King of the Dogs, Queen of the Cats: Uplifted dogs and cats

King of the Dogs, Queen of the Cats by James Patrick Kelly science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsKing of the Dogs, Queen of the Cats by James Patrick Kelly

King of the Dogs, Queen of the Cats by James Patrick Kelly science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsIn James Patrick Kelly’s novella, King of the Dogs, Queen of the Cats, we visit a backwater planet called Boon where humans live with uplifted dogs and cats.

Our protagonist, Gio Barbaro, is the clone of the man who created the government, called The Supremacy, generations before. Gio’s job is to maintain the family’s position and power in the senate.

The Supremacy, though, is losing control as dogs are walking off the job and cats are forming unions. The cats and dogs are just as intelligent as humans, but they’ve been relegated to boring and/or dirty menial jobs. They want more out of life, but the conservative Supremacy won’t recognize them as equal.

Another problem for the Supremacy is the looming clone crisis. The Supremacy relies on cloning technology to keep power, but they’ve lost the technology. When the animals rise up against them, they will not be able to control them.

Boon is on the brink of a revolution. That’s when Gio, who is more progressive than his grandfather, is invited to join a subversive circus…


King of the Dogs, Queen of the Cats by James Patrick Kelly science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsKing of the Dogs, Queen of the Cats is confusing at first as Kelly drops us right into his world with little exposition or backstory. I caught on, though, and found myself enjoying a story about uplifted dogs and cats, though I wish there had been more to it. I was most interested, though, in the “thousands worlds” referred to, which are connected by wormholes. Like Gio, I would love to explore more of these worlds.

King of the Dogs, Queen of the Cats is available as a hardcover and ebook from Subterranean Press and in audiobook format from Skyboat Media. I listened to the audiobook because it was read by one of my favorite narrators, Stefan Rudnicki. He did a wonderful job, of course. The audiobook is 2.25 hours long.

Published in January 2020. Rehearsals are now underway for the Antic Tour of Interspecies Marvels at Scofflaw Circus! Dogs and cats and humans as you’ve never seen them! The circus is in town, and on the planet Boon, that’s big – potentially riotous – news. The delicate, decaying political balance maintained by the cloned human grands at the expense of the uplifted dog and cat populations is in danger of toppling under the influence of mysterious forces both outer and inner. When Gio Barbaro – clone descendant of one of Boon’s ancient leaders, junior Senator, known friend to dogs, and secret iconoclast – is recruited by the ringmaster cat, Scratch, he’s knowingly going against everything his family and class believes in. The question, though, is what Gio believes in. Step right up to Nebula, Hugo, and Locus Award winner James Patrick Kelly’s thrilling new novella King of the Dogs, Queen of the Cats. Here is an amazing spectacle of action, politics, love, and adventure to thrill the senses. The tumblers, acrobats, daredevils, and clowns in the Scofflaw Circus do more than delight and entertain – they inform, question, and provoke. How will the crowds respond? How will Gio? Direct your attention to the center ring….

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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