I bought The Dog Said Bow-Wow based on the review at SF Site, which promised brilliant stories full of the unexpected. In reality the quality varied widely. The collection as a whole has no theme or connecting thread. A few stories are from the same world, some even have the same characters, but others go off on some completely different tangent.

Some stories were brilliant: “Slow Life” and “Urdumheim” were memorable and strong. The first is a beautiful, poetic story about life discovered on Titan, and the meeting between humans and those very different minds. The latter is a long creation myth blending Sumerian and Hebrew elements – about the creation of language, consciousness, and death. Nimrod, one of the First, gives his people language, so that they can escape the dark nothingness they originally inhabited. But the creatures of the nothingness come to reconquer the People by stealing their words, and thereby also their ability to think. “Urdumheim” is almost good enough to be worth buying the book for.

A few other stories are relatively average. And then there are the three stories about Surplus and Darger, two con men (or rather, a con man and a con genetically-engineered-man-shaped-dog) in a fantasy future, which everyone seems to like so. These were almost boring in my opinion, very predictable and almost dull in their quasi-Victorian tone.

It’s hard to say anything useful about the book as a whole. It’s uneven, for sure.

Amazon UK, Amazon US.