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.
ROAR, 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 »