Mark Merlino

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Mark Merlino
Merlino at Califur 3, 2006
Other names Sylys Sable, Sy Sable
Born 1952
Profession or hobby Fandom organizer, writer
Character species American marten

Mark Merlino, also known Sylys Sable or just Sy Sable (born 1952) is a furry writer who lives in Garden Grove, California, USA.

Mark has accumulated an enormous repertoire of furry persona characters and has a tradition of naming his characters with the prefix "Sy-". Some of them include the recom Sylys Sable, Sy the skiltaire, Sydney Fisher, and the silkies Sylvester Thomas and Syndy Skye. Sega the ratel is an exception. His own representative species is American marten.

Fandom Involvement[edit]

Mark Merlino is one of the founding members of the furry fandom[1][2][3], along with his long time partner Rod O'Riley, describing himself as the 'Father of the Furry Fandom' in his Oklacon 2004 panel "History of Fur"[4]. He got into the fandom in 1971 by meeting science fiction convention attendees with an interest in animal characters [3]. He was one of the founders of the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization and by 1985 he organized the first furry room parties, most notably at Westercon, which, due to their growing attendance, lead to the creation of a newsletter and two magazines[3]. In 1982 he created the first furry BBS, Tiger's Den. In 1989, by suggestion of Rod O'Riley, he co-founded ConFurence, remaining as director until Confurence 10. In 2001 he was a Guest of Honour at Eurofurence 7 and in 2004 at Morphicon One. In 2004-2005 he helped Califur find its first and second hotels[citation needed].

Mark has been involved with several periodicals, including Touch, In-Fur-Nation and Western Weyr (a Pern fanzine). He was a co-writer on the furry role-playing game Other Suns (which included his Skiltaire species), and has written non-fiction articles for FurVersion and New Horizons. Mark's stories of the First Light Pride appeared in comic form in New Horizons, and were reprinted in Four Footed Furries, also published by Shanda Fantasy Arts.

He owns a well-known furry household, The Prancing Skiltaire in Garden Grove, California.

He was co-winner, with Rod O'Riley, of the Good Furry Award Lifetime Achievement trophy in 2022.


  1. Who are the furries? by Denise Winterman. BBC News Magazine. Retrieved November 13, 2009.
  2. The Fandom: A Furry Documentary FULL MOVIE by Ash "Ash Coyote" Kreis. YouTube. Retrieved January 13, 2023.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 #1 - Sy Sable (Mark Merlino), The Greymuzzle Archives. Podcast. Retrieved January 13, 2023
  4. Oklacon 2004 Event Schedule. Retrieved November 24, 2010

External links[edit]

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