Awareness Week: Suggested reading – Southeast & East Asia

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?

In Kyell Gold‘s “Unfinished Business“, from Heat #13, as private investigator Jae Kim visits supernatural Wolftown Detroit, he runs into his former boyfriend and some issues from his Korean family.

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.

Discuss this article on the Guild forums, or check out the profiles of our FWG members.

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On the Inside, Looking Out: Furry in a Human Land

Guest post by KJ Kabza

Back when my schedule allowed, I enjoyed participating in the FWG chats every week. (Which you’ve tried and enjoyed too. Right?) Occasionally, a furry writer would mention that they hoped to someday sell one of their borderline-furry stories to a Regular Science Fiction or Fantasy Market.

Funny thing, that. Because I’ve been writing stories in the wider science fiction and fantasy field for 15 years, and I hope to someday sell one of my borderline-furry stories to a Definitely Furry Market.

Writing for furs versus the larger speculative fiction community can be very different experiences—so different that one switch-hitting author once told me, “You’d think that my furry fans would buy my non-furry work and vice versa, but that’s not the case at all.” When you have stories to tell that could fall in either camp, what’s the best way forward?

I’m sure your opinion gets colored by where you start. I find myself working in general SF and fantasy circles, but then again, I began selling my work well over a decade ago, when I barely even knew what furry was. Besides, when I started, some of my early work sold for one cent a word, which is comparable to what is considered professional rates for writers in the fur community today, 15 years later. And nowadays, when I can sell some pieces for what SFWA defines as professional rates (at least six cents a word), it seems hard to justify sending a borderline-furry story to a furry market that will give me a fraction of that pay.

On the downside, however, it took me many years to build my current network of other writers and editors. In contrast, I suspect that someone who starts off selling fiction in the smaller fur community will likely find it much easier to connect with fellow creators and fans and feel supported at every stage of their career. Sofawolf, one of the most prestigious publishers in the fur community, has a booth at Anthrocon, one of the most prestigious cons in the fandom, that’s staffed by friendly people who are happy to explain their submission process to you. I can’t imagine having the same conversations at a Penguin Random House booth at San Diego Comicon.

The best way forward is also colored by the degree of furriness in what you write. I doubt that Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine would be interested in an erotic love story about a kangaroo male model and a misunderstood muscle tiger, but those borderline-furry stories are definitely another matter. In 2013, I sold my story “The Color of Sand,” which features a single mother and a forgotten human civilization—but also talking sandcats and outright furry TF—to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Never say never.

If your motive is to write strictly for fun and not for profit at all, the considerations get even blurrier. I’ve written and posted fan fiction under other names, both on Fur Affinity (as a fur) and on Fanfiction.net (as a hopeless human weeb). Both experiences have been very positive, with far more feedback given to me than I’ve ever gotten from a general SF or fantasy piece published in any professional venue.

This month, my first print collection of short fiction, The Ramshead Algorithm and Other Stories, releases on January 16. It comes from the world of Regular Science Fiction and Fantasy, but you’ll find several of those borderline-furry stories within. A young man in a damaged family learns of his non-human heritage. A securities lawyer has a double identity as a cat-like being that can fly. And a race of talking sandcats reveals themselves to be powerful magicians to a mother in need.

I suspect that Ramshead will be interpreted and accepted as a not-furry book among the not-furry crowd, the same way some of its component stories have been accepted. However, my next project, a novel I’m going to finish drafting after Ramshead launches, can’t be interpreted that way. That project is unambiguously furry, to the point where I’ve had to explain it to general SF fans as, “Redwall, but with pre-literate, non-Western cultures.” I’ve told so many other stories in the borderline-furry category, I want to see what it’s like to take the plunge.

I’m not sure about Penguin Random House, but maybe Sofawolf would like it.

KJ Kabza has sold over 70 stories to venues such as F&SF, Nature, Strange Horizons, and more. His debut print collection, The Ramshead Algorithm and Other Stories, is available for pre-order now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.

Awareness Week: Author Spotlight – Allison Thai

Welcome to the first FWG Awareness Week! This is a bi-monthly event, run by the moderators in the FWG Slack group (Searska GreyRaven, ritter_reiter, and George Squares) as a way to bring focus to minority culture and writers in furry literature. Through features such as interviews, reading lists, and author AMAs, we hope to provide ample material and a safe, respectful setting for inter-cultural dialogue within our diverse community.

