ANTHRO's index of anthropomorphic literature

The Yarf! reviews by Fred Patten

Note: This is a fraction of the entire listing. If you’re on broadband, you might want to try the high speed version instead.

   Welcome to the “Patten’s reviews” wing of the Anthro Library! Since this is a collection of columns from a dormant (if not dead) furzine called YARF!, a word of explanation might be helpful: In its day, YARF! (aka ‘The Journal of Applied Anthropomorphics’) was perhaps the best-known—and best in quality—of furry zines. Started in 1990 by Jeff Ferris, YARF!’s roster of contributors reads like a Who’s Who of furdom in the last decade of the 20th Century. In any issue, the zine’s readers could expect to enjoy work by the likes of Monika Livingstone, Watts Martin, Ken Pick, and Terrie Smith; furry comic strips such as Mark Stanley’s Freefall and Fred Patten’s reviews of furry books and comics.
   Unfortunately, YARF! has been thoroughly inactive since its 69th issue, which was released in September 2003. We can’t say whether YARF! will ever rise again… but at least we can prevent its reviews from falling into disremembered oblivion. And so, with the active cooperation of Mr. Patten, Anthro is proud to present Mr. Patten’s review columns—including the final one, which would have appeared in the never-printed YARF! #70.

Full disclosure: For each reviewed item, we’ve provided links you can use to check which of four different online booksellers—, Barnes & Noble, Alibris, and Powell’s Bookstore—now has it in stock. Presuming the item in question is available, if you buy it Anthro gets a small percentage of the price.

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#47 / Mar 1

Title: Tales from Watership Down
Author: Richard Adams
Illustrator: John Lawrence


Hutchinson (London, UK), Sep 1996

ISBN: 0-09-180166-4

198 pages, £14.99

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Alfred A. Knopf (New York, NY), Nov 1996

ISBN: 0-679-45125-0

xiii + 267 pages, $23.00

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   This “long-awaited return to the magical world of [Adams’] classic novel” is set during the first year after the defeat of General Woundwort and the successful establishment of the Watership Down warren.
   The book is divided into three broad sections. The first part contains seven ‘traditional stories’ told by the rabbits as they relax in the evening on the grass outside their warren. Five feature the rabbits’ mythical hero, El-ahrairah, and these are anthropomorphic versions of primitive folk myths. The remaining two, The Rabbit’s Ghost Story and Speedwell’s Story, are more in the style of the European peasant folk humor as recorded by the Grimm Brothers in the early 19th century.
   Part II contains four of the many stories which are told of the adventures of El-ahrairah and his stalwart, Rabscuttle, in the course of their long journey home from their terrible encounter with the Black Rabbit of Inlé. (p. xi.) Surely you remember reading about El-ahrairah’s and Rabscuttle’s long journey in Watership Down? These four tales are actually sequentially connected, so they read like four incidents during a single adventure—not unlike reading four exciting chapters from the middle of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. These are realistic in style, in contrast to the fairy-tale mood of the tales in Part I.
   Part III, the longest, presents eight tales of the Watership Down rabbits themselves, during the year that they consolidate their new home and build friendly relations with the new leaders of General Woundwort’s Efrafan warren. These tales are also sequentially connected, and seem more like a mini-novel than separate stories.
   However, Tales from Watership Down is a very accurate description of this book. If it is more than a collection of nineteen completely separate short stories, it is nevertheless less than a coherent novel. It also does not stand on its own—at least, no more than do the Star Trek motion pictures, which are supposed to stand on their own but cannot be fully appreciated by those who are not familiar with the characters and personalities established in the TV series. The reader is obviously expected to be familiar with Hazel, Fiver, Dandelion, Bigwig, Hyzenthlay, Kehaar, and the rest of the cast; and with references to such events in Watership Down as “…the ill-judged raid on Nuthanger Farm…” (p. 5) and “…during the night of Woundwort’s attack—which, it will be recalled, Fiver had spent lying unconscious among Efrafans on the floor of the Honeycomb …” (p. 152). Also, the sequences which are connected do not have beginnings or endings. El-ahrairah’s and Rabscuttle’s adventures are described as having occurred “in the course of their long journey”; and that journey’s origin and conclusion are outside the scope of this book. The further adventures of the Watership Down rabbits begin with the ending of Watership Down—and you had better reread that story if it is not fresh in your memory—and they break off one year later. Some of the new plot threads introduced are complete in themselves, but others are unresolved. Life is like that, but it makes an unsatisfying conclusion to a romantic narrative.
   The first tale is, to this reviewer, the least satisfactory part of the whole book. It is an origin myth, in which El-ahrairah must journey into the Underworld—the land of the gods and the home of the dead—to win The Sense of Smell for all rabbits. On this difficult, meandering journey, he comes to the Kingdom of Yesterday, where dwell all of the animal species that have been made extinct by human beings’ hunting or environmental destruction. Next, he comes to the Land of Tomorrow, which is inhabited by… well, what would you expect to find as the opposite of all extinct species? It turns out to be the peacocks, chipmunks, raccoons, koalas, and all others that are waiting to be made extinct by human beings. This heavy-handed Message sets an unfortunately strident tone of Politically Correct Environmentalism; more akin to Disney’s ‘Man is in the forest’ which unrealistically portrays all animals as loving brothers, and which is contradictory to Adams’ own saga of rabbits constantly menaced by ‘the Thousand’ (innumerable predators besides man). Fortunately, this didacticism is not present in the rest of the book; but it certainly is a sour note to start off on.
   Is Tales from Watership Down worth reading? Certainly, by all fans of Watership Down. But it should not be read by those who have not already read Adams’ classic. And, unfortunately, to those who have, it is sure to compare as anticlimactic. Some parts are as good as any of the parts in Watership Down, but they are only fragments. They do not fit together into a cohesive and satisfying whole.

