Fantasy or science fiction with conscious dogs (or cats)

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Fantasy or science fiction with conscious dogs (or cats)

12wonderY
dec 17, 2020, 4:44pm

Because of their exposure to magic, there are dogs in the Iron Druid Chronicles and a dog in the Young Wizards world that develop self consciousness and can converse with their humans. (The Young Wizards also has wizard cats and whales.). David Brin’s Uplift Wars have enhanced chimpanzees and whales.
And then there is Cats in Space.

I’ve already read Dean Koontz’ Watchers, and found only the dog worth spending time with; and Fifteen Dogs, which I didn’t like at all.

Can you point me to others that I can try?

2andyl
dec 17, 2020, 5:47pm

How about City by Clifford D. Simak?

If just one dog is OK then Sirius by Olaf Stapledon; or Irontown Blues by John Varley

3StorybookCat
Redigerat: dec 17, 2020, 6:24pm

Pepper & Carrot is a fantasy webcomic with a very intelligent cat, Carrot, who follows a young witch learning chaos-ah magic. I enjoyed it. The author/artist, David Revoy, put it online free. PepperCarrot.com

4SandraArdnas
Redigerat: dec 17, 2020, 6:34pm

Moving Pictures features a talking dog, as well a talking cat and some other animals in minor roles, all because of leaking magic

5tardis
dec 17, 2020, 6:43pm

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett. Cat AND rats. Also a great story.

62wonderY
dec 17, 2020, 7:23pm

Ah! Riches! Blessings on you all!

7drneutron
dec 17, 2020, 9:52pm

Hollow Kingdom - zombie apocalypse with all sorts of sentient animals. S.T., a sentient pet crow is one of my all-time favorite characters.

8reconditereader
dec 18, 2020, 12:00am

Finders Seekers is the start of a trilogy by Gayle Greeno. Large, telepathic cats.

10AnnieMod
Redigerat: dec 18, 2020, 12:47am

I stopped by to mention Sirius and City but someone already got them so... a few others below

There is a whole series of anthologies from DAW: Catfantastic that fit the bill :) Staying with stories, another anthology A Constellation of Cats has some stories that match; so does Dann's Magicats!.

Voyage of the Dogs by Greg van Eekhout? It is a juvenile novel but...

The star reborn as a dog in Dogsbody?
A Night in the Lonesome October is told by the dog :)
Ellison's A Boy and His Dog has a telepathic dog.
There is a talking dog in MacAvoy's Damiano.
And an enhanced one in Varley's Irontown Blues
Tchaikovsky's Dogs of War has a genetically engineered dog as well.
Dibben's Tomorrow has an immortal dog.

11rodneyvc
dec 18, 2020, 12:58am

>9 Diabolical_DrZ: Cordwainer Smith is one of my favourite SF authors, so I would endorse your recommendation.

12karenb
dec 18, 2020, 3:32am

Tangentially related: Christopher Moore accurately protrays dog POVs in a couple of books, but it's a regular dog and not one that can communicate via non-dog language: The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove and also The Stupidest Angel.

13Tony_Mai
dec 18, 2020, 3:46am

Detta konto har stängts av för spammande.

14Tony_Mai
Redigerat: dec 18, 2020, 3:47am

Detta konto har stängts av för spammande.

15MrAndrew
dec 18, 2020, 3:53am

Speaking of dog POVs if not sentient dogs, my favourite chapter of Anna Karenina was from Levin's dog's POV.

I don't read much SF anymore but an early favourite was Catseye by Andre Norton, which had telepathic cats amongst other animals. Then there's always the Cheshire cat.

16calm
dec 18, 2020, 6:30am

Dogs
The Companions by Sheri S Tepper
Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne

Cats
Divine Endurance by Gwyneth A. Jones
The Cats of Seroster by Robert Westall

17Ennas
Redigerat: dec 18, 2020, 10:44am

I'm not sure about conscious/intelligent (too long ago), but there is a very nice cat in the Keeper chronicles by Tanya Huff, starting with Summon the keeper.

18-pilgrim-
dec 18, 2020, 11:53am

I second the recommendation of Tchaikovsky's Dogs of War.

19-pilgrim-
dec 18, 2020, 11:57am

A cat is the narrator in The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa, which I also highly recommend (even though I am more of a dog person myself!)

He cannot talk, except to other animals, but we see the entire narrative through his eyes, and his perspective.

21LWMusic
dec 18, 2020, 12:22pm

>1 2wonderY:

Vernon Vinge's A fire upon the deep has wonderfully imaginative "Gestalt" protagonists who are actually a collective of several dogs. They are all intelligent but the supra-individual is even more so. That's just one of the species in the book, though.

