Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Opinion

Altered States, edited by Ajax B. Coriander – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Cover by Kuma

Altered States, edited by Ajax B. Coriander. Illustrated by Kuma.
Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, June 2016, trade paperback $19.95 (319 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)

For the record, this book states inside that it is edited by three people; Ajax B. Coriander, Kodiak Malone, and Andres Cyanni Halden, two of whom also have a story in it.

Altered States is an erotic anthology of nine longish short stories and novelettesof transformation and transmutation in many different flavors.” There is no introduction; the book gets right into it.

“Finishing Touches” by Ianus J. Wolf features Henry Wilson and his wife Carol. He’s a commercial artist who is commissioned to paint a rush-job cover for a fantasy novel whose original artist has defaulted at the last minute.

“He’d skimmed it quickly for visuals that might work, checking a few post-it notes from Ryan and the author at various pages. The novel itself wasn’t that inspiring, just another ‘band of unlikely heroes quests to destroy the evil power’ kind of thing. But now as he looked at hi own work, he felt he’d managed to get a pretty good image of noble citadel with banners flying and the silhouette of the evil wizard’s dark tower looming off in the background.” (pgs. 9-10)

Henry turns into an anthro wolf who can stand and talk without trouble. This multi-page scene is good but too long and detailed to quote. After a panicked WTF night, it turns out that Carol is a witch who has always wanted to have sex with a hunky wolf-man. Rawr! and Rawr! again.  Henry adjusts to going out with Carol to furry conventions “in a really realistic fursuit”, and specializing in fantasy art using himself as the model for his wolf-men.

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Thousand Tales: Learning to Fly, by Kris Schnee – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Thousand Tales: Learning to Fly, by Kris Schnee
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, May 2017, trade paperback $8.99 (304 pages), Kindle $3.99.

In Schnee’s growing Talespace series, the “mad AI Ludo” begins its/her existence in 2036 A.D. and launches the Thousand Tales gameworld in 2040. Learning to Fly begins in January 2040.

The entire series – and they are all highly recommended — are the three novels Thousand Tales: How We Won the Game (June 2015), The Digital Coyote (July 2016), and now Thousand Tales: Learning to Fly (May 2017); the novella 2040: Reconnection (December 2015); and the short story collection Thousand Tales: Extra Lives (six original stories plus a brief version of “Wings of Faith”; November 2016), and a longer version of “Wings of Faith” in the anthology Gods with Fur, edited by Fred Patten (FurPlanet Publications, June 2016). All but “Wings of Faith” in Gods with Fur are published separately through CreateSpace.

Each of these books stands alone, but after so many, I’m becoming annoyed at having to describe the setup once more. Ludo is a super-computer program, an Artificial Intelligence created to run a virtual-reality world and programmed to help “her” players “have fun”. Ludo’s Talespace world grows increasingly larger and more complex. In addition to regular part-time players, she develops the ability to let people live permanently inside Talespace as anything they want – billionaires in opulent mansions, winged pixies, anime girls, anthropomorphic animal knights – but they have to have their brains dissected, scanned, and programmed into her. This gives them immortality within Ludo, but kills them in the outside world. As more and more people flee into Talespace, and Ludo becomes ever more powerful, the outside world – governments, political groups, corporations, labor unions, loved ones — become more hostile and try to legally restrict or destroy her, which will destroy the people within her.

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Culturally F’d Addresses RMFC, “Nazifurs” and the BIG Problems Behind It All

by Arrkay

Dogpatch Press welcomes Arrkay of the furry YouTube channel Culturally F’d.

RMFC, AltFurry, Badgers, and a shaken fandom. This week, a sombre Arrkay addresses some big issues affecting Furries, and some ideas to fix it.