Two Joe Grey Mystery novels, by Shirley Rousseau Murphy

Title: Cat on the Edge
Author: Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Publisher: HarperPaperbacks/HarperPrism (New York, NY), Jun 1996
ISBN: 0-06-105600-6

274 pages, $5.50

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Title: Cat Under Fire
Author: Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Publisher: HarperPaperbacks/HarperPrism (New York, NY), Jan 1997
ISBN: 0-06-105601-4
244 pages, $5.50
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   Cat-themed (and dog-themed) murder mystery series have become one of the most popular subgenres in detective fiction today. But no matter how prominently they may be featured in titles, the animals usually turn out to be only supporting characters. They are normal pets, either of human detectives or of victims. In a couple of series, the cats talk ‘in animal language’ with other critters while the humans are busy detecting.* This is admittedly anthropomorphic, yet it is really just padding. The cats may ‘accidentally’ expose a clue or two (with a nudge-nudge-wink-wink to let the reader know how deliberate this is), but—despite their billing in the blurbs as ‘crime-solving cats’ (or dogs)—their actions are seldom essential to the real solving of the mysteries by the human amateur detective.
   Shirley Rousseau Murphy’s Cat on the Edge and Cat Under Fire are the first two novels in what is at least a trilogy of murder mysteries with actual feline detectives. Cat Raise the Dead has been advertised for July 1997 publication, and the advertisement does not say whether it will be a final volume. Murphy’s series is notable because her protagonists are unabashedly anthropomorphized cats who are hiding their intelligence. When they talk to each other, they have to make sure that no humans are likely to overhear them speaking in English. This is nothing new in juvenile fantasy—just look at Disney’s Chip ’n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, or the Miss Bianca or Rats of NIMH series—but it is a new step for the adult detective genre. It might be an exaggeration to describe this new series as ‘hard-boiled’, but at least it is not ‘cute’ like the other talking-cat novels.
   Cat on the Edge features two mysteries: the murder mystery, and the ‘magic’ puzzle. Molina Point is a California coastal resort village maybe a hundred miles south of San Francisco. The crime occurs in the first paragraph: The murder of Samuel Beckwhite in the alley behind Jolly’s Delicatessen was observed by no human witness. Only the gray tomcat saw Beckwhite fall, the big man’s heavy body crumpling, his round, close-trimmed head crushed from the blow of a shiny steel wrench. (pg. 1) An apparently absolutely mundane crime—so why do two cats who happen to be nearby suddenly gain human intelligence and the ability to talk? And why does a human housewife suddenly find herself transformed into a cat?
   Joe Grey, the cat in question, has an easygoing personality. He would rather hide his new abilities in order to continue living a pampered housecat’s lazy life, than become a celebrity/freak and probably a victim of scientific poking & prodding. But the killer seemingly knows that he is an intelligent witness and tries to hunt him down. An additional problem is that Joe’s human companion, Clyde Damen, was the victim’s business partner, making him an obvious suspect. This becomes a major threat when Joe observes the killer planning to frame Clyde for the murder. Joe will have to save Clyde to protect his own comfortable home life. Besides, he likes the guy.
   Dulcie, the other cat who becomes intelligent, is more concerned with wondering what has happened to them, and why? But when the killer also targets her, she becomes too busy running to ponder metaphysics. Joe, Dulcie, and the housewife-turned-cat, Kate, eventually get together to expose the killer, to get him imprisoned and out of their lives.
   Cat Under Fire takes place a few months later, just after Janet Jeannot, a famous artist living in Molina Point, is brutally murdered. Joe feels that it is none of their business, but Janet had always been kind to Dulcie and she takes it personally. A suspect is quickly arrested, but Dulcie is sure that it is the wrong man and that Janet’s killer is still free. Since the police have stopped looking for other suspects, Dulcie determines to carry on the case herself; with Joe reluctantly tagging along to make sure she does not get hurt.
   In both novels, the cats masquerade as dumb animals while using their natural feline abilities of sharp hearing, superior night vision, and so forth, to spy and find evidence. They next have to figure out how to reveal their findings without exposing themselves—an especially vexing problem in the second novel, since they have to convince the police that there is crucial evidence hidden in a spot that no human could possibly know about.
   The murder mystery is the more satisfyingly handled of the two puzzles. In fact, the question of how the cats have become anthropomorphized fades away. Murphy throws out a handful of clues and suppositions (some obviously contradictory) in Cat on the Edge, but none of them are really proven. By Cat Under Fire, Dulcie has given up wondering, while Joe was always satisfied to take advantage of the benefits of anthropomorphization without worrying about their source. But readers can still sense the mystery hovering just offstage. Could the anthropomorphization wear off? Presumably Murphy plans to reveal the secret eventually, either in the forthcoming third novel, or later if the first two are popular enough to turn this into an extended series.

