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Category: Books

Hot Dish Vol. 2, Edited by Dark End – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Hot Dish. Volume 2, edited by Dark End. Illustrated.
St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, December 2016, trade paperback $17.95 (viii + 307 pages)

Hot Dish #2 is an anthology intended for an adult audience only and contains some explicit sexual scenes of various sexual orientations. It is not for sale to persons under the age of 18. (publisher’s rating)

Hot Dish #1 (edited by Alopex) was published in March 2013. Sofawolf described it as “Hot Dish is a collection of stories about the romantic and erotic relationships between characters of disparate species and sexual orientations. It is a hearty portion of quality fiction which was too long to fit into our yearly adult anthology, Heat.” It won the 2013 Cóyotl Award for Best Anthology.

Hot Dish #2 does not have only stories that were too long for Heat. Sofawolf solicited stories especially for it during 2014. But otherwise this is a good description of Hot Dish #2: eight long novelettes of romantic and erotic s-f & fantasy relationships with humanoid animals, each illustrated by one of three artists. Romance and eroticism are presented in an extremely wide range of backgrounds and emotions.

These eight novelettes are so lengthy that each feels almost like a short novel. This is a long review.

“Loops and Knots” by Tempe O’Kun (illustrated by Anyare) is a time-travel comedy. Tess, a jackal, and Erik, her golden retriever mad scientist/hippie lover, can’t get enough of each other. So Eric turns their large refrigerator into a time machine and brings his one-week-future self to join them for three-way fun-&-games. When Tess is too tired and needs a break, she gets an erotic thrill watching present-Ertk and future-Erik making love to himself.

“‘It’s more like retro-chronal masturbation, really.’ Erik draped a blanket over her lap.” (p. 10)

“Still in a post-orgasmic daze, Tess watched her boyfriend’s temporal tryst. His silken shag blended together, every shade of gold shining in the autumn sun. His muzzle locked with itself. Feeling an odd pang of jealousy, she crossed her arms. ‘You’re completely shameless, aren’t you?’

[…]

She pressed a hand to her forehead, trying not to smile. ‘Oh, all right. Go fuck yourself.’” (p. 17)

It’s very lewd, very sticky, and very funny.

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Furry Fandom, by Wikipedians – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Furry Fandom, by Wikipedians. Illustrated.
Limburg an der Lahn, Germany, PediaPress, —–, trade paperback $21.65 ([v +] 258 pages).

Furry Fandom is supposedly an “all that you want to know” book about furry fandom, but with a major flaw. It’s only current to around 2010. It’s a fine book at 258 well-indexed pages and with 46 illustrations (mostly photographs) to give to a non-furry who asks what furry fandom is all about. It presents a complete overview. But the fandom has grown and otherwise changed so much since 2010 that anyone becoming a furry fan today will need more information to be brought up to date.

PediaPress is a modern print-on-demand publisher in a suburb of Mainz, Germany that is closely associated with Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia, “PediaPress was established to provide an online service that enabled Web users to create customized books from wiki content, an example of web-to-print technology.” Anyone can request a book on any subject, and “the Wikipedians” will collate all the information on that subject spread throughout “the over 4 million articles on Wikipedia in English alone” into a handy book – officially.

This Furry Fandom book does not have any publication date other than a statement that this copy was printed on April 24, 2017 at 23:51 UTC. But that does not mean the book has all Wikipedia’s information on furry fandom up to April 2017. It states that Anthrocon was held from 1997 to 2009. EuroFurence and Further Confusion are covered up to 2010. The Ursa Major Awards were presented from 2001 to 2008. (p. 44) The Furry Writers’ Guild and its Cóyotl Award, created in 2010 and 2011, are not mentioned. A four-page list of active furry conventions does not include anything after November 2010. The list of furry comic strips and webcomics includes some titles that have been discontinued since 2010 and does not include some that have become major since then. There is no section on furry specialty publishers, although Sofawolf Press is briefly mentioned – FurPlanet and Rabbit Valley are not. Dr. Kathy Gerbasi and the Anthropomorphic Research Project are not mentioned.

