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The Left Hand of Dog
Si Clarke. White Hart, $13.99 trade paper (206p) ISBN 978-1-916287-85-3
Clarke (Devon’s Island) takes readers on a quirky galactic romp replete with laughs, insights into human foibles, self-aware nods to sci-fi classics, and thoughtful explorations of gender and sexuality. After nonbinary Torontonian Leighton “Lem” McMaster and her German Shepherd, Spock, are abducted by aliens, they wake on a spaceship where they are interrogated by an alien race that Lem dubs bunnyboos due to their resemblance to a stuffed rabbit she had as a child. These bunnyboos, though, are bounty hunters and claim Spock broke intergalactic law and they intend to bring her to the authorities for trial. En route, Lem befriends fellow prisoners Bexley, a horse-like alien mechanic; BB, a big yellow bird doctor; Henry, a belligerent rubbish bin robot; and Aurora, a cloud of glittery gas indentured as the ship’s cook. To communicate with this motley crew, Lem wears an AI translator that mines her encyclopedic knowledge of science-fiction for words like flux capacitor, dilithium crystals, and unobtanium. Spock also gets a translator to heart-warming effect. Together, these delightful misfits plot their escape. As a stranger in a strange land, Lem gets perspective on her human hang-ups and finds family in the most unexpected of places. This amusing if slightly unpolished adventure is a treat for sci-fi fans. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 03/17/2023

Release date 08/01/2021