22nrmay
dec 18, 2020, 12:47pm

see this previous thread for 'conscious canines'!

https://www.librarything.com/topic/187536#n5306410

23lorax
dec 18, 2020, 1:15pm

LWMusic (#21)

The Tines are doglike, but not actually dogs, if that matters to the OP.

24SilverWolf28
Redigerat: dec 18, 2020, 8:37pm

25LolaWalser
dec 19, 2020, 12:08am

>23 lorax:

Oh, right, that's good to note.

Which reminds me... Is it odd that no one seems to have mentioned Cherryh's Chanur books, The Pride of Chanur etc.? They were as much intelligent conscious cats as cat-like beings can be, I thought... By the way--it's been a while--but I think Cordwainer Smith's creatures would also be more animal-like than actually animals, or am I misremembering? IIRC they were genetic chimaeras of human and animal, reminiscent of Dr. Moreau's (Wells).

26AnnieMod
Redigerat: dec 19, 2020, 12:31am

>25 LolaWalser:

I steered away from Cherryh when answering this one because even if some of her races are obviously based on animals, they are really aliens... Other from that - yeah, Chanur can fit if someone wants to extend the question in that direction. :)

27andyl
dec 19, 2020, 6:19am

>25 LolaWalser:

TBH I was thinking more domestic cats rather than the larger ones and tbh I don't really consider alien analogues to be the same. But if the Kif count for the OP there are plenty of others in that vein. You could also have the Man-Kzin Wars which features a tiger-like alien race called the Kzinti and Lisanne Norman's The Sholan Alliance

28tardis
dec 19, 2020, 1:02pm

Summon the Keeper and sequels, by Tanya Huff. The cat is sarcastic and awesome :)

29DisassemblyOfReason
Redigerat: dec 19, 2020, 4:23pm

Hmm.

Star Ka'at by Andre Norton and Dorothy Madlee, and its sequels. Cats on Earth were actually originally star-faring, and came to Earth a long time ago. They've got human level intelligence, but most humans evidently aren't psychic enough to communicate with them. (This was written with a child/YA audience in mind, but I personally don't have a problem with that.)

Andre Norton has quite a few stories with cats in them, often very intelligent cats, although not so many with their points of view. (I am distinguishing actual cats or dogs from catlike aliens who aren't actual cats.)
- You might like The Zero Stone, that said. Eet is more on the intelligent alien side of things but that's rather complicated to explain; turns up about halfway through the story. (There's a sequel, Uncharted Stars, as well.)
- The various Catfantastic anthologies that were edited by Norton. The easiest to find in print would be Catfantastic II, a.k.a. Fantastic Cat.
- Some of the Tales of the Witch World anthologies' stories feature Cat and White Cat in them as characters, who would fit the bill.
- I second the earlier mentions of Breed to Come and Catseye.
- Might also consider Iron Cage, which shows things a bit from the animals' points of view, in a way.
- In Here Abide Monsters, she deliberately put in a dog as well as a cat; they're both human-level intelligent, but they're supporting characters.

The Cat Who Had 14 Tales by Lilian Jackson Braun
This short story collection has a few from the cats' points of view. (In one case - "Phut Phat Concentrates", I think - the cat tries to communicate with his humans, ONE and TWO, but finds it uphill work. Another finds out that the summer place where his humans like to stay has ghosts thanks to an obnoxious visitor messing around.)

Captain Kidd's Cat by Robert Lawson
Mac is the one telling us the story. He knows full well what's going on, although he can't talk to the human characters.

Lawson did a few stories like that:
- Mr Revere and I is told by Paul Revere's horse. Can talk with other horses but not humans.
- Ben and Me is told by Ben Franklin's companion mouse. In Amos' case, he *can* talk to Ben Franklin and takes the credit for a lot of his success.

30DisassemblyOfReason
Redigerat: dec 19, 2020, 4:38pm

Conscious dogs, now.

- The 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, and its sequel The Starlight Barking
(I enjoy the animated Disney film but it's a *really* loose adaptation of 101 Dalmatians.)

- Sirius, the Dog Star an anthology edited by Alexander Potter
The level of intelligence of the dog characters varies a good bit from story to story but some should suit.

- In Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, there are:
- the books featuring Gaspode the Wonder Dog, who acts sometimes as a thinking-brain dog for a man who really, really needs the help (see The Truth).
- the books featuring werewolves, such as The Fifth Elephant. One member of a local werewolf family couldn't change to human shape and ran away to have a career as a sheepdog. We generally meet only the ones who can take human shape, although it's clear some of them spend most of their time in wolf shape or have wolflike/doglike behaviours even in human shape.
- I really like Mr Fusspot in Making Money, particularly when he starts flirting with a werewolf member of the City Watch. I couldn't say how intelligent he is, but he's certainly able to hold down a job at a bank.
- The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. Maurice is a cat, and he and the rodents have a tasty little Pied Piper-type scam going on.

Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones
The main character is sentenced to be born as a puppy and try to sort out a messy situation he's been blamed for having created. After his trial at the beginning of the story, we pick up with his point of view starting as a puppy. He also interacts with the cats who live in the same place as his human companion later on, as well as with other dogs.

31cpg
dec 19, 2020, 7:19pm

In The Master and Margarita, Behemoth is a talking cat.

322wonderY
dec 19, 2020, 9:00pm

I had no idea the choices were so plentiful. I will certainly stay busy on this quest. Thanks!

33temerity5
dec 20, 2020, 6:32pm

Since I didn't see them mentioned above, I'd like to add:
Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen from Garth Nix's Old Kingdom Series all have sentient animals who effect the plot heavily.

The books are listed as YA, but they are very adult for YA, and deal with heavy themes like suicide, depression and death.

34LolaWalser
dec 20, 2020, 11:45pm

I just remembered a childhood classic--Hugh Lofting's Dr. Dolittle books! All kinds of talking animals with human-like intelligence. However, keep in mind these are quite old and probably dated in all kinds of ways...

35andyl
dec 21, 2020, 4:41am

>34 LolaWalser:

Yep Dr Doolittle is pretty racist. I would not really recommend it.

36LolaWalser
dec 21, 2020, 12:39pm

:( I was afraid of that... haven't read them since I was a kid but just yesterday one popped up in my pile o' stragglers... *SIGH*

37vwinsloe
dec 22, 2020, 9:09am

I haven't read it yet, but Jane Smiley's new book, Perestroika in Paris features a talking horse.

Of course, there are the Rita Mae Brown Mrs. Murphy series of books that feature Mrs. Murphy, the cat, and other sentient animals, but those are light mysteries.

And the unforgettable Watership Down.

38Zambaco
Redigerat: dec 22, 2020, 12:44pm

Divine Endurance by Gwyneth Jones has an android cat as one of the main characters. Though it's not a biological cat it's very catlike. :-) (I've just noticed that it has already been mentioned in the thread but would like to add that I strongly recommend both the book and the cat. ) I'm also very fond of Mogget in the Garth Nix Old Kingdom books.

39kalafudra
dec 22, 2020, 1:05pm

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov - not entirely what you're looking for, but maybe close enough?

40jawallac27
dec 22, 2020, 1:37pm

For conscious dogs, I enjoyed Amber Polo's Shapeshifter Library series. It's a sweet urban fantasy with a touch of romance featuring shapeshifting dog librarians and book burning werewolves. There are four in the series: Released, Retrieved, Recovered, Reprinted.

41Milda-TX
Redigerat: dec 22, 2020, 2:03pm

Fifteen Dogs was going to be my recommendation but noticed you didn’t like it :(
Call of the Wild , White Fang ,Cujo . Young readers might like The Warriors series.

42Aquila
dec 22, 2020, 2:07pm

Richard Adamson's The Plague Dogs about dogs that escaped from a lab where their brains were experimented on (a pretty tough read from memory), and Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh about rats and a mouse who developed a community after escaping a similar lab

432wonderY
dec 22, 2020, 6:56pm

>40 jawallac27:. Those look like fun.

44manque
Redigerat: dec 22, 2020, 8:16pm

Lives of the Monster Dogs by Kirsten Bakis. Better than average.

45juniperSun
dec 22, 2020, 8:33pm

Wild Road by Gabriel King is an Arthurian-type quest with conscious cats as the main characters in real-world England.

46KevinKarplus
dec 22, 2020, 11:00pm

>10 AnnieMod: The dog in Harlan Ellison's A Boy and His Dog is not telepathic—it does have an enhanced brain and voicebox, so can read and speak.

It is a post-acopalyspe story about a very deep bond between the boy and his dog, but it is not about telepathy.

47markon
dec 22, 2020, 11:36pm

In Robin Hobbs' first Farseer trilogy (particularly book 3, Royal assassin), some people and animals bond with the Wit and can communicate with the animal they bond with.

48AnnieMod
dec 23, 2020, 6:42am

>46 KevinKarplus:

Shows you how long ago I read that one. :) Still fits the topic and sounds like I need to reread it. :)

49RoboSchro
dec 23, 2020, 6:54am

There are some wonderful stray dogs who can talk to each other in Matt Ruff's debut novel, The Fool on the Hill.

