Zia McCorgi by Cooner

Indigo Rain by Watts Martin [a review]

Indigo Rain was another new release at Further Confusion. I honestly didn’t know much about it before I got to the convention; actually I knew nothing about it. When I heard Watts Martin had written it I was intrigued. He’s a talented writer and I loved his story collection Why Coyotes Howl so I figured I’d pick it up. It is a novella in the Cupcake line so its affordably priced and I knew it would be a quick read.

I’m extremely happy I got a copy. Indigo Rain was an entertaining read. I got it done in two hours on a plane flight to Seattle. It was a good two hours reading, a fun little page turner. If you’re looking for a book to read in a few hours as an enjoyable escape you can’t go wrong with Indigo Rain. Actually, Indigo Rain is a well-made novella worth picking up even if you’re not looking for a short read. You should get it anyway, as it's affordable, accessible, and enjoyable.

So of course my little disclaimer statement goes here: FurPlanet is the publisher of Indigo Rain. They published my book as well and I’m often behind their table selling books and comics. I get no money from sales of Indigo Rain and I don’t know Watts Martin in anyway shape or form outside of seeing him in a crowd. Make of that what you will for my objectivity.

Indigo Rain is about a dancer named Roulette. She is a raccoon, known in the world of this book as procya (this is actually a nice bit of setting work and I won't spoil its usage in the larger work but under a less talented hand this sort of terminology would be a hindrance here its expertly crafted to tell a larger story) from the southern part of the Ranae Empire a larger government we are told little about but we don’t need to know much for the story. She moved to a northern part of the empire to find better employment. It didn’t work out, so she’s taken up street entertainment to support herself and prepare to move on. Her long term goal is to find a wealthy suitor to support her. From these ordinary beginnings Roulette finds herself embroiled in a massive conspiracy and a romance she never intended. Thrust into the role of being a hero, working to save the lives of people she never cared strongly for, and finding herself falling for a female political activist. This is all set up within the first thirty seven pages: Roulette’s goals, the conspiracy's goals, and the romance. We get an excellent introduction to the world, the other characters, and why the political tensions exist. It is all done while we read an engaging story and are entertained with a raccoon dancer trying to make a living and leave the city to her escape from dangerous thugs to the climax of the novella.

In other words Watts Martin has once again proven he is a talented and competent writer. Not only has he written a page turner political thriller novella, he’s made one that is expertly crafted. This story fulfills exactly what a novella should be: a fun quick read that tells a self-contained story. By the end I felt Roulette’s story was done, she had made her journey as a character and she had a reasonable climax and denouement.

The story is indeed self-contained though there is more to the world. A nod is given to this facet when it is mentioned that Roulette can expect a difficult cross examination at the trial and that the budding romance between her and Lisha has plenty of room to be told. While there does not need to be more told about this world, in contrast to Summerhill and Waterways, which I feel are perfect self-contained books, I could see more being done with these characters and setting.

The setting itself implies many more stories and is very well crafted. It has just enough details to set an intriguing stage but not to overload the narrative, a lesson I still need to figure out for my own writing. A magi-technical society can be very hard to present to a reader as its far from the usual tropes (fantasy is medieval and an industrial society does not use magic with modern industrial principal). But it is presented well with technology used in some places and magic used in others. Both technology and magic are used as plot points as well which means the introduction and part of setting the stage is part of the plot. That is an excellent and skillful bit of writing. I am deeply intrigued with how the magic and technology are used. Further, the political stage is key to the larger story. Achoren, the region these events take place in, is part of a larger empire called Ranea. It is not detailed how Achron became part of the empire (politically or militarily) but its clear Achoren is now dealing with the political and cultural changes from integration with the empire. It's an old story of local culture being drowned by the concerns of a larger government. I’d honestly enjoy seeing more of the internal political machinations of this empire.

The major flaw to the book in my opinion, beyond my desire just to see more of it, comes with the romantic sections. Lisha and Roulette have chemistry in the pages but not enough time is given to them to show a real romance blossoming. This means the last few pages come off as a little rushed. I got that there was attraction and chemistry but a little more time for the two would have helped a lot. It is a casualty to the constraints of a novella and the larger story. The romance between Lisha and Roulette isn't part of the larger story, but more a sideline issue. Considering the main character’s earlier internal protests in the first chapter of not being attracted to the same sex, I expected a bit more to this aspect of the story.

