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

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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

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

Pile – Kandrel

Scott Beecham would have been the ideal soldier, if a little bit of bad luck hadn’t left him dead before he’d even seen his first battlefield. Unfortunately for him, that was only the beginning of his story.

Now he’s stuck in a body that’s not his own, trying to get back to the life he left behind…

Published by: Rabbit Valley Comics

A very short intro to a very short story. There really isn’t much to say about the story, without spoiling way too much of it, so I’ll keep it short.

Pile is possibly one of the few short novellas that actually left me thirsty for more. The story started out a bit vague and you were left feeling as confused as the main character, however, where he had a moment of “NOPE!”, I would’ve jumped right in immediately. I even had a dream that was closely-related to the Pile.

Kandrel wrote up some amazing characters, that I would’ve loved to get to know better. They were believable, likeable, and I just wanted to cuddle them to death. The setting was also very good, creating a world that was full of fantasy, yet realistic at the same time.

I think the only problem with the story, is that it’s so incredibly short. There was a lot of potential to turn it into a longer one, especially with the many openings leading to world-saving missions. Unfortunately, Kandrel decided to keep it small instead, leaving me forever thirsting for more.

– Faolan

pile

Pile – Kandrel

Gods With Fur – Fred Patten

Synopsis: From the very beginning, mankind has found the divine in the shape of animals from across the world. Deities such as Ganesha, Coyote, Anubis, and The Monkey King—even Zeus took to the wing from time to time. In ancient Egyptian deserts, misty Central American rainforests, and across wind swept tundra, man has forever told stories of gods with fur, feathers, scales, or tusks.

Gods With Fur features twenty-three new stories of divine animals working their will upon the land. You may recognize gods such as Bastet, while other stories see authors working in their familiar worlds, such as M. R. Anglin’s Silver Foxes books or Kyell Gold’s Forester University books. Others are set in new worlds where the anthropomorphic gods have tales to tell us. We are proud to present this new furry view of divinity.

400 Rabbits by Alice “Huskyteer” Dryden
Contract Negotiations by Field T. Mouse
On the Run from Isofell by M. R. Anglin
To the Reader… by Alan Loewen
First Chosen by BanWynn Oakshadow
All Of You Are In Me by Kyell Gold
Yesterday’s Trickster by NightEyes DaySpring
The Gods of Necessity by Jefferson Swycaffer
The Precession of the Equinoxes by Michael H. Payne
Deity Theory by James L. Steele
Questor’s Gambit by Mary E. Lowd
Fenrir’s Saga by Televassi
The Three Days of the Jackal by Samuel C. Conway
A Melody in Seduction’s Arsenal by Slip-Wolf
Adversary’s Fall by MikasiWolf
As Below, So Above by Mut
Wings of Faith by Kris Schnee
The Going Forth of Uadjet by Frances Pauli
That Exclusive Zodiac Club by Fred Patten
Three Minutes To Midnight by Killick
A Day With No Tide by Watts Martin
Repast (A Story of Aligare) by Heidi C. Vlach
Origins by Michael D. Winkle

Published by FurPlanet Productions

The first thing that drew me to this book was the amazing artwork by Taegan Gavet, otherwise known as Blackteagan. The colour scheme and the stunning blue eyes of the deer on the cover simply begged me to get this anthology. Yes, I am terribly guilty of judging a book by its cover. It didn’t hurt that the contents appealed to me greatly.

This is definitely one of the best anthologies I have ever read, and it took me a long time to get through all the different stories. They were all so incredibly different, and I’ve discovered quite a few talented writers by reading this work. Almost every story was enjoyable in its own right, but some definitely appealed to me more than others. To give you my three best stories:

Deity Theory by James L. Steele
A Day With No Tide by Watts Martin
First Chosen by Ban Wynn Oakshadow

Deity Theory had an excellent setting and interesting story, A Day With No Tide had wonderful characters and a setting I always enjoy, and First Chosen simply amazed me by the sheer amount of research that must’ve been done prior to writing the story, even going as far as quoting from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. I can honestly say I enjoyed these three stories the most, which says something, because basically all the other stories were great in their own way.

