Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Tag: military

Dogworld: Operation Stray Cat, by John Woods – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Dogworld: Operation Stray Cat, by John Woods. Illustrated by Miro Dimitrov.
Los Angeles, CA, Out of the Woods Publishing, July 2015, trade paperback, $10.99 (358 pages).

This is a military novel with dog and cat soldiers, or Canoids and Feloids, emphasizing the species’ senses:

“Enemy detection in the field was the job of big-nosed bloodhounds, stubby-legged Basset Hounds in a pinch, or even those spastic little beagles the suits in the Capitol somehow deemed fit for military service. Sure, there were better scent hounds in the ranks, and if he really needed one, he’d get one, but what he was looking for in this cornfield even a flat-nosed pug with a head cold should be able to sniff out,” (p. 3)

The setting is a planet with two suns and three moons, where civilization is represented by the Canoids and Feloids. The enormous homids are dumb beasts, only good for their dung for fertilizer.

That’s assuming the Feloids can be considered civilized. Lieutenant Colonel Angus Rex, a Canoid commander (Rottweiler), doubts it.

“As far as the colonel and most of his people were concerned, cats, as Feloids were more commonly called, had no place in modern society. The self-serving and savage Feloids seemed only to exist to foul the land his people toiled to cultivate, more importantly, to civilize. Destiny favored the technologically and intellectually advanced dogs. Everyone knew that. Everyone but the yellow-eyed devil cats themselves and the remnants of their army now gathered somewhere out there beyond the corn.” (p. 4)

The war has been going on for ten years.

“The colonel lowered his binoculars and looked back at his army. A thousand pairs of eyes looked to him and awaited his order to begin the final push of the decade-long fight the country’s newspapers were starting to call The Great Cat War. The Rottie huffed at this exaggeration and wondered if future historians would indeed label a ten-year mission of unapologetic, organized slaughter an actual war when every major battle fought was a near-total rout. Some would argue putting fifty-caliber canon [sic.] fire against simple bow and arrow could not possibly be considered an actual war, but the motive-spinning nose-breathers in charge deemed it a war, so the colonel long ago reasoned what he was doing was just. Besides, he rationalized, his duty was not to argue the political, philosophical, or even moral aspects of the mission; but to simply follow orders and get the job done. And, like most of his people, he was obedient; he would do whatever was necessary to complete the objective.” (pgs. 5-6)

The protagonist of Dogworld is “Corporal Cooper Bigby, a likeable young beagle-sheltie mix” (p. 9). He is in awe of the final battlefield. “Bigby imagined the grand concrete and steel memorial certain to be built, probably exactly where he now stood.” (p. 10)

If Bigby had been a wolf, he would be an omega. As a puppy, when he and his friends played Cats & Dogs, “he always ended up being picked to play one of the Feloids, never a triumphant Canoid. […] Having only been assigned to his first combat unit just days earlier, Bigby had never experienced battle, never fired a single shot in anger, and figured he likely never would. He had qualified at the range, but just barely. The army required proficient marksmanship of all its soldiers, and he had made the cut by the narrowest of margins, but with his small frame and short arms, it was difficult to steady an assault rifle obviously designed for a much larger Canoid.” (pgs. 11-12)

Read the rest of this entry »

Project Anthro, by Dallin Newell – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Project Anthro, by Dallin Newell
Raleigh, NC, Lulu Press, October 2017, hardcover $28.80 (264 pages), trade paperback $12.00, Kindle $9.00.

I am confused. This book says both that it is printed by Lulu Press and by CreateSpace in North Charleston, SC. It also says “First printing, 2017”, but the Barnes & Noble website shows it with a different cover (but the same blurb), published by Page Publishing, Inc. and dated December 2016. Newell has a Facebook page devoted to Project Anthro, where it is described as “A Book Series”. Newall says, “Project Anthro 2 is written and ready to go out to publishing,” and that it is a planned quartet.