50jemedwards
Redigerat: dec 24, 2020, 7:57am

Team Red series by T. Hammond is 6-books with romance and some doggie humor, where the dog and his blind owner share a telepathic bond. Here's the Goodreads link>>>https://www.goodreads.com/series/130271-team-red. I was disappointed that the series ended.

Robin Owens' on-going futuristic series Celta's HeartMates has telepathic cats. Sixteen books so far. Here's the Goodreads link>>>https://www.goodreads.com/series/42709-celta-s-heartmates. I look forward to each of the books in this series, which come out about once a year.

51ChellS20
dec 23, 2020, 8:22am

>50 jemedwards: I came here just to mention Robin D. Owen's! Love her FamCats! Especially Zanth!

52mwberry
Redigerat: dec 23, 2020, 3:38pm

Treecats in the Honor Harrington series by David Weber

53JacobHolt
dec 23, 2020, 5:05pm

Engine Summer by John Crowley involves large, intelligent cats in a post-apocalyptic setting.

54lam32767
dec 23, 2020, 5:16pm

What? You want SPACE KITTIES!?!?!?!!??! Well here they ARE!!!!

These two are waaaaay good; hence me getting 2nd book
https://www.librarything.com/work/2322814
https://www.librarything.com/work/24131649

These are ok
https://www.librarything.com/work/471730/book/140290962
https://www.librarything.com/work/451653/book/134000832

the YA scared me but it was surprisingly well done
https://www.librarything.com/work/15880276/book/122116675

55theodarling
Redigerat: dec 23, 2020, 6:13pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

56cacole
dec 24, 2020, 10:01am

The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix has both a conscious cat (Mogget) and a dog (Dog). The first book is Sabriel.

Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander. A boy learns his cat can not only talk, but time travel.

The Book of Night with Moon by Diane Duane features a team of cat wizards.

57Marissa_Doyle
dec 24, 2020, 10:24am

Ursula K. Le Guin wrote some charming children's books about flying cats, beginning with Catwings

58Nicboyer
Redigerat: dec 24, 2020, 12:42pm

As a diehard fan of Dean Koontz, I love that many of his books feature special dogs and/or other animals, I found The Darkest Evening of the Year to be "unputdownable.". It walked the line of fantasy/science fiction w/suspense and also included a healthy dose of humor. I believe any animal lover would be entertained as well as touched to the core.

59LucasTrask
dec 24, 2020, 5:13pm

I recommend "The Faithful," a short story by Lester del Rey. The original published version (in Astounding Science-Fiction) is available in PDF format at https://nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/sffaudio-usa/usa-pdfs/TheFaithfulByLesterDel.... del Rey also wrote a novelette, "The Luck of Ignatz," about a Venusian version of an intelligent (by non-speaking) dog.

60MimiAmi
dec 24, 2020, 7:01pm

>1 2wonderY: I love The Speed of Souls by Nick Pirog which includes dogs, a cat and incredible heart. Nick also wrote a series, 3:00 am, that is a wonderful collection that features a dog and a cat.

61badube
dec 24, 2020, 10:39pm

Mort(e) by Robert Repino. An apocalyptic action adventure story where some animals of many species have been 'enhanced' mentally and physically. It's the first in a series - so far there's also volumes 1.5 and 2.

62Mike57
Redigerat: dec 26, 2020, 7:31am

I recommend 'The Pale' by Clare Rhoden, a post apocalyptic novel, featuring several distinct 'tribes' surviving and interacting in a harsh environment. One of them, the canini, is a pack of dogs which have developed telepathic powers and the ability to speak.

63MrAndrew
dec 27, 2020, 5:51am

surely one of those two is redundant. Unless it's like sign language during hunting.

Is a canini a small italian dog-shaped pastry?

64JessicaLane
Redigerat: jan 5, 8:02pm

Tad Williams's Tailchaser's Song

65cindydavid4
jan 5, 6:20am

Creatures Great and Small You actually get the thoughts of animals, as well as some 'talking' but her descriptions of our pets, esp for me, the cats, are hysterical and true

Night in the Lonesome October The animals do talk but humans cannot understand them except at midnight. Good fun here, esp for halloween

66cindydavid4
jan 5, 6:21am

>63 MrAndrew: Is a canini a small italian dog-shaped pastry?

Hahahaha! thanks for the first laugh of the morning!

67MrAndrew
jan 5, 6:43am

Alternatively, a small pastry-shaped italian dog.

