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Tag: romance

ROAR Vol. 8, Paradise, Edited by Mary E. Lowd – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

ROAR volume 8, Paradise, edited by Mary E. Lowd.
Dallas, TX, Bad Dog Books, June 2017, trade paperback $19.95 (284 pages), Kindle $9.95.

ROAR volume 8, Bad Dog Books’ annual anthology of non-erotic furry adventure short fiction, is the third edited by Mary E. Lowd. It follows last year’s vol. 7 devoted to Legends, and continues the reductions in page count (394 pages two years ago, 377 pages last year, and 284 pages this year) to return the volumes to the earlier size edited by Buck C. Turner. This year’s theme is Paradise; “eighteen different visions of paradise”. Lowd says in her Foreword that, “This volume of ROAR received fewer submissions than the last two, but the average quality of those submissions was extremely high.”

It certainly is. Get ready for a long review.

The protagonist of “Northern Delights” by Madison Keller is Rafael Ferreira, a Chihuahua detective from the Phoenix, Arizona police department who goes to the start of the Idatarod sled race in Anchorage, Alaska to warn a Chow informant participating in the race of a plot to kill him. He involuntarily takes part in the race as the partner of Mae, a husky.

“Other than the crunching of snow under Mae’s paws and the shushing of the surrounding pine trees in the wind the night was silent. He’d grown up in the big city, and night to him meant the pounding thunder of a gunning motorcycle, the conversing of passing dogs, and the rumbling base leaking from a passing car.

Even the sky was unfamiliar. When Rafael craned his head back, he could see hundreds of stars twinkling brightly overhead. The sight awed and humbled him. When he was a puppy, his father had taken him up to the mountains to star gaze, but even there the lights of the city had hidden all but the brightest stars. He began to pick out constellations he’d learned about in grade school. There was Orion, te Hunter. Usually depicted in mythological art as an English Setter. Mae turned a corner and his view shifted, revealing Leo, the roaring lion. Rafael bared his teeth menacingly at the sky.” (p. 23)

Rafael discovers that Alaska is his paradise – especially if Mae is there.

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Hot Dish Vol. 2, Edited by Dark End – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Hot Dish. Volume 2, edited by Dark End. Illustrated.
St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, December 2016, trade paperback $17.95 (viii + 307 pages)

Hot Dish #2 is an anthology intended for an adult audience only and contains some explicit sexual scenes of various sexual orientations. It is not for sale to persons under the age of 18. (publisher’s rating)

Hot Dish #1 (edited by Alopex) was published in March 2013. Sofawolf described it as “Hot Dish is a collection of stories about the romantic and erotic relationships between characters of disparate species and sexual orientations. It is a hearty portion of quality fiction which was too long to fit into our yearly adult anthology, Heat.” It won the 2013 Cóyotl Award for Best Anthology.

Hot Dish #2 does not have only stories that were too long for Heat. Sofawolf solicited stories especially for it during 2014. But otherwise this is a good description of Hot Dish #2: eight long novelettes of romantic and erotic s-f & fantasy relationships with humanoid animals, each illustrated by one of three artists. Romance and eroticism are presented in an extremely wide range of backgrounds and emotions.

These eight novelettes are so lengthy that each feels almost like a short novel. This is a long review.

“Loops and Knots” by Tempe O’Kun (illustrated by Anyare) is a time-travel comedy. Tess, a jackal, and Erik, her golden retriever mad scientist/hippie lover, can’t get enough of each other. So Eric turns their large refrigerator into a time machine and brings his one-week-future self to join them for three-way fun-&-games. When Tess is too tired and needs a break, she gets an erotic thrill watching present-Ertk and future-Erik making love to himself.

“‘It’s more like retro-chronal masturbation, really.’ Erik draped a blanket over her lap.” (p. 10)

“Still in a post-orgasmic daze, Tess watched her boyfriend’s temporal tryst. His silken shag blended together, every shade of gold shining in the autumn sun. His muzzle locked with itself. Feeling an odd pang of jealousy, she crossed her arms. ‘You’re completely shameless, aren’t you?’

[…]

She pressed a hand to her forehead, trying not to smile. ‘Oh, all right. Go fuck yourself.’” (p. 17)

It’s very lewd, very sticky, and very funny.

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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 Lottery – Furry, by Karen Ranney – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

41vGf3jdd5L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_The Lottery – Furry, by Karen Ranney
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, April 2016, trade paperback $9.95 (232 pages), Kindle $2.99.

This book seems to have drifted in to this furry review site by mistake. Despite its title, and its label as Book 1 of The Furry Chronicles trilogy, it’s a werewolf novel – or more precisely a woman’s paranormal romance novel.

