Hi! Happy New Year! I know it’s been a while. Since last we spoke, I moved to Texas and started a new wildlife research job. To learn about the work my coworkers and I are doing to try to eradicate cattle fever ticks on nilgai antelope in south Texas, check out this recent article in Valley Morning Star! https://www.valleymorningstar.com/news/local_news/six-ranches-testing-anti-tick-method-on-nilgai/article_b13f5592-2832-11e9-a59d-3f0afe293064.html
In case you missed it, October is Furry Book Month! Furry books are books that feature anthropomorphic animal characters. You can get several books that include my writing at a discount price this month! See below for deals that involve my work:
Mist: You can get $3 off paperback copies of my YA fantasy novel Mist if you order here: http://thurstonhowlpub.storenvy.com/products/21740489-mist (The deal will be applied at checkout.)
-You can get 20% off ebook copies of Mist if you order here: https://baddogbooks.com/product/mist/ and use coupon code FBM2018 at checkout.
SPECIES: Foxes: You can get $3 off paperback copies of the anthology SPECIES: Foxes if you order here: https://thurstonhowlpub.storenvy.com/products/23107239-species-foxes (The deal will be applied at checkout.)
-You can get 20% off ebook copies of SPECIES: Foxes if you order here: https://baddogbooks.com/product/species-foxes/ and use coupon code FBM2018 at checkout.
ROAR: You can buy paperbacks of the furry anthology series ROAR, including Volumes 6, 7, 8, and 9, which feature my stories, at half-price through the FurPlanet website: https://furplanet.com/shop/search.aspx?search=ROAR
-You can buy ebooks of ROAR at half-price through the Bad Dog Books website: https://baddogbooks.com/?s=ROAR&post_type=product
Exploring New Places: You can buy half-price paperbacks of this anthology here: https://furplanet.com/shop/item.aspx?itemid=998 and half-price ebooks here: https://baddogbooks.com/product/exploring-new-places/
A Glimpse of Anthropomorphic Literature: 40% off the paperback here: https://www.goalpublications.com/store/p3/A_Glimpse_of_Anthropomorphic_Literature.html# with coupon code FBM2018
-20% off the ebook of Issue 01 here: https://baddogbooks.com/product/a-glimpse-of-anthropomorphic-literature-issue-01/ with coupon code FBM2018
Civilized Beasts 2015 Edition: 20% off the ebook here: https://baddogbooks.com/product/civilized-beasts-2015/ with coupon code FBM2018
These deals will only apply for the rest of October! Be sure to snag your discount copies of these books ASAP!
It’s a game! It’s a novel! It’s…an interactive novel!
I am currently writing an interactive novel about fox spirits, magical creatures of East Asian mythology, for a company called Choice of Games, a developer of text-based games. To celebrate, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite Choice of Games titles and some resources for writing interactive fiction in the ChoiceScript programming language.
What is interactive fiction? Interactive fiction allows the reader, or player, to interact with its narrative, influencing the course of the story. Interactive fiction tends to involve role-playing, with the reader/player taking the role of a main character in the story and making decisions that affect the characters and the outcome. In this way, interactive fiction is sort of a cross between a game and a book.
If you’re interested in exploring interactive fiction, here are ten of my favorite Choice of Games interactive novels, in no particular order! All of these games/novels have first chapters that are free to play online, which gives you a taste for their stories so you can decide whether to purchase the rest. Some games I list below are even completely free to play all the way through online! I hope you will enjoy these games. I know I did.
Please note that I am an independent contractor and not an employee of Choice of Games, and I had no part in creating the games listed below. I am just a player and a fan.
1. Werewolves: Haven Rising.
In Werewolves: Haven Rising, the player assumes the role of a young werewolf in a military internment camp in what was formerly New Haven, Connecticut. The culture and history of the werewolf community is fascinating, and the game raises compelling questions about the hard choices oppressed communities must make in the face of injustice and violence. The characters are well-rounded and interesting. Also, did I mention that werewolves are really cool? I can’t wait for the next installment of this series!
2. Creatures Such as We.
Part tour guide simulator, part science fiction about the hardships of life on the moon, part philosophical exploration of the nature of art and our place in the universe, part game-within-a-game involving zombies and ghosts, and part romance (if you so desire), Creatures Such as We is hard to classify. It’s a beautiful and thought-provoking game, and it’s free to play through the whole story online. Check it out!
3. Choice of Robots.
Choice of Robots allows the player to design their own robots, controlling everything from their robots’ appearance and functions to their social intelligence. The player chooses whether to teach their robots the true meaning of love, mold them into ruthless weapons, encourage them to think for themselves, or use them to put an end to war. This game provides a ton of options for shaping the player character and their relationships as well. There are many possible branches in the second-to-last chapter of the story, which gives the game great replay value. Plus, I learned from this game that you can electrify a pickle. Good stuff!
