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Cat Stories

Michael Marshall Smith

Earthling Publications

US Softcover Chapbook


Publication Date: 09-15-2001

71 Pages; $15.00

Date Reviewed: 10-24-02  

Reviewed by Rick Kleffel © 2002



Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy


With a print run of 365 copies, the audience for 'Cat Stories' isn't anticipated to be very big. That's surprising, really -- Ellen Datlow did at least one anthology of cat stories. The traycased edition was mind-bogglingly expensive. When I first accidentally got it in a shopping cart from an online independent bookseller, I practically had a heart attack. But the softcover chapbook is just fine, and the stories are fairly appealing. So, who's the audience for this book?

Speculative fiction lovers are known for being a set of humans that has a fairly large intersection with that of cat lovers. The members of that set might find this item quite a nice little treat. Michael Marshall Smith fanatics will also find this item of interest. Here's the setup.

'Cat Stories' has three stories that feature cats, of one type or another, an introduction, and is signed by the author. Of the three stories, one is to be found in 'What You Make It', one is to be found in the aforementioned Datlow anthology, and one is to be found nowhere else. As a reader and book buyer, you can do the math. I'm reasonably pleased. It's very professionally produced and easy to read.

'The Man Who Drew Cats' can be found in 'What You Make It'. It's a very Twilight Zone-ish story with a foreseeable twist but a modicum of the Michael Marshall Smith style. 'Not Waving', from 'A Twist of the Tale', is a rather nice romance with some disturbing and intense undercurrents. The final story, 'They Also Serve' is a science fiction story that many will consider worth the price of admission alone. Smith stretches his little collection in a number of ways with this story. They're ways that his readers are likely to enjoy. 'Cat Stories' is a not book everyone is going to need to have. Those who do are fairly likely to already own it. If you don't, and it sounds good, you'd better start looking now.