Furry fandom was born roughly in the 1980s. It was (and is) an unholy merging of science fiction fandom, animation fandom, and comic book fandom. It's a kind of role-playing, not unlike hardcore SCA'ers, except that instead of giving themselves medieval personas and dressing up in medieval garb and suits of armor, furries give themselves "furry animal" personals and dress up in fursuits. Most of it is harmless, but the really extreme hardcore furs are the ones who get all the attention. You know how news stories about science fiction conventions usually focus on the scantily clad girls in the chainmail bikinis, and the 400-pound guys wearing Spock ears? (Well, nowadays it's Matrix getups.) So it is with furry fans. Furry fandom also has a lot in common with anime fandom – especially the fan politics, backstabbing, and infighting.
This link will take you to one of the Web page for FurryMUCK, one of the biggest (and best) of the MUDs. FurryMUCK is a non-combat, social MUD whose "theme" is anthromorphic animals, or "furries." Examples of furry characters include the humanoid animals from mythology, science fiction, comic books, and cartoons. FurryMUCK has been the home of many of my closest friends on the Net, and it has also introduced me to many of my other friends. (Mary Anne Mohanraj ( "Kateri" ) is also a good friend from Furry, and proof that not all of the denizens there are furverts bereft of writing talent.) If you enjoy amateur (and some professional) artwork, you can look at hundreds of pictures of the denizens of Furry fandom by going to the Velar Central Library (or "Vixen Controlled Library" ) page. For a whacked-out look at life on FurryMUCK, check out the online comic strip West Corner of the Park by Jim Groat.
There's a furry wiki for those wiki addicts who want to see a wiki that covers all aspects of furry fandom: WikiFur.
Furry Lynx (links)
(It's worth noting that the political infighting and backstabbing in furry fandom is among the worst and nastiest in any fandom group you can think of. Even anime fandom battles pale in comparison to furry flames…some of the time, at least. If you want to see an example of the worst of the worst, you can't do much better than here: Crush Yiff Destroy)