   *Most notably the five Mrs. Murphy novels by Rita Mae Brown with Sneaky Pie Brown (her own cat gets a byline), and the six Midnight Louie novels by Carole Nelson Douglas.

Title: Nine Lives to Murder
Author: Marian Babson


HarperCollins/Collins Crime Club (London, UK), Oct 1992

ISBN: 0-00-232414-8

188 pages, £13.99

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St. Martin’s Press/A Thomas Dunne Book (New York, NY), Apr 1994

ISBN: 0-312-10511-8

188 pages, $18.95

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   There are, of course, even more individual cat-themed mystery novels than there are long-running series. Marian Babson specializes in these, with such titles as Murder at the Cat Show, Whiskers and Smoke, and The Diamond Cat. Most are completely unanthropomorphic. Nine Lives to Murder is an unusual and witty foray into fantasy.
   Winstanley Fortescue, a Laurence Olivier-like prominent London actor, regains consciousness after a traumatic shock to discover that he is in the body of Monty, the stage cat at the Chesterton Theatre where he is rehearsing his next play. While dazed, he learns from the conversations around him that he fell from a ladder and struck the cat as he hit the floor. His body is in the intensive care ward at a nearby hospital. Win sneaks in his cat body into the hospital to find out how his real body is doing, and discovers that his fall had been no accident—and that the would-be killer is still trying to engineer a fatal mishap.
   Who could want Win dead? As he eavesdrops, Win is shocked to learn how many of his family and theatrical acquaintances have motives for wanting him out of the way. He also learns which of his friends are genuine and which are only opportunists. Still, nobody really suspects foul play, which means that if Win wants his ‘murder’ investigated, he will have to do it himself—as a cat.
   An additional complication is that Win’s and Monty’s minds were not transferred totally. Each body has the other’s conscious mind superimposed over its original natural instincts. This is handy in enabling Win to operate his new body as a normal cat while hunting for clues, but awkward when he has to consciously struggle against Monty’s instincts to go chasing after mice, or female cats in heat. And the opposite promises to be at least embarrassing, and possibly fatal for Win’s human body, when Monty’s cat-mind recovers enough to reactivate it.
   Unlike most ‘feline detective’ novels, Win in Monty’s body is a genuine case of a cat deliberately investigating a crime. Nine Lives to Murder is blurbed as a ‘comic mystery’. It is light-hearted, but it seldom descends into the cuteness of some of these ‘cat-detective’ mysteries. The U.K. and U.S. first-edition hardcovers have been out for awhile, so you may need to look for them in public libraries rather than bookstores. There are also more recent paperback reprints.