Whatever. The premise as described in the blurb seems furrier and more exciting than the novel itself. “During the Cold War, a project that was introduced during WWI has been revived, which involves weaponizing and creating anthropomorphic animals to become operatives, known as anthros. Chance Logan is a red fox, standing at five eleven, born in Australia [Newell says on Facebook and in the novel that Logan was born in London and raised in Canberra], and worked for ASIS (Australian Secret Intelligence Service). […]”

Chance learns that a high-placed American CIA executive, John Lance, has gone rogue and is planning to use America’s secret agentry “to completely obliterate the two world superpowers, the USSR and the USA.” Lance is also a human supremacist who believes that all anthros are bioengineered to “do nothing but kill.” Logan recruits “a whole team of anthros” to stop Lance and prove that anthros are more than killers dominated by their animal instincts.

That’s a great premise. Unfortunately, Newell develops it as a substandard Mission Impossible action thriller with funny animals. It’s wacky enough without wondering why funny animals? Chance Logan is introduced in the midst of a firefight with the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. He’s one of only two anthros (the other is a cougar) in a U.S. Army unit caught behind enemy lines. They don’t do anything that human soldiers (like John Rambo) couldn’t do, plus Chance gets his bushy fox tail caught and he has to be freed. Under what conditions is a bushy fox tail an asset in jungle warfare? This also makes the reader wonder if Chance is wearing a complete Army uniform with a tail hole, or (as the cover implies) only a helmet and Army jacket, and nothing below the waist?

Whoa! Here’s the answer. “‘By the way,’ he [a human lieutenant] said, ‘you guys may want to try on some pants when we get back to the States. Just try it.’

‘Nah,’ Kay [the cougar] said as he swiped the air with his paw. ‘We’ve got fur to cover our junk, right Chance?’

‘Yeah, right,’ I agreed with a forced chuckle.

All of us anthros never wore pants; it was a lot more comfortable to go without them. Even Katie [Chance’s girl friend, an Army nurse; also a red fox] wouldn’t wear them.” (p. 15)

Read the rest of this entry »

Press Release! Dogs of War II: Aftermath, edited by Fred Patten, Debuts at MFF

by Pup Matthias

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

Dogs of War II: Aftermath, edited by Fred Patten, is launching at Midwest FurFest 2017 in Rosemont (Chicago), Illinois over the November 30-December 3 four-day weekend. The book can be pre-ordered from FurPlanet Productions. It will be for sale on the FurPlanet online catalogue afterwards.

Dogs of War II: Aftermath is an all-original anthology of 20 short stories and novelettes of anthropomorphic animals (not just dogs) in military scenarios, from battle action to boot camps, from the past to the future, on land, at sea, and in space. This is designed to appeal to both s-f & fantasy fans, and fans of military s-f.

From bioengineered military dogs with Artificial Intelligence to a fawn trying to prove he is a stag, a horse sailor on a warship, a canid-ape space war, a self-aware robot bird, a fox soldier passed over for a deserved promotion, reindeer Vikings, animal Sea Bees constructing an island airstrip, and more; these are stories for your imagination and enjoyment.

Dog, Extended, by Cairyn
Remembrance, by Alice “Huskyteer” Dryden
Scars, by Televassi
The Surface Tension, by Dwale
My Brother’s Shadow, by M. R. Anglin
Close to Us, by MikasiWolf
Lime Tiger, by Slip-Wolf
Umbra’s Legion: The Destruction of Ismara, by Geoff Galt
Umbra’s Legion: Charon’s Obol, by Adam Baker
The Call, by Lord Ikari
Every Horse Will Do His Duty, by Thurston Howl
Matched Up, by K. Hubschmid
The Son of Goulon Stumptail, by NightEyes DaySpring
Noble, by Thomas “Faux” Steele
Trial by Error, by Jaden Drackus
The Night the Stars Fell, by KC Alpinus
Tears of the Sea, by MikasiWolf
The Pack, by Argyron
Red Engines, by Kris Schnee
Going Home, by Miles Reaver

Price: $19.95. 478 pages. Wraparound cover by Teagan Gavet.   ISBN 978-1-61450-397-2.

Fred Patten

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.&

Children of Steel and Interregnum, by John Van Stry – Book Reviews by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

41yvBNmOuCL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Children of Steel, by John Van Stry.
North Charleston, SC, CreateSpace, February 2012, trade paperback $12.99 (350 pages), Kindle $3.99.

Interregnum, by John Van Stry.
North Charleston, SC, CreateSpace, May 2015, trade paperback $9.99 (198 pages), Kindle $2.99.

