Tuesday 1 February 2022

CATS Cycling Across Time and Space - book review

"In Space, No-one can hear you meow!"

I'm delighted to have a story in this anthology of feminist science fiction stories about cats and cycling. I really enjoyed reading all the other stories in the collection, all of which fall in the category of speculative fiction, and each of which includes at least one cat and one bicycle, but apart from that, there is a wide variety in theme and style. I've briefly reviewed each story below and can definitely recommend this book for anyone who enjoys short science fiction, particularly if you love cats.


Myx Sends It by Jessie Kwak, in which a young sphinx learns to fly with the help of a young cyclist. It's a lovely story, and the reader really feels the range of emotions that Myx feels, from her sense of not fitting in to her anxiety about flying to her joy at finally taking wing.

Miss Tompkins Takes a Holiday by Kathleen Jowitt. Miss Tompkins goes on a cycling tour with her cat Aster, who turns out to be very helpful in sorting out a troubling problem. I like the matter of fact telling of this story and the unexpected twist.

Mind the Tiger Plume by Cherise Fong. After a long space flight, a genetically engineered Maine Coon wakes up on Saturn's moon Enceladus which is now dominated by felines. I like the way the main character is shown struggling with and then coming to terms with the new environment.

Sophie by Summer Jewel Keown. Emily takes her cat Sophie to lectures and tries to come to terms with a magical experiment that went wrong. This is a very engaging tale, and I like the way the nature of the failed magic is slowly revealed.

The Ninth Cycle by Gretchin Lair. I thoroughly enjoyed this engaging and entertaining story which focuses on Sage, a Zen master of a cat who helps Whidbey, a young dog, to stop chasing cyclists, and they consider whether dogs can reach enlightenment.

The Certainty of Danger by Monique Cuillierier. Bastet, a telepathic cat, helps out after their human, Lorrin is injured in an earthquake on Mars. Bastet is a wonderful character and the loyal and affectionate relationship between them and Lorrin is very well drawn.

Case Study by Alice 'Huskyteer' Dryden. This is an excellent example of how science fiction can be used in an imaginative way to explore social issues, as a scientist struggles to find out why the cats on an outer planet aren't buying bicycles....

Jetta by Judy Upton in which Erasmus a cat helps Jetta, a security patrol robot to earn about empathy. It's a very touching story about loneliness and the difficulty of finding a real connection.  

The Tiger's Tale by Juliet Wilson is my story of a tiger on her way to Mars in a space ship.

Like a Cat Needs a Bicycle by Kiya Nicoll is a story from an alternative history, starring Audrey, a seamstress and Suffragette and her characterful cat Grimalken, who likes to ride in the pannier of Audrey's bicycle.

Contact in 4, 3, 2 ,1 by Gerri Leen in which Fluffy (not her real name, but the name the humans gave her!) is in command of a spaceship heading for a new world. I like the way this tale of a journey into outer space shows how cats have domesticated humans, not the other way round...

CATS: Cycling Across Time and Space, edited by Elly Blue is available from Microcosm Publishing at this link

I have a few copies available for purchase if you're interested. If you're in the UK and would like a copy of the book (£10 including postage and packing) let me know.

However, if you're in the USA or Canada and would like a copy, please buy from the link above, as the postage will be cheaper (it's shipped from the US)!

If you're elsewhere overseas and would like a copy, let me know, and I'll get back to you about postage costs.


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