical errors on almost every page. There are no spelling errors, but was the novel proofread otherwise? There are plenty of obvious missing and double words, like “‘Brudder! You have my toffee?’ his [Garoo’s] young brother [a fawn] inquired as he leaning forward.” (p. 24), or “You were always were pretty bright.” (p. 31). Fangstro is constantly called a wolf; a canine. Wolves are canids, but are they canines? I can’t read the word “canine” without thinking of dogs.”

Since Light is published by print-on-demand technology, McNally has produced a Revised First Edition that corrects many of these mistakes. The date has not been changed, but the original first edition was 151 pages; this revision is 158 pages. The passage that I quoted on pages 136-137 is now on page 143. The specific errors that I pointed out have been fixed; but Garoo still has an unusually prehensile tail for a kangaroo, and the wolves are called canines, not canids.

Since most of the errors that I complained about are gone, here is my review again with those complaints gone.

“Magical creatures” are the operative words here. I usually divide anthropomorphic fiction into either furry or funny-animal fiction, depending upon whether the anthro animals show some semblance of reality as to species, or whether they are “animal-headed humans”. In Light, though, the inhabitants of Zudukii are totally, blatantly fantastic. It is rare when two characters, say a brother and sister, are the same species, and all are basically humans. A bear has an otter sister, who has a kangaroo boyfriend.

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Transmission Lost, by Stefan C. Mazzara – Book Review by Fred Patten.

by Pup Matthias

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

51W5eAogqHL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Transmission Lost, by Stefan C. Mazzara.
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, September 2015, trade paperback $14.50 (unpaged [474 pages]), Kindle $6.99.

Transmission Lost is categorized as science fiction, not furry fiction. Its plot is very stereotyped, but one that a furry fan can enjoy. A human spaceman befriends an animal-like member of an alien civilization and brings peace and friendship to both cultures.

Jack Squier is a 26-year-old civilian cargo pilot with Stellar Horizons (“You have it, we’ll ship it! Lightspeed guaranteed!”) in the far future. The UN Navy, which seems to be part of a large interstellar human civilization (does UN still stand for “United Nations”?), is fighting against the alien feline Ascendancy, a.k.a. the Ailians. The UN Navy, due to running low on transport ships after ten years of war, contracts with Stellar Horizons in NYC to deliver combat supplies to the front. The route that SH gives to Jack cuts briefly through Ailian-controlled space, but he’s assured that he doesn’t have anything to worry about.

“‘The Star’s Eye is the largest cargo ship we have that still carries a one-man crew. Relax, Jack, you’re only gonna be in Ailian space for two realspace stops. The rest of it’s hyperspace until you get to the Antaeus sector. By then you’ll be well within friendly territory. Don’t worry about it. Besides, you hate working with other people, remember? Consider this a blessing.’” (p. [3])

The enemy is the Ascendancy, an alien interstellar empire somewhere around the Outer Milky Way worlds.

“First contact had been been made [when Jack had been sixteen years old] with the Ascendancy, an empire spanning several galaxies inhabited by the feline race of the Ailians. Looking as a cross between a ten-foot-tall human and Bengal tiger, the Ailians were strong, ruthless, and extremely protective of their territory. And as it just so happened, humanity had unknowingly begun to encroach upon that territory. Thus humanity had entered into war with the Ascendency, just as determined to expand their borders and claim much-needed resources as the Ailians were to retain them and take over human territory for their own.” (pgs. [3-4])

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Charity Anthology Wolf Warriors III: Winter Wolves – OPEN FOR SUBMISSION.

by Pup Matthias

logo3Wolves are known for being proud, majestic creatures. Known for their loyalty, courage, and intelligence – but it wasn’t always that way. There was a time people saw wolves as only monsters and creatures to fear, for they hunt in the night, kill livestock, and send eerie howls to the full moon. These fears have almost driven these misunderstood creatures into extinction.  As scientist studied them more, the more public opinion of them began to change – but stereotypes are hard to get rid of.

That’s why organizations like the National Wolfwatcher Coalition strive to ‘educate, advocate, and participate’ for the long term recovery and the preservation of wolves based on the best available science and the principles of democracy.‘ One of those ways is through their popular anthology, Wolf Warriors.  

You can be a part of it.  Going into it’s third volume, Wolf Warriors III is being edited by Thurston Howl and published by Thurston Howl Publications. The anthology is used as a fundraiser for the National Wolfwatcher Coalition to continue their mission. The idea for the anthology played a huge part in getting Thurston Howl Publications off the ground and putting Howl’s editing skills to work.

