Cat Pictures Please and Other Stories by Naomi Kritzer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The seventeen short stories in this collection include the Hugo Award-winning “Cat Pictures Please.” That story begins with the words “I don’t want to be evil.”
In a way, that summarizes all these stories. The protagonists don’t want to be evil – but they have problems: a terminal illness, a missing piece from their soul, captivity, or horrible mistakes made by their parents. They may find themselves searching for their real parents, measuring alien penises, missing their friend’s robot, falling in love with a mortal, watching the Berlin Wall fall, or trying to cook for a houseful of quarantined children during a long and disastrous pandemic with dwindling food supplies.
Most are fantasies, most center on women’s lives, and invariably they are humane, sometimes even gentle, yet fascinating. The breadth of Kritzer’s imagination is on display, along with her sense of humor. If you like “Cat Pictures Please” (read it here if you haven’t), you’ll love this book.