Gord Sellar. Prodigal. (Analog, December 2016)

It’s a long while since I’ve read Analog, and I do tend to avoid stories from there as a rule.

However, as this story appeared in Neil Clarke’s ‘The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume 2‘, I read it.

Knowing that this was an Analog story may well have coloured my reaction to it, but I can say that I did find the same issues with the story that I would expect – slightly creaky characterisation and simplistic plot and dialogue.

The story revolves around dogs who have been through sentientization programmes which increases their mental capacity and enables them to talk. The issues the story addresses aren’t new by any means, and TBH, the issues have been covered and more, through the struggles Brian the talking dog has with humanity’s treatment of him in ‘Family Guy’. But others liked it, notably Chuck Rotham in TangentOnline.

For me, the preceding story in the volume ‘A Good Home‘ by Karin Lowachee shows an altogether more subtle and well-written attempt at a story on similar thees.

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