As mentioned in a previous post of mine, there are quite a few writers out there that both are part of the furry fandom and write furry fiction – that is, fiction that features anthropomorphic animals largely in some fashion – and while they may not be the power house tour-de-force that furry artists or fursuit makers are, they’re still out there, and there are many furs that enjoy their work. So, just as with my other topics, we’re going to take a look at a few furry writers today. Now I’ll admit, I am not quite as well read with furry fiction as I ought to be, so I learned about quite a few interesting writers while digging around for this article. With that being said, let’s get started.
So you might be wondering what kind of stories us furry writers make. All kinds actually – from sci-fi to fantasy, slice of life to post apocalyptic, it seems as if there’s almost any kind of story out there for those looking for a little more fur to their fiction. Some writers even seem to write across different genres, as you’ll see here, and myself as a writer have all kinds of fiction planned that takes the same pool of characters and throws them into different realities that take place in different genres. Let’s take a closer look at some furry writers I’ve taken note of.
Ready, Down, Hut!
I feel that in any discussion of furry fiction it’s almost criminal not to mention Kyell Gold. Known largely for his Out of Position series, this writer has won several Ursa Major Awards – an in-fandom award program for excellent works covering several categories such as music, gaming, fiction, and so on – for both his novels and short fiction. So what is it that Gold writes that makes it so darn good? Well, from what I’ve seen his aforementioned Out of Position series is one of the major draws. Taking place in his “Forester Universe,” where his contemporary fiction happens, it features the football playing tiger Dev and his boyfriend fox Lee and the struggles and issues they face as a gay couple. Oh yes, I should probably mention that a lot of Gold’s work features gay couples in some shape or another.
I’ve seen many-a-furry with the Out of Position books in their collection, though be warned as there are some adult scenes in the book, so if the idea of human-like animals being intimate turns you away you might want to be careful. However Gold does write books that still feature gay characters while remaining accessible to all viewers. Take The Time He Desires (2016) that follows the story of Aziz, a Muslim cheetah who is struggling in both his marriage and his pawn shop business. But leave it up to a gay fox in a failing relationship to help teach Aziz how to potentially save his own religion. Want more of a fantasy flavor? That’s okay too, as his “Agraea Universe” takes place in the magical realm of Agraea and consists of both short fiction and novel. So it seems like whether you prefer fiction or contemporary, Gold has you covered.
Gold also seems pretty active in the community as well; not only can you catch what cons he’s going too by checking out his Twitter Feed, but he also has his very own website. In addition, he was one of the furry writers that helped to host RAWR, a getaway-like event that’s focused on assisting other furry writers improve their craft.
A Furred Flash
While Eduardo Soliz might not be the juggernaut of the furry fiction world that Gold is, he’s no less got some interesting things about him that also stretch past the written word. Not only does he have his own blog that seems to be updated frequently, but he’s also got some podcasts series that he runs as well. There’s 300 Seconds With Eduardo Soliz, a personal podcast where he talks about various topics; Super Short Story Time with Eduardo Soliz that’s hosted on SoundCloud and features him reading his own fiction; and then there’s Con Talk where he talks about fan conventions in the San Antonio area as well as other geeky topics.
Soliz seems to host most, if not all, of his fiction on his personal blog that doubles as his own personal site, and from what I’ve seen it covers multiple genres as well as some featuring non furry characters. One of my favorites was “First Impressions”, where a wolf brings a deer home for dinner…and boy does Soliz have fun with the potential pun lying in wait there. A lot of his fiction is what you’d call “flash fiction” – that is really short stories that you can reach the end of in a few minutes. Though that doesn’t make them any less entertaining, and if you find yourself liking them Soliz has a few collected in a couple eBooks as well.
Soliz has also done his own time for the furry community as well, as a few of his stories were actually written for a few furry cons – see, furry cons usually have a theme that changes each year, and so Soliz has lent his pen time and again to help craft some neat stories to go along with these theme changes. There’s “All’s Well That Ends Well” (2012) for Furry Fiesta 2012 that featured a “Beyond Thunderdome” theme (As well as being Soliz’s first furry con ever); “Poker Face” (2014) for Oklacon’s “The Good, The Bad, and The Furry” theme; and “Epiphany” (2015) for once again Furry Fiesta, this time in 2015 for their “Out of the Inkwell” theme, which was Toontown inspired.
If you’re looking for something short, but sweet, I’d definitely give Soliz’s work a read.
Spectral Shadows of Old
Perri Rhoades might not have the medals and achievements of the other furry writers featured in this article, but that doesn’t make her fiction anything to sneeze at by any means. Her fiction is her life’s work, taking on the form of a story named Spectral Shadows that I was introduced to by Rhoades years ago and fell in love with almost instantly once I got around to it. Originally conceived as an art rock show where costumed performers would pantomime to music, it eventually took its current form as a lengthily web serial released for free to the public. The story, as simply put as I can manage, features deer brothers Jon and Rael Ommandeer who, along with their human friend Christine Rhaodes, go on adventures that stretch throughout time and space. And I say simply because each part – or “serial” – in Spectral Shadows has all kinds of characters, adventures, and stories of their own. Rhoades also seems fond of “genre busting” and will smash genres and concepts together to make them into her own unique cocktails – and if you tell her she can’t she most definitely will just to prove you wrong. Her first serial, Children of The Ommadawn, reads like a sort of Bambi fanfic with mystical elements, only to spring a good dose of science fiction in at the end of the serial; then there’s The Planet of Genetic Misadventure, the 11th planned serial (but really the third one she’s worked on) that starts out as a takeoff of old soap opera shows but eventually incorporates mystery, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and whatever else Rhoades manages to get her paws on. I should warn though to not let the cute cartoon aesthetic of the art fool you – Rhoades isn’t kidding when she says the story has adult themes, as the violence in the story can be quite visceral, and there is a decent dose of sexual themes in Serial 11.
The series also features a Radio Serial type aesthetic, as Rhoades was a fan of radio serials growing up – hence why parts are referred to as “serials” and chapters referred to as “episodes.” Some serials even have a radio opening to go along with it, and the story is even supposed to be a novelization of a long-lost radio program and even has its own fictional history. Also if you like progressive rock you’ll find lots of references to it sprinkled throughout the series.
Spectral Shadows was hosted on LiveJournal until recently, when Photobucket decided that you had to have a subscription to host pictures on other sites. Rhoades had the illustrations of the series hosted on PB, and so her blog suddenly was covered with nasty ads for PB premium accounts. Fortunately, you can still find the story on her Fur Affinity, though you might need an account to read the more adult episodes, and work is being done to transfer the story in its length over to a new site hosted on WordPress. So take your very own space/time trip today!
The Adventures Continue
While this was a short list, hopefully it gave you a bit of an idea of the various kinds of furry fiction that’s out there. And if you’re looking for a place to start, check out this list on Goodreads.com. You’ll quickly see that there’s way more to the furry fiction scene than just these three writers, and some online publications, such as the furry news/blog site Flayrah, have their own reviews of furry fiction. For me personally it’s an interesting thing to write with animal characters – it almost seems like you can get at different themes and issues and ideas easier using animal characters, something that us furry writers are no stranger to; Gold’s work features characters that struggle with their gay identity, and Rhoades uses her fiction to have her characters discuss multiple social, political, and otherwise topics – though fortunately it really is staged as a discussion and doesn’t just feature one character soap boxing ala John Galt. Seriously Ayn Rand, 60 pages?
Read any fiction by furry writers? See anything that you like either here or on the Goodreads list? Sound off in the comments below and let me know! As always, thank you for reading, and I will see you all in the next chapter.