A Place So Foreign and Eight More


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  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.

    Comment by Cory Doctorow — September 7, 2003 @ 7:30 am

  2. PDF

    Comment by Jeremy Keith — September 8, 2003 @ 4:49 am

  3. 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.

    Comment by Jeremy Keith — September 8, 2003 @ 7:06 am

  4. 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.

    Comment by Thomas Scott — September 8, 2003 @ 7:29 am

  5. Apple Newton Paperback format of all of the short stories:


    Comment by Victor Rehorst — September 8, 2003 @ 8:09 am

  6. 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.

    Comment by Grant Henninger — September 8, 2003 @ 10:41 pm

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

    Comment by Jon Abernathy — September 9, 2003 @ 11:13 pm

  8. 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

    Comment by Rob Pettengill — September 17, 2003 @ 2:33 pm

  9. 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

    Comment by Rob Pettengill — September 17, 2003 @ 2:38 pm

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

    Comment by Michael Schubart — September 18, 2003 @ 8:56 pm

  11. 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…

    Trackback by Marc's terminal — September 26, 2003 @ 11:58 pm

  12. 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/).

    Comment by Ulrik Kold — April 6, 2004 @ 1:43 pm

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

    Comment by Ulrik Kold — April 6, 2004 @ 1:47 pm

  14. .pdf and .doc formats of Craphound

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

    Trackback by Grant's Blog — June 29, 2004 @ 3:54 pm

  15. 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 !


    Comment by Seb Perez-D — November 3, 2004 @ 5:25 am

  16. Here is a Microsoft .lit file



    Comment by Andrew Schultz — February 10, 2005 @ 2:49 pm

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

    Comment by Mike Feeny — March 30, 2005 @ 3:45 pm

  18. 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.


    Comment by Jamie Adams — June 12, 2005 @ 7:43 am

  19. 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.

    Comment by artm — March 14, 2006 @ 1:57 pm

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

    Comment by Simon Sherlock — April 20, 2006 @ 11:24 am

  21. 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.



    Comment by DJ — August 10, 2007 @ 6:07 pm

  22. Holy crap that’s cool! Thanks, DJ!

    Comment by Cory Doctorow — August 11, 2007 @ 3:59 am

  23. 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?).


    Comment by Joseph — March 8, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

  24. 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!

    Comment by Samuel "Iron Curtain" Abram — August 23, 2011 @ 5:52 am

  25. All 6 stories combined into a single .epub file: http://www.onebyonedesign.com/downloads/books/A_Place_so_Foreign.epub

    Comment by Devon O. — May 6, 2012 @ 1:12 am

  26. 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.

    Comment by Christina — September 24, 2013 @ 5:34 am

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