Actually it’s the larger problem of the book that all of Roulette’s relationships, romantic or otherwise, seem a little rushed for the larger narrative. That is understandable, as a novella must trade on archetypes for characters due to space constraints. Gregir is a character I absolutely loved for his commentary and jokes was a little underdone in relation to Roulette. He’s obviously helping her for different reasons but there is never enough development with him to really underscore who he is as a person. Considering his status as a major side character this is a shame. That of course might be my internal fan boy speaking. Frankly I wouldn’t mind waking up to a Gregir in my bed. A big burly sarcastic wolf? Delightful and corgi approved.

I also had to wonder about the different anthropomorphic species. Are they all the same race but have cosmetic differences? Do they interbreed regularly? Or are they distinct racial groups that all just happen to be beast people? Do they have their own distinct cultures and histories? Have they warred with each other? One of my biggest personal annoyances is a style of writing where furry characters are the put upon victims of prejudice from the big bad humans. The furry characters are usually shown to be bastions of moral rectitude and the humans to be, for lack of a better term, jerks. Indigo Rain handles this trope better than most stories or books using these themes, in some instances showing humans who are sensible reasonable non-prejudicial people, but I would have enjoyed a little more shading to the furry characters or knowing a bit more if the races are more separate and have their own conflicts or if there are other nonhuman races.

Finally there is the art. Sabertoothed Ermine once again proves she has a great deal of talent and her distinct style really comes through with the posing she gives the characters. I overall love the work but I dislike the first interior illustration. Are writers currently in a contest I didn’t know about where they try to just put in one image per book that would incite blushing on an airplane or reading in public? It is not the most racy image ever but it’s a little questionable considering how tame the rest of the book is in its overall design. I just question the logic of an underwear shot, even one that is well done.

Honestly though the entire work is really good. This is a fine Watts Martin showing and a fun story. The characters come off as at least complicated enough and the story is compelling enough that my minor complaints aren’t that important. This is really a strong showing and worth a purchase. I honestly think considering the quality of the story that it is under charged and a good bargain for entertainment. So get Indigo Rain today and have a great book and quick read on your shelf!
Zia McCorgi by Cooner

Summerhill by Kevin Frane [a review]

So while at Further Confusion 2013 I got a copy of Summerhill by Kevin Frane. I read it on the plane home and could not put it down. So I suppose if you want a quick review I'd say Summerhill is a real page turner with intriguing characters, settings, and ideas. It is completely worth a purchase and I highly recommend it. It is probably going to be a book I'll reread this year and reread again in the future and I loved it.

So let’s get this started before I get any further as always here is my disclaimer: I work at the FurPlanet table at conventions selling books and FurPlanet graciously published my novel. I receive no money or gifts for working at the table and get no cash or items for reviews of their novels. Any sales of Summerhill will profit me only if you by my book alongside it. Further Kevin Frane is a generally cool dude to talk to and I've spoken to him once or twice, and he once gave me a ride to an IHOP but he is not connected to me on any deeper personal levels.

So what is Summerhill about? Roughly Summerhill is about a dog named Summerhill [oh look a titular main character], who doesn't remember his past, on an adventure to figure out himself, see what the world has to offer, and tag along with a woman named Katherine as she runs from the inter-dimensional police. Oh and there is an otter whose body has psychotropic effects on Summerhill. And a telepathic/clairsentient bird creature who likes to freeze Summerhill in suspended states of blue. And a frozen ocean. Oh and an endless city that Summerhill thinks he's from but isn't sure and was so boring it gives him nightmares. Did I mention the cruise ship to nowhere that moves between time, space and the multiverse with a crew of stick bugs, robots, a shapechanging security chief, and the previously mentioned Katherine a hostess on the ship? Oh and Summerhill can also make plants do odd things.

If this is starting to sound a little complicated for a simple story of a dog on an adventure to discover himself that is because it is complicated. That is sort of the point of Summerhill. See part of Summerhill’s awakening to find who he is in the end is based upon the complexity of things around him as he learns to deal with the larger world on his own terms. Something I think everyone can relate to as we grow and change as people over time by being in the world.

