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)
In “Am I Furry? Fandom vs Genre” by Mary Lowd, she distinguishes between the individual fans and the social movement, and the more physical furry fiction: the talking-animal fantasy and science-fiction books like Watership Down and Jacques’ Redwall series that may turn those who don’t know anything about furry fandom into a furry fan. “Furries and Science Fiction,, or … From the Very Beginning, We Were There” by Phil Geusz comments on talking animals in books and movies. “TF = Transformation” by Bill Kieffer concentrates on Transformation fantasy, in which a human becomes another animal, physically anthropomorphic or natural, but retains his or her intelligence. “History of Furry Publishing II” by Fred Patten is a follow-up to my essay in the first Furries Among Us. That surveyed the furry specialty publishers that have arisen in the fandom up to February 2015. This brings them to 2017, including the beginning of new specialty publishers like Thurston Howl Publications.
“‘It Just Clicked’: Discovering Furry Identity and Motivations to Participate in the Fandom” by Dr. Stephen Reysen, “The Highs, the Lows, and Post-Con Depression: A Qualitative Examination of Furries’ Return Home Following an Anthropomorphic Convention” by Dr. Sharon Roberts, “Say It Ain’t So: Addressing and Dispelling Misconceptions About Furries” by Dr. Courtney Plante, and “Furries, Therians and Otherkin, Oh My! What Do All Those Words Mean, Anyway?” by Drs. Kathleen Gerbasi and Elizabeth Fein are all based upon the results of the International Anthropomorphic Research Project (IARP), which has been surveying furry fans at conventions and online for the past six years. By collating the results of personally-asked questions and returned questionnaires, the sociologists have developed profiles of the average furry fan: age, gender, personality, attitudes, length of time in the fandom, and so on.
Furries Among Us 2 (cover by Tabsley) includes the cartoon fursona portraits of all the authors, by Sabretoothed Ermine; the same cartoons for the authors who were in the first book, and new cartoons for the new authors here. The two Furries Among Us books are important additions to the tiny but growing library of serious books about furry fans and the sociology (or “social anthropology”) of the fandom.
Are they human, or are they beast? Over the past several decades, the world has seen a new phenomenon on the rise, a group of people identifying as “furries.” They have appeared in the news and popular TV shows as adults wearing fursuits and participating in sex parties, but what are they really? As a sequel to the award-winning first volume, this collection of essays on the furry fandom reveals furries through their own eyes, with bestselling novelists Bill Kieffer and Phil Geusz, celebrity social media characters Jesus Fox and Satan Fox, the International Anthropomorphic Research Project, and so many more, covering topics from anthropomorphic animal science fiction to furry clubs to furry gender identity and the psychology behind furries. Some of the essays are comical and playful, while others are serious and academic. On one paw, this is a work for non-furries to get a glimpse into the anthropomorphic world. On the other, this is a chance for furries to hear from many of their favorite furries.
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