68seeword
jan 5, 7:48am

>37 vwinsloe: I just finished the Smiley book. In addition to the horse there is also a dog who is very smart. Also a raven and a couple of ducks, a boy, and old lady, and several other humans. The animals talk to one another, but communicate with humans through actions, not speech. It was a fun read.

69cindydavid4
jan 5, 11:02am

70nessreader
jan 6, 10:43am

Not fantasy, but cosy crime - Suzette Hill did a very light fluffy series about a murdering vicar told in alternate chapters by his snooty cat and his goofy dog. The first book is A Load Of Old Bones

71humouress
Redigerat: jan 10, 5:29am

>47 markon: Similarly, in The Wheel of Time some people can bond and telepathically communicate with wolves.

For cats, Wishing Season by Esther Freisner is fun; a mummified Egyptian cat comes back to life.

There is a human who has been transformed into a dog in Magic Kingdom for Sale - Sold by Terry Brooks (but I'd rate the book so-so).

72-pilgrim-
Redigerat: jan 18, 7:14am

Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky - genetically modified animals, engineered for the battlefield, contemplate the meaning of their existence.

73humouress
jan 20, 1:18am

There's the Carbonel series by Barbara Sleigh about the kingdom of cats and the way it's overlaid on the human world. There must be tonnes of others but they're not jumping to the front of my mind at the moment.

74CrickWitch
jan 23, 1:58pm

Not dogs, but a wolf - Robin Hobb captures wolf consciousness exquisitely in her Farseer Trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin, and Assassin's Quest, which I can't recommend highly enough, and an even better job in her Tawny Man Trilogy (Fool's Errand, Golden Fool, and Fool's Fate).

75SandraArdnas
jan 23, 4:27pm

I also highly endorse Hobb's Farseer trilogies. Nighteyes (the wolf) doesn't really talk, but shares a wit-bond with the main character, which is a sort of empathy-telepathy link. Superbly written, with Nighteyes a full-fledged wolf character

76nessreader
jan 28, 2:20am

Diane Duane did a couple of books about cat wizards living in New York. The book of light with moon and book 2, to visit the queen.

Also the witty pastiche fairy tales by Nicholas Stuart Grey have a lot of mildly diabolical cats, or failing that, mildly feline demons. But NSG is hard to find cheap copies of where i am; library loan might be an option.

772wonderY
jan 28, 5:14am

>76 nessreader: Hmmm. Nicholas Stuart Grey is not found on LT even. Found his wikipedia page though.

78MrAndrew
jan 28, 7:23am

"Diabolical"seems redundant when referring to cats. "Mildly"would be a seldom-used adjective, though.

79nessreader
Redigerat: jan 29, 10:53am

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

80nessreader
Redigerat: jan 29, 10:38am

Nicholas Stuart Gray

Curses. I apologise 2wonderY and MrAndrew. I flipflop badly on American vs Brit spelling.

And I've wasted a lot of time on usedbook dealers' websites spelling Stuart with a W when looking for him so clearly am just an eejit generally with spelling. Wynne Jones + Gaiman both praised him. A lot of his titles are plays for children (meh) and his fantasy novels are so-so, imo, but the short stories are sparkly. If pushed to name a starter title - Mainly in Moonlight

812wonderY
jan 29, 11:03am

>80 nessreader: Aha! Clarity. Thanks!

82nessreader
jan 29, 1:07pm

>81 2wonderY:
Ahh you're welcome.

83merrystar
feb 2, 10:40pm

The older versions of Tokien's Beren and Luthien story have both a conscious dog and a conscious cat.

84spiphany
Redigerat: feb 12, 3:45pm

>83 merrystar: Speaking of Tolkien, Roverandom would also fit.

Many of Clare Bell's fantasy novels feature cats in some way or another, e.g. Ratha's Creature and its sequels, prehistoric fantasy with intelligent sabre-tooth cats who discover how to use fire.

Natsume Soseki's I am a Cat and Kemal Varol's Wuf both sound interesting, though both books are more "human life as seen through animal eyes" rather than fantasy per se. On a similar note, the Archy and Mehitabel poems are also fun.

85nessreader
feb 12, 3:41pm

What about a German 19th century experimental novel The Life And Opinions Of The Tomcat Murr by E. T. A. Hoffman The central conceit is that 2 unrelated books are bound together in a printing error so the reader jumps randomly from one book to the other.

86spiphany
feb 12, 3:47pm

>85 nessreader: I was just coming back to edit my post to suggest that!

87nessreader
feb 12, 6:55pm

>86 spiphany: lol. You could probably do a better rec for it than I spiphany; it sounds experimental in a way that would drive me spare.

88SilverWolf28
Redigerat: mar 10, 9:37pm