Friday, October 28, 2016

The Cat Bell, by Esther M. Friesner

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(Modern Fairy Tale) On a rich estate in 1890s upstate New York, the cook loves serving her famous boss, but hates feeding his cats. (8,852 words; Time: 29m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average
Recommended By: SFRevu:4

"The Cat Bell," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 11-12|16, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: This is the story of how Cook got her comeuppance. She got exactly what she wanted--to be loved by Mr. Rutherford--and yet she's damned to existence as a cat. She had ample chances to change her ways, but ended as she did with no one but herself to blame.

There are a number of clever references to the Puss in Boots fairy tale. For example, Jocko becomes a jockey at Carabas Stables, which refers to the fictional "Marquis of Carabas" from the fairy tale.

Con: Cook is a cardboard villain. There's nothing redeeming about her at all. The ending isn't a big surprise either; the moment Ellen wishes for Cook to get what she really wants, we already know that a) she wants Mr. Rutherford's love and b) he really loves his cats. We pretty much spend the rest of the story rooting for Puss to get on with it.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 11-12|16)
Esther M. Friesner Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. This didn't aspire to any great heights, but it did manage to be cute and amusing.