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Spirit Hunters Book 4: Shadow of the Oni, by Paul Kidd – review by Fred Patten

by Patch O'Furr

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

Spirit Hunters. Book 4: Shadow of the Oni, by . Illustrated.
Morrisville, NC, Lulu.com/Perth, Western Australia, Kitsune Press, February 2017, trade paperback $22.31 (310 pages), Kindle $6.99.

Paul Kidd began his Spirit Hunters novels with Book 1: The Way of the Fox in September 2014. He has followed it up with Book 2: The Open Road in May 2016, and Book 3: Tails High in September 2016. Now here is Book 4: Shadow of the Oni. Like the last two books, this has a cover by R. H. Potter and interior art by Voracious Fescue.

The Spirit Hunters series is set in the Sacred Isles, a fantasy world of traditional Japanese mythology roughly in the Heian era, about 900 or 1000 A.D., with all the yōkai (supernatural spirits) of that world: obake, kappa, oni, tengu, and so on. The Spirit Hunters are four freelance ghostbusters who wander throughout this realm, slaying or otherwise exorcising the evil yōkai: Lady Kitsune nō Sura, a fox woman, and her companion Tsunetomo Tonbo, a huge human samurai, who hope to be paid for their services; Asodo Kuno, a young low-ranking human samurai who has joined them to gain a reputation and higher status; and Nezumi nō Chiri, a shy rat-spirit who Sura has invited to join them. Chiri’s two familiars, Daitanishi the air elemental and Bifuuko the rock elemental, accompany them.

Sura and Chiri, and any other animal-people who the quartet meet, are what make these books worth reading by furry fans. They can shift among three forms: human except for animal ears and tail; anthropomorphic, looking human but with an animal head, full fur or feathers, and tail; and fully animal but still able to talk.

While the first three books are basically light adventures, Book 4 is the darkest yet. It begins with “Twelfth Encounter: Shackles of Honour”, which opens with thirteen straight pages of grim battle, slaughter, blood, and death. A decade later, the four Spirit Hunters take refuge from a rainstorm in a long-abandoned shrine:

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The end of Rocky Mountain Fur Con didn’t cure the problem that caused it.

by Patch O'Furr

Article series: 1) Original story about RMFC – 2) A false rumor – 3) Interview with the Chair.

There’s a tumor in the community. It killed Rocky Mountain Fur Con. Look no further than the “Furry Raiders” and their leader “Foxler”, who calls himself “The Hitler of Furry Fandom“.  They hide behind a false front of acceptance, using regular people to help them play innocent while lying about themselves and their beliefs.

There’s a lot of denial about what’s going on.  Recently, that includes a confession that Foxler paid to join a real neo-nazi group, wants to wear a swastika, and threatened RMFC itself. Not-nazis don’t do that. That’s the long and short of it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s sincere or a game. It makes them either neo-nazis or two-faced liars about it. Either way is indefensible and incompatible with a creative fandom. (Keep in mind how historical nazis were toxic to art).

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Foxhunt!, by Rich Hanes – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Foxhunt!, by Rich Hanes. [2nd edition]
Everett, WA, Arkham Bridge Publishing, January 2014, trade paperback $19.95 (337 pages), Kindle $6.99.

This is the 2nd edition. The first edition was published by Arkham Bridge Publishing in June 2009 with the same cover illustration by Minna Sundberg. I don’t know how the two editions may differ.

This is furry space opera, the first novel in the Wildstar Universe of genetically-engineered human-like animals. (According to Amazon, Hanes only has one other Wildstar Universe work so far, and it’s just a 15-page short story, “Duel of Honor: The Way of the Wolf Warrior”, published in April 2015. Hanes has asked for comments on his works-in-progress on the Furry Writers’ Group forum, although he is not a member.)

The interstellar peoples of the galaxy are all modified Earth mammals based upon dogs, foxes, raccoons, wolves, and more, although humans do exist. And the animals don’t like each other. Interstellar warfare is strictly regulated through a Mercenary Command, and restricted to small mercenary companies rather than large national armies. Captain Sebastian Valentino, a humanoid fox, is the leader of the Star Rangers, the most successful mercenary company in the galaxy; 300+ mostly canids such as his Senior Lieutenant Corey Delzano, a jackal, and Junior Lieutenant Patricia Darling, a painted dog. The Star Rangers usually are hired by the government of Valentino’s own Star Alliance, and their target is usually the Alliance’s traditional rival, the Canis Dominion.

