All Alone in the Night – M. Andrew Rudder

Cooper Barnes M.D. reached the pinnacle of an obsolete field. A pathologist in a future where all of Earth’s infectious diseases have been catalogued, sequenced, and cured, he has been left with no challenges. Until, that is, he is presented with new horizons in the stars as Chief Medical Officer aboard the Frontier, a new breed of faster than light ship set to explore deep space.

Along with his partner, the alien Sykk, he heads into the unknown. He was prepared to fight disease, but more insidious is the emptiness of space and the political machinations of the new species they meet. Embroiled in battles he wanted no part of, despite the presence of his partner he can’t help but feel all alone in the night.

Written by M. Andrew Rudder

Cover art by Soro

Published by Argyll Productions

This book was gifted to me by a friend who was wondering if I would like it, and I must say that I’m quite grateful. All Alone in the Night is a story that I found far less depressing than the title might suggest. Cooper is a wonderfully cynic and sarcastic character that really managed to keep me entertained together with his partner, Sykk, who has a great love for old films. Together with Angie, the three solve various medical problems, saving the lives of many.

The story in this book is original enough to keep me interested, is filled with interesting species and characters, and is generally well-written with a satisfying ending to boot. I would love for there to be a sequel, but it seems there have been no such plans as of yet.

If you love sci-fi, then there’s absolutely no reason for you to not pick up this book!

All Alone in the Night

All Alone in the Night – M. Andrew Rudder

Gathering Storms – Stephan Coghlan

I’m writing this letter to you because I want to tell you how my family, the Genmos, became recognized as living beings. You might have heard of us in the news recently, but if you haven’t, let me quickly fill you in.

It all started years ago, when my dad used a government contract to create super-soldiers for his own needs. After almost a decade of providing limited success, the project was canceled and we were ordered destroyed. Unwilling to kill his children, dad hid us throughout the country, splitting us up from each other.

Just after my eighth birthday, my oldest sister got into some hot water. Her guardian had died and she was forced to live on the streets. When several witnesses reported seeing her, it sparked a race to recover her, and my other siblings, between my father and the agency that had ordered us destroyed. That night began my people’s fight for our rights, our freedom and our very lives.

I’ve collected writings from my siblings and have tried to put them into an order that I hope makes sense for you. This is our story.

Yours sincerely,

Anna Keper

The last original Genetically Modified Species.

Written by Stephan Coghlan

Cover art by Joseph Chou

Published by Thurston Howl Publications

The blurb on the back of the book go me interested enough that I added this book to my collection. Something about anthropomorphic animals being the result of genetically modifying humans with animal DNA strikes my fancy.

Gathering Storms is book one of the GENMOS: The Genitically Modified Species series, which becomes quite clear after reading the story. The scattered genmos are gathered, accompanied by a story belonging to one or multiple of the characters when you first encounter them. This way, Gathering Storms reads more as a collection of short stories than a complete novel, even though all these stories are set in the same world and are interlinked. They have to keep fleeing or fighting the enemy, but the struggle is not resolved in the end, leaving room for a second novel.The story isn’t very original, but the execution is. I was also quite surprised to find out who the real antagonist in the story was.

A big plus of this book would be the plethora of interesting characters the reader gets to meet. However, a downside would be that it was really difficult to keep track of all the different names and species of this many characters, especially once they all meet up, leaving me horribly confused at times and having to look back to check if I got the right characters matched to the names. I personally hope that the group will split up again in group two, to make the story easier to follow.

Gathering Storms doesn’t leave me warm nor cold, so I guess I would give it a 6/10, based on the fact that I am curious to see what happens next.

Gathering Storms

 

Gathering Storms – Stephan Coghlan

The Goldenlea – Rose LaCroix

Synopsis:  Faol Carric was born to rule, inheriting the dukedom upon the passing of his father. Immediately tested by the conspiracy of the usurper Virgil Dol, Faol will need to prove his worth as a leader, a fighter, and a strategist if he is to survive—much less regain his place as the rightful ruler of the Goldenlea.

