Furry Writers' Guild Forum

"Life by Association: Getting Furry" - ebook free for limited time

I saw this book on Goodreads as a giveaway for the paperback, and when I entered the giveaway, I got a private message from the author letting me know that the Kindle version of the book is free from today (January 30) through February 3.

I have no idea what the book is like – could be very accurate, could be horribly misinformed, or anything in between – and all I know about the author is what’s on his Goodreads bio. (I’m also a little concerned at it being listed in Amazon’s “Sexuality” category, but it does have one Amazon review that makes me hopeful it’s not too skewed a portrayal.)

At any rate, figured I would pick it up, since it’s free, and have a look.

(If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still read it on your smartphone, tablet, or PC with one of Kindle’s free apps.)

Could be interesting, but I also see that they did a different book (edited) that looks to be part of this series.

Life by Association: Seeking Slaves.

I will try to be hopeful for the furry book, but it being titled like this is supposed to be a series where they dive into the alternate sex communities makes me worry.

Anyways, downloaded it. Might start it today.

The name of that book gave me pause, and then I read the description. It looks like the titles are specifically made to grab a person by the nosehairs, but the actual content appears to be an honest look into oft’ misunderstood and even hated upon communities. While it still does give me a bit of pause that Getting Furry will be far more sexually related than most folks in the fandom will ever experience, it does give me hope that at least it won’t be presented in a bad light. There’s also encouragement by reviewers for those within the fandom to give it a go as well.

Downloaded Getting Furry. I’ll tackle it after I finish at least one of the two books I’m working on X3

I downloaded it and took a look at the first few pages. I just can’t get past the truly awful eBook layout though. It has no Table of Contents recognized by the Kindle, but they have one in the document which is spread oddly across the page and includes page numbers. You don’t do that in an eBook. Also, seemingly random snips of the text are displayed in bold and larger than surrounding text for no discernable reason.

I’m using a pretty reliable Kindle Keyboard so I doubt it’s a device issue. Really weird.

Yeah I was trying to read it on my phone earlier and the seemingly random formatting was driving me nuts.

Has no furry actually written a book about the Fandom yet?

The closest is perhaps Austen Crowder’s A Fuzzy Place:

It’s a fiction collection, but there’s a lot in there about the author’s experiences in the fandom.

I know this is an old thread (is a month and a half “old” on the internet?), but this book is the first thing I found back when I started trying to figure out what the furry culture was about – and if it could have helped me to get better at writing non-human characters – so I thought my opinion might be useful. I read through it from cover to cover, this is what I thought about it.
Take this both as my first impression of the book and of the fandom as a whole, since I was looking for something approachable to explain it to me.

This book is offensive.

I’d never suggest it to anyone else who wanted to get to know the fandom. First, formatting’s a mess. At first I thought that someone just lazily copy-pasted a series of interviews, but even then, some of the choices they made don’t make any sense. Some sentences are bolded completely at random… as in, completely. Not in a way that would make sense if it came from another source, but just randomly. There are footnotes in the middle of the page, and sometimes a few lines at the beginning of a paragraph would have the same formatting as the footnote, just to continue as normal in the following pages. Images are casually thrown in the middle of a paragraph, and I’m fairly sure that some lines were just missing completely. Add to that that English is my second language, and you can imagine how painful it was to have to sit through that.

It’s just a mess. As a first introduction to the fandom, my impression was “should I even bother? It’s clear that these guys aren’t even trying.”

And that’s not even talking about the content. I enjoyed some of the passages in the book – especially the ones about the author’s personal experience – and I thought that one or two chapters were actually fairly interesting, but overall this book just made me want to run away screaming in the opposite direction. Seriously.

Roughly 3/4 of the book is about fetishes. That’s it. This is not a book about furry culture, it’s a book about furry fetishes. Now, I know that sexuality plays a certain role in the fandom, I believe that people are free to enjoy whatever they want, and I read through some pretty graphic stuff and was really amazed by how well it was written. But this is not what you want your first impact with the community to be. The first image in the book, while not pornographic per se, is sexually suggestive, and it goes downhill from there. This is not a book I’d suggest to a friend to introduce him to this community.

That’s the problem. It wouldn’t be that much of an issue, if it wasn’t presented as an introduction to the fandom. You want to write a book on furry fetishes? That’s fine by me, it’s a more than valid subject. But the introduction talks about myths, spiritualism and Aesop, so I thought it would have been on the same mindset I was – to talk about themes and storytelling, and the meaning of anthropomorphism in the human experience, what I thought I’d get by looking into the fandom. And then the first interview’s all about pansexuality.

Let me just read you some of the chapters’ titles:

Furry Fetish Fun.

Fat Furs.







Can you see how this might turn some people away?

This is fetish pornography. As in, not pornography with fetishes, but pornography about fetishes. The only thing I could think about why someone outside the fandom would write something like this (because remember, the author’s not a furry himself) was for the shock value, for people who enjoy reading about other people’s “perversions” and love feeling normal, or even better than them. Yes, it’s presented as a series of interviews, and yes, it gives each person some space to explain why it’s something they enjoy, and no, it never judges them. But that’s why it’s terrible – it honestly represents furries as almost exclusively about kinky sex stuff. And I have a strong feeling it’s intentional: the only other book in the series available on Amazon, as Kokai said, is about BDSM.

And it’s the only book on furries I found.

In a sense, this book is why I came looking for this forum: I couldn’t believe what I was reading. There was no way that it was only about sex, some of the stuff I read was just too good to be only coming from erotica writers. And the fandom’s just too large for not having at least one or two people who were trying to elevate it. But someone coming from the outside who’s not willing to give it a chance will just find in it a confirmation of what the rest of the internet thinks about furries.

I’ve seen erotica in furry stories used in an extremely intelligent manner, and touching works about homosexuality that were clearly drawing from the author’s personal experience. But it’s not what this book’s about.

“It almost seems like people want to be able to create situations where they can love and have sex like the animals they believe themselves to be.”

It’s a quote. And it’s not disproven as a false stereotype. It’s justified.

This book makes me angry.

To those of you who read the book (or at least enough of it to form a general impression of it), may I suggest posting a review on amazon.com? Currently the book only has two reviews, both giving it five stars (one review set off my astroturf detector, and the other one sort of did too).

At this point I don’t want to give the man the money to buy the book so I can honestly post the review. At his sales ranking he’s selling a book, I’d estimate, every week to ten days or so. Probably many of these are being bought by people already in the fandom. So, he’s not doing a terrible lot of damage at least.