All this is background that the reader will pick up in the first thirty or forty pages. The story is that Captain Sebastian Valentino is having an extremely bad day. Or bad week. Or bad months. First, his Assistant Captain and best friend Adrian Miller is killed in a botched raid that Sebastian blames himself for. Second, Adrian’s extremely formal Rite of Passage (funeral) is also botched, which Sebastian (who is having a brief nervous breakdown) also blames himself for. Sebastian’s new Assistant Captain, Corey Delzano, talks him out of it, incidentally giving the reader a smooth background course in Volpa history, language, and religion.

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Artdecade paid me $5 to post about him, and you should do it too.

by Patch O'Furr

Somehow I found nice clean art on Artdecade’s FA gallery.

Artdecade is a furry artist who has strong words about bigots, nazis, RMFC, etc. Read what he thinks about the con’s demise and recent happenings in fandom. Or just enjoy his naughty art (NSFW!) He linked to Dogpatch Press, and it’s a nice compliment to get noticed by a furry titan who has drawn 10,000 dicks. He says:

i feel genuine sympathy for ppl that got involved with the furry raiders who were just looking for a local group of furs to hang out with. i don’t think all folks in that group are bad people by a long shot. the creators lied to people about themselves and their beliefs and used others that joined them to make themselves look like just an innocent group of fun havers. i urge members of the raiders that are upset with these people to start your own groups, free of nazi and bigotry influence.

please remember, it was not the people that called out the bigots that got the con closed, nor was it anyone’s intent to close the convention at any point. THEY shut down the con due to mismanagement and then blamed others for it. and now others are picking up the pieces they abandoned! local CO furs, check it out! https://www.denfur.co

Who got blamed for closing the convention? (From Reddit:)

I wonder which con this Dogpatch guy will try to kill next.

Kill the messenger before he strikes again!  Actually, ignore that noise and listen to smart furs who just want to be informed. It’s part of being a community. That includes dealers, artists and local Colorado furs who didn’t deserve to lose their con for the reasons that Artdecade said.

An independent voice can share critical stories others won’t.  A good way to make it possible is cold, hard cash. You can also do this for your local PBS station, but there’s a little difference if you support Dogpatch Press on Patreon.

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Sorin, Chair of Rocky Mountain Fur Con, discusses demise of the con.

by Patch O'Furr

Sorin joins me for an interview as a devoted representative of RMFC, even after the con’s sad, surprising end.  It was a happening that Dogpatch.press had some part in, even if issues were brewing long before and carried forward on their own.  That makes it extra gracious of Sorin to be open and professional about talking.  Questions were prepared to build a formal article, then sent in live chat.  Sorin fielded them on the fly, with power to review before publication to keep his side as intended.  You will see probing opinions from one side, then the other side to make a dialogue.  (-Patch)

Hi Sorin. We’re only talking because of sad circumstances – maybe we can improve that. Can you introduce yourself briefly? What are you like besides having been chair of RMFC?

I’ve been part of the furry fandom since 1996, and have been attending conventions since 1998 starting with Confurence and Anthrocon, later Further Confusion and Rainfurrest. I’ve been a part of Rocky Mountain Fur Con since its inception, first as the Vice-Chair and later stepping into the Chairman position when the previous chair stepped down. I’m a social person and like the furry community for its openness and acceptance.

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Payu’s Journey, by R. Lawson Gamble – book review by Fred Patten

by Patch O'Furr

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

Payu’s Journey, by R. Lawson Gamble. Map.
Los Alamos, CA, Rich Gamble Associates, November 2016, trade paperback $19.98 ([4 +] 91 pages), Kindle $2.99)

This is an oversized 8½” x 11” All Ages book, which means that it is written for Young Adults but will be of interest to adults. As the cover by Krista Lynn shows, it is set in Australia and features Australian animals – and a human baby.

“Payu wandered through softly falling darkness across the barren desert emptiness, her heart choked with grief. Every step brought a jarring reminder from her milk-swollen teats.

Payu was a dingo, the wide land she traveled Australia’s Great Sandy Desert where the sparse vegetation sent long roots deep into the cracked earth in search of any scant moisture, where small patches of hardy bunch grass clung to crumbly soil surfaces. Here and there a desert pea or acacia shrub cast a long spindly shadow.” (p. 1)

Payu’s mate has been killed at their den by humans while she was out hunting, and her pups stolen. Wandering grief-filled through Australia’s northwest, she comes across two human campers, a husband and wife, and steals their infant.