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Of Cloak and Fangs Vol.12, If It Isn’t You…, by Alain Ayroles & Jean-Luc Masbou – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

De Cape et de Crocs. Acte 12, Si Ce N’Est Toi…, by Alain Ayroles & Jean-Luc Masbou.
Paris, Delcourt, November 2016, hardbound €14,50 (47 [+3] pages).

The Fred Patten & Lex Nakashima plan to bring you the best French-language talking-animal comics has a real winner this time: Of Cloak and Fangs. Vol. 12, If It Isn’t You…, the twelfth & final(!) volume of De Cape et de Crocs, the 17th-century swashbuckling series parodying Cyrano de Bergerac, Molière, Montesquieu, and Co. that has been running since 1995.

Confusingly, volume 10 was originally announced as the end of the series. The main characters through vol. 10 are two wandering gentleman-swordsmen, Armand Raynal de Maupertuis (French fox) and Don Lope de Villalobos y Sangrin (Spanish wolf). They are introduced in 17th-century Venice, then a powerful Mediterranean nation. In the first volume they are betrayed and sentenced to serve as galley-slaves in Venice’s navy, where they meet fellow-slave Eusèbius, the cutest bunny-rabbit in the world. They escape, bringing Eusèbius with them. Eusèbius becomes their loyal squire-valet for the rest of the series, through adventures in Europe and on the Moon; so naïve and self-effacing that you almost forget he’s there. Volume 10 appeared to wrap everything up with a happily-ever-after ending, but the ten albums never said what the cutest bunny-rabbit in the world was doing as a Venetian galley-slave when they met him. Did readers demand an explanation? Volumes 11 and 12 answer the question.

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MoonDust: Falling From Grace, by Ton Inktail – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

MoonDust: Falling From Grace, by Ton Inktail
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, December 2015, trade paperback $14.99 (380 [+1] pages), Kindle $4.99

This is one of the best science-fiction novels I’ve ever read.

It’s also one of the best furry novels I’ve ever read. Humanity is extinct; transgenic animal people, created for the war effort, are all that are left. The protagonist, Imogene Haartz, is a young caribou (reindeer)-human hybrid; she shaves her fur when sent by the military to a hot climate, and takes prescribed drugs to suppress her antlers’ growth. Who needs antlers in the Army? Everyone is a boar or a rabbit or a ferret or an otter or a tiger or some other animal, whether the species is specified or not.

It’s also one of the bleakest novels I’ve ever read. Everyone is miserable until they die. (Metaphorically.) Imogene has grown up in the mid-22nd century in the rubble of Helsinki. The world has evolved until there are only two super-powers left, the UNA (United Nations of America) and the Pan-Asian Federation. If they aren’t in a shooting war, they’re in a cold war so frigid that everyone expects it to boil over at every moment. Imogene’s father was killed in the last active fighting.

“Imogene stared up at her mother’s apartment building. Old and gray, it rose to ten stories of utilitarian serviceability. Of the four buildings that had surrounded a small park, only it survived. Two others were rubble, while the fourth clawed at the sky with broken, concrete fingers.

Most of Helsinki was like that. Twelve years after the United Nations of America ‘liberated’ the city, the cleanup effort was far from complete. Especially away from the wealthy neighborhoods. Imogene couldn’t remember what it was like before the UNA. Derelict buildings and mounds of broken concrete seemed the natural state of things.” (p. 11)

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HappyWulf’s Furry KickStarters – Ep.1

by HappyWulf

Hey everyone! I’m Furry trash! But more than that, I’m KickStarter Trash too! I thought it’d be a good idea to occasionally show some Furry stuff I’ve found on KickStarter for the folks who might not be regulars to the site, and share what they might be missing. These posts may often feature one time offer only listings.  (This first edition is a little quick and dirty, due to the time constraint of the first entry.)

MADCAP – This is a TOON based RPG with lots of renowned artists lending their talents to the book and the game is coming from the creators of IronClaw. Ends TODAY.

  • Back again for the first time, despite popular demand… it’s the singular, particular, jugular and avuncular MADCAP, the role-playing game of cartoon screwball action! It’s the game that stars the best person we could find on short notice: YOU. And you’ll have a supporting cast of your friends, your compatriots, your hangers-on, your contemporaries — heck, anyone who could hold a pencil by the right end, they could play this game with you!

