Furry Writers' Guild Forum

The Furry Canon

G’morn Huskyteer,
I’ll do just that as soon as I catch the flavor of [a][s] and become familiar with the readership. I’ve much catching up to do in this genre.

Peace, tholepin

Tholepin, The Wind in the Willows was published in 1908, not 1933. Grahame died the previous year.

Thank you Fred. After reading your article on Wind in the Willows, I shall pack my tent.

Good job.

Again, do it, drop them a line!

I’ve not read those books but they’ve been on the to-read list for years.

Tholepin, don’t be discouraged. The Wind in the Willows has been reviewed hundreds if not thousands of times. You may have a fresh angle on it, from a furry viewpoint.

I have also been interested in the many sequels that it has had, both the official ones by William Horwood such as Toad Triumphant, and the unauthorized ones, of which the best (in my opinion) is Wild Wood, by Jan Needle (Andre Deutsch, June 1981). Needle even has an online essay on it. I don’t think it’s ever been published in the U.S.; at least American libraries don’t have it. Fortunately, American readers can get it easily from Amazon.uk today.



Jan Needle! He’s a distant relative of mine :slight_smile:

I got Wild Wood back before Amazon.uk, when I had to find a British book shop that would accept American mail orders, and I had to pay far more than the price of the book for an international money order payable in British pounds and for international air postage. Wild Wood was worth it, though.

If no mainstream American publisher is interested in it, what about one of the furry specialty presses? If Needle will license the American rights as cheaply as they’d be paying, of course.

Watership Down roundtable discussion (me, JM, Jakebe): http://www.adjectivespecies.com/2016/07/27/the-furry-canon-watership-down-roundtable/

Dang it, now I want to see someone try their hand at “The Aristocrats” in furry.

Then again, the fandom has me mostly desensitized to material of that nature, so I’m not sure it would have the same impact.

I guess that I first read Watership Down shortly after the American hardcover edition by Macmillan was published and the Los Angeles Public Library got it, probably in 1974. I remember liking it extremely much – the hardcover was published as an adult book, and there were almost no adult books about anthropomorphized animals then except Orwell’s Animal Farm and Stapledon’s Sirius, except for s-f novels with animallike aliens like Earthman’s Burden by Poul Anderson & Gordon Dickson – and because the rabbit’s god was Frith, which was the nickname of the original Gothic form of my own name, Frithuric, about 500 A.D. Almost all its characters were distinct and memorable. Even General Woundwort, who would have been a shallow villain easily defeated by almost any other writer, was terrifyingly intelligent as well as malevolent. As a s-f fan, one of the highlights for me at the 1978 World Science Fiction Convention in Phoenix was the special premiere of Martin Rosen’s animated feature, two months before its American release.

When furry fandom got started around 1980-1982, it turned out that Watership Down was a book that everyone had read, and most s-f fans had seen the animated feature as well. At the special-interest tables during the daytimes and the Furry Parties in the evenings hosted by Mark Merlino & Rod O’Riley at 1980s s-f & comics conventions, a copy of Watership Down was almost always a part of the display.

I didn’t review it until 2007, because it wasn’t a s-f genre novel in the 1970s & 1980s, and by the time I started reviewing furry books regularly in the 1990s it was an established classic. I was reviewing new furry lit for Cubist’s bimonthly online Anthro magazine by then, and in 2007 he said that he wanted one of the furry classics reviewed in each of my columns. Watership Down was my second classic, after Animal Farm.


I consider it still a cornerstone of furry literature. The rolling green fields of England were always far from the urban metropolis of Los Angeles that I grew up in (we do have rarely-seen wild hares), but I could imagine it as the time-immemorial natural habitat of rabbits. It’s become a Bible of furry fantasy literature, both presenting in fantasy form what “realistic” rabbit life must be like, and as the novel that introduced the concepts of an animal species’ language and religion. We’ve seen those in so many animal fantasies since the 1970s. It’s still thrilling reading; a bit old-fashioned, but more worthwhile than just about anything else. Other high-quality furry novels have come and gone, but Watership Down seems to be always easy to find, in public libraries especially.

Fred, that’s lovely, and I was going to beg you to reproduce it as a comment under the article. Turns out you already have, so thank you!

Has anyone read The Wild Road by Gabriel King? It was my go-to book for furriness growing up >.> Incredible fantastical story, but it’s been years since I had read it, so my mind might be romanticizing it some.

Hi Fred,

Thank you for the sequels, especially Wild Wood. I’m waiting for my copy to be delivered. I’m also searching for other works taking their inspiration from Mrs. Frizzby and the Rats of NIMH.

I’ve read it, along with its sequel “The Golden Cat”, and remember thinking it was pretty good. Unfortunately I don’t remember a lot of what happened, and I think some of memories my mind is trying to dredge up are actually from “Tailchaser’s Song” by Tad Williams. It was a time period when I was devouring about 50 books a year, most of them commercially published furry literature, which has the unfortunate side effect that some of them I recall very little of what happened. There’s one on my bookshelf that I’m pretty sure I must have read but I don’t recall a single thing from it (“Marbleheart” by Don Callander). But getting back to “The Wild Road” and “The Golden Cat”, I recall finding out several years later that Gabriel King was actually a pen name for two authors who collaborated to produce the books.

I remember The Golden Cat XD I didn’t think it was as good as The Wild Road, but still enjoyable. I might see what the reviews are like on Furry Canon and either pick those up or JLS, or all three! I can understand about getting books mished. Also, didn’t know that about the authors o.o That’s really cool.

Thinking on that period in my life, I remember reading White Fang. Strangely, it was a bit more of a difficult read for me. I really enjoyed it, none-the-less.

Tholepin, Mwalimu and Munchkin: There are the two sequels to Mrs. Frisby by O’Brien’s daughter, set in the NIMH world. They’re worth reading, but are not as good as O’Brien’s original.

Here are my reviews of The Wild Road and The Golden Cat:



I am horrified to admit that I barely remember reading them after 15+ years. Tailchaser’s Song by Tad Williams; yes, that one sticks with you.

I just finished rereading Marbleheart, and reviewing Callander’s entire Mancer series for Dogpatch Press. They’re good fun. It’s too bad that Callander didn’t live long enough to see his series reprinted and finished by Mundania Press.