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Tag: Thurston Howl Publications

What the Fox?!: Fred Patten’s Latest Anthology

by Pup Matthias

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

What the Fox?!, edited by Fred Patten, will be published by Thurston Howl Publications on March 3, 2018. The book can be pre-ordered from Thurston Howl Publications. It will be for sale on the THP online catalogue afterwards.

What the Fox?! is an anthology of 21 original short stories and two reprints, of anthropomorphic animals in humorous situations. This is designed to appeal to both s-f & fantasy fans, and fans of fantasy humor. Each story has an illustration by Tabsley (the cover artist) or Jeqon.

The anthology is available in two editions. The regular edition is in trade paperback, and the illustrations are in black-&-white and grayscale. The deluxe edition is in hardcover and the illustrations are in full color. Each edition has a different cover.

From a llama barbershop quartet to a lupine generation gap, a rabbit king battling a dinosaur (or is it a dragon?), a human with a spider fiancée, a dog-hating postal deliveryperson turned into a werechihuahua, inept wolf Vikings, a dog movie screenwriter, and more; these are stories for your imagination and enjoyment. Plus: each author’s favorite animal joke, and a recommended reading bibliography.


FAPD, by Sofox
Perfect Harmony, by Jaleta Clegg
Counter-Curlture, by Televassi
The Carrot is Mightier Than the Sword, by Nidhi Singh
A Web of Truths, by James Hudson
Suddenly, Chihuahua, by Madison Keller
Kenyak’s Saga, by MikasiWolf
Rapscallions, by Mary E. Lowd
Dazzle Joins the Screenwriters’ Guild, by Scott Bradfield
A Late Lunch, by Nightshade
Riddles in the Road, by Searska GreyRaven
The Lost Unicorn, by Shawn Frazier
Boomsday, by Jennie Brass
Oh! What a Night!, by Tyson West
Moral for Dogs, by Maggie Veness
Broadstripe, Virginia Smells Like Skunk, by Skunkbomb
A Legend In His Own Time, by Fred Patten
The Cat’s Meow, by Lisa Pais
Woolwertz Department Store Integrated Branch Employee Manual: Human-Furred Relations, by Frances Pauli
A List of Erotica Clichés You Should Avoid in Your Heat Submission, by Dark End
The Best and Greatest Story Ever, by Mog Moogle
Self-Insertion, by Jaden Drackus
The Best and Greatest Sequel: Pron Harder Damnit!, by Some Guy Who Is Definitely Not The Main Character

Regular edition: $18.00. Deluxe edition: $25.00. 291 pages. Cover by Tabsley; 28 interior illustrations by Tabsley and Jeqon.   Regular ISBN 978-1-945247-30-9. Deluxe ISBN 978-1-945247-31-6.

Fred Patten

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Skeleton Crew, by Gre7g Luterman – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Skeleton Crew, by Gre7g Luterman. Illustrated by Rick Griffin.
Lansing, MI, Thurston Howl Publications, September 2017, trade paperback $11.99 (215 [+ 1] pages), Kindle $2.99.

The title page says Skeleton Crew. The cover says The Kanti Cycle: Skeleton Crew. The spine says The Kanti Cycle. 1 Skeleton Crew. Which is the definitive version?

Probably the latter. Skeleton Crew is the first book of Kanti’s adventures. There will be at least a trilogy.

I am more uneasy about calling this a “First Edition, 2017”. I reviewed Luterman’s CreateSpace edition a long time ago. This new version contains minor revisions and all new illustrations by Rick Griffin, so it may be a preferred version. Thurston Howl Publications’ smaller type size has reduced it from 259 pages to 215 pages. But it is not so different that the plot synopsis in my earlier review cannot serve for this edition as well.

“This is the first hard science-fiction novel I’ve ever read with absolutely no humans in it. The cover […] shows two of the main characters; Commissioner Sarsuk, a kraken, holding Kanti, a geroo. All of the other characters in the novel are geroo. There are […] full-page illustrations […] by Rick Griffin of Housepets! fame, showing such geroo characters as Kanti, Saina, Tish, Captain Ateri, Chendra, and more.

The geroo are unclothed, with thick tails and fur. There are frequent mentions in the text of twitching ears, tail rings, and the like. Kanti is called Shaggy for his unruly fur.

