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Edited by Tim Susman
Rukis' 2016 art collection
Lots of Good, Some Less So
(sorry for the wall of text that the site will turn this into. I tried to break it up as best I could with ^^^^^) I got this book at AnthroCon 2010 and read it pretty quickly afterwards. I had reviewed it once before but that review has since been deleted so now I am writing it out again almost a year after reading the book.
All in all, for the first ever furry fiction I have read, I was surprised and pleased with most of the stories in this collection. That said, where it fell short, it really fell short. Let me break down some of the stories for you (with no spoilers I hope):
"A Close Port of Call"-If there is one story that dragged this collection down, it's this one. Much like the opening dj or band that comes on before the ACTUAL opening band at a concert, perhaps that was the reason. There is just no engaging conflict in this story. Yes, it's about a Zebra's fear of predators, but it's executed poorly. Couple that with the crisis that happens, which falls extreamly flat, this story just doesn't engage. When you can solve a world destroying crisis by walking (or rather floating) down a hallway to grab an e-reader, punch in a code, and horray, that's it...well, yeah. Congrats, they put themselves in danger by walking down a hallway...
"The Clockwork Mind"- Was a fairly interesting story. The setting was well done and the world was engaging. The main character was interesting to read, and his interactions with the world around him was also engaging. It spoke a fair bit about parenthood as well as human nature. Overall I enjoyed this story and even a year later remember it well.
"A Song for Pandora"- I really enjoyed this story. I thought I was a well written work that did an excellent job world building as well as bringing all the characters to life. They are likable, they evolve over the course of the story, and in the end you can understand why they do what they do. (especially the main character) The plot was stunning, and the ending brought everything full circle in a nice, neat package. This is easily one of my favorite stories in this collection and will gladly read it again.
"Hyperstream"- Was really well written. I don't really have a lot to say in regards to it except that I enjoyed reading it, the descritions were well done, and the plot was simple and beautifully executed. The dancing metaphor was easily my favorite part of this story.
"Kerner's Bad Day"- Unfortunatly for this story, the writing drags down what could have been an interesting story. There were multiple points in this story where I was forced to read and then reread parts to understand just what the heck was going on. It seemed as if the story was meant to be for a larger work where the world could have been explained a lot better and instead was chopped (and not too carefully) down to fit the word count of this anthology. The concept was interesting, especially with the way the dragons played their part in the world. However this story just didn't seem to flow that well and I just wanted to skip it instead of continuing to read it.
"Warm Exodus"- The only story in this collection that brought about an emotional response. That said, I'm a sucker for martyrs, and this story has that in spades. The world was interesting, the characters even more so, and the plot was fairly enjoyable. The only complaint I had with this story is that the dialogue seemed...off at points. But in the end, it didn't take away from the story all that much, and I still found myself reading it to find out where it went whenever I had a spare moment at work.
In the end, this collection is really well put together for Bad Dog Book's first anthology of non-erotic works. I have lent it to my best friends which says a lot in the end. The stories are interesting, and even with the less than perfect ones, the anthology is still pretty good. I recommend it, more so if you are a furry.
I was hoping for something more.
I believe this was Bad Dog Books first venture into a non-erotic collection, and they didn’t exactly knock it out of the park. Though the book did have two good stories, one being “A Close Port of Call”, a tale about a zebra morph who must deal with his natural fear of carnivores when a lion captain docks his ship at the port and starts sending mixed signals. The other story that caught my attention was “Warm Exodus”, a tale of a young wolf who leaves his village on a quest to save hundreds all because of an alien presence he can’t see. The problem is that other than “A Close Port of Call”, none of the stories in this collection were the kind of standouts that warrant dropping twenty dollars down for a purchase, and the other stories just weren’t memorable enough to mention.
Furry story anthology around the theme of Legends.
Furry story anthology around the theme of Games.
Furry story anthology around the theme of Secrets.