The Effect of the Pandemic on Furry Writing

That feeling when you see a mainstream sf/f writer stumble on the history of Rainfurrest & discuss it with the kind of cold analysis that comes from not missing it still.

I owe so much of my career as a writer and most of my biggest successes to Rainfurrest. It left a huge hole.

Before the pandemic, I could see furry fiction growing so rapidly from one year to the next; I had no doubts about its ability to become a recognized genre.

We were up to three awards, several publishers, tons of anthologies, and more writers and readers joining all the time.

Now… I worry about furry fiction dwindling away to nothing. And I don’t know how much that’s general pandemic depression speaking versus a rational fear based on how much the furry community (including the writing side) centers on conventions.

Furry publishers rely on conventions for selling books, and without them, a lot of books are simply not being released. And one publisher has already folded.

But also, furry writers and readers find each other at conventions. Without cons… it’s harder to connect and also grow.

Maybe I’m just melancholy today because I’ve been reminded of how much I miss Rainfurrest, and last night, I watched the “Back Story” episode of Mythic Quest which resonated so much with a lot of the writing community I’ve lost due to the isolation of the pandemic…

At a certain point, the pandemic has gone on for so long and shows so little sign of ever ending… This is the new normal. And I don’t know how to navigate it. I don’t know what risks are worth taking. And so many of the cons I would have taken risks for are seemingly just gone.

I keep working on Zooscape, holding on to that thread, but it’s so much harder being an editor during the pandemic. I struggle with sending rejections and have less time.

And Zooscape was never meant to be a stand-alone project.

Zooscape has always existed to draw attention to the furry writing community at large. I do think it’s a valuable work of art in its own right… but it’s supposed to be a big neon sign pointing at all the awesome furry fiction happening.

But I feel so disconnected from that now.

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