The book is a creative romp through the author’s imagination and you almost want to keep reading the book to see what next strange locale or event Summerhill will be in next. Or you would be reading it just for that if the story and character of Summerhill weren't engrossing enough.

Summerhill the novel is experimenting with form and style to tell a larger story it is as much an exploration of the concept of limitless potential as it is a story about Summerhill the dog trying to find himself and figure himself out and how in the end we all have greater potential then we perhaps realized. This makes it a bit different from other furry novels. It has a different structure for the characters and a different style. Is it a massive departure from what has been seen before? I’d argue no, but it is different.

Readers should be warned if you want a tight story that wraps up every loose end and explains things to you Summerhill will not be your cup of tea. The ending of Summerhill is clearly not a traditional ending and not everything will be explained. That is part of the point after all, that Summerhill's story continues on and that there is no easy end. At its heart Summerhill is a truly hardcore science fiction novel. Well speculative fiction I suppose as it is not so much on the science but speculation about larger concepts.

No one should be surprised by this Kevin Frane has made his point well known that he enjoys science fiction as a concept and loves to write in it. I loved his other works Thousand Leaves and Seventh Chakra which are both clearly science fiction novels (though they are both more humanist at their core being more about the people in these science fiction settings and their dealings especially Thousand Leaves Leaves which at its core is about a bunch of normal people struggling against a vast and dangerous conspiracy that threatens society and a disease outbreak... my but Kevin Frane loves complicated concepts that can not be easily digested to a one word sentence). Seventh Chakra still intrigues me for a highly original and overlooked part of science fiction (that of linguistics as a concept). In Summerhill the setting is as much an integral character that shifts and changes as is Summerhill the dog who is tied inextricably to the setting. This is truly good science fiction period and it is the type that forces at least some thought about bigger concepts. You know while marveling at amazing settings and ideas.

Does it always work? No there are points where the narrative is bogged down by setting and a little too overdone on some bits. He sometimes explains things a little too much in my opinion, I’d prefer some more mystery to events and for some things to go unexplained. For a book that has vastly different setting and thoughts from many novels in general it isn’t as obtuse as it could be and perhaps shows a little too much of its hand. I also feel the overall narrative is too linear for the story it is trying to tell. Finally, in a tale about a time traveling inter-dimensional hopping dog from a city on the edge of nowhere who does what he does the story has a very tight progression of events with only one deviation. But these moments are rare enough and the larger work is intriguing enough that I can forgive the flaws. My novel had big flaws and Kevin Frane's other books had flaws as well. The thing is that the more you read his works the more you see the evolution. He's clearly improving and making great strides and this one holds together extremely well. Can flaws be forgiven in the face of obvious hard work and an engaging story? I’d argue yes.

It is also pretty clear reading Summerhill that Mr. Frane has been getting a lot of inspiration from works like Cloud Atlas and the new seasons of Dr. Who and he’s taken the best parts of those to build his book. If you liked those works you'll find this a very good, though still different, companion to those cultural touchstones. There is also a bit of Star Wars in the novel, the opening chapter gave me flashes of the ingenious use of the Mose Isle canteen from A New Hope where the movie demonstrates the vastness of the galaxy by showing multiple and very different races.
I'm going to create a cut section detailing some internal thoughts about the novel. This should be skipped if you care about spoilers.

All that said here is the take away review wise:
If you are looking for something notably different. If you are looking for an engaging book full of hidden details that hint at larger stories, and the thrill of feeling oh so clever for noticing those clues. If you are looking for truly imaginative settings. If you want some oddness in your day and a work that will draw you in and force you to pay attention. If you want any of that then Summerhill is the work for you. I can't help but praise a fantastic novel which seems to fall perfectly into something different from what everyone else is writing in general. Its daring and different and oh so good. Buy Summerhill yesterday.
Zia McCorgi by Cooner

Further Confusion 2013

So I got back from FC 2013 late last night. On Thursday I head to Seattle for ALA Midwinter and hopefully the job placement center will help me.

So an FC con report seems due in my opinion lets get started. Its been a while since I did a conreport anyway.