Rabbit Island – A 4X Territory Control tile board game with buh-nees.

  • Lead your tribe to explore a new island every game! Build up your civilization with the value of the Carrot, and the help of special Action Cards. Can you conquer your opponents in 20 rounds?

Trash Pandas card game – A small push-your-luck style card game… And I’m Furry Trash, as previously stated. This one is a limited run of only 500 copies being made, and it’s cheap. Why Not? said I.

  • Trash Pandas is easy to learn, portable, and fun for all ages. In Trash Pandas, players are raucous raccoons, tipping over trash cans for food (and shiny objects). Players push their luck to acquire more trash cards, but must stash them in order for them to count as points at the end of the game.

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Murrin Road, by L. B. Kitty – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Murrin Road, by L. B. Kitty
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, October 2016, trade paperback $9.00 (171 pages), Kindle $3.00.

This is an Irish novel with funny animals. It begins:

“Lexy stood hunched and huddled by a billboard as the rain came streaking down, sometimes blowing along Murrin Road in waves. His fur matting where the moisture had penetrated, droplets resting on his whiskers and breathing heavily, he looked at the gleam of shining rails before him, and as he took a step out from the end of the road he could hear the hum of the vibrating steel.” (p. 1)

Lexy is a black cat in the gritty industrial part of London. While he is standing out and getting soaked in the rain, a truck roars up, throws something out, and speeds away.

“He walked slowly towards whatever it was the moved in curled flicking motions like a leech sucking goodness from the gutter. The rain was now really running through his clothes, it felt like it was pouring through his soul, could it cleanse him? He stood two foot away and looked down; in the faint orange glow of a distant street-lamp he saw a familiar shape. Except for its lumpy looking end, he recognized a Feline figure, he leaned down and saw that whoever it was looked like they had been beaten, bloodied, tied up and even had a sack placed over their head. He reached his paw slowly down ‘Just a little further…’” (p. 2)

Excuse me for not putting [sic.] throughout that quotation. The something is a sack with a white cat in it, who says to just call him Kitty. Brian O’Connor, “The Celtic Tiger” (he’s a Tiger – Kitty the author capitalizes all animal nouns), a mob boss, has ordered that Kitty be disposed of. Lexy objects to having trash dumped on his doorstep, so he takes Kitty and marches into Brian’s working-class pub headquarters to complain. Brian tells all his lieutenants to shoot Lexy. Kitty saves him, and the black and white cats become an Odd Couple-type best friends and eventually very chaste gay lovers.

Murrin Road is a good example of how not to write a furry novel – or a novel at all. The characters are unusually superficially funny animals. A couple of major supporting characters are Terri, a barmaid, and Lee, a biker. Terri and Lee are identified as a Fox and a Tiger when they are introduced, and then their species is hardly mentioned for the rest of the novel. They might as well be humans. “By this time Lee was awake and making coffee, Junior was sitting up eating plain toast.” (p. 92) That’s a tiger drinking coffee and a wolf eating toast. Inconsistently, some characters are named by species almost every time they are mentioned, like Marriot, an Otter:

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Discover the best of furry fandom with the 2016 Ursa Major awards, and 2016 Cóyotl Awards.

by Patch O'Furr

Since 2001, the Ursa Major awards have promoted public choice for the best furry stuff in many categories (movies, art, books, magazines, and etc.)  Since 2011, The Coyotl Awards have featured the Furry Writer’s Guild choice for best fiction – “an anthropomorphic Nebula equivalent to the Ursas’ Hugos.”

The Ursas are popular and the Coyotls are juried by merit.  Both are an awesome way for fans to discover works by each other, and prove how furries are more than underdogs compared to other fandoms anchored on central media properties.  They can help furries to Be The Media.

The Ursas will have a new Fursuit category next year. That has been demanded for many years but not added while there was debate about defining it. Designers, builders, wearers, and even photographers have some claims about inclusion – how do you award a team? Find out when voting starts for 2017.

The staff of Dogpatch Press (Fred, Pup Matthias, and I) are honored to win the 2016 Ursa for Best Magazine. That helps to keep cool stuff coming. Give yourselves pats for inspiring it.  If you want more good stuff in the furry news niche, try these: Flayrah, Culturally F’d, Furry.Today, InFurNation, Fur Media, Furrymedia, [adjective][species], Furry News Network, Gaming Furever, Furryfandom.es, and Furry Stammtische.

