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Tag: short stories

Seven Deadly Sins: Furry Confessions, edited by Thurston Howl – book review by Fred Patten

by Dogpatch Press Staff

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

Seven Deadly Sins Cover

Seven Deadly Sins: Furry Confessions, edited by Thurston Howl. Illustrated by Joseph Chou.
Knoxville, TN, Thurston Howl Publications, January 2017, trade paperback $16.99 ([4 +] 411 pages).

The seven deadly sins are Lust, Wrath, Greed, Envy, Sloth, Gluttony, and Pride. This anthology presents 27 stories divided into those seven deadly sins. Each sin is introduced by an Interlude by Thurston Howl in which three punk youths, Derek (German shepherd), Zinc (tiger), and Barba (horse), tell stories about those sins in a ruined church. They suspect that one of them is a demon…

An advisory usually fits an entire book, but the stories in this anthology are so widespread from G to NSFW that I’ve put my own advisory on each story.

In “Don’t Judge Me” by Sisco Polaris (Lust), an unnamed human man goes to a mixed human-animal gym, steamhouse, and sauna that is a gay hookup spot. He spends an evening playing enthusiastic submissive slut to the male dom anthro-menagerie that passes through, to get into the mood to go home and do his sexual duty to his wife. Very NSFW.

“Down in the Valley” by Billy Leigh (Lust) is narrated by Ralph Walter Travers, a Fennec British civil servant posted in Kenya at the beginning of World War II. He is invited to a dinner party of upper-class Collies, Foxes, Cougars, and others that turns out to be a wildly degenerate orgy, with excesses of drink and sex. There is a death. The police investigate. To tell what happens would give away a spoiler. PG for the orgy and some mild gay romance in a British early-1940s setting.

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“Intimate Little Secrets” by Rechan – book review by Summercat.

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks to Summercat for this guest post.

Intimate Little Secrets by Rechan
March 2017, Furplanet and Bad Dog Books

Intimate Little Secrets is a collection of 9 short stories by Rechan. After randomly encountering him in a non-Furry location I promised to review his latest work. I went into reading this book expecting a collection of erotica and was blind-sided by well written stories that I connected with emotionally, if not erotically.

Fanservice – Robin, frustrated with her coworker Dean’s missing of her signals, decides to seduce him by cosplaying as a character from a show he likes. The quick pace from flirting to office sex raised an eyebrow. One issue I noticed is that while Robin’s species is put in early enough, Dean’s is not mentioned until after he is first mentioned and we are brought down Robin’s memory lane. However, even when one character is indistinct, I was still able to get a sense of the action playing out. The emotions and reactions of the characters are fairly real and relatable, alternating between awkward inexperience and passionate confidence when they forget to be worried.

Strange on a Train – Marjani, a serval, reads some erotic fiction on a train and enlists another passenger to assist with her arousal. This story is very well written, we’re given imagery exactly where we need it and when we need it. Marjani’s actions are not out of character for her established personality. We’re given only information about the other passenger, a skunk, that Marjani notices on her own; the name used for him is a nickname she mentally calls him. The sex itself has multiple stages; the skill with which Rechan shows rather than tells is apparent throughout. Setting aside the smut, this is a well constructed story with good progression and even a Chekov’s Gun. Despite the lack of time to develop the skunk character, he’s still given enough personality that he’s more than a two-dimensional cardboard extra. This was a fun and engaging read that I’ll be thinking back to in the future.

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Symbol of a Nation, edited by Fred Patten, to launch at Anthrocon 2017.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Here’s the first original short story anthology from Goal PublicationsSymbol of a Nation, edited by Fred Patten.  It will be released at Anthrocon 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania over the June 29-July 3 five-day weekend.  Find Goal Publications there at F19 in the dealer’s room!

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Fred Patten’s Five Fortunes – book review by Greyflank.

by Patch O'Furr

Guest review submitted by Bill Kieffer, AKA Grayflank (author of The Goat: Building a Perfect Victim.)  Guests are invited to submit articles to: patch.ofurr(at)gmail.com.

Fred Patten’s Five Fortunes (FurPlanet, 2014, $19.95) is a collection of five novellas from some of the best writers in the G-rated Furry Fandom.

