Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
Second Chance: Furmankind II, by Ted R. Blasingame. (Revised and expanded edition)
Raleigh, NC, Lulu.com, May 2015, trade paperback $21.99 (460 pages).
This says “Revised and expanded edition”, but if I am reading Blasingame’s production schedule correctly, this was written between June 2012 and June 2014, allowed to sit for almost a year, and then revised and published in May 2015. So this Lulu.com trade paperback may be revised and expanded, but it is the first paper/printed edition.
Second Chance: Furmankind II is not as much a sequel to Sunset of Furmankind as it is a continuation of the same story. The former novel concentrated on the humans in Brian Barrett’s/Jon Sunset’s group of volunteers being bioengineered into Furs – supposedly hardier than unmodified humans; a hybrid of human and animal: four each of large feline, large canid, bear, and fox – and sent with a similar group (but two are anthro red pandas) to the extrasolar planet Bonestell to establish an Earth colony there. Bonestell appears to be practically a paradise compared to other newly-discovered worlds; very much like pre-human North America – but the first human colony spaceship sent there completely disappeared for unknown reasons. This second group considers itself humanity’s Second Chance at colonizing Bonestell, and adopts that name.
Second Chance: Furmankind II is the story of the 32 male and female Furs’ (actually 31 due to a death in Sunset of Furmankind) first year on Bonestell; or 2½ Earth years due to Bonestell’s longer rotation. It’s very much like a novel about a group of pioneers of the early 19th century pushing into the Ohio or Mississippi river valleys to establish homes, farms, and a town; with the differences that nobody knows which of the new animals, insects, and plants are safe or poisonous, whether the planet has any dangerous natives, or what made the first colonizers disappear. The Second Chance group find out by trial and error. There are successes and failures; natural and violent deaths; matings and children.
Read the rest of this entry »