Recently made a visit to the L.A. Times Festival of Books in Los Angeles (of course), and as usual came across some interesting furry items we want to tell you about. First up is the Red’s Planet series of graphic novels by Eddie Pittman — a Disney animator who worked on films like Emperor’s New Groove and Lilo & Stitch, as well as TV series like Phineas and Ferb. Here’s the run down: “Meet Red, a quirky, headstrong 10-year-old who longs to live in her own perfect paradise far away from her annoying foster family. But when a UFO mistakenly kidnaps her, Red finds herself farther away than she could have possibly imagined—across the galaxy and aboard an enormous spaceship owned by the Aquilari, an ancient creature with a taste for rare and unusual treasures. Before Red can be discovered as a stowaway, the great ship crashes on a small deserted planet, leaving her marooned with a menagerie of misfit aliens. With her newfound friend, a small gray alien named Tawee, Red must find a way to survive the hostile castaways, evade the ravenous wildlife, and contend with Goose, the planet’s grumpy, felinoid custodian. Surely this can’t be the paradise she’s been hoping for.” Three hardcover books are out so far from Amulet.
Miara is a humanimal, a woman just like anyone else, except with feline features and some feline abilities … (blurb)
I cannot help remembering A.I.P.’s July 1977 movie of The Island of Dr. Moreau, with Burt Lancaster as Dr. Paul Moreau, the Mad Scientist who was uplifting animals into humanimals™, and downlifting humans into humanimals™. I don’t think that A.I.P. put out a single bit of publicity without emphasizing that humanimals™ was its own trademarked word. Fortunately, A.I.P. is gone now, and its trademark doubtlessly expired long ago.
Miara Cooper is a cat-girl.
I am mostly human, of course. I walk upright, have two breasts, and wear clothing. But it is impossible not to notice the domestic feline in my appearance. My eyes are green and my pupils are vertical instead of rounded, at least in the daylight. My pointed, hairy ears are on top of my head. My nose is small, upturned and moist. I have a small set of whiskers at the corners of my upper lip; just a little less than would make me look like one of those Chinamen in an old Looney Tunes cartoon. My skin is white, but it is barely visible under thick, dark hair. At least the hair is human-like: fine and light brown.Just longer and thicker than most human women have on the rest of their bodies. And I have a tail. It isn’t very long; only about seventeen inches from the base of my spine, but it was enough to get in the way of sitting and learning how to pee on a toilet when I was a child. (p. 5)
Miara’s parents were hippies who took part in a scientific experiment in gene splicing before her birth. Now, twenty-four years later, society is still figuring what to do about Doctor Finchley’s and his colleagues’ essays into cat-people, dog-people, fox-people, bear-people and so on.
I even heard of one poor kid in Canada whose parents spliced him to be part moose. Must have been painful giving birth to that one. (p. 6)
Fuzzy Business, by Amelia Ritner, Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, May 2013, trade paperback $7.95 (271 pages), Kindle $1.99.
Fuzzy Business 2: Fuzz Harder, by Amelia Ritner, Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, December 2013, trade paperback $7.95 (178 pages), Kindle $1.99.
Demon of Undoing opens in the midst of battle, immediately establishing the Imkairans as a planetful of uncontrollably ferocious felinoids divided into constantly warring small feudal clans:
The warrior twisted his head, snarling at his commander over his shoulder, ears flat and eyes slitted with fury. In the brown furred hand the sword shifted toward Fenobar’s unprotected stomach, but then the glazed eyes focused on Fenobar’s white crest and sanity fought a return in the light green eyes. Sullenly the palecrest lowered his sword, shamed that he had so far forgotten himself. (p. 1)
Prince “wrong-handed” Fenobar is the protagonist, the Commander of the Temple Guard of the Kingdom of the Fen tribe of the Monghanirri clan. That sounds impressive, but the Temple Guard is a troop of old and maimed warriors, too experienced in battle to be ignored but too infirm to be frontline soldiers any longer.
Fenobar, by his royal birth and his savage spirit, cannot be ignored either, but his crippled left arm, twisted from birth, prevents him from becoming a real warrior. He has been shunted off into a ceremonial command that nobody takes seriously. For a savage Imkairan, subject to an instinctual battle lust, this is especially humiliating.
Riverdale, NY, Baen Books, June 1988, 308 pages, 0-671-65413-6, $3.50.
The titular Delura is the name of the galaxy in which the series takes place. The story includes many alien races resembling anthropomorphic animals, including vulpine and lupine beings. It centres on a felinoid mineship operator who finds himself with damaged memories in a strange medical ward, and reluctantly begins his new life whilst knowing nothing of who he was, is, or will be.
Ryan and Taben have started a Kickstarter campaign to fund Delura's 2013 season. A $6,500 goal has been set, to go towards providing more animations and webcomic content, and to upgrade hardware and software so as to improve the quality of the graphics.
It was the spring of 1998 when I first became a fan of Light on Shattered Water by Greg Howell, an era when stories were uploaded with hard line breaks. It was becoming increasingly evident that my interest in Lion King fandom had run its course and probably wouldn't stick with me much longer. But the interest wasn't so much dying off as morphing into an interest in furry fandom in general, particularly works of literature. I asked for suggestions of works of furry literature that would be good to read, both published and online. Light on Shattered Water, which at the time had recently been completed, came highly recommended to me. I began reading and quickly became immersed in this story.
And now, fourteen years later, Light on Shattered Water (Life of Riley, Book 1) is available in a Kindle edition. (June 2012, ASIN B008GASFDA, $4.99)
Michael Riley, a digital graphics specialist, was encouraged to spend some time away from his job. While hiking in the mountains near Montpelier, Vermont, he is knocked unconscious by a nearby lightning strike. Upon awakening, he finds all of his possessions intact, including most notably a laptop computer (with a solar recharging unit), but his GPS isn't working, many of the landmarks he had relied upon are mysteriously absent, and his maps seem to be wrong. After hiking for days, he finally discovers a village where everything appears to be oddly primitive. But the biggest shock of all comes when he first sees its inhabitants.