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Tag: sci-fi

Monkey Wars, by Richard Kurti – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Monkey Wars, by Richard Kurti
NYC, Delacorte Press, January 2015, hardcover $17.00 (409 [+1] pages), Kindle $10.99.

Monkey Wars has been described as “a dark fable in the tradition of” – different reviewers have compared it to several other adult talking-animal novels; but almost always including Animal Farm and Watership Down. The British edition was nominated for two literary awards. It has been translated into French, German, and Japanese.

The novel, set in India, is based on the proliferation of wild street monkeys, usually rhesus macaques, in Delhi and Kolkata. They travel in troops and attack people if they are disturbed – sometimes when not provoked. The specific event that inspired Monkey Wars was from The New Delhi Times for 21 October 2007: “In a sinister development, the deputy mayor of Delhi, S. S. Bajwa, died this morning after being attacked by a gang of rhesus macaques.” But whenever the authorities try to curb the monkey problem, they are attacked by devout Hindus because all monkeys are believed to be sacred to Hanuman, the monkey god. Authorities have tried importing langur monkeys, a larger species, to scare the rhesus monkeys away, but with mixed success.

(This is still a problem. The New Indian Express reported on April 6, 2017 the discovery of a wild naked girl about 8 to 10 years old living with a troop of monkeys in the forests in northern India. When local police tried to remove her, they were attacked by the monkeys acting as though they were protecting one of their troop. The story was almost immediately disproven – the girl was wearing rags, and the monkeys ran away without attacking anyone. Authorities now believe that the girl, who is severely retarded, was recently abandoned by her family. But the story of a wild child being adopted and raised in the forests for years by monkeys was considered plausible.)

“They struck at noon.

Monkeys shrieked in confusion as langur fighters sprang down from the cemetery walls, howling in an attacking frenzy. As they stormed through the tombs, fear and panic flashed everywhere. And with the screams came the smell of blood.” (p. 5)

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Celebrity Dish, by M. R. Anglin – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Celebrity Dish, by M. R. Anglin
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, March 2017, trade paperback $4.99 (100 [+ 1] pages), Kindle $1.99.

M. R. Anglin has written five previous books in her Silver Foxes series. The foxes with metallic, silvery fur who controlled electricity had made themselves and their nation of Expermia the masters of the world of Clorth. 1,500 years ago the other nations of Clorth joined together in invading Expermia and killing all the silver foxes. They have been extinct until now. J. R. Dunsworth (wolf), a criminal with a soft heart, rescues two orphaned fox kits and raises them as his own children. When Xenatha (Xena), a gray fox, approaches puberty, her fur begins to turn silvery and she develops electrical powers that she can’t control. The first four Silver Foxes novels tells what happens to Xena; her younger sister Kathra; their foster father J. R.; Hunter, the boyfriend Xena finds; and the villains who plot to kill the others and control Xena’s powers for themselves.

Book 5 is the small 79-page Interlude, and it does seem like an interlude in the series. J.R. takes the others to hide on the Isle de Losierres, the most exclusive and richest vacation resort on Clorth. He hadn’t revealed that the wolf businesswoman who runs the Isle is his long-suffering sister Chloe. Xena and the others finally have a chance to relax and bond as a family. Xena’s adolescent foster cousin Mira (wolf) introduces her to her friends (Shandra, a tigress, Dori, a chameleon, and Katie, a raccoon), and Xena, still hiding her silver fox nature, begins to live as a normal teen. Xena’s enemies search for her, apparently in vain.

Celebrity Dish, the sixth Silver Foxes book, is a second interlude. Jessica, the hottest pop superstar on Clorth, comes to the Isle de Losierres for a vacation and to give a concert. Jessica is a bird, but what kind is a mystery and part of her mystique – she constantly appears in new costumes to keep everyone guessing.

