Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Tag: noir

Backbone – a pixel art detective adventure game.

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks to Summercat for this guest post.

Here’s the Kickstarter for Backbone. I’ll save you reading the article. Go check it out. I am more than impressed; I am excited.

Still here? Okay fine, I’ll elaborate.

Backbone, by indie developer Eggnut, is a “pixel art cinematic adventure with stealth and action elements” set in a dystopian retro-future Vancouver, filled with the sounds of Jazz, the scents of Anthropomorphic Animals, and murder.

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Inhuman Acts: A Collection of Noir – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

51i6Fzbl+wL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Inhuman Acts; A Collection of Noir, edited by Ocean Tigrox.
Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, September 2015, trade paperback $19.95 (316 pages), Kindle $9.95.

According to the publisher, this is a horror anthology. “Explore thirteen anthropomorphic noir stories about betrayal, corruption and deceit from award-winning authors and up-and-coming writers. Pour your favourite whiskey and light up a cigarette as Stanley Rivets, PI shares with you his collection of case files from dim to dark to downright ugly.” (blurb)

Stanley Rivets, the stereotypical sable P.I. who tells these stories — “A sable in a long beige trench coat sits behind the desk, dark ears perking at the entrance of the newcomer. The wide brim of his fedora raises to see what visitor would stop by this late at night.” –p. vii. He wears his trench coat and fedora while sitting in his office? Well, maybe he’s just returned, exhausted, from a case — appears only in the very brief Foreword and Afterword. Too bad. It would have been nice to get a full story with him.

Rivets tells 13 stories; not cases of his own, but 13 that he’s heard of. Ocean Tigrox has started out with one of the best here; “Muskrat Blues” by Ianus Wolf. It’s specifically a pastiche of The Maltese Falcon, with Mike Harrison, a pig P.I., investigating the murder of his best friend, another P.I. – a muskrat; two prey animals in a grim & gritty city where the prey animals are usually at the bottom of the anthro-animal social pole. But Alex Richards didn’t take any guff, and neither does Harrison. Wolf packs a neat summary of Hammett’s novel (or Warner Bros.’s movie; take your pick) into a taut 25 pages of noir, with enough originality that even if you’re a fan of The Maltese Falcon, you’re not likely to guess whodunit. And enough presence of predator & prey animal traits to make this a satisfying furry story, too.

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Who Killed Kathleen Gingers?, by Gary Akins – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Who Killed Kathleen Gingers?, by Gary Akins. Revised edition. Illustrated.
Austin, TX, Furry Logic Productions, February 2010, trade paperback $15.00 (136 pages).

AC01--Who_Killed_Kathleen_Gingers_[cover] (1)For those who object to funny-animal fiction – stories in which there is no reason for the characters to be anthropomorphic animals instead of regular humans – Who Killed Kathleen Gingers? can be easily skipped. For those who don’t mind it as long as the story is well-written, and who like crime noir murder mysteries in the Sam Spade/Philip Marlowe/Shell Scott/Travis McGee tradition, don’t miss Who Killed Kathleen Gingers?

Calico Rock sheriff’s office detective Allan Connell (ferret) is sent to investigate the reported murder of vivacious Hollywood star Kathleen Gingers (mouse) at her palatial Pacific Beach vacation home. When Gingers herself answers the door, it looks like the report was a prank – until Connell and Gingers find a real body, that of Gingers’ murdered private secretary, who looks very much like her.

Whodunit, and why? Does the popular Gingers have enemies? Or did the bland secretary, who was recently hired with nothing much really known about her? Was the secretary killed by mistake for Gingers, and is Gingers still in danger? Connell is faced with the crime noir detective’s usual comic-relief (but not totally incompetent) assistant, mysterious clues, and lots of suspects: an unconvincingly indignant husband, an overly-jealous wife, a too-affable producer and his hysterical associate who is very eager to accuse a particular suspect, a sultry mistress with a secret, the vengeful father of a long-dead friend …

Akins writes the right crime noir prose:

“The ocelot-fem was lying face-down on a beach towel by the edge of the pool, head cradled in her arms, sunning herself. She was sleek and well-toned, with graceful legs that went from firm, muscular thighs down to slender ankles and feet. The black and silver of the bikini pants made a nice contrast against her black-spotted, golden-yellow fur, and as near as I could tell that was about their only real contribution since the cut of the cloth left an extremely generous portion of each shapely buttock exposed to view. Her tail lay mostly limp along one leg, the tip twitching slowly every so often. Her fur had been carefully brushed and combed to a healthy, appealing luster, and I just stood there for a moment, appreciating the overall view of her.” (p. 39)

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The Great Catsby, by Linda Stewart – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Great Catsby, by Linda Stewart
NYC, Cheshire House Books, September 2013, trade paperback $10.95 (143 [+ 1] pages).

This is the fourth novel in Stewart’s Sam the Cat series, officially children’s fantasies but often Edgar and Agatha Award mystery-fiction nominees. Stewart’s first, Sam the Cat: Detective (February 1993), was a generic hard-boiled mystery fantasy-parody, with Sam, one of a mystery-bookshop’s cats (the other is Sue, Sam’s sassy secretary), hired by an apartment building’s housecat to find their real human burglar and keep the apartment’s custodian from being framed. The next two novels, The Big Catnap (August 2000) and The Maltese Kitten (December 2002), were specific pastiches of The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (1939) and The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1929), with Sam standing in for Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade, who practically defined the crime-noir private eye genre. Not exactly kids’ stuff. The Maltese Kitten also won the Cat Writers’ Association’s 2003 Muse Award in the Best Juvenile Fiction category.

Stewart seemed to run out of famous crime-noir mysteries to parody after 2002. But, eleven years later, here is The Great Catsby. Presumably you know what this is a pastiche of, even if you haven’t read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age classic. Not exactly a hard-boiled mystery, and still not exactly kids’ stuff; but it does get the series moving again.

“The first time I saw Catsby he was sitting atop a diving board and staring across a swimming pool at a lantern hung from a tree. It was one of those green paper Japanese lanterns and it flashed, in the local distance, like the light of an alien star. Of course I didn’t know he was Catsby then, or anything else about him. By his looks, he was nothing special – just a pleasantly yellow fellow with a curve at the tip of his tail. What impressed me had been his gaze – an almost laser-like concentration – and the stillness that seemed to surround him the way a halo surrounds a saint.” (p. 1)

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