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Catfantastic 4 Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1996
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Among my favorites are "Tybalt's Tale," by India Edghill, in which Tybalt, the Prince of Cats, goes for a stroll at night in the Lands of Men. While he is out and about, he saves a girl named Cathy from a robber. Even though he is the Prince of Cats, he continues to visit her. '"I am a cat and all places are alike to me," said Tybalt, Prince of Cats. 'But some places are more alike than others.'"
"Arrows," by Jane Hamilton, features a couple of jinn, Kip and Key, who are enjoying some mischief one night and stumble upon a cat who is not well. The manage to manipulate a man into taking in the cat, without ever revealing their existence.
In "Professor Purr's Guaranteed Allergy Cure," by Brad Linaweaver and Dana Fredsti, the world has been taken over by cats. The only humans remaining are those who truly love cats. No dogs are left, either. There is one exception. A human male, the boyfriend of one female cat-lover, was spared at the request of the lead cat in the story. By the end of the story, he is cured of his "allergy," in a most unique way.
"Noble Warrior, Teller of Fortunes," by Andre Norton, tells the tale of a unique cat who can, indeed, tell fortunes. He manages to rescue a young boy, and, in doing so, is recognized and united with his family.
"One With Jazz," by Janet Pack, features a cat, "Satchmo," who has a knack for knowing good music. He helps his human win a unique bet, gaining him a great job, and possibly a girlfriend.
With that pet peeve of *this* cat-loving science fiction writer soundly petted (I've got six girls and only one guy-cat in my current menagerie), my highest compliments go to Elizabeth Ann Scarborough for "Born Again" and to Anne Braude for "The Quincunx Solution." In each of these very different tales, we have a cat who is simply that - a feline without any telepathic, telekinetic or other special powers - responding in kind to his human companion's love and devotion. Each tale has plenty of fantastic elements (this is a scifi/fantasy anthology, after all!), but its feline hero remains delightfully ordinary in the midst of extraordinary happenings. That's why these two stories pleased me most, because they capture so beautifully the bond between human and companion animal.
With one exception, the rest of the tales kept me reading and made me glad the editor saw fit to include them. The one that I stopped reading after a few pages had almost no dialog, with the writer spending most of her prose providing backstory - which indicates to me that this particular tale would have been better as a novella, at least (or maybe even as a novel). Its author clearly needed a great deal more space than the short story format provides in order to tell her story engagingly.
--Reviewed by Nina M. Osier, author of "Mistworld"
As with all compendiums there are some good, and some bad stories, but I feel that the good drasticaly outweight the bad. I've found this to be a well collected anthology series and would highly recommend it to anyone who is fond of cats!