Tails of Wonder and Imagination
, . . Night Shade, $15.95 (464pp) ISBN 978-1-59780-170-6
Few things alarm the experienced reader more than the prospect of a science fiction, fantasy, or mystery book that involves—or worse, fetishizes—cats. This reprint anthology is the exception, an assortment of 40 stories by authors who are for the most part willing to take cats on their own ground. Datlow avoids the trap of a too-narrow premise: though there appears to be a slight bias toward horror, the stories are various within that field, from Jack Ketchum's ghost story “Returns” to Michaela Roessner's highly scientific “Mieze Corrects an Incomplete Representation of Reality” and Edward Bryant's brilliantly repellent “Bean Bag Cat.” Other tales are amusing, like Lawrence Block's “The Burglar Takes a Cat,” or gently sentimental, like Dennis Danvers's “Healing Benjamin.” This is that rarity of rarities: an anthology of cat stories worth reading.
Reviewed on: 12/21/2009