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At scifi.com is Fritz Leiber's short story Space-time for Springers.

It is the story of the brilliant kitten, Gummitch. Personally, I have a deep loathing for cat stories. I've got nothing against cats in particular, but this ridiculous fascination authors have with writing stories about them is just something I don't understand. My theory is that when you write a cat story, you're saying to the world, "I'm now a middle aged author who likes to drink tea, read Agatha Christie, and have my children send my postcards about the world." (I also don't understand blogs where people put pictures of their cats. Okay, I get it. You like your cat. I don't care about your cat. Accept this.) Anyhow, it might seem strange that I've linked this story due to my dislike for cat stories, but I love Leiber. It doesn't matter what Leiber writes about, there will always be a moment in the story where I go, "That's just fucking cool."

'Space-time for Springers' has three of those instances, and I won't spoil it for you by explaining them. Just go and read. Honestly, the story is not going to be my favourite Leiber story, but many other people like it. Neil Gaiman calls it a "marvelous short story ... a story that everyone who's ever tried to understand kittens should read. Harlan Ellison sent Fritz a copy of my own 'Dream of a Thousand Cats' with a note from me saying it was probably Fritz's fault."

But then, Gaiman wrote a cat story called 'the Price', which was boring. Even Michael Zulli's gorgeous art in Creatures of the Night couldn't change the fact that it was just another cat story that sung out to the world, "I'm now a middle aged author who likes tea, thank you."

Comments

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artbroken
Mar. 25th, 2005 02:00 am (UTC)
Don't get me started on the multiple authors writing cat-crime novel series, in which a vastly intelligent cat and his/her loyal owner solve mysteries.

I shelved hundreds of these fucking things when I used to work at Borders. Made me want to just stab random customers in the eye for allowing such things to exist.
artbroken
Mar. 25th, 2005 02:04 am (UTC)
In fact, a little diatribe I wrote in '03:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/artbroken/193815.html
benpeek
Mar. 25th, 2005 03:57 am (UTC)
dude, i didn't even know such books existed. that's just wrong. so very, very, very wrong.
blindsidepubs
Mar. 25th, 2005 02:22 am (UTC)
As much as I appreciate your attempt to expose me to some good literature -- I can't stomach another cat story. I'd sooner read Anne Rice. But really, thank you...
benpeek
Mar. 25th, 2005 03:56 am (UTC)
well, it was worth a try. the last paragraph (or two) is quite nice, if you're into scanning down to the bottom.

but otherwise, yeah, right there with you.
chrisbarnes
Mar. 25th, 2005 07:37 am (UTC)
Speaking of SF cat stories, have you read Cordwainer Smith's "The Game of Rat and Dragon"? I love that story. Maybe it's the idea of cats controlling nuclear-armed spaceships that appeals. The story has an odd erotic subtext beween the cats and their telepathically linked human controllers, too.
benpeek
Mar. 25th, 2005 11:01 am (UTC)
you're part of the problem, chris. part of the problem.
chrisbarnes
Mar. 25th, 2005 11:52 am (UTC)
Well, if you can't be part of the solution... ;-)
llbatt
Mar. 29th, 2005 07:31 am (UTC)
People who write cat stories should be fed their fucking cats. Raw. Next Zine I start is going to be called 'Kitten Curry', I swear... At Ticonderoga we even TELL people not to send us stories with cats in them, and some splanker sent us a 17000 line epic poem about his goddamn furred frisbee.

You can imagine my rejection comments :)
benpeek
Mar. 29th, 2005 07:39 am (UTC)
i imagine it was detailed and thoughtful and about cat types ;)

that's a pretty big epic poem about a cat. i mean, i could write a seventeen thousand line poem about cats. it'd be called the seventeen thousand ways i killed my cats, though.
benpeek
Mar. 29th, 2005 07:40 am (UTC)
oh, hey, congrats on your marriage too, man.
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