So to start off with I was actually a bit worried about this con. As in upset stomach and vomiting before I left for the convention. I'm not sure what got me into this mindset but I felt awful and it was all nerves. Further the past few weeks I've been feeling particularly unattractive, unsexy and unwanted. The trip did not start off great the night before the water had to be turned off to the house due to a frozen pipe that had burst.

Then my flight had to be cancelled. As in the plane was grounded and we were taken off the plane as it became clear the flight would not occur. Now at this point I'm a seasoned traveler so after running to get out tot he main desk and stand in line behind five people (better then standing behind dozens of people) I did a little kevetching but I knew I'd be okay. I've wrestled with this before and the stewards and pilot had both said mechanical error which means the airline will do their best to reroute a person. A problem due to weather they can brush off as not their problem. Admitting to a mechanical issue means they must, by contract, do something.

So I got a reroute through American Airlines and I was out a few hours later. I spent some time exploring the Albuquerque Sunport which was nice. I flew into Los Angeles and despite being stuck in a peripheral terminal that I needed to take a bus to get to he main section I was well set. A few hours later and one light rail trip done I was at Further Confusion.

I won't bore you with a total recount so here are the basics.

I saw an incredible amount of good people and acquaintances and people I knew well. I saw friends. I had an amazing time standing around talking, hugging and generally being with people. It was incredibly cool. I got to have a tremendously awesome first night dinner with the erudite TheGneech, his delightful wife, and the always great Sir Fox. We had steak sandwiches. Food wise the FC convention is never lacking in options but we ended up eating twice at the Blue Chip. It had okay food but I didn't love the place. Oddly enough I had no Italian food the entire convention. A rarity for me considering how much i do love pasta. The finaly night I had an amazingly delightful dinner.

Years ago Jakebe joked that he would take me out for a steak dinner and dessert if I got toob's book to sell out at all the cons I attended that year (technically it was FC but that was an easy hurdle as Toob had many close friends in the area already salivating over Smiley and the Hero so I said entire year). I reached the goal and so it was decided food would happen. It might have been a joke but it was incredibly nice. I went with a nice sized dinner party to a really upscale spot and I got a lovely trout, clam chowder and creme brule. It was a very nice dinner where I felt animated and happy. I also felt really special for getting the meal with friends that was sort of centered on me. So that was a big bump up.

I got to see a lot of good friends too and I ran into some people like Blaiddewolf I only knew from online. Naturally I was rooming with Fuzz and Teiran who are always good room mates and close friends. It was great seeing them. I also got to hang out with the incredibly useful and cool ConfusedOO/BuckTurner at the table.I got to have a few really illuminating conversations with Rikoshi as well which were really delightful he's a good writer who is also an antleredfoxwithahuskytail. I left the conversations intrigued. I also ran into my long running crush. At RainFurrest I had finally admitted to my crush of two years who I felt about him. It was not a highlight of that convention (I still had a good time there). Anyway said crush decided to tell me that while he didn't feel that way about me he thought it was very nice I had said that and he wanted to apologize for giving what he felt was a poor initial response. It was a very nice thing to do and he didn't need to do it. I also ran into QuentinCoyote. and we had a nice short chat. He's a good coyote. Graveyard Greg and Threetails were also at the table hawking their new books and we got to talk a little but though not as much as I could have as the convention was busy busy busy. Mary Lowd (the always on the ball writer of Otters in Space who I respect greatly... also you better all have a copy of her book by now), White Yote (an ever cool guy who is always fun to see), and Toob (what needs to be said? the dude is just fun to be around) all stopped by the table to chat as did the very neat Watts Martin

On the book front this convention was a big release convention with thirteen new titles. This included Threetails new book The Goldenlea a new work that was different from her last one Basecraft Cirrostratus. Graveyard Greg's new zombie apocalypse work Carpe Mortis (I can't seem to find a link online in my 2 minuets of searching). Though i admit I am most excited to be reading Indigo Rain a triumphant return of the well talented Watts Martin to furry writing and publishing. The book looks incredible and I'm super happy to get to reading it. A very nice addition to the cupcakes line I'm eager to get to read. And Rukis' new novel Heretic (i'll post a link sooner or later) as well as several comics. I also got to talk to Bellua a bit the awesome big lion writer about some of his new projects.

