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This was a story about a skilled thief (and I think he was also a dog...but a humanoid dog) out to steal some quality jewelery from some castle residents. He decided to trick them with a modem; although he insisted to them that it was a working modem, he knew it was broken, and it could be safely plugged into the castle's ancient ethernet without fear of releasing a demon.

But a castle assistant, some kind of savant, realized the modem was broken, and suddenly fixed it after it was plugged in, ruining the plan and releasing a real demon. The jewels the thief turned out to steal were fake anyway.

Google hasn't helped me find this one so far...I'm hoping someone else might recognize it.

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It's "The Dog Said Bow-Wow" by Michael Swanwick.

The dog was called Sir Blackthorpe Ravenscairn de Plus Precieux, or Surplus for short, and his assistant was Darger.

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  • That's it! Thanks! With the title and author I was able to not only verify that you were correct, but find a complete version of the story online (I assume legally, since it's on Asimov's). asimovs.com/_issue_0206/bowwow.shtml
    – Beska
    Dec 9, 2011 at 22:19
  • There is a sequel, too. Set in Italy. Nymphs and satyrs are involved. The name is escaping me, just now. Dec 9, 2011 at 23:51
  • All of the Darger & Surplus stories are collected in The Dog Said Bow-Wow. There's a novel, Dancing with Bears, which will come out in paperback next month.
    – sjl
    Dec 10, 2011 at 20:32
  • The castle's ancient ethernet... and it was identified!
    – n611x007
    Jun 18, 2013 at 20:00

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