The highlight for January 2018 is Southeast and East Asia, as well as their respective diaspora/immigrant cultures. To launch Awareness Week, we’re happy to present this spotlight interview with Allison Thai! A Vietnamese-American husky with the heart of a dragon, when Allison is not studying for medical school or delighting in all things science, she likes to bury her nose in a good book, scribble in a sketch pad, learn her target languages, swim laps, or spend 99% of her writing time pressing paws to her head trying to think of words to put down. Her anthro stories can be found in Symbol of A NationROAR 8Arcana – Tarot, and Infurno: The Nine Circles of Hell. She has dug out a den for herself on Twitter as @ThaiSibir.

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Author disclaimer: While I am happy and honored to be involved in the awareness project through this interview, I am just one voice. I am just one face on a sociological polyhedron. I don’t claim to represent each and every opinion within my demographic. What it means to be me may not be so for someone else, simply because they are not me.

Tell us briefly about yourself as an author. How long have you been writing? What made you want to start and eventually pursue writing seriously?

I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I remember my first complete work, in third grade, was a comic shamelessly ripping off Treasure Island and Treasure Planet (a movie I still love dearly), only with bugs. I had called it “Treasure Grasslands.” It wasn’t good at all, of course. The doodles were bad. The handwriting was even worse. In middle school I ventured into fanfiction, and enjoyed entertaining readers without pay for the next 10 years. This provided an important foundation and built up my confidence to take the craft and my ambitions to the next level; in 2016 I began to write and get paid for original fiction.

How did you encounter the furry fandom, and what spurred you to contribute to it?

I grew up on Warriors and Redwall books. When I was young I had a hard time making friends and getting along with others, so I turned to books, tales of feral cat clans and brave mice swinging swords. I also grew up on Pokemon and Digimon. These worlds entranced and swept me away beyond the point of return, so my love for talking animals and monsters continues to be a huge influence in my work. Twitter provided me a proper encounter with the term “furry,” as well as the community who pours their love, creativity, and effort into this genre. I wanted to be a part of that community.

According to the creation myth, Vietnamese people are descended from a dragon lord and a fairy queen, and call themselves “children of the dragon.” That makes you/your fursona a dragon, right?

Indeed. I may have the (online) face of a husky, but I am a dragon by blood and heart!

Who are your favorite authors in general? How about your favorite furry authors?

In general, my favorites are C.S Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ken Liu, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Khaled Hosseini, Octavia Butler, George R. R. Martin, Ursula Le Guin, Elizabeth Bear, and Anthony Marra. Within the furry genre (or, at least, what I interpret to be furry), I would say Brian Jacques, Erin Hunter, Richard Adams, David Clement-Davies, and have recently enjoyed reading stories by Ursula Vernon/T. Kingfisher and Mary Lowd.

Your fiction covers many settings and genres, from fantasy to sci-fi to historical fiction, but you often return to Eastern locations in your stories: Russia, Mongolia, China, and of course Vietnam. Have you encountered any challenges in conveying these cultures to an audience which is largely better-versed in Western themes?

Being a diasporic Asian puts me in somewhat of a dilemma. I feel like I am both in and out of the culture I was born into and raised on. There’s always that nagging doubt telling me that being diasporic Asian means I’m not “Asian enough,” or a “real Asian.” Some Asians in Asia, believe it or not, voice that accusation. These mental, internal struggles may be invisible to the reader, perhaps not relatable to someone who’s not an immigrant or a child of one, but they are very real to me.

Regarding Russian and Mongolian history and culture, I’ve been fascinated with them partly because they’re so different from my own. I face the challenge of pulling off a compelling and believable story with this setting, and worry if I did it right. That’s why hearing good feedback from Slavic and Central Asian acquaintances, telling me that they can believe and relate to what the characters are doing, is very satisfying.

As a genre with strong foundations in sci-fi and fantasy (SF/F), furry fiction is well-equipped to explore situations and cultures beyond the norm. Like SF/F, furry fiction can also deal well with stories about diversity and cultural, as well as personal, identity. What has your experience been like writing for a furry audience?

Animals have served very important roles not only as sustenance for our physical and emotional health, but as sustenance for our tales throughout history. Giving animals human-like qualities, making them talk, think, and feel as we do, and making them the stars of their own stories, gives me the opportunity to immerse them in the history and culture that had defined us humans. In these stories, they’re more than beasts of burden or for slaughter. They are the warriors, the heroes, the villains, masters of their fate. I like that the furry audience can accept this without reservation or judgment, and I write freely and have fun knowing that.