I would love to recommend this anthology to all readers who enjoy mythology.

– Faolan

gods-with-fur

Gods With Fur – Fred Patten

Fragments of Life’s Heart: Vol. 1 – Laura “Munchkin” Lewis and Stefano “Mando” Zocchi

They say Love is the oldest story on Earth, but we don’t have to tell it the same way every time. How many ways are there to explore our feelings that we may have never even considered? Countless fragments of different worlds, all held together by the greatest force of all.

Join us as we explore the many different forms of love—family love, forbidden love, love that embraces what society always taught was wrong. Seasoned veterans and brand new talents bring you seventeen anthropomorphic stories with all different forms of sexuality and relationships, in a journey across genres, worlds, and time.

Love can bloom, thrive, and end. Love can heal, mesh, and blend. We’re all Fragments trying to stick together.

Tending the Fires – Jess E Owen

Transitions – Mog Moogle

The Mistress of Tidwell Manor – Renee Carter Hall

Yet Time and Distance – Kris Carver

Polynomials – Fever Low

Raise Your Voice – Stefano “Mando” Zocchi

Going Out – T C Powell

Harvest Home – Altivo Overo

The Foreigner – Dwale

Trade All the Stars – Watts Martin

Draw to the Heart – Ocean Tigrox

Paint the Square-Cut Sky – Slip-Wolf

Hearth Soup – Laura “Munchkin” Lewis

Brass Candy Girl – M C A Hogarth

Footsteps – Televassi

Rain Check – Field T Mouse

The Soul of Wit – Daniel Lowd

Edited by Laura “Munchkin” Lewis and Stefano “Mando” Zocchi

Cover art by Darkomi

Published by Weasel Press

I was really looking forward to reading this book, mostly because I tried getting a story in as well, but unfortunately didn’t make the cut. After reading this anthology, I can easily tell why. However, it’s not about me at this moment, so allow me to stop right there.

When we hear the word “love” we all know what to expect in stories, but Fragments takes it to a way deeper level by showing us different kinds of love, most of which are by no means cliché in any way, when it comes to books. It sheds new light on the old concept, by showing facets that by no means get the attention they deserve.

My favourite stories in this anthology have to be Tending the Fires by Jess E. Owen (author of the Summer King Chronicles), Raise Your Voice by Stefano “Mando” Zocchi, Draw to the Heart by Ocean Tigrox, and Paint the Square Cut Sky by Slip-Wolf. These stories all touched my heart in different ways. Slip-Wolf actually managed to catch me off guard with his story. What these four stories have in common, is that they all managed to rope me in with their enjoyable characters and wonderful narrative. I wanted to fight with Nara’s mother, take Treyo home with me, throw Chad down a long flight of stairs, and run away with Leida.

Fragments is a pretty good anthology all-in-all. I was actually quite surprised by the big number stories featuring humans as the norm, and having anthropomorphic animals either as an alien species or a human creation. It definitely added a little extra to a few of the stories, where it did nothing for other stories that had this concept as well.

I would like to suggest that the stories get to be a little longer in the next volume. A lot of the stories were simply too short to actually grab me, or ended way too quickly and left me dissatisfied and wanting more. I also regret saying that there were two stories that left me quite cold. They just didn’t manage to grab me at all.

I will definitely buy the next volume when it comes out, which the words “volume 1” kind of promise, as I have enjoyed reading most of this anthology. Thank you for shedding much-needed light on the different aspects of love.

Also, to Daniel Lowd:

Well played, good sir. Well played.

– Faolan

fragments

Fragments of Life’s Heart: Vol. 1 – Laura “Munchkin” Lewis and Stefano “Mando” Zocchi