NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT should be in every home

Four fresh reviews of Michael Swanwick’s innovative and intriguing NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT.


Beelzebub is the first pic, because he threatened to walk off the cover if he didn’t receive top billing!

At ON BOOKS AND WRITING, Johann Thorsson praises the Michael Swanwick and his collection.

I don’t remember what the first story I read by Michael Swanwick is. But I do remember the feeling I got as I read it.

It’s the same feeling I got when I first read stories by Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link and Lucius Shepard. That amazing, wow-this-is-talent feeling.

Michael Swanwick is one of many authors I wish were household names, the likes of George Martin, Stephen King and Neil Gaiman.

In his new collection, NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT, Swanwick is just showing off. The stories are all “genre”, either fantasy or science fiction (or both).


This collection proves that Swanwick is a name that should be mentioned every time people speak of Gaiman, Link, Shepard, Martin or Harlan Ellison.

And NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT is a collection that should be in every home.


critiques the book.

Swanick is on top of his game here, giving us characters which feel , who need, who hurt. Some are more archetypal than others, but each was a delight to read.

The plots are, largely, excellent stuff. There’s what feels like pure fantasy, in some cases merged back into hard sci-fi. Some of the stories are more science-fiction, as well – it’s a broad mix, something for everyone. What doesn’t change is the sense of urgency, of compulsion, turning each page at two in the morning to see what happens next. Swanick’s prose flows. It’s intriguing, remorseless, delicate, wonderful stuff – each sentence carefully structured to drive the story, each narrative laid out to claim the attention of the reader. This is a book you can more than happily read in elegant, bite-sized chunks – if you’re willing to put it down at all.

Is it worth reading? I’d say so. There’s some great material here. The sheer breadth suggests parts will misfire for some readers, but there’s enough here that everyone will find something to enjoy. The ideas are innovative and intriguing, elucidated by characters you’ll care about, however briefly, in well-crafted worlds. So yes, give it a read.


Photo by Beth Gwinn

Vijayalakshmi Harish at THEREADINGDESK reviews NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT.

Speculative fiction is such a deep, wide ocean, that no matter how much one explores, one will always find something more. Michael Swanwick’s new anthology, NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT is a beautiful, brilliant pearl.

The variety within this anthology of 17 short stories is stunning. Each story is a distinct experience, a unique journey through different worlds, told with as many independent voices. If  I had not known that all these were written by one author, I would have assumed that they were written by different people–that is testimony to Swanwick’s range and writing prowess.


With his layered and nuanced writing, Michael Swanwick transports the reader into these varied worlds. From romance to fairy stories, to murder mysteries, NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT, has something for every reader.

On her YOUTUBE channel KALANADI, Rachel discusses the strong and entertaining collection.

And for those that would rather read Rachel’s review, stop by KOENIX for the complete transcript.

For more information on NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover design by Elizabeth Story