John Van Stry first came to the notice of furry fandom with the story “Changes” in Yarf! #51, December 1997. But he began writing before that under the pen name of Banner Von Trippen, with “Waiting for Shadamehr (or Someone Like Him)” in Yarf! #49, July 1997. His serialized Dialene, beginning in Yarf! #64, April 2002, under the Von Trippen name, featured a foxmorph living in his Children of Steel universe. Since then he has been publishing through CreateSpace under his real name. Most of his stories have been published as science fiction, not furry fiction, even when they feature anthropomorphic animals.

Children of Steel is set in a familiar-to-furries future. To quote its rear cover, “Raj is just your average everyday genetically modeled and artificially created anthropomorphic worker for one of the many corporations of the future. Extensively trained and conditioned from birth he’s now indentured for the next fifty years of his life; assuming he doesn’t die first, or somehow manage to pay off his creation and training debts. Created by the corporations to deal with the harsh labor shortages of the twenty second century when humans will no longer take on the dangerous jobs Raj finds himself now in the harsh world of space exploration, trading, corporate maneuverings, and sometimes the even more dangerous fanatics that hate Raj and his fellows.”

Raj Rakir is “‘a sentient leopard-man of .7 human norm on the Rourstat scale,’” created by the Tri-Star Mining and Manufacturing corporation. He is presented “‘with your bill for creation and training by the corporation. As covered in the created species act of 2069 you must now work for above said corporation until you have either paid this bill, or completed a term of 50 years indentured servitude.’” (p. 4) The bill comes to three-plus million new dollars. Even with an expected lifespan of a hundred years – assuming he isn’t killed in one of those dangerous space jobs first – Raj can expect to spend most of his life working for Tri-Star. But he’s not worried about it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Furry Halloween treats, McGruff Goes To Jail – NEWSDUMP (11/4/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Guest posts welcome. Tips:

12189827_1150763194953018_5433177237520487821_nHalloween treats:  Popularity for Rocket Raccoon, and some looks at the culture of costuming.

Mom’s costume creation goes viral, ‘wins’ Halloween 2015.  A very lucky kid in Michigan got to be an accurately-diminutive Rocket Raccoon, complete with moving jaw.  It got shared on Facebook by the director of Guardians of The Galaxy.  This isn’t claimed to be overtly “furry”, but when Mom makes cosplay outfits for Comic Con… it makes you wonder what research helped to build it from scratch.

UPDATE: The maker confirmed to me that Furry tutorials helped build it. I asked her opinion of furries, and she says:

It’s some tough work everyone does and all of you should be proud. I made so many mistakes because there aren’t a lot of tutorials for doing stuff like this. I honestly didn’t know too much about furries until I was trying to research how to make a movable mouth for my son.

In Huntsville Alabama, inside the business of Fig Leaf Costumes: “it looks like a dressing room for furries in here.” Read between the lines, and the article might involve us, maybe indirectly. There’s this thoughtful tidbit:

So why does he still enjoy playing dress up at age 35? “I love how people react. If you dressed up as a character they love they come over and give you a hug. It’s just a good feeling,” says Harrison, who along with his girlfriend plans to dress up in a couples costume for Halloween this year: “Lady and The Tramp.” Burkholder thinks the trend of adults continuing to dress in costumes, for Halloween and otherwise, is due to “Gen X feels a little bit lost so what we’re doing is claiming a little bit of a community for ourselves, especially with cosplay. And also with modernity people move away from so they want to form a sense of community, so whether it’s videogames or cosplay it’s people coming together. And I like that.

Milford Schools Criticized Nationally Over ‘Halloween Ban’.” A smaller city in Connecticut planned to stop costuming at some public schools.  That quickly changed after everyone growled about political correctness.  It reminds me of a similar-sized city in Vermont banning fursuiters.  Are they just too uptight in New England?  Are some people afraid of self-expression?

16 year sentence for McGruff the Crime Dog.

“The actor who played the crime-fighting cartoon character McGruff the Crime Dog, was sentenced to 16 years in prison stemming from a 2011 arrest in which police seized 1,000 marijuana plants, 27 weapons – including a grenade launcher – and 9,000 rounds of ammunition from his home…”


Read the rest of this entry »