Originally Published in Science Fiction Age, March 1998

Reprinted in:

* Northern Suns
(Tor, 1999, David Hartwell and Glenn Grant, editors)

* Year’s Best Science Fiction XVI
(Morrow, 1999, Gardner Dozois, editor)

* Hayakawa Science Fiction Magazine (Japan)
September 2001

“Like most aliens-mingling-with-human-society stories, Doctorow’s story serves mostly to hold a mirror up to human nature, but the odd corner of human nature it examines is fascinating, and the story is smoothly and expertly written, with some good detail and local color and some shrewd insights into human nature and human culture, and an almost Bradburian vein of rich nostalgia running through it (although the nostalgia is quirky enough that perhaps it might more usefully be compared to R.A. Lafferty or Terry Bisson than to Bradbury).”

– Gardner Dozois
Editor, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine

Download the plain text version from http://craphound.com/place/Cory_Doctorow_-_Craphound.txt.

Paste in links to your own versions below.

26 Responses to “Craphound”

  1. Here’s this story’s intro from the book:

    Though I started selling to the semi-professional markets when I was 17, it took nine years before “Craphound,” my first professional sale, saw print. Scott Edelman bought it for the late, lamented *Science Fiction Age* in the same month that Gardner Dozois bought “At Lightspeed, Slowing” for *Asimov’s,” though this story saw print a good eight months before the Asimov’s story made ink.

    This story remains my best-known. It’s been reprinted in best-of anthologies, translated into Japanese, and it gave its name to my domain, craphound.com. It seems to especially resonate with librarians, archivists, collectors and slacker doofuses like me.

    I think that there’s an increasing sense of the approach of the Singularity, the nonlinearity of human history, the harbinger of which is the extent to which all of our commonsense knowledge is flushed and replaced with brand new memes every five or six years. The quotidian ephemera of our childhoods already seem impossibly naive and silly–did I really once have a “stereo” the size of a buffet that played 78s? Our parents’ crap and tchotchkes are like the fanciful implements littering the tableaux at a local Pioneer Village–girdles and curling irons, typewriters and mimeographs, patent medicine and adding machines.

    The original title for this story was “You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Craphound,” but thankfully the writers at the Cecil Street Irregulars workshop in Toronto talked me out of it.

  2. Jeremy Keith says:

    I should probably add a few notes about the PDF conversion I did.

    It’s very, very simple and not much different to the original text version (no conversion of quotes, emphasis, etc.). All I’ve done is change the typeface to 12 point Helvetica.

    The width is still fixed at 80 characters.

    I’m sure somebody else will put together some more sophisticated PDFs. This was just a quick fix done using the “Save as pdf” print option under OS X.

  3. Thomas Scott says:

    I’ve converted all the available stories into Palm Reader format, suitable for one-click loading onto a Palm Pilot or Pocket PC (as well as looking rather nice using the Palm Reader for Windows and Macs.)

    The Palm Reader file’s available from here.

  4. I just finished formatting and uploading a .doc and .pdf version of this story.

    Now I just have to read it and then move on to the next one.

  5. I’ve got another Palm Reader version of this story, available here.

  6. Plucker is an open source compressed HTML format for Palm and
    other handheld computers. The reader is available from
    and the converted story is at

  7. Plucker is an open source compressed HTML format for Palm and
    other handheld computers. The reader is available from
    and the converted story is at

  8. HTML versions of all stories can be found here. Converted with txt2html. The width is not fixed to 80 characters.

  9. Two weeks

    Well, it’s been two weeks since I posted anything here so I need to get back at it. I have been posting to my random page and my mblog. I’ve been putting off writing here as I have some serious…

  10. Ulrik Kold says:

    You would probably want to know, that the link to the Plucker-versions are no longer available (at http://home.austin.rr.com/rcp/plucker/).

  11. Ulrik Kold says:

    Additionally, you would probably like to try a search for ‘Cory Doctorow’ on your favourite p2p-network, eMule/eDonkey … Go for it!

  12. Grant's Blog says:

    .pdf and .doc formats of Craphound

    I just finished formatting and uploading a .doc and .pdf of Cory’s story Craphound….

  13. Seb Perez-D says:

    Here is a prettified PDF version of Craphound. Quotes corrected, emphasis added, set in Palatino, and laid out so that you can print it double-side, bind on the left, fold, and read it like a book. Go buy the real stuff and check that it is much nicer to have it really bound by a professional and with a nice cover !


  14. Mike Feeny says:

    I’ve only read Craphound so far, but I really liked it! Here’s a simple HTML version of Craphound.

  15. Jamie Adams says:

    Here’s a version for MobiPocket Reader, a popular reader that comes with versions for all sorts of devices.

    Great work by the way. I can’t wait to read the rest.


  16. artm says:

    Another HTML
    with pages that remember the last scroll position using java script
    (only tested in firefox so far). I aim to make a collection of free
    fiction I liked and I started with A Place So Foreign and 8 (5
    actually) More.

  17. The .lit version above is no longer available so I did the following:

  18. DJ says:

    I was printing a copy of Craphound to read on the train, and then it occurred to me to try to pass it on when I was done with it, sort of BookCrossing style. So, I added a short message to the beginning of the story and left it in my local bookstore in the tech section of the magazine racks. I encouraged any reader who finds it to leave a post here.



  19. Cory Doctorow says:

    Holy crap that’s cool! Thanks, DJ!

  20. Joseph says:

    I’ve prepared the six stories for Monocle, an open-source browser-based ereader (with just one unmodified copy of the ‘note’ and license – hope that’s alright?).


  21. I converted the Craphound TXT file into an EPUB file by hard-coding it myself (the best way to do it). So, here are the fruits of my labors of love:


    I hope you like it!

  22. Christina says:

    Seb Perez-D- I’m a little late to this thread, but thank you so much for your prettified version. I love it! I printed it and am going to staple it so I have my own little booklet that I can write notes in.

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