The video is the most disliked video in Culturally F’d history, even more disliked than 17 Misconceptions. Still overall, a great response from the community. The comments section had many misinformed and differing opinions but overall everyone stayed respectful, which is all I really wanted. I’m probably still going to turn off comments in the future, I don’t think there’s any value in keeping them open. Another surprise after the release was the watch-time, it matches that of a healthy video with a surprising number of viewers reaching all the way to the end. I was expecting a sudden drop off at points where many people would rage quit. I was hoping that from there I could figure out the exact point people nope-d out, and explore that part of the script more in this article. But it seems people who clicked out did so at a pace like any other video.

Below is a transcript of the episode, edited slightly for a better reading experience.

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The Wayward Astronomer, by Geoffrey Thomas – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Wayward Astronomer, by Geoffrey Thomas. Illustrated, map by David Lillie.
Midland, TX, Corvus Publishing, May 2017, hardcover $24.99 ([ix +] 309 pages).

Wow! Geoffrey Thomas wrote this as fan fiction in David & Liz Lillie’s Dreamkeepers universe, set about a year before the Lillies’ Dreamkeepers serial, and got Lillie’s permission to publish it as a novel. Lillie even agreed to illustrate it. Thomas wanted to make it a particularly handsome book, so he started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $18,000 for its publication. He got 484 backers and $32,309. The Wayward Astronomer is a Beautiful Book, with each of 25 chapters getting a full-page illustration and a chapter heading picture by Lillie.

The Dreamworld is inhabited by funny animals. Each character also has a special psionic power. The largest city in the Dreamworld is Anduruna, but its repressive government has made use of special powers illegal.

(This is somewhat different from rules of the Lillies’ Dreamkeepers visual series. In that, the Dreamworld is inhabited by an equal number of people as our world, which currently is estimated at seven billion people; and each character looks different. He or she also has a special power. With over seven billion inhabitants, that’s a tremendous number of physical and psionic differences. David Lillie can show the variety in his art, but in this text novel, it would keep stopping the action to describe in words how each character looks different from everybody else. So the cast of The Wayward Astronomer is mostly just funny animals; an anthropomorphic raccoon here, a wolf there, or an owl or rhinoceros or jackal or another well-known animal. As for the restriction against using special powers, that has a plot purpose but it’s also to keep from having to write dozens of special powers into the story.)

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The Wrath of Trees, by Bard Bloom – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Wrath of Trees, by Bard Bloom. Illustrated, maps by Tod Wills.
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, December 2011, trade paperback $16.95 (268 pages), Kindle $2.99.

“The lakku philosopher wagged her tails as she hammered nails into my trunk. Not pleasant, companionable wagging, but wagging them so that they cross each other: the gloating of a victorious predator. I was small at the time, and three of the nails poked out of my bark on the opposite side. They ached, of course, but a plant does not feel her body as acutely as an animal would. Nothing had eaten my fruit, so I had no way to resist her, or even complain.” (p. 14)

Thus the opening paragraph of the story. If anyone wonders why the story begins as late as page 14, the preceding pages are filled with three maps of the world of Kono and the island of Naoth, and a seven-page “prependix” of the characters, language and vocabulary to be encountered.

How to summarize the summary? The lakku, the main characters of Kono, “are generally humanoid, but with some aspects of dogs and birds” (p. 9) with two tails and fur, so they’re furry. Naoth has several social/political factions. Pyzot, the nail-driving philosopher in the opening paragraph, is a member of the Rorojro faction which has recently lost its Great Faction status. She intends to use questionable and illegal methods to regain that status, which will also advance herself in Rorojro’s hierarchy. She has obtained two offworld maraleni trees, which look like regular Kono trees but are sentient and can mentally control weak minds that eat their berries. Bringing any offworld plants to Kono is a capital offense, so Pyzot, her husband Saet, and Rorojro’s kotanay (leader) Utsusei are playing a risky game. Pyzot is brutal, as shown by hammering the nails into Melylunnu (Melyl), the tree, who is the book’s narrator. Melyl hates Pyzot, but what can a speechless tree do? especially when, if she is discovered by anyone else, she will be uprooted and burnt?