4. Choice of Magics.
A more recent game by the author of Choice of Robots, Choice of Magics is a secondary-world fantasy that allows the player to bring the buried secrets of magic back to their player character’s nation and become a magician. The player character can use magic to reshape the world around them, creating anything from a steampunk world of airships and laser cannons to a world of magically engineered beasts such as dragons. The five different “schools” of magic in this game (which were each inspired by current real-world technology) are fascinating; each has its own rewards but also its own risks and dangers. Each branch of magic comes with its own harmful long-term consequences down the road, so the player must carefully weigh the costs and benefits of each spell they perform. Plus you get to turn people into tortoises. And play cowbell. And animate a stuffed monkey. It’s great.
5. T-Rex Time Machine.
In T-Rex Time Machine, the player goes back in time to the age of the dinosaurs. They can become a renowned filmmaker, a respected paleontologist, a brilliant physicist who unlocks the deeper mysteries of time travel, or a rugged big-game hunter. Exploring the world of dinosaurs in this game is really fun!
Congresswolf was the first game I bought from Choice of Games. A hybrid murder mystery, political campaign simulator, and urban fantasy about werewolves, it’s a unique and engaging game!
7. Choice of the Dragon.
In Choice of the Dragon, you play as a dragon who takes over the kingdom. Your choices shape your dragon’s brutality, finesse, cunning, honor, disdain, vigilance, infamy, and wealth. It’s an enjoyable, amusing little game, and it’s free to play all the way through online! Dragon-lovers, check it out!
8. Avatar of the Wolf.
Another secondary-world fantasy, Avatar of the Wolf lets the player assume the role of the human avatar of a vicious, powerful wolf god. It’s got interesting world-building, with a variety of cultures/peoples in the game-world and a diverse pantheon of animal gods. It also raises interesting questions about morality, religion, and free will. A lovely and compelling game.
9. Psy High.
In Psy High, the player takes the role of a high school student with psychic powers. The player can become an athlete, a nerd, a popular kid, a theater geek, or a rebellious delinquent, all while unraveling their principal’s sinister plot and finding a date for prom. It’s a neat and entertaining game!
10. Welcome to Moreytown.
Welcome to Moreytown is a gritty urban science fiction game in which you play as a genetically engineered anthropomorphic animal called a “moreau” in a world where moreaus are treated as second-class citizens. You can play as any of more than ten moreau species, from a wolf, tiger, or bear to a capybara, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. You can choose to strive for peace and harmony in your society or become the leader of a violent gang or a drug-peddling cult. It’s a nifty furry game that I really liked playing.
Thank you for reading this post! I hope it encourages you to check out Choice of Games and the variety of titles they have to offer. If you are interested in creating interactive fiction of your own using the ChoiceScript programming language created by Choice of Games, I encourage you to check out the resources below!
Resources for Creating ChoiceScript Games/Interactive Fiction:
Hi, friends! I have some new short stories out since last we spoke!
“Beyond Acacia Ridge” is out in an anthology called Exploring New Places (paperback here, ebook here). This story is about two spotted hyenas who run away from the clan into which they were born, in search of freedom, friendship, and an impossible prize.
Finally, “The Star Ball” is out in Insignia: Asian Birds & Beasts! The main characters in this story are a young boy in Kyoto who aspires to be an entomologist and a mischievous kitsune (magical many-tailed fox) who aspires to take over the city.
There, we’re up-to-date! I’d also like to mention that Where We May Wag, the charity anthology that features my story “Too Close to the Sun,” is now available in paperback here (it was previously available only in ebook form).
Thanks for checking out my stories!
This week I’ll be heading to San Jose with some good friends for a science fiction and fantasy convention called Worldcon 76. I hope to see you there!
Today is filled with exciting news!
Firstly, Sy Montgomery’s book, The Hyena Scientist, has been published. This is a middle grade nonfiction book about zoologist Kay Holekamp and the Mara Hyena Project. I had the good fortune of being a research assistant on this project while Sy and photographer Nic Bishop were in Talek Camp working on the book, so I am featured in the book along with some colleagues I worked with in 2016. If you want to learn about hyenas, strong female scientists, the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, and the career trajectories of several zoologists (including myself), you should check it out. It’s a beautiful book that sheds some light on a very misunderstood mammal.
Secondly, Where We May Wag has been published! This is an anthology of short stories that deals with the difficult subject of animal testing with an attitude of hope and optimism. The profits from this anthology go toward the Rescue + Freedom Project, which rescues animals who have been victims of cruel laboratory experiments. The ebook version is available here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CVVWRP7/, with a print version still to come. View the trailer for the anthology here: https://www.facebook.com/fontainepen/videos/168941473792458/
Finally, today is the last day for members of the Furry Writers’ Guild to cast their votes for the 2017 Cóyotl Awards. My short story “The Moon Fox” has been nominated for this award! You can read this story for free in Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores here: https://cosmicrootsandeldritchshores.com/fiction-all/stories-for-young-people-from-4-to-400/the-moon-fox/ FWG members can vote in the Cóyotl Awards here: http://coyotlawards.org/voting-2/ This is the first time my work has been nominated and I deeply appreciate your support!
Thank you so much for following this blog and my work!
