I am thrilled to be one of nine authors in the anthology, Pets in Space, combining two of my big loves, space and pets. A portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.
I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Alexis Glynn Latner:
Some classic children’s literature, penned by authors passionate for the welfare of animals, was written in the first person point of view of an animal. Think Black Beauty and Beautiful Joe. I loved these books as a child and still own my childhood copies. I’m aware now of how anthropomorphic the writing was.
”My name is Beautiful Joe, and I am a brown dog of medium size. I am called Beautiful Joe, but not because I am a beauty. . . . I am an old dog now, and am writing, or rather getting a friend to write, the story of my life.”
More recent writers have done a pet’s point of view in more sophisticated ways – such as this from Dean Koontz’s thriller Dragon’s Tears:
“He is not afraid. Not. Afraid.
“He is a dog, sharp claws and quick.
“Creeping, he passes thick, high oleander. Then the people place where he’s been before. . . .
“The smell of the thing-that-will-kill-you is heavy on the fog. But like all smells in fog, not as easy to track. . . .”
“Careful. Sniff. Young-man-bad-thing smell, very strong. Not afraid. Not, not, not, not. He is a dog. Good dog, good.”
This is a third-person point of view that’s very immediate.
And it is a natural for science fiction. Science fiction can get into the mind of an alien with enough telling details and little enough analytical distance that readers are convinced and the suspension of disbelief does not fail. In their own ways, our familiar pets are more alien than we tend to take them for.