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Strange Dogs

(The Expanse #6.5)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  7,858 ratings  ·  568 reviews

An action-packed novella from New York Times bestselling science fiction author James S. A. Corey, set in the world of his Hugo-nominated Expanse series - now a major TV series

Like many before them, Cara and her family ventured through the gates as scientists and researchers, driven to carve out a new life and uncover the endless possibilities of the unexplored alien world

Kindle Edition, 80 pages
Published July 18th 2017 by Orbit
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Periklis It has been confirmed by the authors that the "tenth" book in the series will collect all the expanse short fiction & novellas.…moreIt has been confirmed by the authors that the "tenth" book in the series will collect all the expanse short fiction & novellas.(less)
Trebor I think this book holds up well as a stand alone and can be read without any major spoilers being revealed. The setting for the novella is the same se…moreI think this book holds up well as a stand alone and can be read without any major spoilers being revealed. The setting for the novella is the same setting I suspect in going to be featured in the seventh novel, however the insights you can glean about future plot development are sufficiently vague that the mystery left at the end of book six remains largely intact. Going in the other directions any reference to plot lines from the previous novels in the timeline are again sufficiently vague to avoid revealing much about the previous books.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  7,858 ratings  ·  568 reviews

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Kevin Kelsey
Posted at Heradas Review

“There are things I didn’t see before... ...there are other things here.”

Holy shit. This changes things.

I love that we get these short stories and novellas between the main Expanse novels. If the novels are considered big, pulpy action movies with great characters, then the short stories and novellas in The Expanse are tightly focused character pieces, in smaller stories. But this, this is something special in addition to all that. It stands incredibly well on its own as
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life in the colonies meets a ghost story. Or rather, a Pet Sematary story. :) What better use for the strange alien techs can we devise?

All said, this short novella, perhaps novelette, paves the road for the strange, strange universe to come. :)

Not too bad. Slow because it *IS* a ghost story, but good for all that. :) Woof! Or, I should say, *chitter*
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The latest of the Expanse novellas which have mostly been good standalone stories while acting as useful backgrounders for upcoming novels.

The story is set on Laconia, the colony that the renegade Martian Admiral Duarte has established as his power-base with the Sol system in chaos (see Babylon's Ashes). For a protagonist we have Cara, the ten year-old daughter of scientist colonists that predate the coming of Duarte and his soldiers. The "stick-moons", orbital military platforms that appear to
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read, audiobook
An interesting story that I'm sure isn't necessary to the flow of the main series, but I really did enjoy it.
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an independent short story in the The Expanse universe (which is to say that the characters are completely unknown to us).

We're on one of the planets the rings have opened up to and are following a family - the parents being two scientists. One of their children was born slightly before they came here, the other on the planet even. They were supposed to live on said planet for 5 years but then the events from book 6 happen and they are stranded.
Naturally, the flora and fauna are quite d
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Strange dogs", IMHO, is probably the best "Expanse" novella of them all. I really enjoyed great worldbuilding, pace and the story itself were really good, too. But what impressed me the most is the fact the "James Corey" managed to write a mid-series novella, which can be read as a stand-alone by anyone. It doesn't matter if you read every single one book or novella of the series, or you're a newcomer - the story will be perfectly clear and won't require reading anything else to understand what ...more
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent story that is pretty much a standalone, though ties into two minor characters in the main series. Intensely creepy with a strong Pet Sematary vibe. Not for the faint of heart! ...more
Scott  Hitchcock

I liked where the story ended up because it opens a lot of possibilities for the main series but my god that was slow. I also did buy the parents reactions three different times.
Review of the audiobook narrated by Jefferson Mays.

What a great novella! The best of the Expanse short fiction for sure. I didn't want it to end and was wondering why they didn't save this storyline for one of the main books (having since read Persepolis Rising, this book works as a great lead-in and introduction to Laconia).

Final verdict: 5 star story, 5 star narration, 5 stars overall
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r2019, stars-4-0, scifi
At the recommendation of friends, I picked this Expanse novella before diving properly into the latest novel of the series. As always, they were right.

This ‘ghost’ story is set on Laconia at the very beginning of its colonisation and follows a young girl. Cara’s narration is fascinating and, due to her age and perception, has an aspect of wonder that in the hand of an adult would have been horror. Brilliant!
I actually pre-ordered this and had it downloaded on release day, but never got around to reading it. Turns out there was no rush, it wasn't the best work I've read by these authors, but I did end up seeing the point of it by the end. I finally got around to it because I'm about to start book seven in this series (!) when I finish my current audiobook, and I wanted to have this read by then.

For almost all of this novella (it's around 80 pages, I think, but not sure because I read it on my phone)
Matt Wright
Jul 21, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Deeply unsatisfying.

By 50%, The authors had done a good job of world building and enough had happened to have me looking forward to the second half of the book.

What was the purpose of the "stick moons"?
Who created the dogs?
How was the proto molecule involved?

These questions and more - not answered.

One page later, the book came to an abrupt end and was bookended by a "preview chapter" for some other science fiction novel.

I've enjoyed the expanse novellas to date, but this one was utter shit.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great little novella, short but packed full of wonder and menace in an oh-so-normal new planet, Laconia. Parents are nervous about the takeover of the military from orbit, and times are changing.

