Michael Swanwick's short story collection Not So Much, Said the Cat will be published by Tachyon Publications in August 2016.
Information about Michael Swanwick:
Michael Swanwick is one of the most acclaimed science-fiction and fantasy short-story writers of his generation, having received an unprecedented five consecutive Hugo Awards. He is also the winner of the Theodore Sturgeon and World Fantasy awards. Swanwick’s novels include The Iron Dragon's Daughter, a New York Times Notable Book, and the Nebula Award-winning Stations of the Tide. His short fiction has appeared in many venues, including OMNI, Penthouse, Amazing, Asimov's Science Fiction, New Dimensions, and Full Spectrum, and his work has been translated into more than ten languages. Swanwick is currently at work on a third novel set in Industrialized Faerie. He lives in Pennsylvania.
Click here to visit his official website.
Information about Not So Much, Said the Cat:
The master of literary science fiction reinvents it this dazzling new collection. Michael Swanwick takes us on a whirlwind journey across the globe and across time and space, where magic and science exist in possibilities that are not of this world. Swanwick's tales are intimate in their telling, galactic in their scope, and delightfully sesquipedalian in their verbiage.
Travel from Norway to Russia and America to Gehenna. Discover a calculus problem that rocks the ages and robots who both nurture and kill. Meet a magical horse who protects the innocent, a semi-repentant troll, a savvy teenager who takes on the Devil, and time travelers from the Mesozoic who party till the end of time.
Join the caravan through Michael Swanwick's worlds and into the playground of his mind.
A REVIEW OF MICHAEL SWANWICK'S NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT
Ah, what a pleasure it was to read Michael Swanwick's Not So Much, Said the Cat. This magnificent collection was everything I hoped it would be and more, because it contained imaginative and well written stories. It wonderfully demonstrates Michael Swanwick's strengths as an author and lets readers marvel at his vast imagination. It's a collection that I can wholeheartedly praise and recommend, because it's excellent.
Michael Swanwick is an author who probably needs no introduction to speculative fiction readers who love quality fiction and well written stories. However, if there happen to be readers out there who are not familiar with his works, here are a few words about him. Michael Swanwick is an author who has won many awards for his fiction. He is the author of such amazing novels as The Iron Dragon's Daughter, The Dragons of Babel and Stations of the Tide.
I've personally admired Michael Swanwick's writing skills ever since I first read The Iron Dragon's Daughter. It made a huge impression on me, because it was something different and refreshingly original. I like his novels and stories a lot, because he doesn't try please everyone, but boldly plays with different ideas and creates unique and memorable fiction.
Not So Much, Said the Cat is an excellent collection of imaginative and beautifully written stories that deftly explore various themes, issues and elements ranging from magic and robots to love and aliens. There's something for everyone in this collection.
Not So Much, Said the Cat contains the following stories:
- Steadfast Castle
- The Man in Grey
- The Dala Horse
- The Woman Who Shook the World-Tree
- Of Finest Scarlet Was Her Gown
- 3 A.M. in the Mesozoic Bar
- Passage of Earth
- From Babel's Fall'n Glory We Fled...
- For I Have Lain Me Down on the Stone of Loneliness and I'll Not Be Back Again
- Libertarian Russia
- The Scarecrow's Boy
- The She-Wolf's Hidden Grin
- Goblin Lake
- Pushkin the American
- An Empty House with Many Doors
- Tawny Petticoats
- The House of Dreams
I had previously read a few of these stories, because they've been published elsewhere, but it was enjoyable to re-read them. I have to admit that I had almost forgotten how good, inventive and thought-provoking they are (I find it interesting how easily the author combines entertainment with thought-provoking elements).
I'm impressed by the author's ability to blend science fiction with fantasy elements. He's one of the few authors who succeed in combining these genres in a flawless way, because his stories are at their best wildly imaginative. He even manages to spice up some of his stories with a few horror elements.
I like the author's storytelling skills, because he's a masterful storyteller who takes his readers on a journey into fascinating places. He writes imaginative stories that offer plenty of food for thoughts.
Here are a few words about some of the stories:
"The Dala Horse" is a fascinating post-apocalyptic retelling of the well-known fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, because it's a story about Linnéa who is travelling to her grandmother's house. I like the author's way of combining fairy tale elements and Scandinavian elements with post-apocalyptic fiction, because it works well.
"The Woman Who Shook the World-Tree" is an interesting story, because - if I'm not mistaken - it was inspired by an illustration from John Jude Palencar. I won't go into details about the contents of this story, but I can mention that it's an extraordinary love story featuring Dr. Mariella Coudy and her junior partner Richard M. Zhang.
"Passage of Earth" is a brilliant story about an alien autopsy. I have to mention that this is one of the best first encounter stories I've ever had the pleasure of reading, because it's a fantastic and atmospheric story.
In "From Babel's Fall'n Glory We Fled..." the author fascinatingly tells about how a human (Quivera), who wears a suit which is embedded with the simulated personality of his lover (Rosamund), and a millipede-like alien (Uncle Vanya) escape from a destroyed city. It's an intelligent and entertaining story that is simultaneously adventurous and original. The ending of this story is excellent.
"The Scarecrow's Boy" is a marvellous story about a mechanical scarecrow and a little boy. In this story, the author writes well about an obsolete housebot that was stuck out to the field to keep the birds away from the crops. One day the scarecrow meets a little boy called Pierre.
"Goblin Lake" is a brilliantly written folktale-like story. The events in this story take place in 1646 when Hessian cavalrymen hear from a captured peasant about the Mummelsee, which means Goblin Lake. It is said that the lake changes everything that is thrown into it into something else (for example, if you throw pebbles into the lake, they may turn into rubies). I enjoyed this story, because it has a charmingly old-fashioned feel to it.
"Tawny Petticoats" is a fantastic story set in a futuristic New Orleans. It's one of the most entertaining stories I've ever read about grifters, because the author has come up with an inventive story. It was interesting that the author wrote about a bit different kind of zombies in this story.
"The House of Dreams" is an especially interesting piece of speculative fiction, because its events are set in an alternate fin de siècle Europe, and it's part of the author's Mongolian Wizard series. I found this story intriguing.
What makes these stories especially good and memorable is the author's literary writing style, because he charms readers with his fluent and atmospheric prose. His prose is irresistibly beautiful, vibrant and vivid, but also strikingly effective.
If you're a newcomer to Michael Swanwick's fiction, you're in for a special treat when you pick up this collection and begin to turn its pages. I'm sure that you'll find each of the stories intriguing, because they're well-created stories with lots of imagination.
I highly recommend Michael Swanwick's Not So Much, Said the Cat to speculative fiction readers. This magnificent collection is essential reading material to those who love quality and originality. The stories contained within its covers are simply marvellous and offer plenty of entertainment, excellent prose, memorable scenes and thought-provoking moments to readers. What more could you possibly hope to find in a speculative fiction short story collection?