Of course the big book at the table was the new work by Rikoshi. Summerhill. Not only has it been a few years coming but it came out in a lovely hard cover format. Frankly from all that I heard about the work I was excited to see it. Summerhill did not disappoint in the slightest in my opinion. I did a little steal reading at the table and I finished it off today after reading the bulk on the way home. Sales were incredible and I did barely anythign to get it out the door. The hardcovers were great and people were excited. I highly recommend this novel!

Sofawolf of course had the latest Kyell Gold book Divisions which was I'm sure a gangbuster success. I didn't have much time to check out their table and its rude to ask I suppose. Still its the third part of an overwhelmingly successful Tetralogy (though its rumored it will go to a five part series now). I did see a copy of New Fables 2012 and i was needless to say delighted to see the collection as New Fables are some of my favorite works put out by Sofawolf (I bought a copy obviously).

I even got some fun art for myself and got to fanboy over some favorite artists like TK Dye, Simpson, Cooner, K-9, Idess and Teaselbone.

The only major downside was how short the entire con felt and the hotel's serious need for repairs. the dealer's room on the first day was unbearably hot due to a broken temperature system which caused it to be so hot we were all ready to collapse. I'm sure it depressed sales greatly. Several people got cold showers after exiting that terrible day. I hear several conference rooms had the same problem. the elevators were also difficult to work with and our room had signs of obvious wear and tear damage including a difficult temperature control. Now I admit after my last post this is odd to say but I can be flexible about temperature. I have my settings i'm comfortable with but I'm comfy with a lot of ranges so I can live with it. Still this was a clear problem

The trip home was sad, I was already missing people by the time I got through security but I found Bravopup and Vermy Fox and I saw the Blotches and some other furs so it worked out. The trip home was uneventuful despite having to take a propplane out of Denver. I spent most of it reading the excellent new release Summerhill which was a great read and near impossible to put down.[but it today!]

And that was FC only ALA midwinter which I leave for this Thursday... whee?
Zia McCorgi by Cooner

Normal People

So my brother decided to talk to me about the thermostat today.

You see the house we share right now is a great house and part of the joy is that it has two different thermostats so the house can be different temperatures. The house can be sectioned off you see to contain different levels of hot and cold. This is a good thing. Now I have this thing. I like to turn the thermostat down while I go to sleep in bed. I like putting layers of blankets on the bed and I have an electric blanket too.

I realize not everyone does this but my parents did it too (part of the fun of having separate thermostats in the house their section was always a different temperature) as does my Grandma and most of my aunts. Its part comfort and partly their argument that it saves money on gas and heating bills. I find the later specious (do you really save that much money doing that as opposed to the inevitable costs of heating the house back up?), but again I find it comfortable.

I recognize not everyone does this or enjoys this way of sleeping I'm positive this will not be the way I'll live most of my life depending on who I date or live with, that said it isn't exactly uncommon either.

Now I understand that when guests come to the house and have to sleep over they need to sleep in my part of the house. So I'm willing to agree to having the thermostat higher for those cases, granted its a habit so sometimes I'll forget too so its reasonable to talk about it before guests come.

Still when one starts a conversation with "Normal people don't do that." or "Normal people keep the house at a minimum of 68 degrees" I find that a little annoying and offensive. Maybe I'm being oversensitive but it seems wrong to couch your argument in those terms. It seemed like he was accusing me of being abnormal and out of step on my heating choices. Further because he's known me most of my life it felt like the sort of statement to dredge up my old insecurities form when I was younger and my fears about being alone and having no friends to make his argument. Again I might be oversensitive.

I realize this is a silly thing to write about but it annoyed me. Further he kept on that point for a while instead of negotiating or ending the conversation. So there is that.

Also is it wrong that he brings up two people are coming over to watch the football game and all and then mention just as a whole crowd comes that it will be 20? I suspect the group was sort of unplanned but I'm in a mood to complain.
Zia McCorgi by Cooner

Changing Traditions

So I never realized how important it was to me until today.

You see the old family tradition was that after Thanksgiving, the next day, Black Friday, we would decorate the house for Christmas.

Christmas is my Mom's favorite holiday and she makes a big to do with a huge amount of decorations. We all work hard but by the end the house is very festive and ready for the holiday. Its a lot of work and it can be hard but its great to get it done and we listen to old records and talk and chat as we do it.

