Gary's first novel was published in hardcover by Prentice-Hall in 1975.  It told the story of a special German Shepherd dog, "Major," part of an Army dog handling experiment using a tiny brain implant linked to computers and satellite relays to allow a remote handler to see what the dog is seeing and send him commands.  Major is pressed into service for an emergency mission to learn the details of a secret plan by the Soviet Union to defeat an American anti-missile system that had just been activated to protect the United States from attack. The elaborate mission devised to get Major to an isolated research facility in Siberia also involves Air Force personnel, the CIA, the State Department and other government agencies.

Houndstooth cover


HOUNDSTOOTH was also published in a paperback edition by Sphere Books in Great Britain, as well as in a hardcover Japanese edition by Keibunsha.  The title, in translation, of the Japanese edition was "Fang of the Dog."


When the novel was bought by Prentice-Hall for publication, the editor, Don Preston, was reluctant to call it "science fiction" since it involved espionage, military personnel, the US/Soviet arms race, foreign locales and edge of your seat action as well as advanced technology.  "For marketing, I'm going to call it a Technological Suspense Thriller," Preston said.  The term became shortened in later years to Techno - Thriller.




The Philadelphia Inquirer praised HOUNDSTOOTH as "one of those books that takes today's technology and carries it one giant leap forward....Michael Crichton writes books like these."


Joseph Fanzone, Jr. of The Baltimore Sun said "One thing that shows through in 'Houndstooth' is the care he's taken to research his subject thoroughly and present background to his readers.  The plot is tightly constructed; it is reminiscent of an early 'Mission Impossible' script for its twists and turns and clever solutions.  And there are characters who tense up and sound off and threaten the mission in credible ways."


Original HOUNDTOOTH cover art, American hardcover edition, by illustrator Dean Ellis.


Copyright 2011 Gary Alan Ruse