Welcome once again to the FWG Awareness Week! To help us in our goal of highlighting minority culture and writers in furry literature, we’ve reached out to editors, authors, and publishers in the fandom to bring you a short reading list of works both from and about our region in focus: Southeast and East Asia. While this is by no means an exhaustive list of titles, we hope it serves as a good jumping-off point and gives a rough starting view of the cultures and people from this area.
From the region:
Allison Thai (who we interviewed earlier this week) is a Vietnamese-American husky who has been published in several furry anthologies, including Symbol of a Nation, ROAR 8, and Arcana – Tarot. Readers may be interested in her story, “A Time For Giving“, from Arcana, about an injured, stranded Russian wolf who is given hospitality by a family of Mongolian horses, despite her deeds as a treacherous NKVD agent. Her entry for ROAR 8, “Hope for the Harbingers“, sees God lift up damned souls from Hell to appoint them as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, while Death finds a glimpse of redemption in doing his duty.
Al Song, a Laotian-American kangaroo with a degree in German literature from University of Washington, writes in “Serenity in Blue” (from FANG 8) about a fresh college graduate unhappy with his employment as a security officer, and his attempt to seek out a better future for himself. In “Tempus Imperfectum“, to be published in Tales from the Guild – World Tour 2, a young Italian otter newly immigrated to Germany finds friendship and romance through his high-school orchestra.
Singaporean artist and writer MikasiWolf writes in “Adversary’s Fall“, from Gods With Fur, about the mythical Monkey King, who, with the help of a drunk merlion and an old comrade, seeks vengeance against the most powerful demon of all. His story, “Fathers and Sons“, found in Dogs of War, talks about a young recruit who, despite his disastrous first day in military service, eventually learns the experience gained by generations of servicemen.
About the region:
Faolan provides “Instinct“, the closing entry to the Species: WOLVES anthology – an account of a lupine K-Pop idol pack of the same name, as they attempt to maintain group cohesion despite their individual egos and feelings for one another.
Takaa Silvermane‘s story collection, Closer Than Brothers, examines gay relationships throughout history. “Sparring Session” follows fox Gichoi and cat Daejung in in 667 CE South Korea. Following Korean funeral rites of the time, the two soldiers take a respite from battle and find intimate comfort in each other despite the knowledge it is forbidden love. In “Kamogawa“, three-tailed fox Akio abandons his guard post in Sekigahara, Japan (1600 CE) to find his childhood playmate, white cat Hideki, in a nearby stream. Not your typical “Romeo and Juliet” story, the two are now on opposite sides of the war. What will they do to preserve themselves – or sacrifice for love of the other?
Edited by Fred Patten, the Symbol of a Nation anthology consists of eleven short stories and novelettes featuring the anthropomorphized animal symbols of nations, and exploring their significance and the ideas they represent in their cultures.
Though himself not a furry author, the origami animals in Ken Liu‘s short story “The Paper Menagerie” (read) come to life as magically as our own furry characters do. This poignant story, about a young Connecticut boy, his Chinese mother, and the cultural tension of immigration, is the first work of fiction to win the Nebula, the Hugo, and the World Fantasy Awards.
Special thanks go out to Ocean Tigrox, Thurston Howl, Makyo, and Dark End for their suggestions and assistance in putting this list together.