We put up the tree this year but my Mom had been told by my Brother that his girlfriend wanted to decorate the house. As we are living in her house but she has moved to Seattle my Mom felt this was overall fair. So my mom decorated her house with my Dad and we put up the tree (we use artificial trees in our family due to an allergy to pine needles that tends to hit a lot of members).

Mom and Dad left Sunday. It was an amazingly nice visit with them. We had this great time talking and cooking and just clearing the air of bad things and making some good memories in our comfortable house. I'll admit I was sad to see them go.

Then today I find out that my Brother lied about his girlfriend she really isn't that into Christmas decorations and never cared that much. My brother just said it because he hated doing all that work on Black Friday.

So now we have all these boxes of decorations that I want up and the usual four to five person job has essentially been left to me. Brother has no interest in decorating and his girlfriend is tepid about it. I want the decorations up so I suppose I have to do the work to get it done.

At the same time I'm just sad doing the decorations by myself just reminds me of a lot of good years with my parents. A lot of these are ornaments that are attached to those memories too. The entire thing is just making me sad as I try to do it and i don't want to be sad doing something that is fun but I miss my parents being around. We're a close family. So now I don't know what to think and I know I dont have the good decorator eye my mom has so i worry nothing looks good and the living room is a mess of boxes.

Maybe I should just take the dog for a walk and come back to this...
Zia McCorgi by Cooner

On Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy was probably one of the worst storms in my living memory and in recent history to strike the North East Coast.

Normally late season hurricanes swing out into the Atlantic or hit the mid Atlantic states. This also merged with a terrible winter storm.

Sandy also struck at the worst time. During a high tide. Under a full moon. Sandy had developed a massive storm surge as well. This caused flooding that exceeded the city of New York's expectations. It flooded a key form of infrastructure that is highly vulnerable to salt water: the subway system.

It has decimated Atlantic City and destroyed infrastructure in New york and New Jersey as well as flooded parts of Virginia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. It dumped snow and cut power in Ohio and West Virginia.

By every account Staten Island had it the worst. The sometimes insular island with only one major bridge The Verizano which was damaged in the hurricane and unreachable on either side due to flooding and wind damage locking it off, and a few minor connections from ferries and other smaller bridges, was terrible damaged and a lot of people did need heed the evacuation. The majority of the deaths in New York state were on Staten island which rescue workers and others had trouble reaching due to its hard to reach state.

It was a terrible storm and there is every indication that it will take decades to truly repair the damages. Lives and property were lost on a staggering scale. The reciprocity the states rely upon, the system by which states loan crews of trained people and supplies to each other during a crisis, has been stretched due to the sheer size of states affected. New Mexico and California are sending people to help.

But the states will survive and thrive. New York and New Jersey are rebuilding and in this storm there are stories of tremendous heroism, competency, and skill. To think that if this storm had struck a few decades ago we wouldn't have had the warnings we had that did save lives. Yet still despite the terrors of that storm lives were saved by dedicated men and women working for that goal is a great thing.

We'll be able to rebuild despite the power of this storm. Sandy will not break New York. It will now bow New Jersey. It shall not crack Maryland. The people that form those states are strong and despite how odd this storm was historically this too shall pass.
Zia McCorgi by Cooner

Era of Peace

The thing many of us forget in the age of the 24 hour news cycle where the phrase "if it bleeds it leads" seems to be a dogma and historical perspective is lost is that by any measurement we live in one of the most peaceful eras in human history. In the USA violent crimes and sexual crimes have been dropping every year and are at the lowest point since the FBI started measuring them (back in the era when lynching wasn't exactly punished). We are at one of the most peaceful eras as well. There are fewer wars, fewer riots and fewer dictatorships then at any point in recorded history.

Are there problems? Yes, clearly there are violent groups, terrorists, psychopaths, government agents willing to abuse their power, corporate agents seeking short term profit on the back of long term pain, tensions all over the world. No one could claim there isn't a great deal of work to be done. Justice remains a commodity in short supply, respect is hard to garner, and equality for all people is a concept we must constantly struggle with.