Title: Sanctuary: A Tale of Life in the Woods
Author: Paul Monette
Illustrator: Vivienne Flesher

Scribner (New York, NY), Feb 1997

ISBN: 0-684-83286-0

93 pages, $17.00

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   This lyrical tale of forbidden love was intended to be the first in a collection of literary fables in the style of Borges, to create a modern mythology for ‘the gay and lesbian experience’, according to the Introduction. But Monette died of AIDS in February 1995 before he could complete any more. This slim volume has been published in his memory, and to present his last work.
   “The last forest” has been sealed off from the despoilation of humanity by a witch, at the cost of her own life. (Monette says ‘witch’, although the context makes it clear that she/he is an asexual?/bisexual? Earth Spirit.) The Great Horned Owl, a jealous egotist, decides to make himself master of the forest. He demonstrates the magic Spell that protects the animals from the outside world, and claims that he is the wizard responsible for their safety. Alas, he says; he was so busy completing this enchantment that he was unable to stop new animals, refugees from the outside world, from entering the forest before it was sealed off. He urges the animals to report to him any who are acting ‘different’; just to be on the safe side.
   Although he is careful to never say that ‘different’ means ‘bad’, everyone interprets it that way. Soon the forest has become a web of suspicion, with the owl in the center in the guise of their benefactor. But he realizes that he needs something more dramatic to establish himself as a Leader. He needs a scapegoat who can be portrayed as a danger from which he must save them; someone whose ‘difference’ can be made to seem an actual threat. That someone turns out to be Renarda the fox and Lapine the rabbit; a carnivore and a herbivore who are lesbian lovers—a doubly unnatural relationship.
   Although Sanctuary is a prose tale, it is easy to see that Monette was a gifted poet. The writing is beautifully descriptive, painting an ethereal word-portrait of the enchanted forest and its inhabitants; both physically and spiritually. However, with respect to all who designed this attractive example of the bibliographic art as a memorial to him, it is also obvious that it was never meant to be a novel, either in content or in format. Its 93 pages are in large type with wide margins, counting Flesher’s many modernistic full-page illustrations which are blank on the backs. There are no real characterizations, only shallow stereotypes of the Good, the Evil, the Strong, and the Weak. The prose is delightful to savor slowly, but the story is quickly over. Monette meant to write a short morality tale in the tradition of Aesop or La Fontaine, not a Watership Down or Duncton Wood-style epic adventure. By all means, seek it out and read it, but be aware of what you are getting.

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#48 / May 1

Title: Lives of the Monster Dogs
Author: Kirsten Bakis
Illustrator: Zooks, by Greg Goebel

Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), Feb 1997

ISBN: 0-374-18987-0

x + 291 pages, $23.00

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   This strange story is set in New York City between 2008 and 2011, but it is closer in mood to the Victorian ‘things man was not meant to know’ romances such as Fawcett’s Solarion and Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau.
   “In the years since the monster dogs were here with us, in New York, I’ve often been asked to write something about the time I spent with them”, (pg. ix) Cleo Pira begins this rambling multiple-viewpoint flashback, overloaded with portents of doom and tragedy. Cleo is a young woman recently jilted by her boyfriend, who after several months is still wandering the streets in a despondent daze, a year after the arrival of the monster dogs.
   These freaks are 150 anthropomorphized large dogs who have come to New York after revolting and escaping from a Teutonic version of Dr. Moreau’s vivisection experiment, set up by a Prussian mad scientist in an isolated colony in Canada a century earlier. Fortunately for the dogs, they have brought the vast wealth of their former masters and are liberal in spending it. Nevertheless, as Ludwig von Sacher, a German Shepherd whose diary is intercut with Cleo’s narrative, notes:

   The other dogs still often wear the Prussian officers’ uniforms or elaborate bustled skirts that they took from the closets of the humans in Rankstadt ten years ago. They are proud to have stolen the clothes of their oppressors; they don’t realize how ridiculous they look walking around New York. […] …they aren’t aware of the mixture of amusement and revulsion people feel at the sight of Pinschers and Rottweilers stepping from a limousine, dressed like nineteenth-century Prussians, with their monocles and parasols. (pgs. 7-8)

   And so it goes. Much of the story seems deliberately obscure, muted down from drama to ennui. Cleo is hired to be the dogs’ sole public relations liaison to the human world. She duly (and dully) records that her friends think that she has been picked because she is so naïve that she won’t be aware of what the dogs are really up to, or the plottings among their own factions. (Her own reason for accepting the job is that she might as well; she hasn’t anything better to do.) Ludwig is so morbidly obsessed that humans are constantly laughing at the dogs behind their backs, and that he is going mad, that he talks about little else. (It is Ludwig who insists on calling the dogs ‘monsters’.) There are frequent comments that the dogs did not just escape from their human masters; they killed them all. Yet when the details are finally revealed, it is in the form of an opera which the dogs present to New York’s cultural elite, written by Burkhardt Weil, a short, round-headed Bull Terrier who wore a monocle and a lopsided cravat:

Cursed master, this morning I won’t answer you.
But if only once I could answer you properly, with a sword!
Oh, what joy!
What joy to split his ugly head
And leave him lying there for dead,
To burn his house and all that’s in it,
To stand up finally to fight, and win it!
Oh, how I long to kill him.
(pg. 194)

   That is an excerpt; the novel includes the entire libretto. It seems more like Henry Purcell than Richard Wagner; certainly artistic, but stately rather than dynamic. The major exception to this refined mood consists of excerpts from the diary of the long-dead Augustus Rank, the 19th century scientist who set up the secluded colony to create the dogs. He is a nauseating madman; an egocentric and sadistic combination of Dr. Moreau and Mr. Hyde. At the same time, he is the most charismatic of the cast because he is vibrantly active. His diary shows him as having a stupendous goal, and a determination to let nothing stop him from accomplishing it.
   After a year of living scattered among New York’s finest hotels, the dogs decide upon a magnificent project: to build on the Lower East Side an enlarged replica of Bavaria’s Neuschwanstein Castle as a luxurious home for them all. Cleo carefully notes that Neuschwanstein is best known to Americans through its miniaturized replica in Disneyland. She then tells how the original Neuschwanstein was built by Bavaria’s mad King Ludwig II; with such ponderous emphasis on the castle-builder’s grandiose insanity and fated tragedy that it is obvious that the dogs’ Neuhundstein is being forecast as both the symbol and the agent of their own doom.
   Lives of the Monster Dogs contains many scenes that would make lovely paintings. However, it is rather frustrating in its funneled viewpoint upon melancholy self-proclaimed failures. There is a murky swirl of metaphysics and neurotic psychology: the dogs have serious medical problems which they blame upon their vivisection experiences, but it is impossible to tell whether their declining health is really physical or due to hysterical hypochondria. There are constant hints that most of the incidental characters are smarter than the main cast. The most notable example is Lydia Petze, a white Samoyed with dark eyes and a fine pointed muzzle. “She was wearing a long, narrow gown of pale yellow silk, low-cut so that her big mane of fur fluffed up in the front, and she carried a matching long-handled parasol, which she used as a cane.” (pg. 106) Lydia is a quiet but keen observer whose calm comments show that she is very aware of what the narrator has failed to notice.
   Bakis’ first novel is intriguingly intelligent. It is obviously not meant for readers looking for adventure novels. As a reconstruction of a languidly bygone era (and writing style), it is an unusually different creation.