“One was a tan mongoose [her manager] and the other a bird of … indeterminate species. She had the yellow feathers of a canary, but her tail had the shape of an ostrich’s. Those tail feathers filled the seat so that the mongoose sat tilted toward the door. The feathers on her head curled and swirled around her face, and a crest of three feathers extended beyond them. She had the curved beak of a red-tailed hawk. Her arms – wings, really – rested on her lap. She wore a red, asymmetrical dress that grazed her upper thigh. The dress was so short that Alex, the mongoose, feared that any movement would show of [sic.] her … “treasures” … so he insisted she wear black tights underneath.” (p. 14)

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The Laputan Factor, by Tristan Black Wolf – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Laputan Factor, by Tristan Black Wolf. Illustrated by Dream and Nightmare.
Bloomington, IN, AuthorHouse, June 2015, trade paperback $16.95 (viii + 193 pages), Kindle $3.99.

Chapters 1 and 2 feature “the large, muscular tiger” shown on Dream and Nightmare’s cover. He is Lieutenant Ambrose Bierce “Night” Kovach, a space soldier aboard the Heartwielder, a huge star cruiser sent to the region around Gorgonea Tertia.

“Gorgonea Tertia was not exactly one of the top stars in everyone’s constellation list, but there were some reports from that general region that might indicate some trouble for travelers going within a short distance of the place. A contingent of Starhawks was to check out the area and report back; orders were strictly recon, no contact and no engagement unless exclusively defensive.

[…]

Kovach was to be part of this team of six, designation Snake Lady, with the call code Medusa, in honor of the most famous of the gorgons. He was to be Medusa Six, covering everyone’s tail – a job he knew how to do very well indeed. He met up with his contingent at the SimCenter shortly after the briefing. It made sense to warm up a bit before going out in the deep cold of space.” (p. 5)

Medusas One through Five, his contingent, are Lentz, a black panther; Tolliver, a German shepherd; Perryman, a hard-looking lop-eared rabbit; Rains, another tiger; and Baptiste, a female Husky. They all answer to Sgt. Sumner, a grizzled bulldog who chomps on a conspicuously unlit cigar.

But in Chapter 3, Night wakes up relaxing on a beach next to his lover, Donovan, a hyena. He’s had a particularly realistic dream, the result of getting hit in the head by a volleyball, he says. He and Donovan are on vacation; two weeks he’s earned from Waveforce Biosystems Technology after being in a coma for two days after testing the experimental SimCenter at work. Donovan doesn’t want him to go back, but he’s okay …

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The Right to Arm Bears, by Gordon R. Dickson – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

51icewnyell-_sx327_bo1204203200_The Right to Arm Bears, by Gordon R. Dickson
Riverdale, NY, Baen Books, November 2016, trade paperback $16.00 (384 pages).

Several years ago I had a review published on Flayrah of The Right to Arm Bears, by Gordon R. Dickson. It wasn’t a new book then, being published by Baen Books in December 2000. It’s gone through several printings so it’s remained available (with a slightly modified cover), but I don’t know how many furry fans have sought it out.

Guess what! Baen Books has reprinted it again this November, as a large trade paperback with a new cover by Kurt Miller. My old review will become pertinent again. Here it is.

The Right to Arm Bears, by Gordon R. Dickson
Riverdale, NY, Baen Books, December 2000, paperback $6.99 (431 pages).

This “novel” collects Dickson’s three light space-opera adventures about humans, the bearlike Dilbians, and the jovial-but-sinister Hemnoids: Spatial Delivery, first published as a novel by Ace Books, November 1961, 123 pages; Spacepaw, first published as a novel by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, February 1969, 222 pages; and “The Law-Twister Shorty”, a novelette in The Many Worlds of Science Fiction, edited by Ben Bova (E. P. Dutton, November 1971, pages 51-105).

