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Tails of Wonder Paperback – Feb 1 2010

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About the Author

ELLEN DATLOW is a winner of nine World Fantasy Awards, two Bram Stoker Awards, two International Horror Guild Awards, five Hugo Awards, and four Locus Awards. She has been the fiction editor of Omni and and has edited many successful anthologies, including The DarkThe Coyote RoadInferno, and The Year’s Best Horror. Datlow has also coedited Haunted Legends, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series, The Faery ReelA Wolf at the Door, and Swan Sister, among many others. She lives in Manhattan.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Stories about cats but not for cat lovers April 26 2011
By Laurie A. Brown - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a collection fantasy/horror stories that involve cats, some forty `tails', many by well known authors- Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, Charles de Lint, Stephen King, Kelly Link, and Susanna Clarke among others. But this is *not* an anthology for cat lovers, or at least not for those with soft hearts. These are dark stories all, not light-hearted fantasies where the noble young cat discovers he's a prince and goes on adventures. In a rather uneven collection, cats meet dire fates at times. They are thrown, throttled, starved, beaten, run over and consumed. Many of these stories I did not enjoy reading. Most are well crafted, though; it's my revulsion at the depiction of violence against felines that gave me such a problem with the stories.

Datlow has expanded the definition of `cat' to include other members of the feline family: lions, tigers and pumas; a couple of mythical ones, the sphinx and the manticore; and some made up for the occasion. To me, these were easier to read-the bigger cats hold their own against humans better.

Decent dark fantasy, but don't give this to someone whose cats are their `children'.
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Table of Contents for anyone wondering just what's in this hefty tome Jan. 19 2010
By Richard Kukan - Published on
Format: Paperback
Table of Contents:

Through the Looking Glass (excerpt) - Lewis Carroll
No Heaven Will Not Ever Heaven Be... - A. R. Morlan
The Price - Neil Gaiman
Dark Eyes, Faith, and Devotion - Charles de Lint
Not Waving - Michael Marshall Smith
Catch - Ray Vukcevich
The Manticore Spell - Jeffrey Ford
Catskin - Kelly Link
Mieze Corrects an Incomplete Representation of Reality - Michaela Roessner
Guardians - George R. R. Martin
Life Regarded as a Jigsaw Puzzle of Highly Lustrous Cats - Michael Bishop
Gordon, the Self-Made Cat - Peter S. Beagle
The Jaguar Hunter - Lucius Shepard
Arthur's Lion - Tanith Lee
Pride - Mary A. Turzillo
The Burglar Takes a Cat - Lawrence Block
The White Cat - Joyce Carol Oates
Returns - Jack Ketchum
Puss-Cat - Reggie Oliver
Cat in Glass - Nancy Etchemendy
Coyote Peyote - Carole Nelson Douglas
The Poet and the Inkmaker's Daughter - Elizabeth Hand
The Night of the Tiger - Stephen King
Every Angel is Terrifying - John Kessel
Candia - Graham Joyce
Mbo - Nicholas Royle
Bean Bag Cats(R) - Edward Bryant
Antiquities - John Crowley
The Manticore's Tale - Catherynne M. Valente
In Carnation - Nancy Springer
Old Foss is the Name of His Cat - David Sandner
A Safe Place to Be - Carol Emshwiller
Nine Lives to Live - Sharyn McCrumb
Tiger Kill - Kaaron Warren
Something Better than Death - Lucy Sussex
Dominion - Christine Lucas
Tiger in the Snow - Daniel Wynn Barber
The Dweller in High Places - Susanna Clarke
Healing - Benjamin Dennis Danvers
The Puma - Theodora Goss
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Cats and more cats Feb. 17 2010
By Janlynn - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A nice thick book for any cat lover to enjoy, also for the reader who can take or leave cats but just enjoys a good mystery or sci-fi story. Also some horror. As there are several series of books with cats as one of the main "characters", Lillian Jackson Braun comes to mind, or the authors who have talking cats solving mysteries, this volume of short stories should be enjoyed by many. Some stories are reprints, others brand new. Many well known writers are here including Neil Gaiman, Lawrence Block, Sharyn McCrumb and Joyce Carol Oates. Something for every cat lover. If you don't like cats, well, you might, nevertheless, find some of the stories enjoyable.
34 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Force yourself past the sickening stories March 15 2010
By Cat Momma - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have followed Ellen Datlow's work and her anthologies for most of my adult life. I was excited to get this anthology. However.... The stories in which the cats are harmed, specifically "Catch" turned my stomach and distressed me so greatly I almost tossed the book away. I felt betrayed by this. I have never in my life gotten so angry and upset at a simple 3 page story. The most distressing point was that this story closely followed on the coat-tails of another that ended with the implied consuption of a cat.

There are other stories in this anthology, and they are worth the read. I am happy that Ellen herself has provided a guide to the stories to avoid, but to me, that isnt enough. It's like providing a fire extinguisher after a fire. To defend your position and say "This book *is* for cat lovers" while at the same time saying that you probably shouldnt have put some stories in the anthology, ALL during the same month of the release.... seems a little preposterious to me.

Read if you dare. This ISNT a book for cat lovers. This is a book for people who like reading about cats. There is a difference. I wouldnt say that I would line my cat's litter pan with this book, But I definately wish that I could have kept away from some of the horrible, stomach wrenching words and images that some of the stories delivered.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Familiar Names and Rising Stars Feb. 28 2010
By Ann - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although many well-known authors like Charles De Lint, Neil Gaiman, and George R.R. Martin are featured, I particularly enjoyed the selections from rising stars in short fiction: Elizabeth Hand's retelling of a traditional fairy tale "The Poet and the Inkmaker's Daughter", the psychological thriller "Every Angel is Terrifying" by John Kessell, and Carol Eshmiller's unsettling "A Safe Place To Be." I was thrilled to see Christine Lucas included - I've been a fan of her writing for years - and her sassy "Dominion" made me chortle with glee.

Though the book itself is a bit hefty (over 400 pages) to be tucked into a purse or backback, most of the stories are short enough to provide engaging lunchtime entertainment or brighten a commute. And although all felines are tricksters, not all tricksters are felines; if you enjoyed this, you might also like Ms. Datlow's trickster tales anthology, The Coyote Road.