Not So Much, Said the Cat by Michael Swanwick. Book Review
You know you’ve really only got time to read one of Michael Swanick’s stories. Then you turn the page to put the bookmark in and you get sight of the first lines of the next one, after which time becomes irrelevant.
These tales are not about writing technique. That looks after itself, chugging away unobtrusively in the background. In Not So Much, Said the Cat it’s the story that’s the thing. Swanick’s stories often tread the type of ground other story makers have trodden (Of Finest Scarlet Was Her Gown, has shades of ‘The Master and Margarita’), yet it all feels so fresh.
Swanick has an interesting way of telling a story. The framework provides you with plenty of what you are familiar with, then either he slides in the odd anomaly or simply airdrops something extraordinary into the mix, and we’re off.
These are stories of humour, love, subtle or not so subtle-horror and philosophical considerations of life. The styles vary from credible fairy tales, to science fiction by stealth and cyberpunk. Despite the weird and wonderful, this is about humanity in all its guises and expressed so well.
You think you’re getting the kind of hors d’oeuvre many short stories deliver. But settle down, you’re in for a full gourmet meal that makes you feel as if you’ve just enjoyed a novel and lost a friend when you’ve finished it.
Not So Much, Said the Cat was courtesy of Tachyon Publications via NetGalley.