by Cory Doctorow
• Word count: 7005
• Page count: 18
Craphound is a great science fiction short story about a feud between two yard-sale buddies, one a human and the other (craphound) an alien. It is an interesting piece about our culture, human-alien relations and the nature of beings to collect antiques and junk. If you are a fan of Cory Doctorow’s other works then this one will not disappoint you. He gives some amazing descriptions and really draws you into the story with all his accounts of the sights and smells of yard sales!
Let’s hear it for the fates: a genuine collapsible top-hat; a white-tipped evening cane; a hand-carved cherry-wood walking stick; a beautiful black lace parasol; a wrought-iron lightning rod with a rooster on top; all of it in an elephant-leg umbrella-stand. I filled the box, folded it over, and started on another.
I collided with Craphound. He grinned his natural grin, the one that showed row on row of wet, slimy gums, tipped with writhing, poisonous suckers. “Gold! Gold!” he said, and moved along. I turned my head after him, just as he bent over the cowboy trunk.
Craphound was originally published in Science Fiction Age (March 1998), but can currently be found in Doctorow’s book of collected short stories A Place So Foreign and Eight More. It has also been published in the collected anthologies Northern Suns: The New Anthology of Canadian Science Fiction and The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Sixteenth Annual Collection.
Cory Doctorow is a unique author in the fact that he allows many of his stories to be given away for free – and Craphound is no exception. You can find it on many websites and for download in many different formats. Here is a nice HTML version in our very own Science Fiction Short Story Library. Or if you prefer to download and print it you can find many different formats on the Craphound page at Doctorow’s site (including pdf, .doc, Palm reader, Newton, .lit and plain text). Another great way to read it (the way I initially encountered it) is to read it in small daily email installments from DailyLit.com.