More Dogs in Science Fiction

In my previous post, I was only able to come up with two science fiction works where dogs were important characters. Fortunately, readers came to my rescue:

Misha Burnett, in addition to mentioning a dog-themed role playing game, provided this example – more in the realm of fantasy than science fiction, but still very interesting:

Dun CowThe Book of the Dun Cow

Jacqueline Crawley brought up a series of novels by Alan Dean Foster:
Lost FoundLost and Found (The Taken Trilogy)

MarzAat came up with multiple examples, including these:CityCity

SiriusSirius

Nicholas Rossis also mentioned that Philip K Dick wrote dogs into some of his short stories; if you know which ones, or think of any other great science fiction dogs, let us all know in the comments section.

Finally, I decided to browse through the self-published Kindle offerings for dog-focused science fiction. The first thing I noticed was how many books use “dog” in the title but actually have nothing to do with dogs. My list below isn’t comprehensive, but hopefully contains a few interesting examples. Post-apocalyptic seemed to be the most common sub-genre for canine science fiction.

“Lost Dogs” was the first story which drew my attention, but I’m not sure I can read it. It’s told from the perspective of two dogs, whose owners have either died or become separated from their pets during some kind of catastrophe, probably a nuclear war. For me, it’s too heartbreaking to read a story about dogs having to deal with a situation they can’t possibly understand. These are not genetically-enhanced super-dogs, they’re just ordinary housepets.

Lost Dogs

“Dogs” seems kind of like a zombie novel, with pet dogs cast in the zombie role. I don’t know if there are any canine characters, but it’s definitely dog-focused science fiction.

NancyKressDogs

“Wild Dog City” is another novel with canine protagonists, this time in a dystopian future.

Wild Dog City

A science fiction K-9 cop story? How did I not hear of this before? Count me in:

Dog on the Moon

Apparently “The Dog on the Moon” is the third book in a sci-fi series containing the K-9 cop, here is the first book:

Longevity

Here’s a military K-9 corps:

K9 Corps

“Calines” are apparently genetically engineered pets combining attributes of dogs, cats, and otters:

Caline

The Colter Saga is a post-apocalyptic series with a couple of dogs in it; I think the dogs have some kind of fantastical attributes, but it’s possible I’m just misreading some comments on Amazon.

Colter

I have no idea what to make of this one:

Fat Dog

Here’s one from the world of Christian fiction:

Jesus Dog

In this one, an alien comes to Earth disguised as a dog, so I’m not really sure it counts:

Alien Dog

Here’s an android dog, but wouldn’t it be more appropriate to call it a candroid?:

Android Dog

I’m including this because the cover has a dog in a spacesuit:

spacesuit Dog

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21 comments

  1. The Jetson’s? The daggot on Battlestar Galactica. Marvin the Martian had one too.

  2. What odd dog-related books! It seems alien and android dogs are popular – who would have thought. I think my favourite is ‘The Dog of Jesus’… just bizarre 🙂 By the way, one of my favourite sci-fi/fantasy books with a dog in it is ‘The Knife of Never Letting Go’ by Patrick Ness. The dog in that is such an important part of it and you come to really love him. The book is set on a planet where everyone can hear each other’s thoughts (thus the main character can hear the dog’s very simple, funny, dog-like thoughts). It’s an amazing and enthralling book too.

    1. I’ve heard a little of “The Knife of Never Letting Go”, but it sounds a little too bizarre for me. It does sound like fun to read your dog’s thoughts, though.

  3. Oh, and Dr. Who had K9.

    1. Yes, those are all classic examples. I don’t think many of the stories would have changed without the canines, but it’s possible there were episodes based around them, so I could be wrong. I think I read somewhere that K9 even had his own spin-off show!

  4. City is one of old ones, written by Clifford D. Simak, that novel was awarded the International Fantasy Award in 1953

  5. fromcouchtomoon · · Reply

    Did anyone mention “The Faithful” by Lester del Rey? Short story from 1938, it’s about uplifted dogs surviving the apocalypse and trying to reestablish the human world, which proves difficult without human hands.

    1. I don’t think anyone else mentioned it. Here’s a collection that includes it:

  6. I want to say there’s a Rudy Rucker novel from a couple years ago in which a boy and his uplifted dog are the heroes; the dog might not actually be a literal dog but is an uplifted mass-marketed version of a pet animal in this future in which there’s a pitifully small number of species all designed by Globe-Spanning Evil Corp LLC and replacing nature by being controlled and predictable and subject to new upgrades with every release year.

    1. I’m glad nobody can upgrade my dog, I think the basic design has worked pretty well for thousands of years.

  7. I looked it up. The very first short story published by Philip K. Dick was Roog, published in 1951. It tells the story from the point of view of a dog named Boris, who observes his master’s carefully stored food in containers outside of their house day after day. Unbeknownst to the dog, these are the human’s trash cans for garbage.

    The dog is later horrified to witness some food being ‘stolen’ by garbage men who the dog knows are predatory carnivores from another planet. The dog comes to know these beings as ‘Roogs’, and tries to warn his master of each ‘theft’ with cries of ‘Roog!’ ‘Roog!’.

    The humans, unable to comprehend the hound’s message, think the dog is just being rowdy. Thus they attribute the sound the dog makes to be the sound that all dogs make when they are excited: ‘Roog!’ ‘Roog!’

    1. My dog woke me up earlier this week warning me about some Roogs.

  8. I would definitely recommend City. My dad suggested it to me, and it is super, super interesting.

    1. Looks like I have a lot of dog-related reading in my future, then.

  9. […] see the More Dogs in Science Fiction […]

  10. I need some help finding the title and author of this story – More than 20 years ago I read a short story or novella about a genetically enhanced dog and a cruel master. The dog got away from his master and was cared for by a kind person for some time. Eventually the master came through town, fell into a dangerous situation and the dog looked at the kind person, said master (the dog could speak) and tried to save the cruel master. Both died but the dog left a mate who was pregnant.

    1. I don’t know that one off-hand. Some of my frequent visitors really know their classic sci-fi, you may want to visit their blogs. Check my sidebar under “auxiliary forces”. MarzAat, Cirsova, From Couch to Moon, Battered Tattered Yellowed & Creased, and Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations are all classic sci-fi fans.

  11. Another occurred to me: Kirsten Bakis’ Lives of the Monster Dogs (more modified dogs).

  12. […] found Alien Pets on the shelf. Last year, I posted about Dogs in Science Fiction and More Dogs in Science Fiction, so it wouldn’t be fair to leave the alien pets […]

  13. Fire Upon the Deep is a great scifi book with an alien race that is doglike.

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