Friday Fiction: Why am I too young?
Bytes vs Bites

Y2K-9 coverY2K-9 : The dog who saved the world

Submitter: I’m sure at the time this was a pretty funny book. The story is about bunch of dogs who are computer geeks and secret government agents who help save the world on Y2K. The dogs chat in chat rooms about not flying on planes and stocking up on toilet paper (though I wonder how the dogs could even type….). The story does well mixing the serious worries of the time with humor. Now it is just dated, Y2K was 18 years ago! Looking back the anxiety of Y2K seems silly, but it was serious then. I doubt a kid today would even understand why it was such a concern. I guess it would have been good to give kids a fun story to help deal with all the worry at the time. Do kids even chat in chat rooms anymore? The chatroom pages in the book are kind of funny with the aliases. The book has only circulated 4 times. Time to go.

Holly: Do they teach kids about Y2K in school? And if so, in what grade? Babies born in Y2K are heading off to college this year! Kids will read just about anything with dog characters, but this might be pushing it. Typing dogs who stock up on toilet paper for Y2K might have even been pushing it at the time it was published!

Y2K-9 back cover

Y2K-9 excerpt


  1. my nieces are both 16. a couple of weeks ago i was telling them about Y-2k hype and they thought it was hilarious

  2. Sure, we can all laugh it up about Y2K, but the way the world is now, maybe we would have been better off if it had ended back then. :'(

  3. I well remember the worries about Y2K. It was said that planes would fall from the sky. Financial markets would collapse. Electrical grids would die. Toilet paper was the least of it.

    However, fears were eased early on the morning of December 31, 1999 when TV reports of New Year celebrations in Australia showed no horrors going on there.

    0n January 1, 2000 my computer showed the weird date 19100. That was fixed later
    in the day and that was extent of the disruption.

    I would love to see this book and I think it would be good for modern children to see it.
    It never hurts for newer generations to know about the fears of older generations. It doesn’t matter if those fears were warranted or not.

    That doesn’t mean the book shouldn’t be withdrawn from circulation but it would be neat if a library exhibition could be arranged of things like this to let them know that Grandma and Grandpa were really concerned about THAT!

    1. I agree that knowing the fears of the past is part of education in history. I learned more about the Cold War after seeing “Duck and Cover” and “A Day Called ‘X'”.

  4. I recently read “Attachments” by Rainbow Rowell (I think it was her first novel) and the Y2K is one of the storylines. Hard to believe it was so long ago!

    This book is an example of everything that is wrong in publishing! 🙂

  5. I don’t remember anyone around me doing more than rolling their eyes about the hype around the Y2K bug. I’m sure some people did panic, but I think it was more media hype than real fears of most people.
    I never did figure out why the power company having the wrong date would take down the electrical grid.

  6. What’s fascinating to me is the idea that kids would understand “LOL” in 1999! I think I first saw it in the mid-2000s, but I guess this was targeting a very tech-savvy audience.

  7. What people forget is that Y2K was a serious issue. Really and truly. The hype made the event itself seem laughable, but the work that was done to make sure there were no critical problems was genuine. Every major institution — hospitals, banks, airports, utilities, etc. — was required to evaluate critical computing infrastructure, determine priorities for addressing the problem, and regular progress reports were required. Not just by government — I worked for a software provider to both the private sector and the military and both sorts of customers were on our case. Can you imagine how much better off we’d be if we were paying the same sort of attention to oh, say, cybersecurity?

  8. I attended a gun show around that time and was moved to compose this:

    Y2K bug can’t be stopped, doo dah, doo dah,
    Infrastructure’s gonna drop, thanks to Y2K!
    We’ll sell you guns and beans,
    But we deserve no thanks.
    Bill Clinton is the Antichrist
    And the Rothschilds control the banks!

  9. Send pic.
    Can’t, scanner’s down.

    Made me laugh. I’m picturing in 1999 all these guys sending dick pics had to print out the pictures, then scan them into their computer!

    1. If you mean taking a digital photo and then using a computer printer, that would have been silly. However, digital cameras in 1999 were still a high end item, and camera phones wouldn’t come out for another year. Dick pics that had to be printed out would require either having one’s own darkroom, knowing a very discreet film processor, or the most common solution – a Polaroid instant camera.
      Those possibilities become much of a muchness by the part that made me laugh – Richgurl’s response: “Been down long time, Buff.” Buff is clearly fibbing.

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