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Picasso's Cat & Other Stories by [Collins, Ron]
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Length: 246 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

Picasso's Cat and Other Stories showcases the broad talents of one of science fiction's more versatile writers. This collection contains 15 tales of humor, hard science, cyberpunk, near-future SF, and space opera--including the three-story "Stealing the Sun" series that first appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact. The collection is introduced by multi-award-winning author Mike Resnick, and each story is accompanied by short commentary by the author. Whether you're new to Ron Collins's work or already an established fan, Picasso's Cat and Other Stories provides, for the first time ever, the very best of his science fiction in one complete volume.


What will happen when ...

- A military man is given an order that will destroy an entire species of intelligent life?

- Three members of a close-knit software company develop a technology worth billions?

- A hit man gets caught in a war between his boss and the dead don of a rival family?

- A corporate web developer takes on a rogue virus with a personality?

- A group of space-faring chickenmen land in a farmer's corn patch?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 692 KB
  • Print Length: 246 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0042RULRO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Collection of Science Fiction Short Stories 7 September 2010
By Lonnie E. Holder - Published on
Sometimes it seems to me that science fiction has become stale. I remember when Heinlein was churning out one creative book after another. Asimov and Clarke continuously charted new territories. Numerous other authors from the 50's to the 80's kept science fiction fresh. While there may be authors breaking new ground and capitalizing on the flexibility of science fiction, I have had a hard time finding these authors. That is, I was having a hard time until I read "Picasso's Cat & Other Stories."

Ron Collins is a new author to me. As with any new author, I began the first story with trepidation. As I tend to do with most new authors, I read through the story very quickly. Speed reading was a big mistake because Collins is one of those rare authors who is economic in his use of words, which means that Collins' words are heavily laden with content. Once I realized that I would have to read his words carefully (and come to savor them), I found myself enjoying science fiction in a way that I have not in quite a while.

Sadly, with fifteen stories and a word limit on reviews, I can only talk about some stories in depth.

"The Disappearance of Josie Andrew" opens this collection. How many times have we read stories about growing babies in vats or tubes? Often the vats, tubes or their equivalent are mentioned in passing. Regardless of how automated such growth systems might become, people will still need to be involved in the process. Have you thought what it might be like to be one of those people and what those people might need to do as part of their job? This story was alternately creepy to me and poignant. It made me think a lot, which was a great sign.

Collins was quite bold in tackling a time travel story. I say bold because there have been so many and it would seem to be hard to find new ground to tread. Fear not, in "The Test of Time" Collins found a new path with an ending that I saw only as I reached it. I was amused at the implausibility of the science, but there is a reason they call it science "fiction."

Three stories, "Stealing the Sun," "The Taranth Stone," and "Parchment in Glass," are related and go from outstanding to phenomenally outstanding. I thought the third story of the three should have been a Hugo award nominee, if not a winner. All three stories are award-level stories. Once you read these three stories you will realize that Collins has created a marvelous universe that would be a great basis for a novel.

As outstandingly good as most of the stories in this collection are, and most of these stories I would classify as excellent, "Echoes in a Shattering Silence" is exquisite. That this story was not on someone's short list for a major science fiction award is a crime. It is poignant and well-written and was extremely meaningful to me. A former soldier on a sparsely populated and wild planet learns that a relationship with nature can be just as meaningful as any relationship anyone ever has. It is also possible that a relationship with nature can be a source of perspective and healing.

"Out of the Blue" is yet another poignant story that reached deep into my soul. A mishap on Europa leads to tragedy and wonder. Though the ending of the story is bittersweet, it is satisfying. I would love to say much more about this wondrous story, but that would take away the joy of discovery.

Though Collins takes a moment to speculate on whether cyberpunk is dead, it matters not because "1 Is True" is a cyberpunk story. Collins also does a marvelous job of showing what happens when several naïve people involved with developing a break-through programming technique run afoul of a large corporation uninterested in forking over the millions that the technique is worth.

Each of the other stories was quite enjoyable, but space prevents more than a brief description.

In "Just Business" we meet a ghost who needs a bit of help passing on to the afterlife. Fortunately, Mick is called in to exorcise the ghost. The way he does it is both clever and fun.

We learn that Collins can be humorous in "Barnstorming." When aliens land in a farmer's barnyard things do not go as anyone might expect.

I love the unexpected and "G-Bomb" has an ending I did not see coming. Collins also challenges the reader to look past stereotypes and remember that uneducated does not equate with unintelligent in yet another award worthy story.

In "A Matter of Pride," Chris discovers a verbally abusive virus has taken up residence on his computer. Now, just what does a computer wizard do about an obnoxious virus that will not go away?

One of the great things about science fiction is latitude, and Collins explores a whole new dimension in the surreal story "Learning the Language."

Explaining that "The Vacation" is about two little old ladies doing a lot of complaining on a vacation would short change the story, so just read and be prepared to enjoy.

For those familiar with Schrödinger's cat, Collins speculates that the same principle can be applied in other, possibly amusing ways. I had to read the closing story in this collection twice. Keep an open mind!

Fans of science fiction short stories will absolutely love this collection. If you have ever wondered whether a collection of short stories is worth having in your library, the answer is that this one is. Collins is an excellent writer who is adroit at coupling philosophical issues with science fiction. The blend made me think and that is one of the things I have always loved about science fiction. If you are wondering whether science fiction can still be fresh, the answer is yes. Reading this book convinced me of that.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid storytelling! 18 February 2012
By Jerry D. Maulin - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I read this book in two settings. Just kept turning the page for the next story. A diverse collection of stories and I like how the author introduces each story with a bit of comment. Enjoyed this one a lot!