Back-cover blurb: “Planet Dilbia is in a crucial location for both humans and their adversaries, the Hemnoids. Therefore making friends with the Dilbians and establishing a human presence there is of the utmost importance, which may be a problem, since the bearlike Dilbians stand some nine feet tall, and have a high regard for physical prowess. They’re not impressed by human technology, either. A real man, er, bear doesn’t need machines to do his work for him. But Dilbians are impressed by sharp thinking, and some have expressed a grudging admiration for the logical (and usually sneaky) mental maneuvers that the human “shorties” have used to get themselves out of desperate jams. Just maybe that old human craftiness will win over the Dilbians to the human side. If not, we lose a nexus, and the Dilbians will learn just how unbearable Hemnoids can be….”

These three adventures betray their Cold War time-period. The Humans (Americans) and the totalitarian Hemnoids (Soviets) are both expanding through the galaxy, trying to win over the unaligned planets like Dilbia to their spheres of influence. “‘We must influence Dilbians like that chap or the Hemnoids are going to get the inside track on this planet. And the Dilbian system, as I’m sure your hypno training didn’t omit to inform you, is absolutely necessary as a supply and reequipment stage for further expansion on any large scale beyond the Belt Stars. If the Hemnoids beat us out here, they’ve got the thin end of a wedge started that could eventually chop our heads off.’” (pgs. 6-7) The problem is that the Dilbians resemble nine-foot-tall lanky Kodiak bears, and while they prefer to stay neutral in the rivalry between those whom they call the Shorties and the Fatties, they naturally feel more akin to the eight-foot-tall Hemnoids:

“… John saw, a sort of enormous robed, Buddha-like parody of a human being. The Hemnoid was a good eight feet in height, enormously boned, and while not as tall as the Dilbians themselves, fantastically padded with heavy-gravity muscles.” (p. 5) Compared to the Dilbians and the Hemnoids, the humans look like puny weaklings. Also, humans smell bad to Dilbians. The Dilbians’ attitude to the humans is one of friendly but condescending superiority.

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Furplanet Debuting Over 25 Books at Anthrocon.

by Pup Matthias

REPOST!  Sorry, this went out by mistake with half of the info unfinished.  – Patch

Anthrocon is coming! Where Furries far and wide come together to hang out, make friends, attend panels, dance, drink too much alcohol, and spend way too much money. I am so jealous of you guys. Stupid adult responsibilities keeping me away from all the fluffies. And the fine Fluffer Nutters at Furplanet have not 1, not 5, not 12, but 25 books debuting at AC. A combination of novels, anthologies, comics, and art books from a who’s who of writers and artist.

We at Dogpatch Press now present to you an easy to follow catalogue of all that will be available. So take a look and visit the Furplanet table to support Furry Writers and Artists. Or pre-order now for those like me who can’t. Pre-Orders will begin shipping out on July 22nd. I hope you find your next reading obsession soon and have a nice day.

NOVELS:

rukis-legacy-dawn_smLegacy: Dawn by Rukis ( Mature Hardcover $29.95 and Softcover $19.95)

Kadar was born into one of the lowest castes in his society—the laborers. That is, until a series of unfortunate events trapped him in the only life worse, that of an indentured servant.

Literally collared by the powerful hyena clan that holds his contract, Kadar now finds himself facing a dangerous decision.

Live as a slave, or fight for freedom.

Joined by a hyena held captive by his own kind, a guard with a grudge against the very people he works for, and an indomitable cheetah, Kadar faces an uncertain future in a land where centuries of dependence on slavery and warfare make real freedom of any kind, for any caste, a dream that might be worth dying for.

From the world of “Red Lantern.” Written and illustrated by Rukis.

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The Companions, by Sheri S. Tepper – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

THCMPNNS2003The Companions, by Sheri S. Tepper.
NYC, HarperCollinsPublishers/Eos, September 2003, hardcover $25.95 ([vi +] 452 pages), Kindle $9.99.

