This is book number 1 in the River of Teeth series.
The basis for this story is a plan that our government came up in the early 1900’s to import hippos into the Louisiana rivers and marshlands to be bred for a possible meat source. Nevermind that they are ferocious creatures with very strong jaws, capable of killing a person pretty darned fast. Bad idea rejected. River of Teeth takes place in an alternate 1890’s America where feral hippos have run amok in the bayous. Professional hippo wranglers are hired to clear out a particular bayou where a gambling ship abides. The leader, Winslow Houndstooth, his faithful hippo Ruby, and his crew are on the job. Yes, we have man-eating hippo mayhem in the old west. The tame hippos are ridden rather like horses and can navigate the waterways so their riders can search for the deadly feral hippos and hopefully herd them away from populated areas. What ensues is a clever and violent caper, where Houndstooth and his crew are trying to make their fortune by taking on a very, very dangerous job. Just go ahead and suspend your disbelief. Your reward is a thoroughly enjoyable caper that comes with a big bite.— From Linda's Latest List
A Finalist for the 2017 Nebula Award for Best Novella
Sarah Gailey's wildfire debut River of Teeth is a rollicking alternate history adventure that Charlie Jane Anders calls "preposterously fun."
In the early 20th Century, the United States government concocted a plan to import hippopotamuses into the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This is true.
Other true things about hippos: they are savage, they are fast, and their jaws can snap a man in two.
This was a terrible plan.
Contained within this volume is an 1890s America that might have been: a bayou overrun by feral hippos and mercenary hippo wranglers from around the globe. It is the story of Winslow Houndstooth and his crew. It is the story of their fortunes. It is the story of his revenge.
"Man-eating hippo mayhem is my new favorite mayhem. Gailey's debut is a gift of violent, unexpected glee and I can't wait for more capers with Winslow Houndstooth and Ruby the stealth hippo." —Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author
"This hippopotamus epic is just as preposterously fun as you could possibly have hoped — but it's also a brave, clever alternate history. River of Teeth packs one hell of a gold-plated bite." —Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky
“Weird and wonderful, River of Teeth proves handily why Sarah Gailey is a writer to watch.” —Chuck Wendig, New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Aftermath and Invasive
"Blisteringly imaginative, and written with a sly, sharp wit." —Kate Elliott
"A rowdy, rollicking river ride from a sly and whimsical new writer. A damned fine adventure for everyone. And I haven't even mentioned the hippos yet. Get reading." —Kameron Hurley, Hugo Award-winning author of Mirror Empire and The Geek Feminist Revolution
"River of Teeth is a wonderfully original debut." —NPR
"Fun and charming with killer hippos and even better characters." —Kirkus Reviews
"Fans of seedy westerns will greatly enjoy this tale of gold-tusked hippos and the miscreants who ride them." —Publishers Weekly
"This is a thing I now know about Sarah Gailey: she is a word-magician who can render searing touch on a flat page and suspend disbelief flawlessly. The world of River of Teeth feels vast, and navigable due to her skill. The characters within, deep and yet intimately knowable." —Fran Wilde, Nebula-nominated, Andre Norton- and Compton Crook-winning author of Updraft and Cloudbound
"I love Sarah Gailey's River of Teeth. It is sexy and raucous and wild and beautiful and violent—aka, everything I've ever wanted from a lawless caper through the American West. Gailey's storytelling is clever and top-notch, and River of Teeth will leave you with adrenaline humming through your veins. I can't recommend this highly enough." —Alyssa Wong, Nebula Award-winning author of "Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers"