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Tag: nonfiction

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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Conventional Wisdom, by Arthur Drooker – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

cw_cover_scConventional Wisdom, by Arthur Drooker. Foreword by James Wollcott.
NYC, Glitterati Inc., August 2016, hardcover $50.00 (191 [+ 1] pages).

This is a de luxe coffee-table art book of photographs by Arthur Drooker, an award-winning documentary and fine-art photographer/author whose work has been exhibited since 1980, and whose studies have been called “visual poetry”. For ConventionalWisdom, Drooker spent three years up to 2015 visiting “quirky” conventions throughout the U.S. “held by some unusual interest groups”. Each convention has about twenty pages devoted to it.

Drooker claims in his Introduction that a Convention Industry Council study shows that there are 1.8 million conventions, conferences, meetings, and trade shows in the U.S. every year. This book presents some of the most photographically exotic of these. As you have doubtlessly guessed, furry fandom is one of these unusual interest groups. So are the Bronies. Each is covered by Drooker; Anthrocon at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, and Bronycon at the Baltimore Convention Center. Each convention has an introduction of about four pages by Drooker.

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A welcome new category for the Ursa Major Awards: Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction.

by Patch O'Furr

WHY DON’T FURRIES RECOGNIZE GOOD JOURNALISM?

 

This topic has come up before: “Bay Area Furs find out why there should be a Furry award for Best Journalism(see some good articles within) – and – “VICE looks back on the Midwest Furfest attack, earning kudos for thoughtful journalism.”

The simplistic answer is – back around 2001, this little fan group was mistreated by Vanity Fair, MTV and CSI.  Forevermore, “The Media” was a thing to hate.

But it’s not so simple. In a chicken-or-egg way, “The Media” deserves some credit for creating furries. (It’s a FANdom!)  That usually means fiction media, but there’s much more than that. There’s the “science” part of science fiction; transhumanism, animals and nature, and anything about growing a self-defined subculture. There’s info coming from the Anthropomorphic Research Project.  A top selling nonfiction book (from Thurston Howl publishers) is the fandom-essay collection Furries Among Us.

Nonfiction is a big deal in fandom for anthropomorphic animals.

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Furries Among Us – two book reviews, from Vox Fox and Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Furries Among Us Book Review – By Vox Fox.

unnamedA disclaimer: I love this book. That said, I will try my best to give an unbiased review but the reader is hereby warned upfront of just where I’m coming from. Furries Among Us provides a very positive-minded, detailed and understanding look into what furry fandom is all about. It explains the deep meaningfulness and sense of camaraderie members typically derive from participating in this fascinating and unique community. The book is comprised of 16 separate essays, each detailing a different aspect of the furry world as experienced through each author’s eyes. Topics include: How furries socialize, furry publishing, fursuiting in the fandom, furry art and music, the ins and outs of fur cons and of course, dating and sexual aspects.

The book (from Thurston Howl Publications) delves deeply into the fundamental motivations that draw furries into the fandom and just why a fursuiter fursuits. Some may fursuit as an outlet for expressing certain (presumably fun-loving) personality traits they would be hesitant to attempt in human form (ah, the flirting you can get away with!). But I think one of the best reasons can be summed up nicely by one suiter’s explanation: “I suppose you could say that the reason I do it is to bask in the reflection of good feelings that I help create.” (Yep, close to the reason I give: to charm the socks off people.)

The last four chapters delve into the psychological and sociological aspects of the fandom, each one courtesy of four prominent members of the International Anthropomorphic Research Project (IARP), all holders of Ph.D.s. One consistent theme noted is that involvement in the fandom has the distinct tendency to contribute to a sense of well being, and that sense appears to intensify as the fan becomes even more engaged with fandom activities. Additionally, as mentioned above, the main incentive that seems to draw potential furries into the fold is the sense of community and belonging that the fandom provides. Finally another noteworthy passage discusses fursonas, and the role they play in creation of a more idealized self which is typically a “…more attractive, confident, friendly and playful” version of the self. (In another article I’ve read, the author of this chapter also suggested such role-playing can provide a means for ultimately incorporating these character enhancements into one’s own personality; see http://t.co/xcqSLIeL6u).

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