Cover image for


Author: Cory Doctorow
Published: 1998
Language: English
Wordcount: 10,773 / 39 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 81.7
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 5,211
Added to site: 2006.12.13 15547
License: by-nc-nd

ensor and You.


Craphound =========

Craphound had wicked yard-sale karma, for a rotten, filthy alien bastard. He was too good at panning out the single grain of gold in a raging river of uselessness for me not to like him -- respect him, anyway. But then he found the cowboy trunk. It was two months' rent to me and nothing but some squirrelly alien kitsch-fetish to Craphound.

So I did the unthinkable. I violated the Code. I got into a bidding war with a buddy. Never let them tell you that women poison friendships: in my experience, wounds from women-fights heal quickly; fights over garbage leave nothing behind but scorched earth.

Craphound spotted the sign -- his karma, plus the goggles in his exoskeleton, gave him the advantage when we were doing 80 kmh on some stretch of back-highway in cottage country. He was riding shotgun while I drove, and we had the radio on to the CBC's summer-Saturday programming: eight weekends with eight hours of old radio dramas: "The Shadow,"


Average Rating of 4.4 from 9 reviews: *****
Leah A. Zeldes

Readers who haunt garage sales and thrift stores and are fascinated by TV shows such as "Pickers" and "Antiques Roadshow" will love the details in this story about human and alien "craphounds" and the thrills of their search for gems among the crap. But there's little depth beyond the hackneyed point that one man's trash is another's treasure, and the abrupt ending disappoints.

Sardo Weems

The story has good detail, and interesting plot and locations; it's certainly a slice of a very strange life. At the end, I said, "So what?" It seemed as if the good writing was wasted.


I enjoyed it, but mostly because I related to it personally because my wife is a “craphound”, and it characterizes that lifestyle perfectly. The alien made it more interesting. The lesson in “the worth of what we value” offers nothing deep enough to reflect on, but the read is fun.

Ross Campbell

This is a fantastic short story about an antiques collector in a peculiar post-contact world where exccentric aliens do strange deeds. Cory Doctorow has an excellent imagination, and I'm glad to have read this original material. I have to find some more of this guy and see if it's just as good...


About how aliens supposedly value our junk and trinkets above their high tech. Read it based on previous reviews but no meaningful punchline and nothing to write home about


This is a fantastic comic-booky little yarn that opens with a laugh and doesn’t disappoint throughout. The language is tasty and visceral, and the relationships are upsettingly familiar. Yep, read it.


A very interesting and even touching short story. It's about a friendship between an Earthman and an alien who are memorabilia (crap) hunters. The aliens have affected the dynamic of memorabilia and some of it is now quite valuable. The story bypasses the usual panic and fear tales about first contact, and gets down the fundamental principles and give and take involved in getting what you want and need while your friends also get what they want and need even if your friends are strange aliens.


Very good short story. The genre is unimportant as this is intelligent and quality writing in my view. I'm looking forward to reading more of Doctorow's work.

Damian Mah


I loved this story. It's about collectors of memorabilia, and how simple objects can evoke powerful emotions - like a poem does. Being a science fiction story, it shows how this is truly a universal phenomenon.

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