You’ve written several historical fiction stories in a furry universe. How was it, integrating historical/cultural themes with anthropomorphic themes? Were there drastic similarities or differences?

When you write about anthropomorphic animals, you take species identity into account. This is what I love most about furry fiction. I love determining what species my characters will be during the outline stage. I love making those traits play a part in their stories, how they perceive events and the world around them. You take body language to a whole new level when you need to consider how the paws, claws, fangs, tails, and fur reflect how the characters think and feel—an editor once offered me to revise and resubmit my piece with this advice in mind, so I can’t stress the importance of the worldbuilding enough. If you don’t put this into effect, make it matter, then you might as well write a story about humans instead. I find this thought process remarkably similar to constructing cultural identity that strongly and plausibly weaves into a story. A furry story works for me when the plot and worldbuilding answers the question “why animals, and not humans?” In the same way, a non-furry story works when it answers “why this voice, and not someone else’s?”

You describe yourself as an “aspiring polyglot,” and you’ve learned Russian, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish. How has learning these languages enriched your understanding of these cultures and their literature/folklore? How does it influence the stories that you tell?

I’ve always had an interest and passion in learning foreign languages. I took on Spanish because it would be very useful, Russian simply because I love the sound of it, and learned them together when I found many striking similarities between the two. Because of my foundation in Vietnamese, spoken Mandarin was more intuitive to me and, contrary to the opinion of many Westerners, somewhat easy to pick up. The challenge is making sure I don’t mix up the pitches and words of these very similar languages! I say “aspiring” because I still have some ways to go. Of the three I’m learning, Russian is the most challenging. If I ever get to master these three, maybe I’ll pick up French or Korean.

Living in a bustling, ethnically diverse city, and with my goal to be a physician, I want to use my language proficiency to break down barriers and provide better, efficient care for patients who can’t speak English. Interpreters can be used, yes, but translating can be cumbersome, and I’ve seen that patients tend to trust and comply more readily with a provider who can speak their language. In terms of literature and storytelling: though I can read Spanish, Cyrillic and pinyin (Romanized Chinese), I have not gotten to the point of understanding original classic texts, though I very much look forward to the day I can. I already know from reading in Vietnamese that you can pick up beautiful prose, rhythm, and nuances that would be lost in English translation.

I don’t factor in languages every time I write a story, though I can think of one I did. I’m working on a short sci-fi that revolves around the way Russians use grammatical rules and different words to talk about animate/living and inanimate/nonliving nouns. The protagonist is a girl who hears voices from her hands and feet, and she talks to them as if they’re animate, but the Russian language dictates that they are inanimate. She (correctly, yet unknowingly) talks to the aliens in her hands and feet as if addressing people, not just body parts.

You often draw on your cultural heritage when writing stories. How has your personal experience as a minority in the US influenced your fiction?

Culture and setting is a core element in my work, whether I’m drawing from my own identity or not. Characters are a product of the people and environment that surround and shape them. I try to keep this in mind as I take them on a journey. Identity doesn’t exist in a vacuum. I don’t just make a fleeting mention of a character’s background and never mention it again, or never have it contribute in some way to the story. That’s not how people in real life think, especially POC. Even as I live in a country no longer bound by laws of segregation, I am constantly aware that I am a POC, for better or worse.

You must have read stories which inaccurately portray Vietnamese culture, or Southeast Asian/East Asian culture in general. Are there any points you’d like to draw attention to for fellow writers to be more aware when portraying these cultures?

I don’t think the problem is so much inaccurate portrayal, but rather not enough portrayal. I just don’t see enough southeast Asian stories as I’d like, and certainly have not seen enough growing up. I feel that southeast Asian culture is often shunted to the side, overshadowed and overlooked compared to the the more prevalent and popular east Asian narrative, cultures and settings, or the white lens. With Vietnam in particular, too often I’ve seen it reduced to some exotic, hostile, degenerate backdrop for Vietnam War stories. I keep seeing in these stories, told from the American perspective, how strange and ugly Vietnam is and how they’re aching to finally get home after blasting those Vietcong scum to kingdom come. Honestly, reading about any departure from this would be welcoming.