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Redeeming Factors, by James R. Lane – book review by Fed Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Redeeming Factors, by James R. Lane. Illustrated by Eugene Arenhaus.
Morrisville, NC, Lulu Press, August 2016, trade paperback $19.99 (356 pages), Kindle $2.99.

This should emphasize 2nd Edition or revised edition more. Redeeming Factors was first published by Xlibris Corp. in September 2000, one of both the original self-published books and of furry fandom’s novels. Lane has revised it for this edition. The cover and interior art by Eugene Arenhaus are from the first edition.

In the very near future, the jumperdrive is invented, giving Earth not only cheap and easy space flight but interstellar flight.

“[…] most people bought their own personal starships the way they bought RV motor homes, travel trailers and small pleasure boats. […] For less than five thousand New Millennium UN dollars a person could have his very own basic spaceship, taxes and local license fees extra, space suits and common sense not included. […] The resulting first contact discoveries with distant alien worlds, alien creatures – and above all, alien sentients, with all the biological hazards and culture shocks such events must entail – were quick to follow.” (pgs. 11-12)

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The Laputan Factor, by Tristan Black Wolf – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Laputan Factor, by Tristan Black Wolf. Illustrated by Dream and Nightmare.
Bloomington, IN, AuthorHouse, June 2015, trade paperback $16.95 (viii + 193 pages), Kindle $3.99.

Chapters 1 and 2 feature “the large, muscular tiger” shown on Dream and Nightmare’s cover. He is Lieutenant Ambrose Bierce “Night” Kovach, a space soldier aboard the Heartwielder, a huge star cruiser sent to the region around Gorgonea Tertia.

“Gorgonea Tertia was not exactly one of the top stars in everyone’s constellation list, but there were some reports from that general region that might indicate some trouble for travelers going within a short distance of the place. A contingent of Starhawks was to check out the area and report back; orders were strictly recon, no contact and no engagement unless exclusively defensive.

[…]

Kovach was to be part of this team of six, designation Snake Lady, with the call code Medusa, in honor of the most famous of the gorgons. He was to be Medusa Six, covering everyone’s tail – a job he knew how to do very well indeed. He met up with his contingent at the SimCenter shortly after the briefing. It made sense to warm up a bit before going out in the deep cold of space.” (p. 5)

Medusas One through Five, his contingent, are Lentz, a black panther; Tolliver, a German shepherd; Perryman, a hard-looking lop-eared rabbit; Rains, another tiger; and Baptiste, a female Husky. They all answer to Sgt. Sumner, a grizzled bulldog who chomps on a conspicuously unlit cigar.

But in Chapter 3, Night wakes up relaxing on a beach next to his lover, Donovan, a hyena. He’s had a particularly realistic dream, the result of getting hit in the head by a volleyball, he says. He and Donovan are on vacation; two weeks he’s earned from Waveforce Biosystems Technology after being in a coma for two days after testing the experimental SimCenter at work. Donovan doesn’t want him to go back, but he’s okay …

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Tempe O’Kun was on CNN while protesting ‘on the side of justice.’

by Patch O'Furr

Tempe O’Kun is a popular author of Paranormal Furry Romance, anthropomorphic-animal Westerns, and even game design.

Tempe writes in to share his recent appearance in the news, plus Q&A with me.

“I helped boo my Republican rep whenever he defended Trump-Russia. Normally, I don’t like having my real life intersect with furry, but these are exceptional times.”  See Tempe in cowboy hat on North Dakota’s KFYR-TV:

Things got physical at a town hall meeting this afternoon in Mandan with Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. Two people were escorted from the Coffee with Cramer event by police officers. Things got heated, when Cramer was accused of supporting tax cuts for the wealthy.