Skeleton Crew is set entirely on, or within, the huge generation exploratory starship White Flower II in interstellar space. […] Four centuries earlier, the krakun came to the primitive planet Gerootec and offered to hire thousands of the overpopulated geroo as their starship crews. The geroo who went into space and their descendants would never see Gerootec again, but they would live in luxury compared to the backward geroo on their homeworld. Technically, the White Flower II belongs to the krakuns’ Planetary Acquisitions, Incorporated, with a mission of finding new planets that can be colonized.

New planets for the krakun. Never for the geroo.

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Arcana: A Tarot Anthology, Madison Scott-Clary, ed. – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Arcana: A Tarot Anthology, Madison Scott-Clary, ed. Illustrated by Joseph Chou.
Lansing, MI, Thurston Howl Publications, November 2017, trade paperback, $17.99 (xi + 423 pages).

The tarot cards, according to the Preface by editor Scott-Clary, were introduced to Europe in the 15th century. They have been used for fortune-telling since the 16thth century, if not earlier. There are four suits of 14 cards each, plus 22 “major arcana” cards. The arcana have individual names: The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Hierophant, and so on. Arcana: A Tarot Anthology presents 22 stories, one for each arcana card, featuring anthro animals. Each is illustrated by a full-page portrait in the style of an anthro arcana card by Joseph Chou.

The first story, “The First Step” (The Fool) by editor Madison “Makyo” Scott-Clary, is less a story than a tutorial on how tarot fortune-telling works. Avery, a shy young mountain lion, is sent by his mother to a nameless older badger fortune-teller by his mother. Avery, the narrator, is just about to leave home for college, and his mother insists that he find out from the tarot cards what the future will bring. The motherly badger is as much a lay psychologist as a fortune-teller. “The First Step” is unusual in being narrated in the present tense:

“She leans in close to me, stage-whispering, ‘I’ll let you in on a secret. None of the cards in the swords suit – in any suits – show blood. Death, yes. Change, definitely. But no blood.   It’s hardly hacking and slashing.’

‘But they’re still –‘

She holds up a paw. ‘They’re still swords, but they’re tools. Swords show work. Strife, sometimes, sure; striving toward a goal. But what they is show work. These swords aren’t working right now, they’re just standing there. So where is the striving?’

‘Behind them?’ I ask. “They figures are all facing away from something.’

‘Or toward something.’

‘So,’ I say hesitantly. ‘I’m going to go on a journey?’” (p. 11)

“Cat’s Paw” (The Magician) by Mut is narrated by a nameless desperate were-dog who accosts a lion-man wizard and his date in a bar to get his curse removed. But nobody is what they seem. Very sardonically amusing:

“So here’s the secret to spotting a wizard: look for the one with a body that’s just too perfect. There’s a stud who’s six three, muscles fighting to escape his shirt, not a hair out of place? Wizard. Or a porn star, maybe, but probably a wizard.


I’d been trawling through bars for a wizard all evening, ad it was getting close to the deadline. I’d found a couple of almosts and one obvious poseur, but nobody with real magic. This guy, though, he was unmistakeable. He hadn’t even bothered to keep it human – too green to know better, or too powerful to care. He was a lion, with a mane and golden fur and whiskers and everything. There was even a tail flicking away under the barstool.” (pgs. 21-22)

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Furries Among Us 2: More Essays on Furries by Furries – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Furries Among Us 2: More Essays on Furries by Furries, edited by Thurston Howl. Introduction by Thurston Howl. Illustrated by Sabretoothed Ermine.
Lansing, MI, Thurston Howl Publications, August 2017, trade paperback, $7.99 (179 pages), Kindle $2.99.

This non-fiction follow-up anthology to the Ursa Major Award-winning Furries Among Us (2015) presents a dozen more essays on furry fans and furry fandom, by “the Most Prominent Members of the Fandom” as the subtitle of the first volume put it. In his Introduction, Howl says:

“As in the first volume, his one has a three-part organization. The first part of the book focuses on social aspects of the fandom. […] The second section covers new aspects of furries and writing. […] The final section is again reserved for the dedicated and hard-working members of the International Anthropomorphic Research Project.” (p. 8)

