Am I Furry? — Fandom vs. Genre

by Mary E. Lowd

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” — Groucho Marx

 “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” — Groucho Marx

“You shouldn’t need a membership card to write or enjoy furry fiction. All you need is a story about anthropomorphic animals, and there are more of those coming out all the time.”

There’s a question that floats around the furry writing community occasionally:  how do you define furry fiction?  At first glance, this question seems similar to the age-old, what’s the difference between sci-fi and fantasy?  A nit-picky question about the borders of a genre that can be endlessly debated.  Hours can be lost to arguing over whether Star Wars is sci-fi because of spaceships, or fantasy because of the Force.  I would expect arguments about furry fiction to fall along similar lines.  For instance, does Robert T. Bakker’s Raptor Red anthropomorphize the raptors enough to count as furry?  Or is it simply a piece of speculative naturalism? Continue reading “Am I Furry? — Fandom vs. Genre”

On the Eve of the Apocalypse

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Theme of Absence, March 2017

“I know that you claim you didn’t vote in favor of the Elasporians’ imminent occupation of Earth. But you couldn’t have fought very hard against it.”

Dear Patriarchal Genetic Progenitor,

In spite of my requests that you leave me alone, I find notifications and messages from you, little traces of your electronic existence, in every aspect of the virtual world whenever I dare to tread in it.  Generally, I ignore your unwanted advances toward a relationship that I gave up long ago.  But tonight, knowing that the Elasporians will descend to Earth tomorrow, I find that the idea of reaching out to you and your myriad tiny abuses is less painful and frightening than the reality that all flesh-bodied humans will face tomorrow. Continue reading “On the Eve of the Apocalypse”

The Baby Carriage in Speed

I’ve watched Speed countless times in the last 25 years, and it took until NOW to realize Annie doesn’t actually say she’s a psychology researcher.

“…relationships that start under intense circumstances never last … I’ve done extensive study on this.”

My head canon is better.

This is the second time Speed has illustrated the gulf between my emotional reactions and those expected from neurotypical people for me.  The first involves the bus running into the baby carriage full of cans.
Continue reading “The Baby Carriage in Speed”

The Paladin Who Wanted Loot

Back when I did regular World of Warcraft raids, there was this one guy in the guild who said after beating the big boss, “I hope he drops paladin gear!” He was a paladin.  I think about this a lot. See, everyone got mad at him. But… I mean… it’s what we were all thinking?

If you weren’t hoping the boss would drop gear you wanted… what were you doing? This was back when raids took HOURS of sitting around and waiting, because you had to coordinate FORTY people, most of whom could barely play.  You didn’t do it if you didn’t want the loot. Continue reading “The Paladin Who Wanted Loot”

Pegacornus Rex

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, September 2014

“Mom! I made myself a birthday present!”

Marla realized that she’d left the 3-D printer running.  She’d been up late synthesizing a chef-bot she’d found the pattern for online.  Sure, she could have just baked the damn cake for Leia’s tenth birthday party herself, but the chef-bot would do a better job.  And it was programmed with the recipe for homemade hard candy — she could put that in the piñata she’d printed up. Continue reading “Pegacornus Rex”