That’s probably natural since Karen Ranney is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of women’s romances; not a furry author. In fact, the three volumes of The Furry Chronicles are a spinoff of Ranney’s previous The Montgomery Chronicles. “You’ll see what happens to Opie, meet Antonia, and follow Torrance’s adventures as well.” (Ranney’s website)

Torrance Boyd is a young junior vet working at Alamo Veterinary Services LLC in San Antonio. She’s a soft touch for all of the stray dogs that an elderly do-gooder finds and brings in there. Torrance can’t bring herself to throw them out again, so she personally pays for heartworm testing, flea dipping, and other medical expenses; which keeps her perpetually broke.

She has another problem:

“I didn’t know, for certain, that dogs shared a communicative bond, but as a species I wasn’t far removed from them. You see, I’m a Were. Ever since my younger brother asked me if that meant we were weird I’ve called myself a Furry, a label that doesn’t endear me to either my family or my friends. At least, those who knew what I was.

Only another Were could recognize me, but even then, we didn’t go around acknowledging each other in public. In other words, we don’t sniff each other. We don’t even venture near the nether regions in our four legged form. Can you imagine meeting the eyes of someone whose butt you just checked out when he was furry?” (p. 5)

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Learning to Go, by Friday Donnelly – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

51o45qvTn8L._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_Learning to Go, by Friday Donnelly.
Capalaba, Queensland, Australia, Jaffa Books, May 2015, trade paperback $15.00 ([2] + 191 pages), Kindle $5.00.

Learning to Go was published by Jaffa Books in Australia for FurDU 2015 in Gold Coast, Queensland on May 1-3. It is also sold by AnthroAquatic in the U.S; hence the price in U.S. dollars and the Amazon Kindle edition.

Readers had better consider Learning to Go to be R- or NC-17-rated. It is about two homosexual men and a male prostitute who are only thinly-disguised as anthropomorphic animals. There is considerable explicit sex description and talk.
Rufus Timberly is a young man (tiger) as the submissive in a dominator/submissive relationship with his boyfriend, Victor (lion). He is unhappy that Victor is turning out to be the dom in more than their bedroom trysts.

“Rufus wished now that he hadn’t switched jobs. He had been offered the position by his boyfriend, who claimed the office could use some competent people. That should have been a warning sign. In a remarkably short time, Victor stopped seeing him as competent and started seeing him as just as bad as everyone else.” (p. 5)

After a dinner date during which Vincent publicly berates him and walks out, leaving Rufus stuck with the cheque, Rufus turns to a commercial online gay prostitute for sexual release.

“He decided to bite the bullet and search the internet for, ‘Dom in Holton.” Searching for one didn’t commit him to hiring them, he figured. After such an exhausting day, his better judgment was too tired to convince him he shouldn’t.

The results surprised him. Hundreds of relevant hits appeared. Some were craigslist ads, others professional websites. The websites confused him at first; all billed themselves as ‘non-sexual.’ Rufus couldn’t understand why a non-sexual dom existed, and why anyone hired them. Then he realized through a bit more searching that it was a lie, so that the sites appeared strictly legal.” (p. 8)

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Windfall, by Tempe O’Kun – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

windfallWindfall, by Tempe O’Kun. Illustrated by Slate.
Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, July 2015, trade paperback $19.95 (325 pages), electronic edition $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)

It has been six months since the popular TV series Strangeville was cancelled after five seasons. The cast has split up and gone their own ways. For Max Saber (husky) and Kylie Bevy (otter), teenage supporting actors who played a high-school boy & girl on the series, this has meant returning to their homes across America. Yet they have remained in touch through texting, and after six months, both are wondering whether their TV romance might have been more serious than they realized. When Max, on his parents’ Montana ranch, gets an invitation from Kylie to spend a three-week vacation in her old New England town of Windfall – the town that the creepy, surrealistic Strangeville was modelled upon – he takes it. Yep, their romance is real. So is the horror of Windfall.

As readers of my reviews know, I don’t think much of funny-animal novels in which the characters are really humans with superficial animal features. But Windfall presents them in depth. There are constant mentions of fur, wagging tails, perked or drooping ears, the female otters’ whiskers and webbed paws. A teen rhino fan asks Max to autograph his horn. “The otter threaded her tail through the hole in the [car] seat and popped the key into the ignition.” (p. 41) Max calls Kylie “rudderbutt”. Some of it is occasionally anthro-specific, as when Kylie finds a deer’s skull while she and Max are camping in the woods:

“She knew that [the deer had been feral]. The eyes were too far to the sides and the neck attached at the wrong angle, leaving little room for the brain. Still it looked enough like a sapient deer’s skull to give her the creeps.” (p. 57)

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Fuzzy Business 3: End Game, by Amelia Ritner – Book Review by Fred Patten.

by Pup Matthias

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

Fuzzy BusinessFuzzy Business 3: End Game, by Amelia Ritner
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, November 2015, trade paperback $7.99 (173 pages), Kindle $1.99.