In “The Importance of Being Seen: Foucault, Furries, and the Dual-Exchange of (In)visibility” by Televassi, he argues that furry fans need to stop being so insular over the Internet and socialize more openly in furmeets and conventions, even if they do so under their fursona identities. This will help furry fans themselves, who are often shy and introverted to become more social, and improve the general image of furry fandom in general society from that of a closed clique of social misfits to just another social fandom. “The Furclub Movement” by Patch O’Furr concentrates more closely on furry clubs: the mostly-monthly evening dance parties and raves, more than the more organized annual conventions. “Interview with the Foxes of Yiff” is a fictional interview by Kit and Khestra Karamak with Jesus and Satan Fox, two furry brothers with highly (even violently) different outlooks on furrydom and its activities. “Gender: Furry” by Makyo presents a “well-researched article on the correlation between gender identity and expression and furry.” (Howl, p. 8)

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Mist, by Amy Fontaine – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Mist, by Amy Fontaine
Knoxville, TN, Thurston Howl Publications, September 2017, trade paperback, $10.99 (168 [+ 1] pages), Kindle $2.99.

Mist is more like a traditional fairy tale than a usual furry novel.

“‘Where am I?’ said the five children. They startled all at once at the sound of each other’s voices.

They peered at each other through the swirling mist, slowly piecing together each other’s appearance. A broad-shouldered girl with brown eyes as fierce as a hawk’s stood firmly, locking eyes with each of the others in turn and staring them down. A much younger, much smaller girl trembled as she gazed into the mist, twirling a golden curl of hair around her finger. A boy with short-cropped, dirty-blond hair smiled kindly at the others. A tall, lanky boy with messy brown hair glanced all around himself, assessing his surroundings. A pale boy with pointed ears frowned at the others. They all seemed to be teenagers of varying ages, except for the quivering little girl.

‘Who are you?’ the children asked each other.” (p. 1)

The five children do not remember their names. They are in a forest of tall trees shrouded in mist. They find a giant redwood with a treehouse containing shelves of books. A book on a candle-lit table is titled Transformations.

“The book had two parts, ‘Part One: Changing Yourself,’ and ‘Part Two: Changing the World.’” (p. 3)

The five children learn that they each have two animal forms (only one of which is revealed immediately to the reader), and they can all talk telepathically, in their animal or human forms. Since they do not know their names, they take new ones. The hawk-eyed girl, who can become a wolf, becomes Karen Starbroke, their leader. The boy with the gentle smile is Samuel Reed, a red deer. The little girl is Tessa Opal, a golden mongoose. The messy-haired boy is Jack Walsh, a lynx. The pale boy with pointed ears, a python, will not show the others what his other animal form is, and only reluctantly chooses a name when pressed by Karen: Loki Avila.

“‘Well, now that we have that established, we can go and use what we can do to be heroes.’” (p. 5)

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Always Gray in Winter, by Mark J. Engels – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Always Gray in Winter, by Mark J. Engels
Knoxville, TN, Thurston Howl Publications, August 2017, trade paperback, $12.99 (178 pages).

Always Gray in Winter is one of those novels that is deliberately mysterious at first, and only gradually reveals what is going on. To avoid my own spoiler, here is the blurb on the author’s website:

“The modern day remnant of an ancient clan of werecats is torn apart by militaries on three continents vying to exploit their deadly talents. Born in an ethnic Chicago neighborhood following her family’s escape from Cold War-era Poland, were-lynx Pawly flees underground to protect her loved ones after genetically-enhanced soldiers led by rogue scientist and rival werecat Mawro overrun her Navy unit in the Gulf of Oman. Pawly’s family seeks her out in a desperate gambit to return [to] their ancestral homeland and reconcile with their estranged kinsmen. But when her human lover arrives to thwart Mawro’s plan to weaponize their feral bloodlust, Pawly must face a daunting choice:  preserve her family secrets and risk her lover’s life or chance her true nature driving him away forever.”

