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Tails of Wonder and Imagination: Cat Stories (2010)

by Ellen Datlow

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I finished it, but I didn't read every story. I couldn't. This is not a collection for cat-lovers, and I am an unabashed ailurophile. I appreciated the introductions, as the helped me avoid some stories, and I regret reading others—most particularly "Not Waving" by Michael Marshall Smith. It was a very well-written story, showing first-hand knowledge of bulimia and the way it can twist those who have it and those who love them. I was nauseated, though, and hated the twist even though I knew how it would end.I strongly recommend that people who seek out every cat-related collection avoid this tome. If, however, you simply enjoy good writing, go for it. Datlow has, as always, selected fine pieces, every one. I didn't find one piece that rang false. I would have chosen a darker title, as I found less of wonder than the macabre, but what do I know? ( )
  BellaMiaow | May 29, 2012 |
This is a collection fantasy/horror stories that involve cats, some forty ‘tails’, many by well known authors- Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, Charles de Lint, Stephen King, Kelly Link, and Susanna Clarke among others. But this is *not* an anthology for cat lovers, or at least not for those with soft hearts. These are dark stories all, not light-hearted fantasies where the noble young cat discovers he’s a prince and goes on adventures. In a rather uneven collection, cats meet dire fates at times. They are thrown, throttled, starved, beaten, run over and consumed. Many of these stories I did not enjoy reading. Most are well crafted, though; it’s my revulsion at the depiction of violence against felines that gave me such a problem with the stories.

Datlow has expanded the definition of ‘cat’ to include other members of the feline family: lions, tigers and pumas; a couple of mythical ones, the sphinx and the manticore; and some made up for the occasion. To me, these were easier to read-the bigger cats hold their own against humans better.

Decent dark fantasy, but don’t give this to someone whose cats are their ‘children’. ( )
  dark_phoenix54 | Apr 26, 2011 |
Good collection of cat stories. The cover is the nicest thing about it, though. ( )
  Zambaco | Feb 23, 2010 |
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(Introduction by Ellen Datlow): What is it about cats?
One thing was certain, that the white kitten had nothing to do with it -- it was the black kitten's fault entirely.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Collects the following stories:
Introduction by Ellen Datlow
Through the Looking Glass (exceprt) by Lewis Carroll
"No Heaven Will Not Ever Heaven Be ..." by A. R. Morlan
"The Price" by Neil Gaiman
"Dark Eyes, Faith and Devotion" by Charles de Lint
"Not Waving" by Michael Marshall Smith
"Catch" by Ray Vukcevich
"The Manticore Spell" by Jeffrey Ford
"Catskin" by Kelly Link
"Mieze Corrects and Incomplete Representation of Reality" by Michaela Rossner
"Guardians" by George R. R. Martin
"Life Regarded as a Jigsaw Puzzle of Highly Lustrous Cats" by Michael Bishop
"Gordon, the Self-Made Cat" by Peter Beagle
"The Jaguar Hunter" by Lucius Shepard
"Arthur's Lion" by Tanith Lee
"Pride" by Mary A. Turzillo
"The Burglar Takes a Cat" by Lawrence Block
"The White Cat" by Joyce Carol Oates
"Returns" by Jack Ketchum
"Puss-Cat" by Reggie Oliver
"Cat in Glass" by Nancy Etchemendy
"Coyote Peyote" by Carle Nelson Douglas
"The Poet and the Inkmaker's Daughter" by Elizabeth Hand
"The Night of the Tiger" by Stephen King
"Every Angel is Terrifying" by John Kessel
"Candia" by Graham Joyce
"Mbo" by Nicholas Royle
"Bean Bag Cats®" by Edward Bryant
"Antiquities" by John Crowley
"The Manticore's Tale" by Catherynne M. Valente
"In Carnation" by Nancy Springer
"Old Foss is the Name of His Cat" by David Sandner
"A Safe Place to Be" by Carol Emshwiller
"Nine Lives to Live" by Sharyn McCrumb
"Tiger Kill" by Kaaron Warren
"Something Better than Death" by Lucy Sussex
"Dominion" by Chirstine Lucas"
"Tiger in the Snow" by Daniel Wynn Barber
"The Dweller in High Places" by Susanna Clarke
"Healing Benjamin" by Dennis Danvers
"The Puma" by Theodora Goss
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Cats are the heroes, villains, mythical creatures, domestic, and wild, in these 40 stories.

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