Claw the Way to Victory, Edited by AnthroAquatic – Book Review by Fred Patten.

by Pup Matthias

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


Cover by Jenn ‘Pac’ Rodriguez

Claw the Way to Victory, edited by AnthroAquatic
Capalaba, Queensland, Australia, Jaffa Books, January 2016, trade paperback $17.50 (285 pages), Kindle $5.00.

Claw the Way to Victory is an original-fiction anthology of eleven short stories by nine authors, “each showcasing a different sport and [showing] just how the instincts of an animal matched with the intelligence of a human can help or hurt a player. Scratching? Biting? Against the rules? Not this time.” (blurb) It is published by Jaffa Books in Australia, but printed and also sold by editor AnthroAquatic in the U.S., and was released by him at Anthro New England 2016 in Cambridge, MA on January 21-24; hence the price in U.S. dollars and the Amazon Kindle edition.

In “Descent” by TrianglePascal (gliding), Anthony, a mallard TV reporter, interviews Lacy Gallant, a golden eagle who is about to attempt the first unassisted thousand-foot descent off a cliff into a sheer gorge in history – without a parachute.

“With the camera off, Anthony let himself slouch back into his camp chair, then eyed Lacy again. The eagle was watching the bear and the squirrel [Anthony’s camera crew] with curiosity while she sipped her coffee. She looked impossibly relaxed considering what she was going to be attempting that day. She was dressed in a tank top and a tight pair of shorts, both of them specifically designed to reveal as much of her plumage as possible. It showed off the impressive musculature that stretched from her shoulders down to her powerful arms. Despite how dirty and ragtag the rest of her looked, the flight feathers hanging down from those arms were more immaculately cared for than the claws of most supermodels. There was a healthy sheen about them that bespoke hours of daily care.” (p. 11)

The mammals in the sports camera crew think she’s crazy. Anthony, as a bird but not a hunter-diver, can dimly appreciate what she feels when she’s gliding.

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