NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT is pretty damn good
Reviews and mentions are coming in for Michael Swanwick’s forthcoming collection NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT.
At THE GREEN MAN REVIEW, Richard Dansky praises Swanwick and his collection.
Which, I suppose, is the secret – Swanwick can move between genres so effortlessly and so competently that there’s no need for limitations. His mastery of prose is such that the tonal switches from one to the other, from story to story and even paragraph to paragraph, feel smooth and logical. At no point does the prose bring the reader up short, no matter how wild the premise or how seemingly vast the chasms in subject matter might be.
But really, it’s the reappearance of old friends Darger and Surplus (whom you may remember from DANCING WITH BEARS) that energizes the collection most. When the unconventional con men find themselves with a new partner trying to run an epic con in a zombie-filled New Orleans. Light and breezy, yet never shying away from the dark undertones of its subject matter, the story is in many ways the perfect summary of the stories here, a mix of familiar and new, light-hearted and deathly serious, with multiple genres sitting comfortably next to each other.
So maybe there is a theme here after all, the fluidity of writing and the futility of slapping labels and artificial divisions on it. If that’s the case, Swanwick has succeeded admirably. And if it isn’t, the stories are still pretty damn good.
Photo: Beth Gwinn
Heather Fazio of the TIMES UNION is pleased to discover the flawless and creative Michael Swanwick.
That said, this isn’t a book about cats or black cats – although we do meet a cat named Beelzebub. This collection is a group of short stories by author Michael Swanwick and I have to admit I was very surprised and happy with almost all of them. I’m a huge fan of David Sedaris who compiles his auto-biographical short stories and essays into books, and while I wouldn’t put Mr. Swanwick on the Sedaris level quite yet – I really enjoyed these somewhat odd, somewhat science fiction focused tales.
To my surprise, Mr. Swanwick is considered a “master” of science fiction and fantasy. I only mention my surprise because I had not read anything of his before, however it’s easy to see why he was granted such a lofty title in the writing world. His writing is flawless and creative, his characters incredibly well-developed for short stories, and the descriptive nature of his text can make you feel as if you’re living in these other worlds right along with the characters. Mr. Swanick’s readers (and many critics) have gone so far as to call him the ‘god’ of the science fiction world.
Beelzebub celebrates all the kind words
In BOOK RIOT’s PEEK OVER OUR SHOULDERS: WHAT RIOTERS ARE READING ON JUNE 23, 2016, Johann Thorsson mentions NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT.
upcoming collection from literary magician Michael Swanwick. Half Neil Gaiman, half Kelly Link, wonderfully unique.
The Hungarian MANDINER.SCI-FI includes the collection in it’s listing of this summer’s best foreign books.
For more information on NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story