You would think that any book in a series subtitled “End Game” would be the final volume, wouldn’t you? Well, maybe you’d be right and maybe not.

In Fuzzy Business (May 2013) and Fuzzy Business 2: Fuzz Harder (December 2013), the young humanimal cat-girl Miara Cooper (she has cat ears, whiskers, a tail, and light fur) in San Francisco in the last half of the 21st Century finds herself the target of PAGE, a brutal anti-humanimal hate group who intend to make her a fatal example of what they do to anyone not 100% human. She is defended by the mysterious hunky coyote-man biker John, who starts out by kidnaping her, and the equally-handsome human Connor who, when she asks for help, comes running with “[…] An AR-15, a scoped hunting rifle with a wooden stock, a pump action shotgun, two .38 revolvers, a Glock identical to the one that John had pointed earlier, a laser-equipped Glock 26 that John snickered at when he saw, ten varying boxes of ammunition, a stun gun, a .22 semiautomatic rifle with an obscenely huge magazine of bullets attached to it […]” (Fuzzy Business, p. 113) and a lot more. She also has the help, whether she wants it or not, of pro-humanimal activists who insist on recruiting her into their groups. And PETA. Read the rest of this entry »

Exclusive: Nordguard game and Windfall novel coming out at Anthrocon, from Tempe O’Kun.

by Patch O'Furr

tempo321In November 2014, I shared news about the very active Furry author Tempe O’kun.  Public Radio interviewed him about his writing – and they treated Furry writing as just a genre, not a “weird news” item.  Even the romance kind!  That was refreshing, and I thought he did a great job representing it.  So do other furries, it seems, because he’s been honored as an award winning Furry Writers’ Guild member and a convention guest of honor.

Tempe got in touch to share exclusive news about upcoming projects.  His novel Windfall sounds like a unique genre-mixing delight, with cute furry romance and paranormal horror.  There’s also art from the Nordguard card game below.  They’re coming out at Anthrocon 2015.  If you can’t wait to see them in person on July 9-13, here’s a taste.  I asked Tempe to round out his news with personal chat about how his year has been – and if he had stories about making projects happen.  I asked: “Are you excited for Anthrocon, and what else do you plan to do there?”

Tempe responds:unnamed

My year has been great thus far! I was guest of honor at Camp Feral 2014, and I have been invited to GoH another con in the spring.

ThinkTank Games and I started work on what would become Nordguard: Tribes of the White Land expansion before the game’s core set even came out. Originally, we’d planned it as a series of smaller expansions (about the size of Magic booster packs), but eventually took the most interesting elements from each set and combined them into a 36-card pack. It shuffles directly into the main set and, just like the original, it’s a boxed set—no buying multiple packs to get the cards you want, like in a CCG. The highlights include two canon characters (Iyoto and Manny) who were mentioned in the first book, but haven’t been seen yet. It also has Team Fortress 2-style side-grades for every character. BlackTeagan also developed an entire new tribe—the Nituuyik, arctic lynxes—for the expansion, who will later appear in the books. So this is the first time the card game will have a direct influence on the graphic novels!

We’re also reprinting the core set. We’ve gotten some great feedback over the last two years and we’re pretty confident about the streamlining we’ve done for the second edition.

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Uncovered, by Kyell Gold – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

uncoveredUncovered, by Kyell Gold. Illustrated by Blotch.
St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, July 2014, trade paperback $19.95 ([xvi] + 411 [+ 3] pages), Kindle $9.99.

(publisher’s advisory):
“’Uncovered’ is a romance novel intended for an adult audience only and contains some explicit sexual scenes of a primarily Male/Male nature. It is not for sale to persons under 18.” 

This is Book 4 in Gold’s award-winning Out of Position series, following Out of Position (2009), Isolation Play (2011), and Divisions (2013). The series follows the lives of the tiger Devlin Miski and the fox Wiley “Lee” Farrel as they become secret homosexual lovers while seniors at Forester University, then graduate. Dev, a college football player, is signed onto the professional Chevali Firebirds, while Lee applies for a non-playing job with his team. When Dev becomes the first outed gay football player, their lives and the lives of their families and Dev’s teammates are thrown into turmoil, with some staying supportive and others turning hostile. Dev and Lee can now openly set up housekeeping together, but each is faced with many problems.

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