The Dog Said Bow-Wow

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"The Dog Said Bow-Wow"
AuthorMichael Swanwick
CountryUnited States
Genre(s)Science fiction short story
Published inAsimov's Science Fiction
Publication typemagazine
Publication dateOct/Nov 2001

"The Dog Said Bow-Wow" is a science fiction short story by American writer Michael Swanwick, published in 2001. It won the 2002 Hugo Award for Best Short Story[1] and was nominated for the 2002 Nebula Award for Best Short Story.[2] The Dog Said Bow-Wow is the title story of his 2007 short story collection, published by Tachyon Publications, and was reprinted in the same year in Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology.

Plot summary[edit]

"The Dog Said Bow-Wow" follows the story of Sir Blackthorpe Ravenscairn de Plus Precieux (better known as "Surplus"), a genetically engineered talking dog of human intelligence, and Darger, his partner in crime. Together they create a plan to con several high officials of Buckingham Palace out of their wealth. The story is set in a not-very-distant future after a war between humankind and its artificial intelligence creations in which humans won, but civilization as we know it was forced to revert to an early Victorian era level of communications technology.

The collection[edit]

The collection The Dog Said Bow-Wow contains the following stories:

  1. "'Hello,' Said the Stick" (Hugo Nominee for Short Story 2003, Locus Nominee for Short Story 2003)
  2. "The Dog Said Bow-Wow" (Hugo Winner for Short Story 2002, Nebula Nominee for Short Story 2003, Locus Nominee for Short Story 2002)
  3. "Slow Life" (Hugo Winner for Novelette 2003, Locus Nominee for Novelette 2003)
  4. "Triceratops Summer" (Locus Nominee for Short Story 2006)
  5. "Tin Marsh" (Locus Nominee 2007)
  6. "An Episode of Stardust"
  7. "The Skysailor's Tale" (Locus Nominee for Novelette 2008)
  8. "Legions in Time" (Hugo Winner for Novelette 2004, Locus Nominee for Novelette 2004)
  9. "The Little Cat Laughed to See Such Sport" (Hugo Nominee for Short Story 2003, Locus Nominee for Short Story 2003)
  10. "The Bordello in Faerie"
  11. "The Last Geek" (Locus Nominee for Short Story 2005)
  12. "Girls and Boys, Come Out to Play" (Locus Nominee for Novelette 2006)
  13. "A Great Day for Brontosaurs"
  14. "Dirty Little War" (Locus Nominee for Short Story 2003)
  15. "A Small Room in Koboldtown" (Hugo Nominee for Short Story 2008, Locus Winner for Short Story 2008)
  16. "Urdumheim" (Locus Nominee for Novelette 2008)

Related stories[edit]

Swanwick has since written several more Darger and Surplus stories. As of late 2013, the complete list is as follows:[3]

Short stories

  • The Dog Said Bow-Wow
  • Smoke and Mirrors: Four Scenes from the Post-Utopian Future, which is composed of four short-short stories:
    • The Song of the Lorelei
    • American Cigarettes
    • The Brain-Baron
    • The Nature of Mirrors.
  • The Little Cat Laughed to See Such Sport
  • Tawny Petticoats


  • Dancing with Bears
  • Chasing the Phoenix

Chronologically, The Little Cat is followed by Dancing with Bears, then Chasing the Phoenix, and then Tawny Petticoats.

Smoke and Mirrors was published in the collection Live Without a Net edited by Lou Anders; the stories also had very limited availability in handmade chapbooks sold by Swanwick's wife.

The Little Cat Laughed to See Such Sport is available online, published to promote the release of Dancing with Bears.[4]

Tawny Petticoats was published in the collection Rogues edited by George R.R. Martin.


External links[edit]