The ED SF Project

The Ellen Datlow/SCI FICTION Project, that is. We're showing the love for five and a half years of great short fiction, and we need your help! We've got over 300 stories to cover, so if you're a person who loves short speculative fiction, we want you. Go here to read the list and add your voice.

Monday, March 13, 2006

"To Bell the Cat" by Joan Vinge: An Appreciation by Sarah Prineas

Joan Vinge's novelette "To Bell the Cat" was first published in Asimov's in 1977, but I can see why Ellen Datlow chose to republish it in SCI FICTION, because it is a terrific read. On the intellectual level, the reader is confronted by uncomfortable questions about about humanity, animality, punishment and redemption, individual agency, cruelty, and, maybe, an odd kind of love.

It's also a very moving story about a lost man who manages to find himself, or perhaps the self he has become, through an act of hope in the midst of devastating hopelessness.

And this is also a skiffy story about first-contact and cute scaly aliens.

Thanks, Ellen, for giving this reader the chance to read a story she would otherwise have missed.

Link to story.


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