The Cat’s Pajamas and Other Stories

James Morrow

Terminal baptism, erotic performance art, and voodoo economics with actual voodoo. The Cat’s Pajamas is a provocative collection of satiric short fiction from Nebula and World Fantasy award–winning author James Morrow.


The Cat’s Pajamas and Other Stories

by James Morrow

ISBN: 1892391155 (Hardcover)

Published: 2004

Available Format(s): Hardcover and Trade Paperback

Terminal baptism, erotic performance art, and voodoo economics with actual voodoo.

An integrity gene is harvested from the brain of an unwilling schoolteacher. Christopher Columbus lands in modern-day Manhattan. John Wayne seeks treatment from a cinematic oncologist. Sports fans save the universe every day.

The Cat’s Pajamas is a provocative collection of satiric short fiction from Nebula and World Fantasy award–winning author James Morrow. Included is “Auspicious Eggs,” in which ritual procreation and compulsory abortion are mandated by the Catholic Church. Two original pieces were written specifically for The Cat’s Pajamas: the play “Come Back, Dr. Sarcophagus,” and the short story “Fucking Justice.”

“Arguably SF’s reigning master of satire, Morrow has already blessed the genre with two previous volumes of short fiction and the monumental Godhead trilogy, in which a deceased Jehovah literally falls to Earth. His latest collection demonstrates that his rapier wit has lost none of its edge as it encompasses twisted scenarios ranging from Martians invading Central Park to having the fates of other worlds rest upon the scores of American football games. In ‘Auspicious Eggs,’ global warming forces the Catholic Church to enact rites of ‘terminal baptism,’ in which the souls of infants deemed infertile are immediately sent heavenward. In a shorter tale, King Kong and Godzilla pay their respects to 9/11 victims. During the title story, a crazed genetic scientist kidnaps a hapless do-gooder and harvests his altruism genes. All the stories manifest Morrow’s penchant for exploring the dark underbelly of technological promise and extracting quirky moral conundrums. Morrow’s fans will revel, and first-time readers may find his grim humor making fans of them, too.”

“Morrow’s shorter tales possess…a keen sense of folly and morality, a witty inventiveness….”

“Amply displays [Morrow’s] ability to juggle absurdity, tragedy, irony, and outrage….”

“…darkly delightful satire.”
Cemetery Dance

James Morrow is the author of the World Fantasy Award–winning Towing Jehovah, the New York Times Notable Book Blameless in Abaddon, the Nebula Award–winning Bible Stories for Adults, and the Theodore Sturgeon Award–winning Shambling Towards Hiroshima. A master of satiric and the surreal, he has enjoyed comparison with Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, and John Updike. He has a collection of Lionel trains and a rapidly growing library of DVDs of questionable taste.

Praise for James Morrow

“The most provocative satiric voice in science fiction.”
Washington Post

“…widely regarded as the foremost satirist associated with the SF and fantasy field.”
SF Site

“Morrow understands theology like a theologian and psychology like a psychologist, but he writes like an angel.”
—Richard Elliott Friedman, author of The Hidden Book in the Bible

“America’s best satirist.”
—James Gunn, University of Kansas

Praise for Shambling Towards Hiroshima

“This dark, wildly funny, politically incorrect satire is a winner.”
—Nancy Kress

“Readers will never think of Godzilla—or any other B-movie monster—in quite the same way, that’s guaranteed.”
Green Man Review

“…the strange brew of jolly satire and moral indignity of vintage Kurt Vonnegut….”
Time Out Chicago

“It’s called satire, and James Morrow does it brilliantly.”
SF Site

“…tour-de-force of razor-sharp wit…packs a big wallop….”
SciFi Dimensions

“Morrow is the only author who comes close to Vonnegut’s caliber. Like Vonnegut, Morrow shrouds his work in science fiction, but the real story is always man’s infinite capacities for love and for evil.”
—Paul Constant, The Stranger

“…witty, playful…reminiscent of Watchmen….”
Strange Horizons

“…a reminder that for all the shenanigans in his plots, [James Morrow is] first and foremost just a great writer.”

“In the tradition of Dr. Strangelove…even as you’re laughing, you’re not sure you should be.”

“James Morrow’s bizarrely funny new book Shambling Towards Hiroshima turns the usual Godzilla paradigm on its head: Instead of being inspired by the horrors of nuclear war, Godzilla is its herald.”

“It takes a special sort of person to…imagine a real-world basis for Godzilla….”
—John Scalzi, The Big Idea

“Morrow liberally salts the yarn with real Hollywood horror-movie personnel, Jewish showbiz snark, and gut-wrenching regret for the bomb. As usual for Morrow, a stellar performance.”

“…sharp-edged, delightfully batty…skillfully mingling real and imaginary characters with genuinely hilarious moments.”

“…a total hoot to read…recounting horrors both imagined and real with equal aplomb.”
The Agony Column

“A ridiculously fun read…pitch-perfect satire.”
Fantasy & Science Fiction

“This is what we have come to expect from Morrow: intelligent, thoughtful, dark comedy with real bite—and in this case radioactive breath.”
The New York Review of Science Fiction

Praise for The Last Witchfinder

“intrepid, impeccably researched”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“James Morrow’s novel about early American witchcraft pulls off so many dazzling feats of literary magic that in a different century he’d have been burned at the stake.”
Washington Post

“This impeccably researched, highly ambitious novel—nine years in the writing—is a triumph of historical fiction.”

Praise for The Philosopher’s Apprentice

“a tumultuous take on humanity, philosophy, and ethics that is as hilarious as it is outlandish.”

Visit the James Morrow website.

Introduction by Michael Swanwick

Auspicious Eggs
Come Back, Dr. Sarcophagus
Director’s Cut Fucking Justice
Isabella of Castile Answers Her Mail
Martyrs of the Upshot Knothole
The Cat’s Pajamas
The Eye That Never Blinks
The Fate of Nations
The War of the Worldviews
The Wisdom of the Skin
The Zombies of Montrose

Other books by this author…