A welcome new category for the Ursa Major Awards: Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction.

by Patch O'Furr



This topic has come up before: “Bay Area Furs find out why there should be a Furry award for Best Journalism(see some good articles within) – and – “VICE looks back on the Midwest Furfest attack, earning kudos for thoughtful journalism.”

The simplistic answer is – back around 2001, this little fan group was mistreated by Vanity Fair, MTV and CSI.  Forevermore, “The Media” was a thing to hate.

But it’s not so simple. In a chicken-or-egg way, “The Media” deserves some credit for creating furries. (It’s a FANdom!)  That usually means fiction media, but there’s much more than that. There’s the “science” part of science fiction; transhumanism, animals and nature, and anything about growing a self-defined subculture. There’s info coming from the Anthropomorphic Research Project.  A top selling nonfiction book (from Thurston Howl publishers) is the fandom-essay collection Furries Among Us.

Nonfiction is a big deal in fandom for anthropomorphic animals.

Furries among us

As the group grows and gains attention, members could use their own internal media to report stories that outsiders might not understand.  And outsiders are getting way better, too.  Bad-old Vanity Fair stigma is going out with a big rise in good-new Zootopia kind of attention.

In the history of furry fandom, almost all official recognition for its favorite media has gone to fiction. Look at The Coyotl Awards of the Furry Writers’ Guild; and the Ursa Major Awards are dominated by fiction, with no official category for nonfiction (just “Best Other Literary Work.”)

Until now. Fred Patten tells more:

Dear Patch;

The Ursa Major Awards, which have had eleven categories since 2011, have added a twelfth category; by popular demand and after consideration by the Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association’s administrators.  The new category is Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction.

This is split off from the Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work category.  Up to now, non-fiction works such as art books of anthropomorphic motion pictures and social studies of furry fan culture have been in competition with fiction collections and anthologies, graphic albums, and other works of anthropomorphic literature that did not fit into the Novel and Short Fiction categories.

Beginning immediately, and with the 2016 awards to be voted upon during 2017, the category of Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction will be included on the Anthropomorphic Recommended Reading List and on the UMA final ballot.

Dogpatch Press is a furry news source, so I’m telling you about it… Obviously, the winning by Thurston Howl’s Furries Among Us in the 2015 Best Other Literary Work category has a lot to do with this.  This year’s The Art of Zootopia, The Art of Finding Dory, The Art of Kung Fu Panda 3 and other coffee-table art books of anthropomorphic movies will go into this category as well.

Best wishes;

I think this is long overdue. If “The Media” has been an enemy (or a frenemy) in the past, this is a good way to develop understanding and reward them for doing well.  And (with no selfishness) I love how this could encourage more writing from newsfurs, a small-but-enthusiastic corner of the fandom itself.