Review by Linnea ‘LiteralGrill’ Capps
Furries Hate Nazis, edited by Kate Watts, contains eight stories about resisting fascism, and of course nazis, in all forms. I cannot think of a more prudent time than now to have this anthology available to read. I wondered when beginning to read just how much these stories would affect me. Would they be able to truly show some of the horrors of fascism while still telling inspiring tales? There was only one way to find out.
“The Battler” - Cedric G! Bacon
It is rare a story is so powerful it brings you to tears. In case that sentence alone doesn’t make it clear, "The Battler" is one of those stories. A story I expect is inspired in ways by the real-life tale of Salamo Arouch, this story will absolutely inspire you. It shows how we cannot let evil win and must fight until our final breaths to stop the world from descending deeply into fascism. This story starting the anthology sets the bar high and instantly makes you want to see what the other stories have to offer.
“An Incident at Demansk Station” - S. Park
Would racism truly go away in the far-off future? Would sci-fi be like Star-Trek portrays, where many people band together to fight their prejudices? Unfortunately, that’s not the case in this story. Thankfully, the AI of Demansk Station won’t allow such things to go unchecked. It’s remarkably fun seeing the story told from the perspective of an AI to begin; it’s incredibly engaging. Plus seeing some nazis get their shit handed to them is always excellent. This story offers a unique perspective from start to finish and builds a world I would enjoy seeing more stories in.
“Nazis Should Never Be Normal” - Nathan Hopp
Every action, from posting online to taking it to the streets can help fight for change. This story follows a far more coordinated direct course of action. Not just a planned trolling campaign to make things difficult for a fascist group, but a bear trying to stop the group from making a local chapter in his home town. Things turn sour when the mission has to turn into the rescue of a less than desirable target. People often forget during moments of fascist takeovers how hard the fight was taken to new levels. Derailing trains, messing with shipments, even just filling out paperwork a bit more slowly than necessary. It’s wonderful to see some of this glorified alongside the intense action, given how important it is.
“Firesale” - Laura Hinkle
This story shows how just one person taking a stand can inspire others. Not just inspire others, but start a movement. We cannot turn a blind eye to the problems of the world, and a group standing together strong can overcome the small groups of terrible people. The way the story is written is very unique: I loved the use of various grammar tricks to really make the weight of the situation that a simple grocery worker finds themself in. A story both as excellent artistically as it is with its themes.
“The Scent of Oak” - Alexander Patterson
“You’re not like those other ________” is a phrase too many marginalized folks have heard. This story takes a look at this to an intense extreme. Not only do we get to deal with people using terms like “beta-cuck” in real life, but see how unhappy life can be as a trans werewolf trying to deal with the friends and surroundings she’s got. How often people have to give up their standards to try and have something when they might feel far better free and surrounded by those that really love them is tragic. It was a real treat to read with some serious good laugh moments. Plus trans werewolves? Always a 10/10.
“The Silver Eagle” - J. Daniel Phillips
Vive la France! This story takes place deep within German occupation of France and details one of the most intense operations of French resistance forces you may ever see. The story has an air of grandiosity that you might find in old war stories, and it aids the flavor of the story so well. It was quite marvelous waiting to see just how the operation might play out and what twists and turns happen along the way.
“No Mercy” - Jelliqal Belle
This anthology in general is going to tackle some dark themes, but this story in particular needs a content warning for sexual assault. With this in mind, the bastard gets what is coming to him in the most brutal and satisfying way. What happens when a werewolf gets a chance to get his paws on some fascists? If you’d like to find out, this story is for you.
“Resist” - Alison Cybe
This was such a powerful story to end the anthology on. What do you do when you will most certainly face death? There is no escape? You still keep fighting. You still resist. This story shows how that defiance to the last breath will help keep any and all alive still fighting the chance to keep going the next day. How any act of rebellion against fascists can weaken their cause. The ending of this story feels less like a pyrrhic victory, and more like a strategic defeat. A fantastic story to end on.
I cannot write this review in good conscience without saying, as an American citizen, how visceral these stories were in current times. I am a queer and disabled woman. I soon might be facing horrors similar to those in these stories presented. Yet, all of these stories show that fierce defiance necessary to keep going, keep fighting, never give up hope. I think this is an anthology everyone should read, not just because the stories are of utmost quality, but because we must face the horrors fascism brings. I can promise this anthology is going to stay with you for weeks after reading it. It certainly did with me.