Thurston Howl Publications is an odd duck in furry publishing:

“THP is one of the world’s first furry-inclusive (as opposed to furry-exclusive and furry-excluding/non-furry) publishing house. Based in TN, it publishes almost ten books a year, has a staff of almost thirty people, and, so far, has received a nomination for the Ursa Major Award for its nonfiction furry essay collection published last year. (Furries Among Us). It is a very good group, and I’ve loved all of our clients so far.”

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The Sage of Waterloo: A Tale, by Leona Francombe – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

518uaB1pVpL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_The Sage of Waterloo: A Tale, by Leona Francombe
NYC, W. W. Norton & Co., June 2015, hardcover $22.95 (x + 224 pages), Kindle $11.99.

This leisurely novel will tell you more than you want to know about the famous Battle of Waterloo of June 17, 1815. To the rabbits who live there today, it’s the only exciting thing that ever happened there. They never tire of hearing about it, in detail. William, the narrator, is one of those rabbits.

“Waterloo is where I was born, and where I spent the first three years of my life. Well, technically it wasn’t Waterloo itself but the ancient Brabant farm of Hougoumont, one of the iconic battle sites situated in the fields a few kilometers farther up the Chaussée de Waterloo. In 1815, this long, forested avenue funneled weary streams of humanity back and forth between the battlefield and the city – between destiny and deliverance.” (p. 5)

This may be the last generation that Hougoumont knows as a farm. William describes its decline from a working farm to a forgotten relic. “I was happy at Hougoumont. The last farmer to live there was not like the aristocrats who had once owned the chateau (there was no more chateau – the French had shelled it). He raised cattle, and seemed far less interested in rabbit and pigeon dishes than his predecessors. He was, thank heavens, a frozen–food sort of man, and thus our existence was blissfully irrelevant.” (p. 7) The rural village of Waterloo has expanded into a modern small city, and the old farm with its rabbit hutches and dovecotes will soon be torn down.

“I am no longer young. I’ll be eleven in a few months, which not only requires math well beyond my skills to calculate in human years, but also obliges me to press on with my storytelling. Those of you who are already experiencing the adventure of aging may have discovered that this part of the journey does not only entail unexpected dips and fissures in the road, aches in the limbs, problems reaching those hard-to-clean areas (Old Lavender gave them up early on) and so forth.” (pgs. 12-13). William describes his hutchmates in detail. “Jonas, a distant cousin, was a rash, handsome buck infamous for his preening, scheming, and disreputable tail-chasing.” (p. 13) “Boomerang, a slightly crazed uncle, had the obscure habit of throwing himself sideways against the barrier, bouncing off at ever-more-interesting angles.” (p. 14) “Caillou was the runt (his name, fittingly, meant ‘pebble’).” (ibid.) And others. “Most of us followed the general rules that defined the Hollow Way. Yield. Bump ahead. No left turn. That sort of thing. It was a predictable sort of life, vigorously stamped with the colony’s imprimatur: milling, eating, nudging, nipping, dozing … milling, eating, nudging, nip …You get the idea.” (p. 16)

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On stage with CHVRCHES and more great times with the San Francisco Bay Area Furries.

by Patch O'Furr

Pic: Nicole White/ The Daily Californian

Pic: Nicole White/ The Daily Californian. Left to right: @Spottacus, @errowolf, Lauren Mayberry, @Metric_fox.

At a recent show by the band CHVRCHES, fursuiters in the audience were invited on stage.  Berkeley’s Daily Californian praised the spontaneity of the show:  Furries, fans unite at CHVRCHES performance at Fox Theatre.  

Lauren Mayberry, the band’s frontwoman, told the audience: “If the republicans get into office, this sh!t won’t fly!” 

It was all a surprise.  Some of the Bay Area Furries were there just as fans, with no plan to participate on stage.  But they’re not shy about sharing the spotlight that way.  It happens often, like in July 2015:  Fursuiters were kings at Andrew WK’s Pizza Party in San Francisco.

It comes from a subculture at it’s most fertile.  It’s because they’re in Furry Mecca, and 2016 is the Year of Furry, and these fans make effort like no others to spread the love.  If you’re feeling sad or afraid, or negative or worried about the world, bring furries to make it better.

Here’s full videos of the surprise fursuiting with CHVRCHES.

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