In the far, far future, the galaxy is being explored and colonized, and Earth is incredibly overpopulated. The Worldkeeper Council government, supported by the humans-only IGI-HFO political majority, declares that all animals (only pet dogs, cats, and small cage birds are left by this time) are to be exterminated because they take up too much room and use up too much air. The tiny underground movement that wants to keep the animals alive, called arkists because they have accumulated spaceships to use as arks to evacuate the remaining animals from Earth, decide to take them to Treasure, the moon of a newly-discovered and poorly-explored world covered in moss, where they can be hidden in safety. Jewel Delis, the narrator, is an arkist who goes from overcrowded Earth to care for the “companions” of humans, especially the dogs.

The Companions contains dialogue, but mostly Tepper writes in long, blocky narrative paragraphs:

“Earth scared me at first. The towers were huge, each a mile square and more than two hundred stories high. Podways ran along every tenth floor, north on the east side of each tower and south on the west side. Up one level, they went west on the north side and east on the south side. They stopped at the pod lobbies on each corner, so when you were on one, it went woahmp-clatter, rhmmm, woahmp-clatter, whoosh. That’s a pod-lobby stop, a slow trip across the street, another pod-lobby stop, then a mile long whoosh, very fast. The pod-lobbies were full of people, too, and that’s the clatter part, the scary part. Taddeus and I saw more people in one pod-lobby than we’d ever seen together anywhere on Mars, and many of them were dressed in fight colors: Tower 59 against Tower 58, Sector 12 against Sector 13, all of them pushing and shoving and tripping over each other. Often they got into fights or screaming fits. It took us a while to figure out how to dodge them and keep out of their way, but when we got good at it, it turned into a kind of game, and we rode the podways for fun. It was a lot safer than it sounds, because there are so many monitors on the pods that people are afraid to do anything really wicked unless they’re over the edge. Tad and I thought part of the fun was spotting people that were about to go over the edge. We could almost always tell.” (p. 18)

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Scarlett: Star on the Run – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

scarlett_COVERfinalwebScarlett: Star on the Run, by Susan Schade and Jon Buller. Illustrated by Jon Buller.
NYC, Papercutz, November 2015, trade paperback $14.99 (173 pages), Kindle $8.81.

Here is another all-ages novel by Susan Schade & Jon Buller (wife & husband) in their signature format of alternating chapters in comic-book format and in traditional-novel text. (I reviewed their three-novel The Fog Mound in 2007.) It is mostly for 8- to 12-year-old children, but it has aspects that adult furry fans will enjoy. This would be a simplistic talking-animal comic book/novel for young children, if it weren’t for the revelation that the talking animals have been scientifically made intelligent and given speech.

Is Shane Pafco, the dictatorial owner of Pafco Studios, a movie producer/director or a Mad Scientist? What year is Scarlett set in, with futuristic cars and flying spycams? When Scarlett, the cat movie star of Pafco Studios, gets the chance to escape, she is quick to take it even into a snowy, freezing outdoors. She is lucky enough to be taken in by grouchy old Frank Mole, a half-crazy, gun-waving hermit who doesn’t trust any people and hears voices. He believes that a talking cat is only part of his delusion; and when Scarlett finds out that Trotter, Pafco’s experimental talking dog, has followed her, she fast-talks Frank into believing that he needs a dog, too. Scarlett wants to be a natural cat and catch mice, until Frank’s messy, vermin-filled cabin gives her the opportunity to do so.

“I don’t know,” she muses. “Something about all that SKIN and HAIR is making me lose my appetite.” (p. 29)

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Anthropomorphic Animated Features, 2015-2016 – by Fred Patten

by Patch O'Furr

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

ZootopiaFox

Yarst! This has gotten really complicated, so bear with us.  These release dates are mostly useless.

Yes, the official American release date of Minions was July 10, 2015, but it was released in Indonesia on June 17 and in Australia (in English) on June 18, and in the United Kingdom on June 26.