Written by Rose LaCroix

Cover art and interior illustrations by Kobi LaCroix

Published by FurPlanet Productions

 

Fast-paced and realistic, the Goldenlea is a novel that I really enjoyed reading. The characters are interesting to follow, even though their personalities are pretty basic, while the author sometimes chooses to reveal more interesting aspects to them at times.

The action in the book is quite aptly described, and the events follow each other in rapid tempo, making sure that a story that could’ve been set in a story that could cover multiple novels is contained in just over 300 pages. This ensures that there’s almost no time to get bored while reading this book.

I was a little disappointed with the romantical developments in this book. As the rest was fast-paced, the romance followed suit, which was a shame in this case. I feel that the blooming romance between the characters could have been explored more and over a longer time, to make it possible for the reader to identify with the situation more.

I’d love to recommend this book to lovers of medieval fantasy.

– Faolan

The Goldenlea

The Goldenlea – Rose LaCroix

The Time He Desires – Kyell Gold

Synopsis: After thirty years, Aziz’s marriage now consists mostly of arguing about whether to sell their store to a developer. His wife has a social life, interests and plans for the future, but the pawnshop is Aziz’s connection to his community. And then one day a desperate fox rushes into the shop looking for the honeymoon tape his husband sold. Seizing on this chance to make a difference, the cheetah steps up to help save their crumbling marriage. A gay couple might not show him the way to a new life, but he’s running out of ways to save his old one.

The Time He Desires by Kyell Gold, with illustrations by Kamui.

Published by FurPlanet Productions

I bought this novella, because it plays out around the characters of the book Love Match. However, I had not expected it to be about this particular character. I had expected to read more about Aziz’s son Marquize. It did provide a nice background for that particular character though.

I had also expected this novella to lean more towards the naughty side, as most of Gold’s novellas do this, but found myself engulfed in an enjoyable slice-of-life story instead, about a guy dealing with both his own sexuality and the sexuality of his son. No naughty scenes are described in this story.

Nonetheless, disregarding my earlier expectations, I really enjoyed this novella. The way Gold describes the life of a muslim cheetah in a world that is rapidly changing was very interesting and enjoyable to read. It is clear that Gold has done his research before attempting to write this, which is always a big plus in my eyes. The story is realistic and well-written. Well done.

– Faolan

The Time He Desires

The Time He Desires – Kyell Gold

By the Silver Wind – Jess E. Owen

Shard is a gryfon with a great destiny, and desperate to stop a war. He is hampered on his path to peace by would-be allies, old enmities and grudges between clans of creatures, and the ever-looming threat of the fear mongering wyrms.

Everyone believes that Shard is the legendary Summer King, that he alone can make the wyrms see reason and stop their violent marauding before more lives are sacrificed. But when he uses newfound powers to try communicating with their leader, he only ends up making things worse.

When the wyrms make a surprising move by attacking where Shard least expects it, he knows he must be willing to sacrifice anything-and everything-to stop them once and for all.

Cover art by: Jennifer Miller
Published by: Five Elements Press

Wow! Just…wow! That was all. Bye.

In all honesty though, By the Silver Wind, is the final installment that the Summer King Chronicles so righteously deserved. Never before have I read a series in which the level of character development was so ridiculously high. Not only the main characters develop into entirely new and improved characters throughout the series, but the supporting characters also get their fair share.

Owen once again managed to weave a story that pulled me in right from the start of the book, and even though final installments can be really difficult to write, Owen makes it seem so easy. With references to the previous books and events that are the result of previous actions, she neatly ties all the books together into one big cohesive story. Not a single one of the four books have disappointed me in any way, and it’s a story that’ll stay with me for the rest of my life.

Nothing I write here will even come close to doing this series justice, so I’d like to end this by saying that Owen has quickly grown to be one of my favourite authors, and that I’d highly recommend any of her books or short stories that she has written so far, and whatever she’ll write in the future.

