Watts (chipotle) wrote,

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Zine brainstorming

So if I did this, what would I call it?

I've had a few suggestions passed along, none of which were bad, none of which really grabbed me. I'm not coming up with anything particularly grabbing on my own, either, mind you.

Here's my somewhat rambling thoughts.

While we can argue about what the "first furry story" might be, it's perhaps easiest -- and not inaccurate -- to trace them back to talking animal fables like Aesop's. There's a sense in which writers like E.B. White and James Thurber were doing the first "modern" furry stories, with White's Stuart Little and Thurber's collection of fables -- not to mention his short piece "The White Rabbit Caper," a noir detective story which isn't remotely a stretch to call furry (and like most of Thurber's work, wasn't remotely aimed at children, either). I think of modern furry stories as -- at least ideally -- descendants of Aesop by way of these two New Yorker expatriates as much as by way of modern sf/fantasy and cartoons. While I don't know if he'd have enjoyed furry comics, with some titles Thurber would have recognized authors working in the same space he'd been in.

And this is where I keep returning mentally. As furry authors we're not creating fables in the way Aesop was, to be sure, but there's a sense in which we're doing modern incarnations. I'm up front about my own biases toward magic realism and urban fantasy -- authors like Charles de Lint, Terri Windling, Emma Bull, and those who work different fields but with a similar approach of fantasy breaking through a firmly-grounded modern realism, like Poppy Z. Brite and Christopher Moore. These biases certainly influence my way of looking at things, but I consider the "real" furry writers -- by which I mean simply the ones trying to tell stories with some level of meaning, as opposed to 'yiffstar' fare -- to be modern fabulists.

I'm also up front about having literary aspirations here, too. Modern Fabulist doesn't sound like such a bad title, other than being somewhat unwieldy. (I've observed that a lot of more literary small press publications are called the [Something] Review, which I'm not adverse to, although it may be more pretentious than even I want to get.)

At any rate, those are the sort of things I'm batting around -- essentially, something that calls to mind the idea of modern fables and myths. I don't want to get too specific with any given mythology, I don't think; I wouldn't mind working in references to animals but I'm not sure how to do that. Actually naming it after an animal comes to mind, although of course in the furry community that could make the over-sensitive take offense. ("I can't submit a story about a fox to a magazine called Coyotl, can I? Whine!")

And, of course, all "rules" are bendable for a sufficiently cool name. Something we liked about Mythagoras is that it was one word that captured some of these notions and made you think about it, particularly since the word wasn't actually real! (I'd be tempted to use the name once again, but I have a few superstitions about not inviting a third iceberg my way.)

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