Catfantastic IV

~ A Collection of Original Stories by Various Authors

Edited by Andre Norton & Martin H. Greenberg

Contains a Short Story from the "Noble Warrior Series"

catfantastic 4 1996 77711 9


Contains ~

  •  09~ Introduction by Andre Norton
  • 11~ The Last Answer (ss) by Wilanne Schneider Belden
  • 31~ The Quincunx Solution (ss) by Anne Braude
  • 48~ Circus (ss) by Jayge Carr
  • 66~ Tybalt’s Tale (ss) by India Edghill
  • 72~ The Tale of the Virtual Cat (nv) by Heather Gladney, Don Clayton & Alan Rice Osborn
  • 94~ Arrows (ss) by Jane Hamilton
  • 112~ Miss Hettie and Harlan (ss) by Charles L. Fontenay
  • 124~ The Neighbor (nv) by Pauline M. Griffin
  • 148~ Tinkerbell (ss) by Sharman Horwood
  • 162~ SCat (ss) by Mercedes Lackey
  • 181~ Professor Purr’s Guaranteed Allergy Cure (ss) by Brad Linaweaver & Dana Fredsti
  • 196~ Noh Cat Afternoon (ss) by Jane M. Lindskold
  • 215~ Totem Cat (ss) by A. R. Major
  • 229~ Deathsong (nv) by Lyn McConchie
  • 250~ Noble Warrior, Teller of Fortunes (ss) by Andre Norton
  • 263~ Born Again (ss) by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
  • 280~ The Cat, the Sorcerer, and the Magic Mirror (nv) by Mary Schaub
  • 303~ One with Jazz (ss) by Janet Pack


Synopsis ~

Write-up from the back of paperback ~

Fur Magic will cast its spell over you in this all-new collection of tales about cats both great and small. Guardians, companions, sources of comfort, affection, and amusement, the felines you will meet in these stories will take possession of your imagination and quickly add to their personal collections of adoring humans.

Let such cat chroniclers as Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackey, Jayge Carr, and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough whisker you away to the realms where their four-pawed friends hold court, regaling one another with their incredible adventures.

From an alchemist's cat whose discoveries far outpace his master's... to a furry creature who seems determined to become the guardian of a princess... to a planet-hopping lion tamer who is being clawmailed by one of his "cats"... here are eighteen original stories of those bold and beautiful creatures who have made the human race part of their personal territory.


Review of Catfantastic 4 by Fred Patten in YarfThe Journal of Applied Anthropomorphics #45, Published by Yarf!, Edited by Jeff Ferris, $7.00, 64pgs. ~ cover by Bill Fitts (pg. 8) 1996

     Here is another ‘more of the same’. After a 21/2-year wait since Catfantastic III, this fourth anthology of brand-new stories contains 18 tales featuring cats.
     The stories are ‘weird’, using the late 19th-century popular meaning of that word. Mercedes Lackey’s SCat, about two telepathic cats on a spaceship who help their human partner track down galactic smugglers, is clearly science-fiction. P. M. Griffin’s The Neighbor, about a sorcerer, his young apprentice, and their two cat familiars who track down a murderer in their Medieval European neighborhood, is clearly fantasy. What about Janet Pack’s One With Jazz, in which a jazz fan trying to get a job as a talent scout for a record company finds that his otherwise-apparently-normal pet cat has an uncanny talent for picking hot new bands? Twelve of these eighteen stories are clear-cut fantasies, four are s-f, and two are ‘normal’ except for the cat’s metaphorically winking at the reader.
     The statistics get fuzzier broken down by types of cats. There is one story with an intelligent felinoid alien, and one with bioengineered intelligent cats. Five have cats that pretend to be normal, but talk secretly (by sign language, telepathy, or speech) with their human companions. In three, it is revealed that all cats have human-level intelligence but are hiding it. Two are fantasies with divine cats; and in one of those, Bast gives speech to all cats. Two are about loveable but obviously ‘dumb’ cats in s-f or magical situations. Most of the rest leave the reader guessing as to just how intelligent their cats really are.
     For readers of the previous Catfantastic anthologies, there are six sequels continuing the adventures of cats previously introduced: P. M. Griffin’s The Neighbor (with Master Trouble), Mercedes Lackey’s SCat (with SKitty and SCat), Lyn McConchie’s Deathsong (with Many Kills), Andre Norton’s Noble Warrior, Teller of Fortunes (with Thragun Neklop), Elizabeth Ann Scarborough’s Born Again (with Mu Mao the Magnificent), and Mary H. Schaub’s The Cat, the Sorcerer, and the Magic Mirror (with Drop, the cat previously turned into a boy apprentice, who is a cat again).
     All of these stories are strongly pro-cat. It would be nice to say that all are pro-animal, but the atmosphere is more katze über alles than pan-animalistic, and there are a couple of definitely snide comments about dogs. It is an open secret that most s-f authors are cat people; in fact, one of the panels at the 1996 World Science Fiction Convention was, Are There Too Many Cats in Science Fiction? Obviously, not in the opinion of the authors of Catfantastic IV.


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1996) Edited by Andre Norton & Martin H. Greenberg, Published by DAW, PB, 0-886-77711-9, 978-0-886-77711-1, No.1030, UE2711, $5.99, 314pg ~ cover by Mark Hess

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