The first page of Twists of the Tale
reassures the skeptical reader: Ellen Datlow dedicates it to someone "who said it shouldn't be done." In other words, despite the pun in the title, she is well aware of the potential pitfalls of a "cat horror" anthology, and is successful in avoiding cuteness, silliness, and tediously "evil" cats. Most of the stories comment, in one way or another, on the variety of relationships between cats and humans--especially those humans who are obsessed, alienated, or neglected. The 24 authors include Nicholas Royle (a gruesome piece called "Skin Deep"), Kathe Koja and Barry Malzberg (a melancholy tale about a whore and her familiar), Joyce Carol Oates (a disturbing twist on the folk belief about cats killing babies), Stephen King (a wicked crime story not reprinted in his collections so far), and William S. Burroughs (his Russian blue cat in conflict with the CIA).