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The Zanzibar Cat

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  78 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The Zanzibar Cat is a feminist science fiction collection of short stories by Joanna Russ, first published in 1983 by Arkham House. It was the author's first collection of short fiction and was published in an edition of 3,526 copies. The story, "When It Changed", won a Nebula Award in 1972. "Old Thoughts, Old Balances" won a 1977 O. Henry Prize under the title "The Autobi ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, First Printing, 244 pages
Published November 1st 1983 by Sauk City: Arkham House
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Wayne Spiceland
Like any anthology, there are some stories that stand out, both good and not so good. To me, though, it's worth getting if only for one story: "When It Changed." I've been reading science-fiction -- please don't use that repellent term "sci-fi" (which, as Harlan Ellison says should be pronounced "Skiffy") -- since the early 60s, and firmly rank the story in my all-time top ten short stories.
Think about it: I've been reading sf for about fifty years, so that's the top ten out of one helluva lot
The first two stories in this collection are great. "When It Changed" is the classic SF trope of astronauts (male) arriving on the planet of the Amazons, inverted because it is from the point of view of the Amazons, and their response is a resounding, "The hell?" It's touchingly told and nuanced. The second story, "The Extraordinary Voyages of Amelie Bertrand" is a send-up of old Jules Verne style prose, though of course more quickly paced, and is a delightful romp centered on a space/time rift ...more
An odd blend of science fiction, fantasy, and feminism, there's an ambiguity to these stories that will either frustrate or enchant, depending on personal taste. I tend to enjoy such frustration, hence my rating.
Russ’s first collection, published first by Arkham House and then by, of all publishers, Baen. A more variable collection than I’d been expecting, perhaps because it contained so many of her early stories. I reviewed it for SF Mistressworks:
Gabriel C.
Uneven. Great where it's great. Flat where it's flat. Occasionally quite inspired. Occasionally hallucinatory in the way that I associate almost exclusively with the awakening into social consciousness of someone whose work has been concentrated in fantasy or science fiction. I am reminded of The Wind's Twelve Quarters. I don't remember my review there, but I wouldn't doubt it to have the same general feel.
I had to take this back to the library about 2/3 done, but I liked it quite a lot. The stories here are all so different, it's almost surprising to realize they have the same author.
I didn't read every short story in here because some of them immediately exceeded my weird prose tolerance level. But it was still pretty good and the cover is bitchin!
Collection of which I am deeply fond, in particular, "Phrases for Tourists" and "A Game of Vlet.:
Jun 08, 2012 Marvin marked it as to-read
Shelves: fantasy
Had my copy for awhile and still haven't read it but I love the cover. That is one cool cat!
Collection of short stories.
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Joanna Russ was an American writer and feminist. She is the author of a number of works of science fiction, fantasy and feminist literary criticism and is best known for The Female Man, a novel combining utopian fiction and satire. It uses the device of parallel worlds as a form of a mediation of the ways that different societies might produce very different versions of the same person, and how al ...more
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