Fred Patten tells more. (- Patch)  

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Plowed, edited by Andres Cyanni Halden – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Plowed, edited by Andres Cyanni Halden.
Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, December 2014, trade paperback $19.95 (212 pages), e-book $9.95.

This is a mature content book.  Please ensure that you are of legal age to purchase this material in your state or region. (publisher’s advisory)

The catchphrase for Plowed is “Ten Foxes – Ten Farms – Loads of Plowing”. This is an anthology of “ten saucy stories” all featuring foxes on farms with much explicit m/m sex.

The fox in “A Little Drop of Poison” by editor Andres Cyanni Halden is narrator Taslim Hajjar, a 20-year-old fennec. Since fennecs are North African foxes, it makes sense that Taslim is a Muslim. He’s the son of a rich Saudi father who is specializing in acquiring European vineyards and selling expensive wines to restaurants. (The Qur’an just says that Muslims shouldn’t drink alcohol; not that they can’t raise and sell it to unbelievers.) Tas is with his father inspecting a vineyard he intends to buy. The bored youth sneaks off to relax alone in the solitude of the vineyard’s wine cellars. He’s found there by one of the vineyard’s workers, “a very large, jet black bull setting down a wine cask beside one of the large racks.” The massive bull, Leeroy, can scent that the little fennec is very aroused by him. And Leeroy is a dom while Tas is a sub.

“‘Now,’ he said, his free paw trailing up my arm, across my shoulder, all the way up to lightly brush across one of my ears. ‘I’ve always been told fennec foxes like having their ears rubbed.’ He ran his rough finger along the edge, his touch surprisingly delicate. ‘Friend of mine told me it gets ‘em all hot and heavy.’” (p. 12)

That’s only the beginning of a very NSFW scene.

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Symbol of a Nation, edited by Fred Patten, to launch at Anthrocon 2017.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Here’s the first original short story anthology from Goal PublicationsSymbol of a Nation, edited by Fred Patten.  It will be released at Anthrocon 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania over the June 29-July 3 five-day weekend.  Find Goal Publications there at F19 in the dealer’s room!

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The Art of Cars 3, Foreword by John Lasseter – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

The Art of Cars 3. Foreword by John Lasseter. Preface by Brian Fee.
Introduction by Bill Cone and Jay Shuster.
San Francisco, CA, Chronicle Books, May 2017, hardcover $40.00 (167 [+ 1] pages), Kindle $16.19.

This is the official de luxe coffee-table art book of the Disney•Pixar animated film Cars 3, released on June 16, 2017. It presents sample storyboards, pastels, digital paintings, preliminary character designs, computer models, and more, usually in full color; plus research photographs of the actual racing cars and the Daytona Speedway that were a main inspiration for the 99-minute feature film.

It has been acknowledged that these “art of” books featuring animated films are money-losers, subsidized by the advertising budgets for those films, made for the promotion of those films and for the morale of the artists and technical crews that produced them. The Art of Cars 3 is full of the art of the animators, layout artists, production designers, story artists, digital renderers, graphic designers, modelers, and others who created Cars 3. As usual for these “art of” books, each piece of art is identified by its artist: Paul Abadilla, Grant Alexander, Bert Berry, Bill Cone, Craig Foster, Louis Gonzales, John Hoffman, Josh Holtsclaw, Katherine Kelly, Noah Klocek, Ivo Kos, Kyle MacNaughton, Scott Morse, George Nguyen, Bob Pauley, Laura Phillips, Jerome Ranft, Xavier Riffault, Tony Rosenast, Andrew Schmidt, Jay Shuster, Garret Taylor, J. P. Vine, and others.

In addition, there are quotes from these artists. “The film opens with an exuberant burst of racing, reintroducing McQueen at the top of his game. The goal was to immerse the audience in the excitement of racing and show the camaraderie between racers. It can be bewildering to know how to begin, but having a temporary piece of music helps set the tempo. Then I’ll thumbnail, usually discarding tons of shots until it starts to flow and build in the right way.” –JP Vine, story artist. (p. 25)

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