I can’t speak for the huge spectrum of Asian culture, but I can speak with more confidence regarding Vietnamese culture: people are constantly relating to themselves and addressing others according to age. Perhaps you know about Japanese honorifics. Vietnamese’s complex pronoun system is somewhat like that. In Vietnamese, there’s no single word for “I” or “you.” The use varies based on who you’re talking to, if they’re older or younger than you or your parents. As my parents get older it’s getting harder to tell which adults are their senior, and wrongly addressing them by accident have made for several funny bouts of embarrassment. It’s like the military, where you almost always end your sentences in some form of address to be proper and respectful. Definitely take age dynamics and respect for that hierarchy into account.

Also, if you want to try your hand at diasporic culture: consider disparities in language and attitude between the overseas and mainland communities. Language and attitudes change over time, right? Sometimes they’re preserved. My mom told me that the Vietnamese-American community, many of them refugees who fled Vietnam in the 70s-80s, continue to speak Vietnamese used before the fall of Saigon. They pass that way of speaking to their children, and so on. Meanwhile in the mainland, standardized Vietnamese continues to change and evolve, with some words falling out of fashion and others coming into popular use. Northern dialect prevails in the mainland, while the southern dialect stubbornly persists among the refugees. We on the other side of the world aren’t really “keeping up with the times.” Geographic distance maintained this difference. If my family were to visit Vietnam now, we likely wouldn’t understand half of what the mainlanders are saying.

Which of your works are you proudest of?

As of this interview I’m quite proud of writing “Malebolge,” a short story about a female Vietnamese-American pathologist who can hear microorganisms talk. They speak on behalf of Death, who takes advantage of the protagonist’s depression and grief for her dead brother and tries seducing her to its side permanently via suicide. It’s probably my weirdest, experimental, and most personal story to date, combining microbiology, Dante’s Inferno, and American Pie. Submitting this story got me accepted into Viable Paradise, a science fiction + fantasy writing workshop akin to Clarion and Odyssey with the rigorous selection process, curriculum, and how it fosters a sense of community among writers.

“Solongo,” a story about a Mongolian wolf, also has a special place in my heart. It won first place for fiction in my university’s writing contest. Winners presented their entries at the English Honors Society induction ceremony, so I got to read my story loud. Then it went on to get published in Wolf Warriors III.

Any parting words of advice for other aspiring writers, especially minority writers, in the fandom?

If I may borrow the invaluable insight Ken Liu had shared with me: don’t get confused between goals and milestones. A goal might be, among endless possibilities: “x words a day,” “complete NaNoWriMo,” or “at least one short story per month.” A milestone could be winning an award, or getting accepted and published in your dream venue, or signing up with your dream agent. If the milestone happens, great! But that’s not where you should focus your energy and sights on. Milestones are not within your control. Awards often have voting committees. Editors and agents are, well, not you, the author. Work on your goals: something you can reasonably achieve within your power. It doesn’t have to be big. And don’t make it too ambitious. You’ll set yourself up for disappointment that way.

For the marginalized and the minorities: Be true to yourself, believe in yourself, and have the confidence that you know yourself best. Listen carefully, appreciate, and learn from valid thoughtful criticism regarding craft, but don’t let others police the imprint of your identity in your work. Don’t let others say that your characters and setting “aren’t x enough,” or “if you did this and this, that will satisfy my idea of your background” or “it’s too y for the x audience to relate to.” Furthermore, you will get criticism even from those who share your background. That can hurt. But be ready for that, and keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all voice for a community defined by ethnicity, faith, clinical condition, gender, or sexual orientation. You can never please everybody. Might as well stay true to your vision and how you want to make your voice heard.

 

Discuss this article on the Guild forums, or learn more about Allison on her website.

The FWG in 2018

It’s been a while since there’s been a blog post here, and we don’t “peel back the curtain” too much. So let’s pull up a chair and chat.

In mid-2017, the FWG presidency passed from Watts Martin (“Chipotle”) to Madison Scott-Clary (“Makyo”) without an election, as Makyo ran unopposed. Watts became the FWG’s first vice-president, and for somewhat arcane technical reasons, Renee Carter Hall (“Poetigress”) became the FWG’s first treasurer.

A few months later, though, Makyo resigned for personal reasons, and Chipotle—that’s me!—took over the office of president again in late September.

So. Let’s talk about where the FWG is, and what we’d like to do in 2018.