  • Chosen People by Phil Geusz
  • Huntress by Renee Carter Hall
  • Going Concerns by Watts Martin
  • When a Cat Loves a Dog by Mary E. Lowd
  • Piece of Mind by Bernard Doove

I am not sure how well the theme of “fortune” applies to the five works, so on that level the collection doesn’t feel all that well tied together, but then with five long works it’s not a heavy criticism. It’s not like there’s a lot of “destiny” fans out there. Each story approaches the nugget of self-determination from a different vector from being mindful of doing the right thing (Geusz) to the finding themselves (Hall) to finding a way to survive the week (Martin) or one’s condition (Doove).

It’s a furry sampler of longer works; perfect for people who don’t always like short stories because the story’s over just as they get to know a character. If, somehow, you don’t know these writers or their universes, then this is a good place to start learning.

CHOSEN PEOPLE by Phil Guesz

The cover story.

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ROAR vol. 6 – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer, submits this review:

ROAR volume 6, Scoundrels, edited by Mary E. Lowd.
Dallas, TX, Bad Dog Books, July 2015, trade paperback $19.95 (394 pages), Kindle $9.95.

ROAR6ROAR, Bad Dog Books’ about-annual anthology of non-erotic furry adventure short fiction, enters a new phase with volume 6. Volumes 2 through 5 were edited by Buck C. Turner. Mary E. Lowd takes over with #6, and she’s announced as the editor for 2016’s #7. What are the differences?

ROAR has grown considerably larger. #1, edited by Ben Goodridge in 2007, has 12 stories in 277 pages. #2 through #5, edited by Buck Turner, expanded slowly and erratically — #2 in 2010 is 6 stories in 320 pages, #3 is 10 stories in 260 pages, #4 is 12 stories in 297 pages, and #5 is 14 stories in 325 pages. (All previous volumes are still available.) ROAR #6 is 28 stories in 394 pages; a large jump forward.

ROAR #1 through #5 contain furry dramatic adventures and serious mood pieces. #6 adds humor to the mixture. Here are the first half-dozen stories:

“Squonk the Dragon” by Pete Butler. A dragon’s egg is hatched by Mrs. Tweedle-Chirp, a small blue bird. Squonk builds a nest for himself at the top of a giant tree. Wendel the wizard assumes that all dragons live in caves, so Squonk must be a scoundrel and tries to get rid of him. The story is enjoyably amusing, but it feels more like a case of mistaken identity, not a real scoundrel.

“Brush and Sniff” by mwalimu. Berek, an adolescent in a small village of anthro wolves, is given Itchit, a captured wild squirrel as a pet. He gradually trains Itchit (who he calls Brush) through kindness to accept him. The story is developed through both viewpoints; Berek’s and Itchit’s. This is a gentle, well-written mood piece, though there is no real reason for Berek and his family and neighbors to be anthro wolves rather than humans. This could be any story about a frontier boy coaxing a wild squirrel to accept him.

“Faithful” by Marshall L. Moseley. Okay, this is a drama with justifiable anthro characters and a real scoundrel. Read the rest of this entry »

Abandoned Places – Book Review by Fred Patten

by kiwiztiger

 

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer – with pawesome assistance from Kiwi Tiger.

abandonedplaces_webThis anthology of 16 original furry horror stories was published to debut at Midwest FurFest 2014 on December 5-7. Each story has a full-page frontispiece by Silent Ravyn. To quote FurPlanet’s blurb:

“From stories about being abandoned in the heart of civilization to stories about forced abandonment for the sake of science to how abandoned places affect the mind; the stories in this anthology cover a large range of genres and types of abandoned places.
Each one with their own little piece of personal horror laying among the ruins, ready to strike when you least expect it.”

“Empathy” by Rechan doesn’t say so, but it is obviously inspired by the Kitty Genovese incident in 1964. Morty, an old man, falls on an icy sidewalk during winter and breaks his hip. He calls for help, but everyone who passes just ignores him – except the hungry rats in the garbage. The talking rat that taunts the dying Morty is what makes this a furry story. Nice but too slight.

