“Half Neil Gaiman, half Kelly Link, wonderfully unique.”
- A Kirkus Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book of 2016
- An io9 15 Must-Read Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Arriving This August
- A Washington Post Best New Science Fiction Pick (August 2016)
In this much-anticipated new collection, Michael Swanwick (THE DOG SAID BOW-WOW) takes a feline turn—prowling the pages with grace,precision, and utter impertinence. The master of short science fiction takes us on whirlwind journeys across planets, time, and space, where magic and science co-exist in endless possibilities. Swanwick’s spectacular offerings are intimate in their telling, galactic in their scope, and delightfully-sesquipedalian in their verbiage.
“Swanwick excels at satisfying conclusions that cause readers to take pause and consider the actions of the characters. Thoughtful, witty, and, at times, disturbing, this collection will appeal to those who enjoy short fiction, no matter the genre.”
In NOT SO MUCH SAID THE CAT you’ll find time travelers from the Mesozoic partying ’til the end of time, and a calculus problem that rocks the ages. A supernatural horse-guardian journeys with a confused but semi-repentant troll. A savvy teenage girl wagers against the Devil, and is promptly set upon by the most unsuitable of suitors.
“Michael Swanwick shows his extraordinary range in NOT SO MUCH SAID THE CAT (Tachyon) … Swanwick’s stories are wistful and weird, at times tragic yet still hopeful as the mythic and scientific intertwine.”
And of course, you’ll meet Beelzebub the cat, whose subtle influence may not be entirely benign.
[STARRED REVIEW] “Another collection of speculative fiction from Swanwick (Chasing the Phoenix, 2015, etc.), one of a handful of writers whose short pieces are as impressive as their novels. Versatility, craftsmanship, a dollop of weird, and a delightfully askew sense of humor are key to the 17 pieces here, all of which appeared between 2008 and 2014, together with an introduction that illuminates the contents without revealing too much. Certain themes, of course, are authorial favorites, such as time travel, aliens, and artificial intelligence. There’s a man who, having suffered a crushing loss, finds solace after accidental contact with a time traveler; a group of time travelers hunkered down at the end of the Cretaceous period—where, oddly, nobody’s interested in the dinosaurs; and a scientist who finds a partner worthy of her genius. We also get a fascinating glimpse (which feels like a novel fragment) of a far future populated by humans and centipedelike aliens, narrated by the intelligent space suit of a woman who’s dead as the story begins; and another future where human lives resemble those in fairy tales while advanced, hidden AIs battle for supremacy. Elsewhere, in a literary-games vein, the characters in a fairy tale discuss whether they prefer to remain in books, and immortal, or enter history; there’s a famous Gene Wolfe story stripped down, turned inside out, and rebuilt to perfection; and, in a marvelous conceit, the writer Alexander Pushkin appears as he may have been—in an alternative universe. To round out the collection, we meet a dutiful young woman who, entering hell to challenge the devil to return her father, discovers that things are not as she assumed; Darger and Surplus, those good-hearted rogues with a propensity to shoot themselves in the foot, make an appearance, as does “The House of Dreams,” an entry from Swanwick’s splendid Mongolian Wizard e-book series. Tales that, through their extraordinary clarity of thought and expression, showcase precisely why this multiaward-winning author is held in such high regard.”
- Introduction by Michael Swanwick
- 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
“An entertaining read from beginning to end, with plenty of tales to amuse, making for a great collection of short stories. Besides, who wouldn’t want to spend some time with a sly seductive circus performer, some con artists and a robotic scarecrow with a conscience, and all without leaving the comfort of your sofa!”
For more information on NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story