April 15, 2023

The Frog Who Swallowed the Moon

by Renee Carter Hall In the earliest days, Frog had a beautiful voice. All through the long summer twilights, he sang sweetly among the reeds while fireflies blinked lazily and the earth settled itself into evening. Around that first pond, the other creatures always gathered to listen. “Such a lovely voice,” Salamander said. “Just marvelous,” Turtle added. “So sweet and clear,” Mallard said with a sigh. “How do you do it?” Frog always looked embarrassed and gave the only answer he could think of, which was also the truth. “I don’t know. I just love singing.”

April 15, 2023

The Swallow Upon My Summers

by Sylvia Heike I’m sifting through my grandmother’s jewellery box when I discover the swallow-shaped brooch. Cast from pewter, with exquisite detail on the wings. Unlike her beloved Sunday pearls, I don’t recall Nana wearing it, though I remember the brooch. She never let me play with it, or even try it on. Once, I snuck it out of her jewellery box, just to hold it in my palm. As soon as Nana caught me, she yelled my name and snatched it from my hand. Then she hugged me close, saying it was no toy. “Don’t ever play with that again, Nora. You hear me?” I never saw the brooch…

April 15, 2023

A Season’s Lament

by Patricia Miller The sea crow watched from her perch for five days full. The fledglings were advanced enough to scavenge for meals while she stood vigil, while she accepted she would not see her mate again. She finished the season, content to see the last of her children leave the nest, decided then and there she would not seek out a new mate come spring. She took flight with the morning sun and spent her days traveling the wetlands and headwaters, collecting the voices of the coast that had formed her life. There was the laughing cackle of the gull-billed tern, the haunted echoing coo of the loon, the…

April 15, 2023

Aged Plant Fibers and Ink

by James L. Steele Ker’r rose from all fours and walked on his hind legs as he rounded the corner. A bipedal stature was never required, but it made navigating this part of the city much easier. The black-furred canine had white stripes around his midsection. He couldn’t afford clothing, though it wasn’t required here among the structures arranged in a grid along avenues. The Planet of Paper District, complete with authentic asphalt, authentic stone, authentic brick, all transplanted from a real city block and reconstructed here. Numerous canines in sight also walked upright to help complete the sensation of living in another culture.

April 15, 2023

Dragons Anonymous

by Jocelyne Gregory Seven dragons sat on a circle of metal chairs in the basement of an old church. The faux wooden panels of the basement’s walls were a sharp contrast to the faded red shag carpet that had fallen victim to the arts and crafts of generations of children. The metal chairs groaned beneath the dragon’s various weights as they shifted and tried to find comfortable positions for their wings, tails, and long necks without bumping into one another or destroying the popcorn ceiling. They waited as a brilliant orange scaled dragon settled on his seat and tucked his tail around his clawed feet. “Good afternoon!” The orange dragon…

January 7, 2023

Awards Eligibility Post for 2022

Awards season is coming around again, so we’ve compiled a reference list of all the original stories Zooscape published in 2022, along with approximate word counts.  If you haven’t read these yet, you’re in for a treat.  Please keep them in mind when considering which stories to nominate for awards this year: Coyote Woman Sings the Blues by Marissa James (3,200 words) Charley Coavins by Gretchen Tessmer (1,100 words) The Swift-Footed Darling of the Rocks (Do NOT Actually Call Me That) by Marie Croke (2,800 words) My Song Too Fierce by Emily Randolph-Epstein (3,000 words) Harold’s Hook by Rebecca E. Treasure (700 words) The Best Way to Procure Breakfast by Dana Vickerson (3,000 words) The Sacrificial…

December 20, 2022

Issue 16

Welcome to Issue 16 of Zooscape! Pain, survival, and love.  These are cornerstones of life, art, and yes, furry art.  Because furry art and fiction is, at the heart, no different from any other art or fiction.  It’s beauty that humans create to try to reckon and wrestle with the harshness of the universe.  Furry art just happens to dress up in a fancy fur coat with tails and ears, or maybe a shimmering cloak of scales, or even butterfly wings.  But beneath those squishy edges, the heart beats the same. * * * Death is the Referee by Katlina Sommerberg Where Does It Hurt? by Amy Clare Fontaine The Power…

December 20, 2022

Entanglement Solved

by Stephen R. Loftus-Mercer “Follow me to the lab! I have something to show you!” That giddiness, the light in those two over-large eyes, the quivering of all eight arms… I’d seen my lover like this only twice before. One of those inventions led to a Nobel prize; the other sold for life-changing money to a venture capital firm. I walked behind on my two legs, admiring the way my lover’s eight limbs pulled along, each independent yet in synch with the others. Our house included handholds everywhere, one of many accommodations for a joint human-cephalopod household.

December 20, 2022

The Huli Jing of Chinatown

by Wen Wen Yang The legend is only partially true. I had already hidden away my fox-skin, already decided on Jack when he saw me naked in my human-skin. I am not the huli jing from San Francisco, whose fox-skin was stolen by a human man. One newspaper called it devotion that she returned nightly to her husband. She was devoted to her fox-skin as one is devoted to one’s hands. Fox spirits capture the low hanging fruit. When these men come upon a naked woman in the wilderness, they would not hesitate to lie naked with her. I had hunted in Central Park but the police had started to…

December 20, 2022

The Pine Lesson

by Ian Madison Keller Espen approached the librarian with trepidation. His hooves clicked softly on the wooden floor, despite his best efforts to walk quietly. The squirrel librarian sat bent over a book behind her desk, her fluffy brown tail curled behind her head, but she looked up and smiled at him as he approached. “How can I help you?” Espen ran a hand through his forelock nervously. “I have a question about elementals.” One of the librarian’s dark eyebrows rose, but she merely nodded her head for him to continue.