Presented through the eyes of a child, the seemingly safe and familiar world shifts. A sequel or series would be nice based on this world.

Short but bitter-sweet.
Karen’s Library
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Well. That was. Interesting. I hope that whatever happened in this story is explained in Persepolis Rising. ...more
Very good!
Skylar Phelps
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How is it that I enjoy the novellas better than the actual series? Not really, but almost. This one was so good! The story was imaginative; I felt like anything could happen. I really enjoy children’s perspectives. I would say that this one is tied with The Vital Abyss for best Novella of the series so far. It was that good.
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
A seriously creepy novella set on early Laconia. A good intro to Tiamat’s Wrath!
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Hmmm. Well yeah, that was............average. 2.5 stars at best. Not going to spend too much time reviewing this. Another pretty much tacked on short story modified to suit the world building of The Expanse.
Take Stephen Kings Pet Cemetery stick it on a planet with weird Fauna and Flora, have a character from the main Expanse series make a cameo to glue it together with the main series and call it a Novella.
The only upside of this story is if you enjoy the writing of the geniuses that James S A
David Holmes
I like The Expanse a lot, but its short side-stories don't do much for me. I typically don't start to engage with a book until I start to empathize with its characters, and that tends to take me a while. 81 pages isn't really enough time. I tend to like short fiction when it starts with characters I already know, and failing that, it needs to make every word count. Strange Dogs missed both marks. I also struggle with fiction from a small child's point of view.

That said, it's pretty clearly setti
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
A goodreads friend mentioned that this story made a lot more sense after reading Tiamat‘s Wrath. So here I am. I think you should avoid reading this before Tiamat.

Set on Laconia. The ship building platforms have just come online. And something else...

I find it eerie, how human and mostly nice Winston Duarte comes across here and in Tiamat‘s Wrath. Other than him nobody of the main storyline makes an appearance. It‘s an unrelated story, except for the pink elephant in the room... Enjoyable. A li
Interesting side-story excursion to a colony planet to see how events on Earth played out further out. Told from PoV of child on a farm, with a few glimpses into more adult concerns through the odd overheard conversation.

Makes me wonder if any of this will play out in the main storyline.
Holy hell, it deserves more than five stars.

Whatever I wanted to say aabout this novella, considering its weight and characterisation, Kevin had already said in his review here:

I'm positively stunned.
I wish I had read this before Tiamat's Wrath. A few story points would have been clearer but there's no real detriment to Expanse #8.

Strange Dogs follows a 10 year old girl named Cara and her explorations of her home on Laconia. It was cool to see a smidgen more of Laconia, especially before major colonization. There is a minor cameo from a Persepolis Rising character that was neat.

James S.A. Corey continues to write compelling stories. The novellas have been very hit or miss but I think Corey h
Stephen Richter
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This short story did not use any of the major characters, rather it focus was on a young girl on a strange planet. Still it was a great story and again the audio done by Jefferson Mays was first class.
Oleksandr Zholud
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a novella set in the Expanse universe, chronologically between Babylon's Ashes and Persepolis Rising. I read is as a part of Expanse Buddy Read in July 2020 at Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels group.

This a story set in one of the many new colonies to which the humanity got access via the gate and which became de facto cut off after the war. This is a story of ten-year girl Cara, who all her life was on the planet Laconia with her parents and a younger hyperactive brother Xan. The planet
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
Of all the Expanse novellas, this would have to be the most underwhelming. It's a solid start, and the usually great world-building introduces us to Laconia, but its too short. I doubt this tale will be resolved in book 7 Persepolis Rising. It's an obvious set-up that Laconia will be a major setting in the next book and well done there..

.. but this story needed an ending. :(
Oh, my god. This Expanse novella is set on Laconia(!!!) and it's amazing getting to see what things are like on this mysterious planet, this blank spot on the map. At the risk of giving away too much of the plot here, it's Pet Sematary but set on an alien world: unsettling, unnerving, and offers a deeply ominous hint towards what the next 'trilogy' arc might be about.

Our main character Cara is sweet, a little girl learning the ins and outs of life on an alien planet, growing up beyond the rings
Jim C
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a short story that takes place in this amazing series. One doesn't need to read the other books for this one but you would be making a huge mistake by not reading them because this series is amazing. In this one, we get a look at Laconia which is one of the new worlds that humans have access to. I don't believe this short story is vital to the overall arc but I hope it is foreshadowing where this series is going.

One of the aspects that I love about this series is that we get different bo
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though the plot felt somewhat familiar like something I'd seen on the Twilight Zone or Amazing Stories (though on Earth not on another planet without spoiling it, it was very well executed. Caught the emotions well and how children would handle certain situations fantastically. Sets up book seven fantastically with some mystery included!
Up until now I have always been impressed with the Expanse series from James S. A. Corey. I'm not sure how this fits in with the later books in the series, but this story is a SF version of a well known Steven King book. I sure hope the main Expanse books past book 6 go with something more original and don't follow this story line.
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Beyond Reality: The Expanse--Strange Dogs, Expanse #6.5 Short Fiction 4 16 Jun 15, 2018 08:28AM  

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Other books in the series

The Expanse (9 books)
  • Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse, #1)
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  • Cibola Burn (The Expanse, #4)
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