War. War never changes. Obvious Fallout reference aside, and yet it’s a subject that our fandom never fully explored. Especially in an anthology, but that changes. The new war theme anthology The Dogs of War is OPEN FOR SUBMISSION. Headed by our own Fred Patten, this anthology, as stated, covers the topic of war, but that doesn’t mean every story has to be your typical “war” story.
These [stories] may be serious or humorous, featuring battle action or the boredom of peacetime, from grim battlefields to recruiting stations. Warfare from Bronze Age battles to Middle Ages warfare to far-future interstellar battles. Anything with a military or army (or navy) theme and animal characters.
You are free to tell your war story the way you want. You can do an All Quiet on the Western Front or a MASH. Do something modern or travel to the past or future. Plus any genre of your choosing from sci fi to fantasy to steampunk to whatever your creative mind can come up with. But that leaves us with a question. How did Fred come up with doing a war theme anthology?
Frankly, it was by accident. Wikipedia ran an 1876 political cartoon by John Tenniel about the then-current political/military tensions in the Balkans that was based on Shakespeare’s famous line about “the Dogs of War” from his Julius Caesar. I realized that none of the furry specialty presses had published an anthology of military stories yet. I proposed it to FurPlanet before someone else used the theme.
Of course most of you are familiar with Fred with his book reviews he does for the site, but the man has been around the Furry fandom long before Furries even had a fandom to call their own. He witness our fandom take shape right before his eyes.
I was already very active in s-f fandom. Furry fandom seemed at first to be just a specialty interest combining some s-f, some animation like Disney’s Robin Hood and Animalympics, and some comic books. I think that most of us furry fans of the 1980s were surprised when it continued to grow into a separate fandom.
He also produces many anthologies for the fandom. All ranging from Sci Fi like The Furry Future to Fantasy with Gods with Fur to more experimental themes like Five Fortunes. Fred is always jumping from genre to genre.
I have a wide range of interests. If something occurs to me that should make a good furry theme, and that a lot of furry writers should have fun with, I grab it.
I have read s-f anthologies since the 1950s, and I have been amazed by some of the themes for s-f anthologies that have been used. S-f stories about interplanetary postage stamps or postal delivery. S-f stories about hotels on space stations catering to a wide range of exotic guests. There are many that probably wouldn’t work for furry authors, but if they would, I’ll propose them to FurPlanet.
And for those keeping count, Fred has produced ten anthologies for the fandom so far. Eight for Furplanet, one for Sofawolf Press, and one for Legion Publishing. With much work under his name, Fred became an editor in the simplest of ways.
I just asked. I proposed a theme and volunteered to edit an anthology that fit it. FurPlanet has been very accommodating. I get a theme approved and send out a call for stories, which I edit. FurPlanet sets the word limit, pays for them and commissions the covers. I have had to reject a few good stories because I got too many, but FurPlanet has extended the maximum length more than once. The Furry Future originally had a maximum word limit of 150,000 words, and FurPlanet expanded it to 195,000 words so we wouldn’t have to leave anything out. I insist on proofreading the books before they’re published.
Along with seeing the fandom bloom, Fred has also witnessed how our small writing community expanded into the market it is today.
It has definitely increased and improved. The period of paper fanzines, about 1990 to 2003, had several popular writers. The period of online writers from about 2005 on coincided with the growth of furry specialty publishers. Writers stopped writing for free for fanzines, and began posting their stories online or submitting them to furry magazines like Heat and New Fables, FANG and ROAR. Theme anthologies have proliferated. Furry writers have gotten more experience. The Furry Writers’ Guild was established. There has been an evolution from real names to pseudonyms like Ocean Tigrox and MikasiWolf.
Now you have a chance to add on to that history. Fred is looking for stories between 2,000 to 20,000 words with a focus on military action, you can have politics, but the action is the focus. Dogs are ok, but work to use species outside of the title. The stories are due by October 1st. If accepted, writers will receive ½ cent per word upon publication and a contributor’s copy and will be able to buy more at a 30% discount. Feel free to ask Fred if your story idea is different enough to stand out from the pack. Send your submissions and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
What are you waiting for, soldier? For your mommy to wipe your bum? Get those fingers typing, maggot! You have a deadline to meet. Charge!