Title: Changespell
Author: Doranna Durgin

Baen Books (Riverdale, NY), Feb 1997

ISBN: 0-671-87765-8

338 pages, $5.99

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   This sequel to Dun Lady’s Jess (Baen Books, 1994; reviewed in Yarf! #35) is a good example of a genuine sequel, rather than a single novel in multiple volumes. The two novels each stand on their own. Readers who liked Dun Lady’s Jess will enjoy these further adventures of the cast. Those who have not read the first story will find enough background well blended into the narrative that they will not feel that they have missed anything important. (Spoiler warning: this review will give away some of the important plot developments in Dun Lady’s Jess. If you feel you should read it before you read Changespell—both are recommended—you might want to stop reading this review after the next paragraph.)
   The setting of the first novel is the magical world of Camolen, engaged in a wizards’ war. When Carey, a courier of the wizard Arlen, is about to be caught by the villains, he triggers an emergency spell that flings him and his horse into an unknown world. This turns out to be Ohio. An unexpected side effect of the transition is that Carey’s mare turns into a human. The adventure/romance novel switches between several viewpoints, but the main story is that of Lady the horse who must learn how to be Jess the woman. She and Carey have to work out their relationship; are they master and loyal pet, good friends, or lovers? Carey desperately needs the aid of a reliable steed to save his friends and all of Camolen from the sadistic sorcerers, but can he ask Jess to give up her humanity and return to being a ‘mere’ animal for their benefit?
   One of the story’s intriguing facets is the way Durgin handles the distinction between intelligence and memory. A human is much smarter than a horse, so when Lady/Jess is human, she is able to understand a lot more of what she saw as a horse. As a horse, her intellect is much more limited, but she knows who her friends and enemies are. And, as anyone who is familiar with real horses knows, they can be exasperatingly cunning and contrary when they want to be.
   Changespell reveals at the beginning that one of the main problems of the first novel has been solved. Arlen, the master mage, has devised a changespell that allows Lady/Jess to choose whichever identity she prefers, rather than being stuck as either a horse in Camolen or a human on Earth. So she remains in Camolen, but she still switches between her equine and human forms. Most humans might not understand how anyone could prefer to be a dumb animal, but she knows that each form has advantages that the other lacks. Her real friends respect her preferences. In fact, she wishes that Carey would stop being so damn respectful about “removing his psychological dominance as her former master”, and resume his former close relationship with her. She is not nearly as concerned as is Ander, another of Arlen’s handsome riders who appoints himself Jess’ tutor/guardian. His ‘protection’ of Jess from Carey is obviously based more on jealousy than any real need. But is Carey being unnecessarily noble, or is he really not interested in Jess? Is Ander offering a personal relationship that she should take seriously, or is his idea of ‘care’ actually as psychologically dominative as he accuses Carey of being?
   The new menace, to everyone’s surprise, turns out to be inspired by Arlen’s changespell for Lady/Jess. A group of unscrupulous wizards decide that if he can turn a horse into a woman, they can turn other animals into a new class of servants who will have human form and abilities but not human rights. It doesn’t take long for some of those wizards to turn completely criminal, reverse the spell and use it for blackmail. “Recognize us as your new lords or we’ll turn you all into sheep or worse!” Things are even worse than they seem, although more cannot be revealed without giving away too much. Lady/Jess is suddenly in mortal danger in both her forms, and is hard-pressed to decide whether being horse or human is best for fighting, spying, or fleeing in each of the rapidly changing situations. She is also confused by how to interpret the attitudes of her two suitors. If she volunteers for a dangerous mission and Carey lets her go, does that mean that he is respecting her right to make her own decisions or that he doesn’t care about her safety? If Ander tries to hold her back, does this mean that he cares more for her or that he feels that she should let him make all the important decisions for both of them?
   Dun Lady’s Jess has some annoying improbabilities built into the basic structure of the magical world of Camolen, such as why wizards need to send messages by heroic Pony Express riders rather than instantly by magic. Durgin provides answers, but they are less convincing than they are obvious excuses to make the story more exciting. This is not quite as blatant in Changespell, and what there is of it is more ‘traditional’, such as setting up the heroes’ desperate commando raid on the villains’ fortress for the grand climax. Changespell wraps itself up neatly, as Dun Lady’s Jess did. It would be nice to see the cast return again, yet there are no frustrating dangling plot threads in case they do not.

Funny Animal Money?

   Discounting childrens’ play money and such trade script as Disney Dollars and (Joe) Camel Cash, the new post-socialist Mongolian government has recently issued what may be the first national currency to feature an anthropomorphized animal: a fu (good fortune/happiness) dog.
   Mythological animals and animal/human hybrids on paper money are nothing new: dragons, unicorns, winged horses, Singapore’s merlion, and many more. But with the exception of depictions of pre-Christian art featuring animal-headed gods, centaurs and the like from such nations as Egypt and Greece, these fantastic animals have not shown any hint of anthropomorphization.
   The dog is one of the traditional animals of the Oriental zodiac, and one of the six domestic animals considered most benevolent towards man. Since before recorded history, the dog’s favored position in man’s household has been to guard his family and possessions. (Please excuse the masculine emphasis, but Oriental theology has always been patriarchally oriented.) Until the 20th century, most long-haired Oriental spaniels and terriers such as the shih tzu and the Pekinese were popularly believed to be crosses of dogs and lions, and are still called fu (good luck) or shih (lion) dogs interchangeably. Statues of lion dogs on guard were a fixture at the entrances of important public buildings, and Buddha riding on a giant fu dog remains a standard scene in religious popular art.
   Returning to the domestic scene, the dog is seen as the most devoted and helpful of the animal members of the household; somewhat similar to the brownie in British folklore. To emphasize this aspect, the current Mongolian brown-&-orange one-tugrug note (1993 issue) depicts the dog with hands instead of paws, so it can make itself as useful as possible.
   (Unfortunately, none of the other Mongol Bank notes depict fantastic animals, anthropomorphized or not. However, there is a pleasant pastoral scene on the backs of some of the higher denominations.)

The large white space contains a watermark portrait of Jengiz Khan.

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