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Catspaw by Joan D. Vinge

Catspaw (1988)

by Joan D. Vinge

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Cat Series (2)

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7791017,119 (3.99)27
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» See also 27 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
I picked this book up before realizing it was book #2 of a series, stopped midway to read "Psion," then finished this last night--at 5am. In this addictive series, Vinge shows deep character growth for Cat. "Catspaw" offers a Cat who is less angry and more focused on carving out a life for himself. But his awareness that the world is willing to grind him under a boot heel is never far from his thoughts.

There is more political intrigue in this novel--plots within plots, and Cat has to learn to navigate them to keep himself and others alive. What keeps it compelling, though, is that everything is filtered through Cat's emotional and psychological struggles. Violence is not simply an action piece; it's insight into Cat's social status and his efforts to put his past--and his overwhelming feelings of helplessness--behind him. Even the sexual encounters are not there for the sake of titillation or overwrought romance--they're about power, loneliness, and fear.

"Psion" is more of a coming-of-age SF adventure story, with Cat as an anti-hero. "Catspaw" is dominated by political intrigue with elements of cyberpunk. Also, "Catspaw," shows a Cat who has grown emotionally, and is a more sympathetic character. I recommend both, but "Catspaw can be read as a stand-alone book. The events of "Psion" are integrated into "Catspaw" as a rich backstory. These two books have guaranteed that I'll check out every novel Vinge has written--sadly, far too few. ( )
  Malora | Jan 18, 2016 |
This sequel to Psion again sees Cat charting his own course in the face of some very powerful people. Choices are made. People do terrible things, and wonderful things. No one is what they seem. Except Daric, who really is that much of an asshole.

This book contains one very 1980s trip through cyberspace.

Overall, great worldbuilding, larger than life characters, and a compelling plot. ( )
  lavaturtle | Feb 13, 2015 |
I think I've re-read this book at least once a year for the last ten years. I can honestly say that it is one of my all time favorites! ( )
  Naity-sama | Jul 20, 2012 |
I'm re-reading some older science fiction lately & couldn't pass this by. Joan D. Vinge is a wonderful, feminist cyberpunk author - also an anthropologist. There are 3 books in this series - Psion (Cat), Catspaw, & Dreamfall (Cat). All worth the read (& frequently found in the Young Adults section of the library).

Vinge creates interesting worlds people with interesting people who do interesting things & what more can you want, eh? ( )
  kraaivrouw | Apr 5, 2009 |
Cat is half Psion and half human, an outcast who used to have telepathic powers until he lost them in a battle to the death. Now he's been dragged into a dangerous game of high level corporate intrigue when he is kidnapped by the powerful taMing clan, given drugs that bring back his ability, and set as a bodyguard against assassins.

Cat doesn't want the job, but he is asked to help by a friend. Before long, he's pulled deep into the web of lies, love and deceit that reaches beyond the corporate control into the highest levels of government. He's never been trained for this kind of work. He doesn't understand the culture, and the people he is protecting don't trust him. It's a combination that is bound to lead to disaster.

This is a fascinating, and fast-paced, science fiction tale that weaves an unlikely character into a believable future. Catspaw is the middle book of a trilogy -- Psion, Catspaw, Dreamfall . It is also something that is very rare, the best of all three. Usually a middle book suffers from being neither the start nor the end of a story. However, because so many years fell between the writing of Psion and Catspaw, Joan D. Vinge's storytelling abilities had matured, and the book has an incredible depth of character development and cultural worldbuilding. Cat is the kind of character a reader can understand -- the outsider who finds his courage and his morals challenged, and shows himself better than many of the people he is now forced to work for.

Filled with thrills, this book gets my highest recommendation for straight out excitement and fun. This is a truly timeless science fiction tale that can be read with as much pleasure today as it was when first published. ( )
1 vote zette | Oct 19, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joan D. Vingeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Deutsch, MichelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Puckey, DonCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Snow, GeorgeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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(With his glared off face glued back into position
A dead man's eyes plugged back into his sockets
A dead man's heart screwed in under his ribs
His tattered guts stitched back into position
His shattered brains covered with a steel cowl)
He comes forward a step,
and a step,
and a step---
---Ted Hughes
We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune,
afraid of death, and afraid of each other.

---Ralph Waldo Emerson
To understand a cat, you must prealize that he has his own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality.

---Lillian Jackson Braun
This one's for you, kid.
You know who you are.
First words
Someone was after me.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765303418, Paperback)

CAT: Street Punk, Psion, Telepath, Survivor. . .

Kidnapped by an interstellar corporation and dragged to Earth, Cat is forced to use his skills to protect those he most hates, those who most hate him . . . .

The taMings. A cyber-augmented, DNA-incestuous clan of such wealth and power that their family arguments change the destiny of worlds. Now one taMing is a killer's target. But which? And who would dare?

Seeking answers, Cat finds lies and savagery, passion and atrocity--trails that lead from crystal valleys to clubs for silver-skinned beauties. From the homicidal enclaves of drug kings to a fanatic's pulpit. From the halls of the Assembly to a cyberspace hell. Seeking assassins, Cat discovers a mystery that could cost him his future. His sanity. His life.

Because Cat is no longer a bodyguard . . .

He's bait.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:15 -0400)

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