In “Belief” by Bill Rogers, Fosse (badger) is hired by Alexander (bear) and Nicky (doe) to take them into a “spooky” abandoned mine to get video footage that can be sold to the Haunted Places TV show. There is a cave-in and Fosse is trapped alone in the black tunnel. Does he see real ghosts of miners killed long ago, or is it just his imagination? “They can’t hurt you if you don’t believe in them…”

In “Stared Too Deeply” by Tyler David Coltraine, four college students – Rick (wolf), Rodney (Rottweiler), Bella (rabbit), and Dave (raccoon) – explore an abandoned long, dark, underground service tunnel. At least one of them is not what it appears. This story should not have been placed so closely to the one before it. Read the rest of this entry »

The Furry Future: Today’s Furry Fiction? – book review by Phil Geusz.

by Patch O'Furr

Esteemed Furry author Phil Geusz submits this guest review of…

The Furry Future; 19 Possible Prognostications, edited by Fred Patten
Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, January 2015, trade paperback $19.95 (445 pages)

Furry book reviewers must always begin their task at a marked disadvantage to the critics of other genres, because in order to be comprehensible to non-fandom readers we must first define what a furry story actually is. No one seriously questions what does and does not constitute a mystery story, for example. Nor must romance critics explain or defend the basic elements of their particular flavor of literature. I’d assume that this sort of problem automatically goes along with being a new kid on the literary block except that most readers seem to have a fairly good grasp of steampunk, which is perhaps even more recent a phenomenon than furry.

So, what makes furry different?

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Tales from the Guild: Music to Your Ears – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer, submits this review:

tales-from-the-guild-music-to-your-ears-edited-by-anthroaquatic-67102Tales from the Guild: Music to Your Ears, edited by AnthroAquatic. Illustrated by Blaquetygriss.

Las Vegas, NV, Rabbit Valley Books, September 2014, trade paperback $14.95 (133 pages).

The Furry Writers’ Guild was, to quote its website, “founded in 2010 to promote quality anthropomorphic literature and provide support to writers active in this field.” To put it another way, also quoting its website, “The aim of the Furry Writers’ Guild is to be a place where writers of all demographics, genres, and abilities can come together and help improve the quality of anthropomorphic fiction and support its creators.” One must have “at least one short story, poem, or novel-length work featuring anthropomorphic characters/themes published in a paying venue (either inside or outside the furry fandom), paying either a flat fee or a per-word rate for your work, [or have] at least two short stories, poems, or novel-length works featuring anthropomorphic characters/themes published in a non-paying venue (either inside or outside the furry fandom). This includes conbooks. Please note that comics/graphic novels and self-published writing (including work posted on personal websites and gallery sites like FurAffinity) do not count toward membership.”

The FWG created the annual Cóyotl Awards in 2012 for excellence in anthropomorphic literature, as voted upon by the FWG membership. The FWG currently has 101 regular members and 6 associate members; the difference being that the regular members are all authors, while the associate memberships are open to others active in the anthropomorphic literary community such as furry anthology editors, furry specialty book publishers, furry book reviewers, and the like.

Now the FWG has started its own anthology series, “a collaboration of the Furry Writers’ Guild”, to showcase the writing of its members. This first tiny (5” x 8”; 133 pages) volume, Tales from the Guild, consists of eight original short stories, edited by AnthroAquatic (a.k.a. Sean Rivercritic), and illustrated by Blaquetygriss (identified on the publisher’s website as Aisha Galland).

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ROAR vol. 5 – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer, submits this review:

roar ROAR vol. 5, edited by Buck C. Turner

Dallas, TX, Bad Dog Books/FurPlanet Productions, July 2014, trade paperback $19.95 (325 pages). 

ROAR vol. 5, the approximately-annual anthology of “literary” (non-erotic) anthropomorphic short fiction under the Bad Dog Books imprint, contains stories on the theme of Secrecy. Editor Buck C. Turner says in his Foreword:

“This volume features stories based around secrets, a theme which brought out amazing plot twists and tense revelations. Keeping secrets brings an inevitable tension to life, one which no one fully escapes. […] Secrets can give their holders power and pain as they must wrestle with the decisions on how – or if – to utilize the information they possess. This is the task these fourteen authors, the largest number I’ve accepted to a ROAR volume, have undertaken.” (p. 10)

Warning: this is a long review, to cover fourteen stories.

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