Our growth has slowed recently, but we have over 150 members, and the furry publishing scene has changed dramatically in the last couple of years:

  • We have more publishers than ever! Along with stalwarts Sofawolf, Rabbit Valley, and FurPlanet, we have Thurston Howl Publications, Weasel Press, Goal Publications, and more.
  • FurPlanet’s Argyll imprint is making inroads with mainstream SF readers, launching novels The Tower and the Fox and Kismet beyond the furry con circuit.
  • The Coyotl Awards have been recognized outside furry fandom. Lawrence Schoen’s Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, a Nebula nominee and Coyotl winner from Tor (the largest genre publisher in the world), mentions the Coyotl win in the paperback release.
  • After a long drought, we’re starting to see more periodical short story markets, rather than just anthologies.

The VP, according to the FWG bylaws, doesn’t do a whole lot, and the President probably does a little too much. Makyo didn’t get to update the blog with the traditional monthly posts—the Book of the Month and the member news updates—and I haven’t done it since myself. There are a few reasons for that.

First, let me be honest: I wasn’t prepared to step back into the president’s role, and I’ve been playing catch-up for months. I’m not proud of that, but I’m working to fix it.

Now, though, let me be candid. Those monthly member news posts are a lot of work for, according to the analytics, very little engagement. The number of people who’ve asked about why we haven’t done one since July is zero. So at this point, I’m not inclined to resume them, and will instead focus on keeping the web site market listings up to date.

We do need to get back to doing Book of the Month posts, and those will resume later this month. We’re also scheduling a guest post, and I’d like to start getting more of those, as well as producing the occasional focused article like the contract post from 2016. (By the way, if you’re one of the—two, I think—people who send in an unused guest post, we’ll finally be in touch.)

Beyond that, I’d like to kick off a couple other long-delayed initiatives.

I’ll talk about others later, but here’s the big one: we need to find a way to allow self-published authors into the FWG. I recognize that the Guild is loosely modeled on the SFWA (SF & Fantasy Writers of America), and the FWG’s original intent was to push a notion of professionalism in furry writing. But is someone who had two stories accepted by nonpaying markets more “professional” than an indie author selling thousands of copies? Right now, our rules say yes.

The SFWA accepts self-published authors now (in no small part due to the work of FWG member—and former SFWA VP—M.C.A. Hogarth), using revenue-based qualification: your self-published title must make a minimum of $3000 in one 12-month period, the same amount as it would need to have earned in royalties from a traditional publisher. We could just follow that lead with a smaller amount (say, $250 or $300)—that’s essentially how our present-day qualifications came about. But is that the right approach?

This rubs against some underlying questions about just what the Guild should do. The SFWA came into existence to advocate for writers with—and when necessary, against—publishers. Realistically, even if we wanted to, we’re not in a position to do that. But if we’re not a writers’ union, are we aspiring to be one? And what are we now? “The FWG is elitist” is a common knock from non-members; are we? Or do we just have to accept that any organization with membership qualifications, rather than being open to all, will be seen as “elitist” by some?

If you’re reading this (especially if you’ve gotten this far), you’re interested in this topic–so please join us on the FWG Forum or the FWG Slack Workspace, where most of the discussion happens. (If you’re not familiar with Slack, it’s a private chat system; it’s not like signing up for a new social network like Twitter or Facebook, but more like signing into a private IRC server.)

Guild news, June/July 2017

Apologies for doubling up this month. It’s been a bit hectic!

New members

We had two new members join the FWG in May, and two in June: welcome to Tyler David “T.D.” Coltraine, Tom “Killick” Mullins, Jelliqal, and Terry Michael Gildow! If you’d like more information about joining, read our membership guidelines.

2016 Cóyotl Awards

The 2016 Coyotl Awards, the literary awards voted on by the Furry Writers’ Guild Members, were awarded May 28 at Furlandia in Portland, Oregon. Winners were:

  • Best Novel: The Digital Coyote, Kris Schnee
  • Best Novella: The Goat, Bill Kieffer
  • Best Short Story: “400 Rabbits,” Alice “Huskyteer” Dryden (appearing in the anthology Gods With Fur)
  • Best Anthology: Gods With Fur, edited by Fred Patten

The Cóyotl Award web site has the full list of nominees and video of the ceremony.

Member news

Madison Keller’s book Dragon Fried Cheese, the third in her Dragon Tax series, was released in May.

Werewolves vs. Fascism contains stories by several guild members, including NightEyes DaySpring, Amy Fontaine, Gullwolf, Mary E. Lowd, Televassi, and Allison Thai.