However, in any objective perspective humanity has done a lot to improve where it was and no one group can truly take credit. We have all played a part in creating and sustaining a healthier, happier, and more peaceful world. I think back to the famous Kennedy speech when Kennedy took the nomination of the Democratic Party in 1960. The New Frontier speech as it has been called where he talked about a new land of undiscovered potential, thought, and innovation. He called for the young at heart regardless of age to be pioneers on that new frontier and despite the tragedies, the calamities, the pain, the foolishness and everything else since that speech to me it speaks to the higher goals. We are moving forward and I believe there is every chance that this new frontier will continue to inspire us towards greater opportunities.

Winter Games [A review]

So I've been traveling the past few weeks and now I'm back home. No more trips for me but it did give me time to catch up on some reading and my furry book pile had been building up.

So naturally I got a new book to read first and foremost. Kyell Gold's new cupcake Winter Games and I finished it within a day of starting it. I think I clocked in at four to five hours tops. It was truly a page turner for me.

In brief I supremely enjoyed this outing by Mr. Gold. I think this might be his strongest cupcake storywise and a fun novella in general. I think it is excellent and worth a purchase even if you're not a fan of Gold's work.

More detailed thoughts and spoilers after the cut but here is the basic idea: A guy makes a terrible mistake in his final year in high school which affected him and those around him deeply. Fifteen years later he has the rare chance to come to a resolution for a mistake that has scared him.

[Disclaimer: Furplanet published my novel Save the Day and I often work behind the Furplanet table at conventions. If you feel that unfairly tinges my reviews or makes me less trustworthy in these matters then you are free to disregard my opinion. I received no remuneration for this review and I purchased the book myself]

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Overall I loved Winter Games and I give it my highest rating possible. I think it might be my favorite Kyell Gold book. I had a great time with this story and I recommend it to everyone who has a chance of reading it. This is a fantastic book. I loved the ending and the style of this novel and the characters. Who doesn't regret some of their acts in high school?

Anyway I loved this book and I recommend everyone reading any of this entry to get a copy.
Zia McCorgi by Cooner

(no subject)

In other news I finished my final for the online class I was taking. I'm positive I did well on it and I was getting a 98% in the class so even if it isn't great it won't kill my GPA.
Zia McCorgi by Cooner

Rocky Mountain Fur Con

So this weekend I was at Rocky Mountain Fur Con.

I had a great time.

In my past experiences at the convention I wasn't as impressed with RMFC. I thought it had some poor management mistakes that caused annoyances, such as one year when minor badges were not clearly marked as different from general badges.

So teirandragon picked me up from my place after he had driven a long distance. We spent most of the drive talking over story ideas and hammering out details for Tales of the Extraordinary. Its taking a while to get it right but I think we got closer.

The convention itself was a lot of fun and I got to room with the awesome artist Idess and her beau as well as their dachshund dog Chloe. They were good room mates and fellow dealer den folks so we worked out things very nicely.

The Dealer's Den was a hive of activity this year. I remarked a few months ago how strong sales were at Anthrocon for FurPlanet, at least in my uninformed opinion as just a salescorgi, similarly this year at RMFC it was incredibly good sales. We emptied a few boxes but things didn't sell out for the most part so I think enough was brought. That is always a difficult matrix to get right at a convention. Blacksad again sold out at the convention but only late on Sunday.

The one title that sold out quick was Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites a fantastically creepy and well made horror comic. I bought the last copy for myself. I'll do a review of it soon. Trust me though you all want a copy.

I also got to be the microphone corgi for Unsheathed this year which was a surprise. I had never done that before and actually I didn't know it was my job until after I got the microphone. It was a good show of Unsheathed as well and I had fun listening to it.

I got to see some good friends as well. Sell some books. Talk shop with some people and I got an adorable corgi sketch from Idess. All around a very fun convention. I wish I had sold more of my book but honestly I'm shocked I sold any of it as this was the third year it was at the convention.

On the drive home Teiran and I talked shop a bit more discussed some truly delightful plans with the villain Profesor Maestra and listened to an audio book edition of Confessions of a D-List Supervillain by Jim Bernheimer. It was a fun book overall to listen to and perfectly in the superhero genre.

It is a little hard to settle in back home but I'm trying. Dreading the weekend when Sister dear comes for a visit.