Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Month: April, 2017

What’s Yiffin’? – April 2017 edition of syndicated furry news.

by André Kon

Greetings, Dogpatch Press readers. We hope you’ve been enjoying the run of What’s Yiffin’? on this website; it’s time for April’s edition! One thing you’ll realize over the course of watching our show is sometimes events happen so close to production time that we can’t include them in the show and they are delegated to next month’s release. The firestorm surrounding RMFC is an example of one such event. Literally a day or two after we wrapped up this episode that whole mess happened, sort of like how the story about 2 Gryphon was pushed back to this month for the same reason. Speaking of 2, here’s the news that’s fit to print!

More details and some additional insight from the show’s writers:

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April is Furry Poetry Month – guest post by Shining River.

by Patch O'Furr

In the United States and Canada, the month of April is celebrated as National Poetry Month, a tradition in the United States since 1996 and in Canada since 1998. Many literary magazines, libraries, authors, schools, and websites participate in this in a wide variety of ways. Since 2015, writers of the furry community have been celebrating their own version of this, which we may now call Furry Poetry Month.

The writing of poetry by furries, whether they be dedicated writers or occasional writers of poems, is not just a recent development. Poems can be found online in the Usenet newsgroup alt.lifestyle.furry, of the 1990’s. A once-active site that featured furry literature was Anthrozine. Starting as early as their second issue in 2005, twenty-six furry poems were published over the years that the site was maintained by Michael Bard and Quentin Long.

Poetry probably appeared on Fur Affinity user pages soon after it’s beginning in 2005.  Over the years, approximately eight groups have been created to feature poetry and other writing. Most of these groups have had little activity in recent months, some of them not for several years. The Poets Guild began in 2009 features two poetry anthologies and four dozen individual poems that are posted on the site. Their activity declined for a year or so but has recently had an increase in posting. The most active FA group for poetry at this time is Poetic Furs. Begun in 2015, they have featured an interview with a different poet each month.

Over the years there have been some printed versions of furry poetry. This writer still has his copy of the 1999 Conifur NorthWest furcon con book and we find on page 41-42 what might best be described as a rap, but it’s still poetry, titled “I Am The Very Model Of A Furry Individual” by Mee-Shee.  Another example was the first volume of Allasso in 2012, edited by Brian Lee Cook, which contained seven poems along with fiction short stories.

More recently, poetry has been featured on Adjective Species.  Their first publishing of a furry poem, “Whiskey Sour”, by Lunostophiles, appeared in 2013.

In March of 2015 an essay written by this writer, titled “Finding the Animals in Modern Poetry”, was followed by the creation of the “Inaugural Adjective Species Poetry Collection”. It was curated by Lunostophiles. This featured original animal themed poems from thirteen writers of the furry community. The following year in April, Adjective Species published another essay by this writer, “Finding the Animals in Cowboy Poetry”, which was soon followed by the “Second Adjective Species Poetry Collection”, with nine poems contributed. This was curated by a prominent furry writer, Poetigress.  Also at that time seven original poems written by Poetigress were published over three days.

The Furry Writers Guild was founded in 2010 to be a group for writers to share their experiences and to provide information about writing and publishing. In April of 2015 on their site forum, a new discussion board for poetry was created.  Also at this time, Laura “Munchkin” Govednik and Altivo Overo developed the idea for a book of poetry featuring animal themed poems from Furry Writers Guild writers. The sales of the book would be donated to an animal charity.  This successful project, titled “Civilized Beasts”, appeared in December 2015, published by Weasel Press.

In 2016, the project was begun again, as reported here on Dogpatch Press. Poem submissions are closed at this time and the release of the new book has not yet been announced.

Finally, the enjoyment of poetry does not have to be just a solitary, silent, experience. There are many un-traditional ways of creating and experiencing poetry. Recitation and performance of poetry occasionally occurs in the furry community. Fursuiter rap performances on Youtube are a good example, and this writer enjoyed poetry readings by two furry writers at Rainfurrest 2015.  You might find a way to poetically express yourself with some of these activities: https://www.poets.org/national-poetry-month/30-ways-celebrate-national-poetry-month

Poetry comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors, much like the fursuits of the furry community. Poetry written by others can put into words the ideas and emotions that we ourselves may not have the skill to express.  Poetry that we write can be a way to gather together our thoughts and emotions and get a clear look at them.  Somewhere out there in the world there is a poem, or maybe many poems, that is good for each one of us.

– Shining River

The King of Las Vegas, by John Van Stry – book review by Fred Patten

by Patch O'Furr

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

The King of Las Vegas, by John Van Stry
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, March 2016, trade paperback $10.99 (234 pages), Kindle $3.99.

