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Furry!: The Best Anthropomorphic Fiction! by…
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Furry!: The Best Anthropomorphic Fiction!

by Fred Patten

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Furry is essentially the rerelease of Best in Show, minus some interior illustrations and with much less appealing cover art, at least judging by a notice in the beginning of the book. It claims to collect the best work from fifteen years of fanzines and similar originating within the furry fandom, and it doesn't do too bad of a job of it. Some works in it are great, especially Todd G. Sutherland's "Wings", which actually moved me to tears. There were a number of stories I did not at all care for, as well, but a majority of the material was quite appealing, and I discovered some excellent work. This does not mean I am entirely satisfied with the selection. Given the choice I actually prefer more slice-of-life-ish stories if the work is going to be only pages long. Phil Geusz's "Graduation Day" gave me the touch of "everyday people's fates" that I crave while still definitely being built on a plot which brought it from beginning to end, making it another favorite of mine; following Phil the rabbit as he works to help a number of youths transformed into animals by the Martian Flu find a future for themselves after high school.
Furry contains a bit too much science fiction for my tastes, with a bit more focus on making the characters' nonhuman nature be a central part of the plot and story than I really would have liked. That is one of the things that appealed to me about "The Boar Goes North" by Matt Posner -- there is no tiresome explanation why the nonhuman characters are not human, and the boar of the title certainly makes no excuses for his physical appearance. It appeals a lot more to my suspension of disbelief with anthropomorphic animals that just are. Another particularly interesting story is "Castlefail" by Jefferson P. Swycaffer, which takes on a certain fable-like tone and plot without being told in the traditional bare-bones style of a fable.
Other favorites of mine in the volume were "Foxy Lady" by Lawrence Watt-Evans, "Crucible" by Kim Liu, "Canis Major" by Michael H Payne and "A Snapshot From Fayetteville" by Mick Collins.
I'd certainly purchase other similar books in the future, but by that same token I would hope for them to focus a bit less on the science fiction and have much less of the tired "humans genetically engineered furries and now oppress them" theme. ( )
  quoting_mungo | Jul 29, 2008 |
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