Pawly is Pawlina J. Katczynski, a mid-twenties Polish-American in love with Lennart “Lenny” Reintz, a mid-twenties German-American U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Security specialist. However, Pawly has become a were-lynx vigilante superhero in combat against Mawro, another werecat who uses his shapeshifting powers for sinister and unethical purposes: he is the leader and head scientist of the North Korean “ailuranthropic” R&D program. Here is Pawly, in text and also an illustration by Amy Sun Hee “inspired by the novel”, on the author’s website:

“Her fangs bit into the fur below her lower lip. Pawly fell forward and thrust out her legs against the railing. Claws sprouted forth from the tips of her fingers with a flick of each wrist. She dove toward the car and yowled to goad the driver into turning her way. Her claws sank into the skin above the bridge of his nose as she slid across the car’s hood on her butt. With a grunt she yanked her hand free, tearing both of the man’s eyes free from their sockets. He screamed and crumpled to the pavement, cradling his ruined face, weapon all but forgotten. His partner whirled around with his shotgun in one hand, leaving his chest wide open. Before reaching the wall, Pawly raked the toe claws on both feet across the man’s abdomen. She pushed off with her legs and landed past the front bumper. When she spun around, the wide-eyed man stood before her, trembling as he stuffed his entrails back inside him with both hands. Pawly responded to his horrified whimper with but a shrug before he collapsed.” (p. 7)

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The Pride of Parahumans, by Joel Kreissman – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

The Pride of Parahumans, by Joel Kreissman
Knoxville, TN, Thurston Howl Publications, December 2016, trade paperback $11.99 (161 pages), Kindle $2.99.

The Pride of Parahumans starts with a small, cramped prospecting spaceship in the Asteroid Belt in the late 2100s or early 2200s, crewed by four parahumans (bioengineered anthro animals); Argentum, the black fox mineral analyst (and narrator); Cole, the raven pilot, Denal, the red panda mechanic, and Aniya, a human-wolf-possum mix taur rescue/medic. They’re exploring asteroids, looking for a big strike. They may have just discovered one when they’re attacked by an unknown pirate spaceship. They shoot back and destroy it, killing its one-parahuman crew.

Unfortunately, they (and probably the pirate) are from the Ceres Directorate, the major Asteroid Belt and parahuman government. And the Ceres Directorate has a draconian law against killing. Self-defense is no excuse. Anyone (and in this case the whole crew) who kills has all assets seized and is sentenced to fifty years at hard labor. They agree to keep everything secret and return to Ceres.

“Naturally, we got the first indication that things on Ceres were about to go wrong just as we were leaving the cavern.” (p. 24)

The Pride of Parahumans begins as an okay space opera, full of action and suspense. Unfortunately, it seems very similar to Kismet by Watts Martin, which is also about an anthro space pilot involved in action and suspense in an asteroid belt full of furry characters and space governments, published at almost the same time. And Kismet is MUCH better written.

There are differences. Argentum is a bioengineered experiment, designed to be without genitals and androgynous. (The pronoun zie is used.) The other furries have genitals but they were made sterile (they reproduce by cloning), so they can indulge in lots of sex without worrying about getting pregnant. (Argen qveches that zie’s missing out on the fun.) The Asteroid Belt governments are more chaotic and dictatorial – they all seem like wretched hives of scum and villainy — which increases the suspense, but are less logical.

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Interview with #FurryBookMonth Creator Huskyteer

by Pup Matthias

fbm-logo-800Through out the month of October you may have been seeing a special hashtag around twitter of people talking about Furry books more then usual. That is because we are in our first official Furry Book Month. A way to both celebrate the Furry writer community as well as promote just how diverse the community has gotten. You would be amazed how some people still only view the fandom with only three publishers: Sofawolf, Furplanet, and Rabbit Valley. But we have expanded to around eight with newcomers like Thurston Howl Publications, Goal Publications, and Weasel Press; bringing with them new voices and new stories with the same fluffiness or scales or feathers we love.

The Furry we have to thank for getting this event off the ground is Husykteer, a well-known and active member in the writer community since 2010. She began by posting stories on SoFurry, but by 2012 got published in both Roar 4 and Heat 9. Since then she has continued to put out quality work.

So far, I’ve had short stories and poems published in a number of anthologies; most recently Gods with Fur, Claw the Way to Victory and Inhuman Acts. My short story ‘The Analogue Cat’, which appeared in The Furry Future, won the 2015 Ursa Major and Cóyotl awards for short fiction.

I’d love to get some books out there with my name, and mine alone, on the cover! A novella, Peace & Love, should be coming out from FurPlanet soon.

But how did the idea of Furry Book Month come about? Anyone who has been around the FWG forums knows that the writer community, while growing, is still under appreciated in many aspects. So there has been a growing want to promote the community more to get people to check out their work.

In 2015, Furry Writers’ Guild member Rechan challenged the FWG forum to read a furry book, or several, during October. This grew into the idea of promoting books in the wider furry community during October 2016.