John Van Stry has written four Hammer Commission novels; The Hammer Commission, Wolf Killer, Loose Ends, and The King of Las Vegas. They are set in a world where demons, devils, monsters, and vampires are real. Three of the four feature Mark Levin, a demon-devil-monster-vampire hunter for the FBI and Interpol who is a monster himself. Mark and his French partner Jake are minor characters in The King of Las Vegas, which features a rakshasa.

A traditional rakshasa is an Indian (Hindustani) demon, usually described as a huge fanged cannibal who can shape-shift and live hundreds of years. In Van Stry’s novel, it’s a tiger-striped shape-shifter who can turn into a tiger (not a were-tiger; the distinction becomes important in the story) that happens to be a good guy. Rafael is an American college student on vacation in India who is captured and enslaved by a Rakshasa (Van Stry sometimes capitalizes it) and is turned into one himself.

Eleven years later Rafael escapes to American Catholic missionaries in India, and is turned over by them to Mark and Jake. When they determine that Rafael doesn’t want to prey on anyone, he just wants to return to America, they help him out. As a rakshasa, he needs lots of meat, he feeds on strong emotions, and he has to be near tigers. The best place in America for that is Las Vegas – the casinos provide plenty of cheap meals, the gamblers provide the strong emotions, he can pass his tiger stripes as makeup or tattoos for an act, and several Las Vegas attractions and magicians have live tigers.

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Rocky Mountain Fur Con backs neo-nazis, sex offender to intimidate critic for reporting threat.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

A Dogpatch Press exclusive report for community interest.

BACKGROUND: A neo-nazi cult-like group (the “Furry Raiders”) is agitating the Colorado Furries.  They recruit members with gifts, grooming, and manipulation.  It makes a classic appeal to people who are desperate to belong to a group. The Furry Raiders self-create an “us vs. them” situation by provoking others so they can pretend to be treated unfairly.   Their trolling includes assault, spreading hate speech, display of nazi-style apparel, refusing to honor meet rules, posting photos of people against their wishes, doxxing enemies to harrass them on the phone, and persistent straw-man attacks at “SJW’s”. In 2016, they provoked wider attention when they tried to gain power at Rocky Mountain Fur Con by interfering with the hotel room block.  In early 2017, they gained more mainstream news headlines.

There is a spotlight on furries and the subculture they love. This report, with participation of many concerned Colorado furries, is not to sensationalize the fringe so media can mischaracterize the rest. Their message is that they care enough to oppose malicious behavior, so protecting a superficial image is less important than making a good community.

Deo, a steelworker in the midwest, was upset about the trolls.  They were ruining what the furry community represents to her.

It made her connect current events to the problem.  She tweeted about punching Nazis.  It was a rhetorical comment in line with the patriotic spirit of entire generations of Americans since WWII.

A troll answered to threaten her.  It involved Rocky Mountain Fur Con.  Deo had never gone and wasn’t planning to go, but cared enough about other furs to notify police and hotel security. Deo says: “It started when a Furry Raider member @Oliviameles threatened to bring a gun to RMFC – I contacted RMFC con security to warn them.  I never received a reply to my email.” 

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Swift the Cat-Human, by Angelo Bowles – book review by Fred Patten

by Patch O'Furr

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

Swift the Cat-Human, by Angelo Bowles. Illustrated by Charlene Bowles.
Donna, TX, VAO Publishing, April 2013, trade paperback $13.99 (206 [+ 26] pages)

VAO Publishing, “A Small Press for the Río Grande Valley” in Donna, Texas, near the mouth of the Rio Grande, specializes in books for and about the Tex/Mex border region; from poetry by South Texans to ¡Arriba Baseball! A Collection of Latino/a Baseball Fiction. Swift the Cat-Human, an omnibus collection of the three books in this series, seems like an unusual juvenile volume for them, but Angelo Bowles lives in Donna. It’s still unusual: he was a 10-year-old 5th-grader in 2011 when he wrote Book 1.

If Swift the Cat-Human hasn’t been “tidied up” by some adult, then I’m jealous. I couldn’t write nearly this well when I was 10 years old. This is an excellent children’s novel in three parts for young furry fans or to introduce pre-teens to anthropomorphics.

Swift is a housecat belonging to Dr. Gonzalo Gonzales. Dr. Gonzales drops a test tube of an experimental virus on the floor, Swift licks it:

“And then the transformation started.