Frances Pauli’s story “Interviewing Dora” appeared in Daily Science Fiction in May, and her flash piece “Owning the Dragon” appeared in Flash Fiction Online in June.

Mary E. Lowd’s story “True Feast” appeared in the first issue of Typewriter Emergencies, the “furry lit” magazine from Weasel Press. In addition, her story “An Aldebaran Sugar Cookie for Star Shaker” appeared in Fantasia Divinity Magazine and her flash piece “Birthday” appeared in Every Day Fiction.

Allison Thai’s flash story “Tucked in the Folds of Our Eyes” was accepted at Remixt Magazine, and her story “The Same Within” was accepted to Wolf Warriors IV.

Bruno Schafer’s story “Divide Between Light and Shadow” was accepted for Wolf Warriors IV.

CopperSphinx’s illustration and poem were printed in Furlandia 2017’s program book.

New markets

The third volume of Civilized Beasts, the furry poetry anthology, is open for submissions. Payment: copies only (profits are donated to charity). Deadline: November 1, 2017. Editor: Laura Govednik. Publisher: Weasel Press. Details.

A Sword Master’s Tale is an anthology looking for furry stories whose primary characters are expert sword-wielders. (All genres are acceptable if those conditions are met). Length: 3,000–12,000 words. Payment: ½¢/word. Deadline: November 1, 2017. Details.

Typewriter Emergencies is an ongoing market (published twice a year worth highlighting again). Payment: 1¢/word. Deadline: September 29, 2017. Publisher: Weasel Press. Details.

We update the listings on the FWG web site fairly frequently, so check to see what is (and isn’t) listed there:

Also, Thurston Howl maintains a Google Calendar with submission opening and closings for both furry and “furry-friendly” anthologies.

Remember to keep an eye on the Calls for Submissions thread on the forum, as well as other posts on the Publishing and Marketing forum!

Odds and ends

The Tuesday Coffeehouse Chats continue to take place on the FWG Slack channel, while the Thursday chats continue to take place on the shoutbox.

As usual, we’d like to keep recruiting you to the FWG Goodreads group: add things to our members’ bookshelf (see the instructions here on how to do that), start conversations, draw rabbit ears on other authors’ head shots, and so on.

Have a terrific month! Send news, suggestions, feedback, and cute fursuit pictures to furwritersguild@gmail.com, or leave a comment below.

Book of the Month: The Digital Coyote

June’s Book of the Month is The Digital Coyote, a science fiction novel by Kris Schnee.

Pete signed up to have his brain diced, so he could become a better person. Now he lives in the virtual world of Talespace, where he beta-tests everything from new game rules to mental upgrades to robots that will let his AI boss help people in the real world. As brain-uploading technology starts to become more than a toy for the rich, the now-divided America isn’t the only place where Talespace’s new society, buggy as it is, is badly needed. Will Pete’s new home become an irrelevant gamer heaven, or a force for liberty?

In Talespace you can change your body, fly, build starships, befriend native AIs eager to learn about the dangerous world outside, and try to find a home and happiness. Even if there’s an unexplained asterisk on your account information.

Some days Pete pilots robots on diplomatic missions back “Earthside.” Sometimes he learns magic and battles monsters. Oh, and sometimes he tries to outwit a rival AI god. It’s a pretty good job to have.

The Digital Coyote won the 2016 Cóyotl Award for best novel. It’s the third book in the Thousand Tales setting, but is a standalone work. Buy it in Kindle or paperback from Amazon.

Book of the Month: Kismet

May’s Book of the Month is Kismet, a science fiction novel by Watts Martin.

The River: a hodgepodge of arcologies and platforms in a band around Ceres, full of dreamers, utopians, corporatists—and transformed humans, from those with simple biomods to the exotic alien xenos and the totemics, remade with animal aspects. Gail Simmons, an itinerant salvor living aboard her ship Kismet, has docked everywhere totemics like her are welcome…and a few places they’re not.

But when she’s accused of stealing a databox from a mysterious wreck, Gail lands in the crosshairs of corporations, governments, and anti-totemic terrorists. Finding the real thieves is the easy part. To get her life back, Gail will have to confront a past she’s desperate not to face—and what’s at stake may be more than just her future.

Kismet is available in paperback from FurPlanet and DRM-free ebook from Bad Dog Books, as well as paperback and ebook (in an alternate cover edition) from Amazon.