December 1, 2018

Issue 1

Welcome to the first full issue of Zooscape! The first question most people ask about furry fiction is, “What about reptiles?  Do they count?  They don’t have fur!”  But furry fiction isn’t just about having fur — it’s about empathy, most often with animals, but sometimes anthropomorphic literature reaches even further into the unfamiliar and finds ways to make it familiar. For our first issue, we offer a journey that will take you from the familiar to the very fringe of furry fiction.  From a dog experiencing the apocalypse and two fables about cats and boots, we’ll take you to eerie places where humans don’t quite belong, and finally end…

December 1, 2018

Sentient Tears

by A Humphrey Lanham We rolled out of our cave, grouping at its red rim. One by one, we rushed down, over the peak of the hill, leaping across the soft-edged crevasse to land on the pointy cliff at the edge of the world. There we hesitated, waiting. “This is it,” said our leader. The first out of the cave. The first off the edge of the world. And one by one we leapt, falling down, down, down in a slow, steady beat onto the soft world below, bleeding into the fibers. Our salt comingling. Our five-second lives sacrificed in the name of sorrow.   * * * About the…

December 1, 2018

The Far Side of the Ocean

by Lena Ng “Let me refill your cup, dear,” said Meyxtle, as she poured from the refined bone china teapot. The smell of seaweed from the warm, salt tea wafted into the room. “Take a snack as well.” She moved the bucket closer to the edge of the table. Crystix studied the pile of moving crabs as they clumsily climbed over each other. “Looks delicious.” She delicately wrapped a tentacle over the top crab—since manners dictated she didn’t dig into the middle of the pile and pick the fattest, reddest one hiding beneath its brothers—slipped it under her mantle, and into her beak. “Sorry about the mess,” she said as…

December 1, 2018

Zoo

by Ellen Denton Last week, herds of deer started coming to my yard. They’re not afraid of me; when I tap on the window to get their attention, they don’t act startled or nervous even though I’m only a few feet away. When I speak to them through the glass, their ears twitch and they look at me with intelligent, almost friendly eyes. When they’re not there, I can still see their tracks, like words of a secret code written by hoof prints in the snow. I like to think they’re telling me, in a winter language spoken with their feet, “We’re still here.  We’re watching over you.” They make…

December 1, 2018

The Mountain Farmer’s Bootlace

by David Sklar Once upon a time there were three cats who lived in a boot that belonged to a giant. Now, this giant had a small farm, stretching over about half a continent, where he grew mountains. You might not think of mountains as a crop that grows on a farm, but if you are large enough and patient enough, you can grow them, and I’ll tell you how: You start with a mountain seed, which is a special kind of stone, slightly bigger than you are, and shaped like a kernel of unpopped corn. Hold this stone between thumb and forefinger, and push the pointy end down into…

December 1, 2018

The Turn of the Year

by Gerri Leen Snow trickles into the barn, blown by winds grown suddenly gentle after gusting all night. You can hear the sound of festivities from the castle: the humans are preparing to welcome in another year with dances, great spreads of food and drink, and embraces when the clock strikes twelve. There’s no clock in the barn, but you’ll know exactly when the year slips over: the sense of potential will build as the minutes tick down and then be gone again until next year. You turn away from the cold, feeling it despite the lushness of your fur. Your joints ache as you move and you want nothing…

December 1, 2018

Charlie at the End

by Frances Pauli The streets of men fall silent long before Charlie slinks from his master’s side. There is no movement in the house for days, not even when he cries or pees the carpet. No more breath lifts the man’s body, no life remains, and Charlie’s loyalty falters as his belly empties. As the body begins to smell like meat.

September 15, 2018

Issue 0

Welcome to the launch of Zooscape! Animals are among the most precious and fascinating resources in our world.  Their variety extends from bizarre deep sea creatures to cuddly friends who sit on our couches hoping for a bite of your sandwich.  They are the most extreme aliens we’ve truly encountered and also the archetypes we tell fairy tales about.  When we tell stories about animals, we’re telling stories about ourselves, both as we are and as we could become.  Furry fiction includes all varieties of stories featuring anthropomorphic animals — from talking dragons to witches’ familiars, from animal-like aliens to Aesop’s fables, and everything in between. Furry fiction is an…

September 15, 2018

Dragon Toast

by Nina Kiriki Hoffman The dragon wanted to raise a toast at her first meeting with our coven, and what the dragon wanted, the dragon got.  She held up a golden goblet in her claw and glared at the rest of us until we held up our mugs, teacups, and glasses. I glanced at the other eleven members of the coven.  We had gathered in the biggest room of my house’s basement, since that was a room that could accommodate a dragon.  It was lit only by candlelight, so it was full of shadows.  Everyone had brought stumps of candles, though, so there were lots of flickering flames, and a…