by Pup Matthias
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
Passing Through; Tails from the Road [edited by Weasel]
Manvil, TX, Weasel Press, September 2017, trade paperback, $9.99 (138 pages), Kindle $2.99.
There is an editor’s introduction that sets the mood of hitchhiking drama, but isn’t clear whether it’s just a mood piece for this anthro universe, or if it was a real-life personal event that inspired this anthology. Here are six short stories and novelettes about anthro hitchhikers. “Cash, Grass, or Ass, open up and hitch a ride!” (blurb)
In “First Time Ain’t Easy” by Tyson West, Rod (called both Roderick and Rodney) is a 20-year-old raccoon whose father and friends consider to be soft and immature. He hitchhikes from Illinois to Seattle to visit a cousin, gets a ride from a friendly black panther (clearly an African-American), and the two are arrested and jailed in Montana. Rod hopes to be released in a few days, but is he tough enough to survive in prison until then?
“Seed of a Doubt” by Frances Pauli is a rare anthro story with sealife:
“‘Raise your right fin.’ The bailiff fluttered silver gills and rolled one eyeball the size of Ray’s head in the direction of the judge. ‘And state your name.’
‘I’m Ray.’ The courtroom water ran a good five degrees warmer than he was used to, but the increase in temperature behind his scales was more from nerves than the fact that they were in the shallows. ‘Sorry. Ray Blythe.’” (p. 27)
The judge is a squid, the bailiff is a cod, and the defendant who Ray is a reluctant witness against is a shark mob boss. A big shark. Ray is a remora who had hitched a ride — was attached to Carl Sanguini, the shark, at the time of the alleged murder. A remora is a small fish, used to being silent and unnoticed, as Ray was when the alleged murder took place. He is extra nervous at being the center of attention in the coral courtroom.
What happens in the trial could only happen if the characters are anthro sealife. Kudos to Pauli.