by Dogpatch Press Staff
Hello, I’m Gamepopper, a British furry author of the newly released book Furtannia: The History of the Furry Fandom in the United Kingdom. Buy it at the link from Uncle Bear Publishing.
I’ve mentioned this book on Dogpatch Press in a guest article calling for preserving the furry fandom’s history, when it was under the (admittingly cheeky) working title of Furry Kingdom. This book tells a long and multi-faceted account of that history, but this time from the perspective of British furries.
The origins of the modern furry phenomenon can be traced to America — specifically, California — and it eventually grew and spread to other countries. The United Kingdom was one of the first places outside the United States to embrace Furry, but it wasn’t just a new discovery; a lot of media that inspired the modern-day fandom originated in England.
Furtannia covers that growth from the first housecons and furmeets in the UK, to conventions like ConFuzzled, and how they differ from American furcons. Along the way it covers unique British Furry media and events.
That growth was influenced by California fandom reaching towards an international presence almost since the beginning. In 1987, Mark Merlino, Rod O’Riley, and a few American fans hosted a furry hotel party in Brighton during the 45th World Science Fiction Convention. A handful of British science fiction and comic book fans travelled to the United States or purchased imported American comics, discovered the fandom, and kept in touch with each other.