Jess, thank you.

– Faolan

#GryfonPride

By the Silver Wind

By the Silver Wind – Jess E. Owen

Bait and Switch – Austen Crowder

In Fenton’s world, some kids are toons. Some think the change is biological. Others think the change is social. But some kids turn into toons, and Fenton’s father just wants it to stop. He’s even built a Realist movement to ban toons from the real world, hoping that it will keep his own children from following in their estranged mother’s cartoon footsteps.

Tensions rise as the Realists lobby to get their ban set into law, and toons fight for their right to be themselves. Fenton’s father knows he can count on his two boys to stand behind him and his dream of building a safe, a toon-free reality. It’s just too bad that Fenton’s becoming a toon….

Cover artwork by Dustin Friend.

Published by Anthropomorphic Dreams Publishing
 This book was recommended to me by the lovely Charlotte from Fusselschwarm, and I wasn’t quite sure whether or not to actually get it. Not being a fan of Who Framed Roger Rabbit gave me serious doubts about liking this book. Boy, was I wrong!
Despite my earlier concerns, Bait and Switch has a very unique concept and story, which pulled me in immediately. The characters came across as believable and realistic, pun not intended, and were also very relatable. It’s basically a coming-out story wrapped in a unique setting. This caused the story to be about gender identity/sexuality, without actively being about that, which is a very clever way to approach this.
Crowder’s foreword definitely added to the story, making it more apparant what kind of story it actually was, getting you to read the story wearing two different sets of glasses. Very impressive.
I’d like to recommend this story to anyone who struggles or has struggled with their own identity in one way or another, and to those who enjoyed Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Thank you for recommending this to me, Charlotte!
– Faolan
Bait and Switch
Bait and Switch – Austen Crowder

The Ursa Major Awards Anthology – Fred Patten

Synopsis:

A Tenth Anniversary Celebration

Since 2001, the Ursa Major Awards have been awarded every year to the best writers, artists, and creators of anthropomorphic media. Voted on by the community at large, they honor the best in every field of artistic endeavor. This anthology is a celebration of the first ten years of anthropomorphic short fiction, collecting both winners and nominees from across the years to provide readers with a sample of the best authors the furry community has to offer.

So read, enjoy, and then help decide the next winners of this fine award by voting for the next ten years of Ursa Major Awards.

http://www.ursamajorawards.org/

Features the following stories:

Beneath the Crystal Sea by Brock Hoagland
Familiars by Michael H. Payne
In the Line of Duty by M.C.A. Hogarth
Felicia and the Tailcutter’s Curse by Charles P. A. Melville
In His Own Country by Kristin Fontaine
Jacks to Open by Kyell Gold
Don’t Blink by Kyell Gold
Six by Samuel C. Conway
Drifting by Kyell Gold
Ailoura by Paul Di Filippo
St. Ailbe’s Hall by Naomi Kritzer

Published by: FurPlanet Productions

You can hardly go wrong with an anthology comprised entirely of winners of and those nominated for an Ursa Major Award. Combining the crème de la crème of ten years of furry fiction has ensured that this anthology is one of the strongest I have read thus far. Lacking a certain theme, the book takes you from one world to the next, making you experience a plethora of different emotions. Absolutely wonderful.

I felt that some stories were overly long when compared to others in the novel. However, I don’t know the reasoning for this, so it might as well be because the authors sent in shorter stories than others. It just felt a bit off-balance at times.

The story that impressed me most was Six by Samuel C. Conway. His story got me hooked right from the start, as it played with fantasies and dreams I’ve had numerous times. If one were to find an anthropomorphic animal, what would one do? Conway made sure that the emotions felt by the story’s main character were delivered quite aptly, and the ending was absolutely perfect. It’s definitely a story I’ll never forget.

I’d love to recommend this anthology to all lovers of well-written anthropomorphic fiction.

– Faolan

 

the-ursa-major-awards-anthology

 

 

The Ursa Major Awards Anthology – Fred Patten