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The State of Furry Publishing – Fred Patten gives the inside story of eight groups.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Back in February 2015, Dogpatch Press published a two-part “History of Furry Publishing” by me. (Part 1 and Part 2) Patch has asked me to contact the furry specialty publishers for a follow-up to bring it up to date.

The traditional “Big Three” furry specialty publishers are FurPlanet Productions in Dallas, Rabbit Valley Books in Las Vegas, and Sofawolf Press in St. Paul. They were profiled in the earlier article. Here is their current status.

FurPlanet Productions


FurPlanet has been doing very well, as evidenced by having 24 new titles at Anthrocon 2016. FurPlanet has had dealer tables during 2016 at Further Confusion in January, Furry Fiesta, Anthrocon, and Rocky Mountain Fur Con, and plans to appear at Mephit FurMeet, Furry Migration, and Midwest FurFest in December. Besides selling books, FurPlanet has established a strong presence and met a lot of great fans, some of whom have been encouraged to become writers in FurPlanet’s anthologies.

FurPlanet prefers to release new titles at the conventions it attends. Further Confusion in San Jose in January and Anthrocon in Pittsburgh in late June or early July are the big release weekends each year, and publications are aimed for those dates. FurPlanet used to have several releases at RainFurrest in Seattle in late September, but with the disappearance of RainFurrest FurPlanet may shift to Midwest FurFest in Chicago in early December. If something becomes ready at a different time, it is released at the first convention it’s ready for.

Some of FurPlanet’s art folios are annuals. Those usually appear at the same convention each year. FurPlanet and its readers can count on two short fiction anthologies edited by Fred Patten at FC and AC, and an annual volume of FANG and ROAR at AC. Other anthologies, single-author collections, comic books, and one-shot art folios appear as they’re ready.

Erotica clearly sells very well. About 70% of FurPlanet’s sales are adult titles versus 30% of “all ages”. Of the 24 new titles at Anthrocon 2016, only 5 were all ages. FurPlanet’s best selling titles are the comics and books with well-written stories featuring adult themes. Rukis’ novels and comics, and the “Cupcake” novella books have been especially popular.

FurPlanet has three tables together at Anthrocon, so it has a much wider display of titles there. At conventions where it has only two or one table, there are about 100 titles, focusing on what is new or still selling well. Titles that are part of ongoing series will stay on the tables much longer.

Convention sales and online catalogue sales are about equal. Sales of FurPlanet’s print books are much greater than of Bad Dog Books’ e-editions. The Bad Dog e-books are not Amazon’s Kindle books. The only difference is that the Kindle books do not have adult illustrations, due to Amazon’s rules on eBooks. The Bad Dog titles are not censored. That is why many of the Bad Dog eBooks do not appear on Amazon.

For conventions relatively near Dallas, FurPlanet drives its stock there and back in its hatchback. For Further Confusion in California and when it was attending RainFurrest in Seattle, FurPlanet shipped its stock there and flew.

FurPlanet regularly displays Rabbit Valley’s and Sofawolf Press’s titles at conventions where those publishers do not have their own tables. There are no arrangements yet with other publishers, but with several new ones appearing, there could be in the future. FurPlanet has stocked a few mainstream books like the American editions of the French Blacksad and Grandville titles, but those are rare exceptions. FurPlanet’s recent carrying of several of Disney’s Zootopia titles has been due to the extreme interest in Zootopia by many furry fans. There are no plans to carry other books related to anthro-animal movies.

FurPlanet Productions is basically a part-time hobbyist mail-order business in Dallas. Everything there is in a large room called the Production Room. FurPlanet’s stock is kept there, orders are packed and shipped from there, and their bookbinding equipment is there. This room is not open to the public, and there are no plans to open a store front.

FurPlanet consists of four people: FuzzWolf and Teiran, the two owners, and their two long-term employees Buck Turner and Zia McCorgi. All four have regular jobs and run FurPlanet in their spare time. All four appear at almost every convention that FurPlanet displays at. They are sometimes joined by their friends Ajax B. Coriander and Andres Cyanni Halden, who have edited anthologies for FurPlanet in the past.

FurPlanet has this to say:

We’d like to thank everyone, our authors, artists, editors, customers, and helpers, especially Buck and Zia, who have made this all possible for the last eight years.

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