I had the pleasure of reading an advance review copy of the fifth novel by one of my favorite writers: The Snake’s Song: A Labyrinth of Souls Novel by Mary E. Lowd. My review is posted here (Amazon) and here (Goodreads). I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I did! You can purchase the book on Amazon here or on Smashwords here.
Here’s my news roundup for January!
I have a short story in SPECIES: Foxes, an anthology from Thurston Howl Publications about foxes in lore and legend.
SPECIES: Foxes is illustrated by the wonderful Tabsley Abernathy, who made awesome illustrations of each of the authors as animals. Here’s me as a wolphicorn (wolf-dolphin-unicorn), pictured with a fox mask (my story in the book is about a fox who turns into a human and ends up working in a theater). Thanks, Tabs!
A haiku I wrote was published in Haiku Journal Issue 56. I wrote it near the end of my high school years, and it’s about what it felt like to be leaving that time in my life behind. You can read the issue for free here. You can also buy a paperback copy here.
I also published a poem about attending the 2018 Women’s March in Eureka, California, in North Coast Journal. You can read it for free here.
-I became a member of the Codex Writers’ Group this month!
–Mist and “The Moon Fox” were both nominated for the Leo Literary Awards! Thank you so much to whoever nominated them! ❤
-The Ursa Major Awards, Cóyotl Awards, and Leo Literary Awards are still open for nominations! The Leos will only be open until February 1, though. To see my eligible work, go here. I’d love it if Mist could get some love!
-The Dragon Awards are also still open for nominations! Mist is eligible in the Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel category. To nominate, go here. Thank you very much! ❤
As always, thank you for your support! I’m so grateful that amazing people like you are reading my words. Feel free to reach out to me anytime through this website, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads. I’d love to hear from you!
Hi, folks! Despite my raging imposter syndrome, my rampant perfectionism, and the fact that I’m a very young writer who’s still learning and growing and rather nervous about putting myself out there, I’ve decided to do a post of my published writings from 2017 that are eligible to be nominated for literary awards! I care deeply about the work I’m doing and I’d love for my words to reach more people through this post.
“The Moon Fox”: My first professional, SFWA-qualifying sale!
“When Pigs Fly”, ROAR Volume 8
“Hungry,” Fossil Lake IV: Sharkasaurus!
“A Fate Purse than Death,” The Supreme Archvillain Election
-These stories are eligible for the usual fantasy/science fiction short story awards. “The Moon Fox” is also eligible for professional debut awards, such as the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. “The Moon Fox,” “When Pigs Fly,” and “Hungry” are also eligible for the Ursa Major, Cóyotl, and Leo Literary Awards.
“What Doesn’t Kill You,” Werewolves Versus Fascism
-In addition to general and speculative poetry awards, “What Doesn’t Kill You” is eligible for the Leo Literary Awards.
“Bite Marks,” Fossil Lake IV: Sharkasaurus!
Thank you so much for your time! I look forward to writing more and better in 2018, and to reading YOUR words, too!
Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone! Since it’s important to think about where you’ve been and where you’re going, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my accomplishments this year and my goals for next year.
-I worked as an intern for the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program in Alpine, Arizona for six months. I tracked wolves with radio telemetry, helped to care for pups and release a young adult into the wild, monitored carnivores with trail cameras, investigated tracks and scat in the woods, and more!
-I was listed as a coauthor on a scientific paper for the first time, an article about feral cat vocalizations, with some amazing colleagues I met while working as a field crew leader at Montana State University:
Jessica L. Owens, Mariana Olsen, Amy Fontaine, Christopher Kloth, Arik Kershenbaum, Sara Waller; Visual classification of feral cat Felis silvestris catus vocalizations. Curr Zool 2017; 63 (3): 331-339. doi: 10.1093/cz/zox013 https://academic.oup.com/cz/article/doi/10.1093/cz/zox013/3056230/Visual-classification-of-feral-cat-Felis
-My first novel, Mist, was published by Thurston Howl Publications.
-I made my first professional, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America-qualifying fiction sale, my short story “The Moon Fox” to the zine Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores.
-I had three other short stories and two poems published. At least three more of my short stories will appear in anthologies sometime next year.
-I won NaNoWriMo in November, wrote 17 new short stories and various poems over the course of the year, and significantly rewrote an older story (“The Moon Fox”) which was then accepted for publication.
-I became an editorial assistant for Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores. https://cosmicrootsandeldritchshores.com/about/our-team/
Goals for 2018:
Wildlife Goals: Gain new experiences with animals, whether that means seabirds, dolphins, foxes, elephants, or dogs!
-Keep writing and submitting and improving my craft! I plan to write at least one new novel, start a visual novel, and hopefully get some more pro sales under my belt!
-Become an active member of Codex (my application is currently being processed).
-Continue to follow a modified version of this 1000 Day MFA plan.
-Keep learning more about the art and science of editing! My aforementioned positions as editor and editorial assistant are the first ones I’ve ever had in this field, so I’m still learning and growing, and I’m eager to do the best job I can!
Personal Goals: Become a more loving, compassionate, enlightened human being.
Thank you all SO much for following my updates and progress this year! Here’s to all of us learning and adventuring and growing together more next year!