Originally published in Exploring New Places, July 2018
Captain Pierre Jacques sniffed the air on Planet 227. It was dry and sweet, very still in his whiskers, and chill on his bare pink skin. None of his science officers had mentioned being cold, but then Captain Jacques was the only Sphynx cat in his crew. Everyone else had fur under their Tri-Galactic Navy uniforms.
“It’s exhilarating!” Captain Jacques said, eliciting a polite but distracted nod from the nearest officer, a junior scientist tabby who was busy scanning the unusual red-brown rock clusters with a uni-meter. Continue reading “The Rocky Spires of Planet 227”
Originally published in Shark Week: An Ocean Anthology, June 2021
Salty air tickled Commander Wilker’s long nose and whistled past his pointed ears. The light ocean breeze ruffled the long fur of his Collie mane. He placed a paw gently on the hull of his shuttle craft, parked on the small, sandy island in the middle of a yawning purple-blue sea. He was waiting for his co-pilot to join him, a local to this watery world.
Though he wouldn’t mind if they were running late. The Collie dog had seldom been anywhere as peaceful as the surface of Kallendria 7. There was an entire, technologically advanced society on this world, but it was all beneath the waves. Up here, he could have been standing on a completely untouched, unpopulated world. Nothing as far as the eye could see except for rolling purple waves, deep blue sky, and the occasional silver sand island. Continue reading “The Unshelled”
Originally published in The Voice of Dog, June 2021
Lieutenant Vonn crashed through the undergrowth of the wild alien rainforest. The uplifted yellow Labrador felt like the branches were grabbing at her, tearing at her Tri-Galactic Navy uniform. She hated this planet. Usually, she liked planets. Ground missions were her favorite — getting off the stuffy, artificial halls of the starship Initiative, and setting paw to dirt. She lived for that stuff — fresh air, walking about in the sunshine! But right now, all she could think about was Commander Wilker and Consul Tor, stuck in a hole in the ground — a deep, dark ditch; a trap lined with primitive pointed sticks that kept her from climbing safely down after them. Continue reading “The Arsenal of Obsolescence”
Originally published in The Voice of Dog, August 2021
“Here, let me carry those,” Lt. Vonn woofed to the team of scientists packing a crate with electronic devices that looked like funny mechanical spiders, sprouting metal legs in every direction.
The scientists — an orange tabby cat wearing techno-focal goggles, an arctic fox android, and a very striking brown cat with leopard spots — finished arranging the last few mechanical spiders, closed the top over them, and stepped back from the heavy crate gratefully. Lt. Vonn stood a head and shoulders taller than all three of them — even the spotted cat, who was unusually tall for a cat. Continue reading “Crystal Fusion”
Originally published in Allasso, Volume 1: Shame, November 2011
The stars were thick, but the moons were thicker. Every year for the last decade, Earth’s sky had grown brighter with the reflected light of new lunar satellites. Generally a half a dozen small new moons per batch. Jordan had been working hard. He was a Labrador Retriever by heritage, and, back in human pre-history, those had been working dogs.
Ever since he was a pup who hadn’t yet grown into his giant feet and floppy ears, Jordan had known what he wanted to do with his life. He’d spent all of high school working hard at the car wash, saving his nickels and dimes, and staring up at the stars at night. Continue reading “Fetching Asteroids”
Originally published in The Daily Grind, April 2019
Sunny reached for the strap of her ecto-pack, but before she could pull the bulky piece of technology out of the sedan’s hatchback, an imperious feline voice rang out from the driver’s seat: “What do you think you’re doing?”
Sunny mumbled something about gearing up, but Ripley, the small white cat who was the de facto leader of the Ecto-Busters, cut the yellow lab off. “You don’t need an ecto-pack to run into a cafe and pick up a quick snack.”
Originally published in Anthropomorphic Dreams Podcast, November 2011
When Shreddy was a young cat, he and the Red-Haired Woman lived alone. Shreddy enjoyed his youth and, in later years, he often daydreamed of those days before the Red-Haired Woman declared: “I think I’ll take up a hobby.”
Shreddy wasn’t worried at the time. She’d taken up a hobby before, growing orchids, and he’d found her pastime perfectly delightful. Delectable, even. This time, the Red-Haired Woman decided to grow something that Shreddy couldn’t eat. Continue reading “Shreddy and the Zomb-dogs”
Originally published in Golden Visions Magazine, October 2010
Gerty had been snuffle-snorting about the melon patches all morning. She was looking for little people to play with, but all the bugs and mice seemed to be hiding today. Dormancy was in the air.
She tried asking a bird to play with her, but it was so high in the branches of the karillow tree that she had to shout at it. And the master scolded her for barking. The bird flew away anyway. They always did.
Five officers of the Tri-Galactic Navy and one exchange officer from the planet Cetazed teleported down to a clearing on Planet 328’s surface. The cats and dogs of the Tri-Galactic Navy were good people, and Consul Eliana Tor didn’t regret leaving her homeworld to become an exchange officer. Not exactly. But she missed the flavor of the sunlight on Cetazed, and not only did her empathic abilities make her a fish out of water around these cats and dogs with their non-empathic minds, but they let her read the cats’ and dogs’ emotions — especially their feelings about her — constantly. Continue reading “The Best and Worst of Worlds”
Commander Bill Wilker’s angular muzzle split into a wide Collie grin, and he smoothed down his ruff of fur that spilled regally out of the collar of his Tri-Galactic Navy uniform. “That’s a goddamned beautiful lookin’ planet,” he said.
And it was a goddamned beautiful planet on the viewscreen. It was green and round and blue — everything that a planet should be, not like the desolate lava balls and crater-faced lumps in the last several star-systems. This planet practically screamed, “Shore leave!” and Bill Wilker was ready to take up that cry. Continue reading “Questor’s Gambit”