My tail got longer, my back legs got a little skinnier and started stretching, and my front legs seemed to be growing, too. My paws began to lose their pads, and I started to grow opposable thumbs! What good are opposable thumbs, anyway? And five fingers? What’s up with that?” (p. 2)

The transformation is simplistic, but this is a kids’ novel with comic-book science.

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Fred Patten’s Five Fortunes – book review by Greyflank.

by Patch O'Furr

Guest review submitted by Bill Kieffer, AKA Grayflank (author of The Goat: Building a Perfect Victim.)  Guests are invited to submit articles to: patch.ofurr(at)gmail.com.

Fred Patten’s Five Fortunes (FurPlanet, 2014, $19.95) is a collection of five novellas from some of the best writers in the G-rated Furry Fandom.

  • Chosen People by Phil Geusz
  • Huntress by Renee Carter Hall
  • Going Concerns by Watts Martin
  • When a Cat Loves a Dog by Mary E. Lowd
  • Piece of Mind by Bernard Doove

I am not sure how well the theme of “fortune” applies to the five works, so on that level the collection doesn’t feel all that well tied together, but then with five long works it’s not a heavy criticism. It’s not like there’s a lot of “destiny” fans out there. Each story approaches the nugget of self-determination from a different vector from being mindful of doing the right thing (Geusz) to the finding themselves (Hall) to finding a way to survive the week (Martin) or one’s condition (Doove).

It’s a furry sampler of longer works; perfect for people who don’t always like short stories because the story’s over just as they get to know a character. If, somehow, you don’t know these writers or their universes, then this is a good place to start learning.

CHOSEN PEOPLE by Phil Guesz

The cover story.

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Word of Mouse, by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Word of Mouse, by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein. Illustrated by Joe Sutphin.
NYC, Little, Brown and Co./Jimmy Patterson Books, December 2016, hardcover $13.99 (284 [+ 6] pages), Kindle $9.99.

(See an animated TV ad for the book.)

This children’s fantasy, recommended for 8- to 12-year-old readers (middle grade/grades 3-7), will be too young for most DP readers. But it’s a quick and enjoyable read for those who liked Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of N.I.M.H. – the novel by Robert C. O’Brien, rather than the Don Bluth animated movie that turned it into a fairy tale.

James Patterson is a writing machine. He holds the Guinness World Records for the most #1 New York Times best sellers and the first author to sell over 1,000,000 e-books. He has topped Forbes’ list of the highest-paid authors for the last three years. Wikipedia lists 164 books by him, alone and with a co-author. He has written adult mysteries, thrillers, and romance novels, and young adult and juvenile light school-life novels and science-fiction. His adult thrillers featuring Alex Cross, police psychologist, are by himself alone, and most of his others are in collaboration. Chris Grabenstein is a frequent co-author on his children’s novels. Word of Mouse is their first fantasy featuring talking animals.

The narrator is Isaiah, a mouse:

“My story starts on the day I lost my entire family. I’m running as fast as I can behind my big brothers and sisters. Down the hall. Past the mop bucket. Toward the open door.

We’re escaping from a place that’s foul and creepy and 100 percent HORRIBLE!” (p. 1)

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The Relics of Thiala, by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus – book review by Fred Patten

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Relics of Thiala, by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus.
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, February 2017, trade paperback $15.99 (190 [+ 10] pages), Kindle $4.99.

Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus, two retirees “in the very heart of Germany” according to their website “The Adventure of Romance”, have already written five other books, four in English and one in German. The two Smilodon Pride novels, Softpaw and Sunchaser, feature werecats, werewolves, and vampires, although they all spend most of the time passing as humans.

Now with the Packmasters space opera series, more obvious furries are featured in an unusual premise.

“Twenty years ago, the evil Packmasters used their genetically engineered bestiae in an attempt to seize control of the galaxy. The Core Worlders wiped them out, scorched their planets and kept the few surviving bestiae as trophies.” (blurb)

Really? The protagonists of The Relics of Thiala are Cat, Ferret, Bear, and Wolf, four rare bestiae — anthropomorphic animals — who had been kept as pampered pets or arena gladiators by the human elite. They are “liberated” by a human girl, Ana, to form a new pack. Ana has become aware that the reality she sees does not match “what everyone knows” about the Packmaster-Core Worlds war. The victors write the history books, and from what Ana can see, the Core World masses (not the rulers) might have been better off if the Packmasters had won. Ana – a mysterious adopted orphan who may be a Packlander child – runs away to steal three bestiae pets and one savage arena warrior to form a new pack, and go in search of what really happened to the Packmasters – and what the Packmasters really were (and Ana is).

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