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Tag: rabbits

Fairytales Written by Rabbits, by Mary A. Parker – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

parkerFairytales Written by Rabbits, by Mary A. Parker. Illustrated by Michelle Cannon.
Melbourne, Vic., Australia, Ferox Publishing, September 2015, trade paperback $12.99 (x + 228 pages), Kindle $2.99.

Despite the charming cover by Michelle Cannon, “Fairytales” is a single word everywhere except on this cover.

Its countryside world seems very familiar —

“But first they must catch you.” (p. 1)

With a major difference –

“The dust came in the late evening, many seasons ago.

Flashes of light flowed and danced across the twilight sky. Green, orange and purple streaks twisted among the clouds and stars. The rabbits were frightened at first, fleeing to the familiar darkness of their burrows, away from the unknown.” (pgs. ix-x)

Fairytales Written by Rabbits is both fantasy and science fiction. It begins with the same scenario as Richard Adams’ Watership Down; the peaceful realistic life of a countryside rabbit warren. This is interrupted by an unknown world-changing spectacle similar to that at the beginning of John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids; the sky is full of something strange.

What happened? It’s never explained. But man never comes to the countryside again. And little by little, over generations, the wildlife grows more intelligent.

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The Sage of Waterloo: A Tale, by Leona Francombe – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

518uaB1pVpL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_The Sage of Waterloo: A Tale, by Leona Francombe
NYC, W. W. Norton & Co., June 2015, hardcover $22.95 (x + 224 pages), Kindle $11.99.

This leisurely novel will tell you more than you want to know about the famous Battle of Waterloo of June 17, 1815. To the rabbits who live there today, it’s the only exciting thing that ever happened there. They never tire of hearing about it, in detail. William, the narrator, is one of those rabbits.

“Waterloo is where I was born, and where I spent the first three years of my life. Well, technically it wasn’t Waterloo itself but the ancient Brabant farm of Hougoumont, one of the iconic battle sites situated in the fields a few kilometers farther up the Chaussée de Waterloo. In 1815, this long, forested avenue funneled weary streams of humanity back and forth between the battlefield and the city – between destiny and deliverance.” (p. 5)

This may be the last generation that Hougoumont knows as a farm. William describes its decline from a working farm to a forgotten relic. “I was happy at Hougoumont. The last farmer to live there was not like the aristocrats who had once owned the chateau (there was no more chateau – the French had shelled it). He raised cattle, and seemed far less interested in rabbit and pigeon dishes than his predecessors. He was, thank heavens, a frozen–food sort of man, and thus our existence was blissfully irrelevant.” (p. 7) The rural village of Waterloo has expanded into a modern small city, and the old farm with its rabbit hutches and dovecotes will soon be torn down.

“I am no longer young. I’ll be eleven in a few months, which not only requires math well beyond my skills to calculate in human years, but also obliges me to press on with my storytelling. Those of you who are already experiencing the adventure of aging may have discovered that this part of the journey does not only entail unexpected dips and fissures in the road, aches in the limbs, problems reaching those hard-to-clean areas (Old Lavender gave them up early on) and so forth.” (pgs. 12-13). William describes his hutchmates in detail. “Jonas, a distant cousin, was a rash, handsome buck infamous for his preening, scheming, and disreputable tail-chasing.” (p. 13) “Boomerang, a slightly crazed uncle, had the obscure habit of throwing himself sideways against the barrier, bouncing off at ever-more-interesting angles.” (p. 14) “Caillou was the runt (his name, fittingly, meant ‘pebble’).” (ibid.) And others. “Most of us followed the general rules that defined the Hollow Way. Yield. Bump ahead. No left turn. That sort of thing. It was a predictable sort of life, vigorously stamped with the colony’s imprimatur: milling, eating, nudging, nipping, dozing … milling, eating, nudging, nip …You get the idea.” (p. 16)

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Housepets! Will Do It For Free (Book 6), By Rick Griffin, Book Review By Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

HousepetsHousepets! Will Do It For Free (Book 6), by Rick Griffin.
North Charleston, SC, CreateSpace, November 2015, trade paperback $13.95 (52 pages).

Another year passes, and here is the new annual collection of the Housepets! online comic strip by Rick Griffin. Housepets! has appeared each Monday-Wednesday-Friday since June 2, 2008. It has won the Ursa Major Award for the Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip for every year since! – for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Umpty million thousand furry fans can’t be wrong.

Book 6 contains the strips from June 19, 2013 to May 30, 2014; story arcs #70, “Mice To Meet You” to #77, “Heaven’s Not Enough, part 1”, plus the one-off gag strips before and between these.

Housepets! is the story of the dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, and other pets of Babylon Gardens, a typical residential suburban neighborhood – in an alternate universe. The animals are larger than in our universe (but not human-sized), can talk, are usually bipedal, and address their human owners as “Mom” and “Dad”. Their status is somewhere between pets and children. Points established over the years are that humans can bequeath their belongings to their pets, who do not need a human guardian; human storekeepers are not allowed to sell catnip to cats; human police forces have an auxiliary of Police Dogs who are not all police dogs; the pets comment sardonically on how they can go naked in public but their human “parents” can’t; and – lots of other stuff. Read the rest of this entry »

The Book of Lapism, by Phil Geusz (2nd enlarged edition) – review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Book of Lapism, by Phil Geusz. [2nd enlarged edition.]
Birmingham, AL, Legion Printing & Publishing, January 2015, hardcover $24.99 (351 [+1] pages), Kindle $4.99.

lapism-coverThis book is a bibliographer’s nightmare. It’s referred to as the Deluxe edition, the 2nd printing (but presumably means the first printing of the second edition), and as The New Book of Lapism. Fortunately, it’s easily distinguishable from the first edition (Anthro Press, June 2009). That had a different cover (this one is by Micheal Day), was a trade paperback, and had two less stories.

This new hardcover is truly impressive, in thick, high-quality boards and a 8.5” X 11” giant size with large, easily read type. Still, almost all the sales are likely to be of the more affordable and easily held Kindle edition. It’s well worth getting in either case. The first edition is out of print, and lacks the two most recent stories. This new edition is complete.

Phil Geusz’s Lapist stories are set in the unspecified near future, maybe a hundred years from now, when materialism, greed, and a callous fuck-you-Jack;-I’ve-got-mine society are making more thoughtful people despondent about whether there is anything worth living for. The philosophy/religion of Lapism grows up; a true brotherhood whose adherents have themselves physically bioengineered into anthropomorphic rabbits to show their friendly, gentle, caring nature. The Lapists have a very rocky and insecure first few years, as covered in these six stories.

More rocky than they’d probably like to admit. There are serpents in Paradise.

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