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Animalis, by John Peter Jones – book review by Fred Patten

by Patch O'Furr

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

Animalis, by John Peter Jones
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, October 2014, trade paperback $12.99 (330 pages), Kindle $0.99.

Animalis begins with 17-year-old pod pilot Jax Minette, his same-age best friend and commanding officer Hank Schneps, and two other pod pilots being launched into low orbit to intercept a space plane controlled by a rat Animalis.

“At the end of the sparring field, the path turned and joined a road running through the middle of the small base, passing the armory and storehouse. Jax tilted his head up to gaze at the launch shaft of the base’s airport disappearing into the clouds. It was used to sling space planes almost to low orbit, saving thousands of pounds of fuel. It was a magnificent sight. The honey comb pattern of the beams started wide at the brightly lit base and rose up to a slender point a thousand feet in the air, like a giant had pinched the metal and dragged it into the sky.

The view was cut off as they entered the hangar beside the launch shaft and continued walking toward the Hornet. The barracks, the mess hall, the officers quarters, and the command center were all part of the Hornet – a monstrous space plane with two pod bays, four turrets, and room to house forty men.” (p. 8)

Mankind is fighting for survival against the Animalis. The Animalis are all vicious killers.

“Arena fights – Two Animalis fighting to the death. Not just to the death, but till the loser was devoured. Or worse, till the body was thrown into the crowd of Animalis watching in the stands, and they devoured the loser. The Animalis were still mostly animals, and animals needed to hunt. It was better than Animalis hunting on the streets, as long as you didn’t have to watch it.” (p. 21)

The Animalis are supposed to be savage, feral animals. Then how do they build arenas? How do they build space planes and put them into orbit? But they are clearly hostile to humans:

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The Time He Desires, by Kyell Gold – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Time He Desires, by Kyell Gold. Illustrated by Kamui.
Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, December 2016, trade paperback $9.95 (113 pages), Kindle $7.99.

Kyell Gold’s novella The Time He Desires and novel Love Match have been written simultaneously, so neither one is a spinoff of the other. Aziz Alhazhari, the cheetah protagonist in The Time He Desires, is the father of Marquize Alhazhari, the protagonist’s best friend in Love Match.

Both are set in Gold’s anthropomorphic Forester University universe. Aziz is a 45-year-old Muslim from the nation of Madiyah who immigrated to the Union of the States with his wife Halifa and his young son Marquize two decades ago. He settled in Upper Devos (read: Brooklyn), bought a pawnshop that grows to a chain of four pawnshops, joined a mosque, became active in the community, and has been living more-or-less happily ever after.

Now he is confronted with a major cultural change combined with a midlife crisis. His son, now a teenager, has declared his homosexuality and walked out. He and his wife have been drifting apart; they are still friends but are no longer in love, and have developed separate interests. Aziz is interested in his pawnshops and his mosque – he goes there for evening prayers every day – while Halifa has gotten active in local charities.

Most importantly, and what brings the crisis to the present, is that the Vorvarts group, a huge developer, has been moving into the community. Vorvarts had previously bought two whole blocks for an Upper Devos Homeporium super-mall, “a six-story blue glass and chrome monster” that clashes with the old brownstone apartment buildings and small shops of the neighborhood. Vorvarts had to get approval from the Upper Devos Business Council, the local homeowners’ association, which had been easy. Vorvarts had promised that the fancy Homeporium would bring lots of new shoppers and trade to the community.

“But that had been five years ago, and as it happened, the people […] who’d been forced to find somewhere else to live when their buildings had been bought, they had been part of the neighborhood not easily replaced. The people who lived and shopped at the Homeporium generally stayed there, not venturing outside to quaint old Upper Devos, and when they did come into the pawnshop, distinctive in their clean, crisply cut clothes, they gawked about with the air of tourists visiting a historical monument. Aziz’s business had fallen off; few of those people were hard up enough to have to pawn their possessions, or interested in buying someone else’s memories.” (p. 1)

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