“Payu watched the little one feed and considered her situation. Somehow she had made the decision to keep this tiny human. Yet in the hostile environment of the desert it could not survive without more support. She could not hunt for food and at the same time protect a hairless, defenseless pup. Not without a mate or the support of a pack.” (p. 4)

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Love Match, by Kyell Gold – book review by Fred Patten

by Patch O'Furr

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

Love Match, by Kyell Gold. Illustrated by Rukis.
Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, January 2017, trade paperback $19.95 (378 pages), e-books $9.99.

Kyell Gold is arguably the best author in furry fandom. He has won many literary awards inside and outside the fandom. Even those who do not like adult explicit writing have been won over by the high quality of his fiction.

Many of his books are set in what is loosely called his Forester University world. The best-known are the five “Dev and Lee” novels, chronicling the meeting of Devlin Miski, tiger football star, and Lee Farrel, fox gay activist, during their senior year at Forester U.; their becoming homosexual lovers, at first secretly and then openly; and their graduation from college and their first year out. Dev becomes a professional football player and Lee becomes a professional football talent scout to stay with him. Readers of the five novels became immersed in the details of professional football as Dev and Lee firmed up their personal relationship.

Now Kyell Gold has started a new series, projected at three novels. It is superficially similar, except that the sport featured is tennis, not football; and the main characters are, at the beginning, too young to have a sexual orientation. There are references to the Dev and Lee books.

Love Match is narrated by Rochi N’Guwe, a black-backed jackal from the African nation of Lunda who is brought to America the Union of the States with his mother on a scholarship from the Palm Gables Tennis Center. Rochi is immediately nicknamed Rocky by the other students, including Marquize, a cheetah from Madiyah who becomes his best friend. The Palm Gables Center, a leading tennis institution, has scoured the world for promising young players, and has brought Rocky and his mother to the States when he is only 14. (Probably. Lunda is casual about recording births.)

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The Goat: Building the Perfect Victim, by Bill Kieffer – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Goat: Building the Perfect Victim, by Bill Kieffer
Manvel, TX, Red Ferret Press, September 2016, trade paperback $13.95 (158 [+ 1] pages), Kindle $3.99.

This book boasts – or warns – in a back-cover blurb that it delves into “the darkest, deepest reaches of human nature.” It isn’t pretty.

Frank, the narrator, seems like a total loser. He’s sullen, gloomy, depressed, works at a junk yard, and is in an abusive marital relationship. He keeps walking out on his domineering wife Kim, getting into a good relationship with some other woman, then Kim finds him, throws out the other woman, and starts her game of psychological dominance again.

He’s escaped from Kim again (only temporarily, he’s sure), gotten drunk at Phil’s Liquor Locker, and is walking back to his junker car when he sees a gang of wolfboys shoving around a gay man.

“Oh, they weren’t real wolves, but try to tell them that. The six or seven of them were trans-anthropomorphic teenagers from that private wizard school, Matthias.” (p. 18)

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A false rumor about RMFC is repeating history from the Burned Furs.

by Patch O'Furr

Remember Rainfurrest? Bad behavior was blamed for the con’s demise. In 2015, vandalism caused a fatal economic issue between the con and its hotel. Popular attention focused on fetish activity, but the public didn’t care about it and the media was incredibly positive. That debate stayed between furries, but it was at least based on partial truth. That’s different from dishonesty you can see below. It connects the long-dead 2000-era Burned Furs and the end of ConFurence, with falsehoods that exploit the closing of Rocky Mountain Fur Con. It shows an agenda to divide fandom. (You may ask: why is this still happening in 2017?)

ConFurence, the first fur con, drew criticism about bad behavior. Organizers were blamed for advertising in gay lifestyle magazines to increase attendance, supposedly attracting fetishists who had nothing to do with furry fandom. Then in 2015, a fur dug up the actual 1997 “ad” that people were citing without seeing it.  It wasn’t an ad, and it didn’t come from furries.  The obscure ‘zine publication happened at a time when it couldn’t have influenced anyone. The rumor was a false smear.

The rumor is almost 20 years old now, but it still exists:

“we still hear stories about the early ConFurence when the organizers allowed some BDSM people in to improve attendance, with horrible results” Ask Papabear, 4/12/17 (graciously modified after discussion.)

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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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