Boonie Bears: A Mystical Winter (Xiong Chumo Zhi Xueling Xiongfeng) was released throughout China on January 30, 2015, but most Americans won’t see it until it is released by Warner Bros., dubbed in English, on January 17, 2016. Frog Kingdom – (“Princess Froglegs goes undercover to compete in her father’s Froglympics in order to avoid being married off to a male suitor,” from IMDB) – is a new movie as far as the U.S. is concerned, produced by Grindstone Entertainment in Santa Monica, California and distributed by Lionsgate Entertainment, also in Santa Monica, and released on June 30, 2015; but it was released first in China on December 28, 2013. A Mouse Tale premiered on February 10 as an American direct-to-DVD release; but its theatrical premiere was not until April 7 in Kuwait.   (Interestingly, A Mouse Tale was first distributed on DVD in the U.S. by Lionsgate Entertainment, but it was co-produced by Red Post Animation Studio in Lima, Peru and Vista Sur Films in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was announced by Vista Sur as Rodencia y el Diente de la Princesa http://www.vistasurfilms.com.ar/) Japanese animated features are notoriously unofficially subtitled and available in America on video or DVD within a month or two of their Japanese theatrical release.

All that a release date usually means is that the movie has been released; e.g., is real and should be findable somewhere.

Titles, especially of non-English-language features, are also mostly useless. One theatrical feature about “the animals that DIDN’T make it onto the Ark” was produced in CGI animation by Ulysses Filmproduktion GmbH in Hamburg, and originally released theatrically in thirteen countries between April 9 and August 21, 2015. In the U.S., its release was July 17. In Germany its title is Ooops! Die Arche ist Weg …, in the U.K. it’s Two By Two; in America it was announced with trailers as both Ooops! Noah is Gone … and Two By Two before settling on All Creatures Big & Small. You shouldn’t need translations of its Dutch title (Beestenboot) or Spanish title (¡Upsss! ¿Dónde Está Noé…?). The Japanese feature listed as The Boy and the Beast is actually titled in Japanese Bakemono no Ko, which is literally The Beast’s Child or Son of the Beast (or Monster); who knows what it’ll be titled if it gets an American release? The Spring 2016 Russian feature Volkii i Ovtsi has been announced as coming to the U.S. as Sheep and Wolves. In case you don’t know any Russian, that’s a reversal of the Russian title. Read the rest of this entry »

A Wilder West, by Ted R. Blasingame – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 7.34.29 AMA Wilder West, by Ted R. Blasingame

Raleigh, NC, Lulu.com, August 2014, trade paperback $13.99 (258 pages). 

“The range of low granite mountains baked in the prairie’s summer sun, heat waves shimmering into water mirages wherever there were flat places. A ghostly dust devil stirred up dirt in a dancing pirouette while heat-loving cicadas chirred across the plain, filling the air with their rolling song of mating.” (p. 8)

If you think that this sounds like the opening of a Western, you’d be right – except that this is a Western with a Fur, a nude half-human, half-cheetah woman named Citra Kayah. No human has ever seen anything like her before, until she saves the life of Jacob Harrison, a middle-aged showman who is attacked by a mountain lion while out riding in Oklahoma. Jake is dumbfounded, but grateful and in her debt, so he can’t turn Citra down when she asks to join his small traveling Wild West show.

“‘I am far from my home,’ she replied, ‘and I am in constant danger from others like you who would not hesitate to kill me for my pelt. Until I can find a way to return to where I belong, I will need your protection.’

‘How can I protect you?’ he asked, wiping the sweat from his brow.

‘Take me in as a curiosity for your show. It would allow me to hide in plain sight.’” (p. 24)

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Furry news of the week: Pseudo-furries past and future (7-28-14)

by Patch O'Furr

It’s the regular feature of news bites, scoops, and Snausage links. Tips welcome- I’d love to post yours!
Only minor stories got my attention this week, so I threw in a few topic starters.
______________________________________

– Technology’s Rainbow Connection – Silicon Valley’s Embrace of the Gay and Lesbian Community
The NY Times article relates to a general conflict about keeping subculture “weird” vs. inviting mainstream attention. (For example- A sex educator has trouble understanding why people wear costumes to gay pride parades, especially Furries.) Thanks for the shout out, Tristan!

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