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The Dog Said Bow-Wow (2007)

by Michael Swanwick

Other authors: Terry Bisson (Introduction)

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2598102,783 (3.85)1
Great literature has never been this much fun before. The reigning master of short fiction reinvents science fiction and fantasy in a dazzling new collection unlike anything you’ve ever read. Time-traveling dinosaurs wreak havoc on a placid Vermont town. An ogre is murdered in a locked room in Faerie. An uncanny bordello proves as dangerous as it is alluring. Language is stolen from the builders of Babel. Those strangely loveable Post-Utopian scoundrels and con men Darger and Surplus swindle their way through London, Paris, and Arcadia. The Dog Said Bow-Wow includes three Hugo Award-winning stories and an original novelette of swashbuckling romance and adventure, "The Skysailor’s Tale.” Ranging from the hardest of science fiction to the highest of fantasy, this irresistible collection amuses and enlightens as only Michael Swanwick can.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Some interested me more than others. what a creative writer... ( )
  leebill | Apr 30, 2020 |
The first story, "'Hello' Said the Stick", was terrific but the remainder were ok and a few were less than ok for me. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
Absolutely fantastic short stories. Swanwick writes with a verve and imagination I have rarely seen in sf, and his fantasy is always fresh and fiesty. The only story I didn't love was "The Skysailor's Tale," which meandered. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Collection of short stories, surprising in content and variety. Here we find a bit of cyberpunk, picaresque, mythology, past, future, all well written and mixed in unexpected combinations. Long time I don't get from a book such a feeling of having read something so original.

Out of 16 stories, I only got bored or uninterested in couple of them, which I think makes a great result for a compilation. ( )
  ivan.frade | Sep 19, 2014 |
I must first off state that I am generally not an avid lover of the short story. There are a few writers that I think really excel in the genre and whose stuff I will read without hesitation (Poe, Ashton Smith, Howard, Doyle, Leiber), but in general I am often underwhelmed by the format. Keep that in mind when I say that Swanwick’s collection _The Dog Said Bow-Wow_ was quite good, but didn’t blow me away or make me into a believer.

The various “Darger & Surplus” tales (“The Dog Said Bow-Wow”, “The Little Cat Laughed to See Such Fun”, and “Girls and Boys, Come Out to Play”), relating the adventures of a pair of con-men in a world suffering the effects of a computer apocalypse and subsequent love-affair with bio-engineering, were all very enjoyable and entertaining, though perhaps sometimes a bit light on substance. “The Skysailor’s Tale” was an enjoyable reminiscence from the titular sailor that had equal parts melancholy, adventure, romance and fun and seemed to occur in a pan-dimensional steampunk setting. “The Bordello in Faerie” read something like a Neil Gaiman tale, if that author had any real edge to him, and was able to fulfil the majority of the possible male sexual fantasies involved with the fae while managing to invert them at the same time; it also had an ending that I totally did not see coming. “Urdumheim” rounds out my set of favourites with a very well done mythic tale of the rise of humanity and its first confrontation with the chthonic demons and monsters from whom they thought they had escaped. Tied in with this is a consideration of language and its power and an ultimate turning on its head of the story of the Tower of Babel.

The remaining stories more or less struck me as fairly “ho-hum” and didn’t strike my fancy, either as exciting stories in and of themselves, or exemplars of outstanding technique. They filled out the collection, but a few of them could easily have been dropped without the whole suffering much of a loss. Happily, there weren’t any glaring examples of my most hated kind of ‘modern’ short stories, namely literary wanking, where the sole point seems to be for the author to dazzle with his literary technique or twist endings with nothing else to show for it (though the first story “’Hello,’ Said the Stick” came close.)
( )
  dulac3 | Apr 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Swanwickprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bisson, TerryIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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"Hello," said the stick.
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Great literature has never been this much fun before. The reigning master of short fiction reinvents science fiction and fantasy in a dazzling new collection unlike anything you’ve ever read. Time-traveling dinosaurs wreak havoc on a placid Vermont town. An ogre is murdered in a locked room in Faerie. An uncanny bordello proves as dangerous as it is alluring. Language is stolen from the builders of Babel. Those strangely loveable Post-Utopian scoundrels and con men Darger and Surplus swindle their way through London, Paris, and Arcadia. The Dog Said Bow-Wow includes three Hugo Award-winning stories and an original novelette of swashbuckling romance and adventure, "The Skysailor’s Tale.” Ranging from the hardest of science fiction to the highest of fantasy, this irresistible collection amuses and enlightens as only Michael Swanwick can.

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Book description
Collects the following stories:
"'Hello,' Said the Stick"
"The Dog Said Bow-Wow"
"Slow Life"
"Triceratops Summer"
"Tin Marsh"
"An Episode of Stardust"
"The Skysailor's Tale"
"Legions in Time"
"The Little Cat Laughed to See Such Sport"
"The Bordello in Faerie"
"The Last Geek"
"Girls and Boys, Come Out to Play"
"A Great Day for Brontosaurs"
"Dirty Little War"
"A Small Room in Koboldtown"
"Urdumheim"
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