About the Anthropomorphic Index: To be listed on this index a novel must meet the following requirements:
1. Except for manga and graphic novels, books that are meant to be a showcase of an artist's or artists' anthropomorphic works, and picture books written for adults, listed publications must have more words than pictures (children's picture books are not listed, for if they were this list would be far too large to index). The one exception to this rule is treasuries, where several different picture books are published together in one binding.
2. The book must be a fictional narrative about animals, plants and/or inanimate objects that have been personified in some manner. The anthropomorphic character or characters must be, at the very least, an important supporting member of the cast rather than an incidental who appears for only a few pages.
3. The animals, plants, and/or inanimate objects must be able to communicate in words with humans and/or each other, and/or the book must be told from the first person perspective of an animal/plant/object, and/or the animal/plant/object characters in the book must be sentient to a sufficiently "human" degree (in cases where they are not speech-capable; such as the dog in Dean Koontz's Watchers or in more romantic nature stories). Strictly naturalistic animal stories, such as the work of Jim Kjeeglard or the novel Tarka the Otter, are not listed, as they do not fit these criteria.
4. Books about werecreatures or human shapeshifters are generally not listed here unless there are other animals involved, as in Jennifer Roberson's Shapechangers series, which features many sentient animal characters. When it's the nonhuman who does the shapeshifting, however, such as Kij Johnson's The Fox Woman, it IS considered sufficiently anthropomorphic. To be listed on other criteria than these, the shapeshifter in the story must -
must be in animal form for at least half the novel OR-
must be transformed into a bipedal and/or visually anthropomorphic form OR-
The character must never regain humanity (such as Kafka's famous Gregor Samsa) OR-
The transformed human retains their powers of speech OR-
The book focuses on an "animalization" of a person, on the inside as well as the out (such as in Whitley Strieber's The Wild, where character Bob must learn to deal with the conflicts between his wolf brain and his human brain).
5. The animals in the story do NOT have to be species as we know them on Earth - but they have to resemble Terran species at least somewhat to be listed here. For example, Eet in Andre Norton's Zero Stone series doesn't look much like the cats we find on Earth, but he is feline, and is enough like a cat to be considered one for the purposes of this index. Non-alien examples include Wombles and Moomins.
6. Media novels, or books based on movies/TV shows etc., are listed as long as they are original stories and not merely novelizations of episodes/etc. Novelizations may be mentioned if they are significantly different from the source episode.
7. Graphic novels and manga are listed here.
8. Typical comic books, i.e., individual issues of the type that can be bought at supermarkets, drug stores, comic book stores, etc are not listed for the same reason as picture books (they would make the list far too long, and there are many better sites for the cataloging of individual comic issues).
9. Only English-language books are listed here, mainly from America and Britain. There are also a few Australian books, and books from other countries that were either written in English or were translated into English. English is the only language I speak, therefore I have no personal interest in seeking out anthropomorphic books in other languages. I will leave that up to other fans.
10. The book must exist as a physical object (books that exist solely in electronic form, either on the internet or as ebook downloads from sites like Amazon, will not be listed here). Self-published books will be listed here when I encounter ones that fit the criteria, but as I can't keep track of every pay-by-demand publisher (and the sheer volume of self published books out there) the main focus will be on books that are published by traditional presses.
Credits: I would like to give my thanks to a number of websites and establishments that have greatly helped me with this project:
The WorldCat Service
Borders Bookstore (RIP) and Barnes and Noble
Numerous independent booksellers over the years
Numerous public and university libraries over the years
What the Letter Code Means:
IR - Intermediate Readers. In other words, a children's middle grade novel. Some of them may be too juvenile for adult tastes, while others are amazing no matter your age. If a title looks interesting, research it!
YA - Young Adult. A bit more thematically deep than IR novels, and written at a higher grade level. Some are still very much capable of coming off as immature to adult readers, so again, research a book before you buy.
A - Adult. Written for adults, but in some circumstances, the book may be suitable for younger readers. Research as always is a must.