Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New novelette: "Steak Tartare and the Cats of Gari Babakin" by Mary A. Turzillo

"Steak Tartare and the Cats of Gari Babakin", a new novelette by Mary A. Turzillo, appears in the April 2009 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine. While I haven’t had an opportunity to read the story yet, I understand that the plot revolves around the Martian colony of Gari Babakin and a deadly infection of toxoplasmosis. Here are the opening lines:

"Earthlings were coming to attack the cats this very afternoon. And where was Benoit?

Had she really considered licking his earlobe while he was reporting on the new cheese flavonoids? As if he were a surly tomcat, like this handsome furball now rubbing her legs?

Ah, Lucile, she thought, so impulsive we are! The boy's not all that sexy; he never combs his hair or gets it cut, or even washes it often.

He had a certain something, though. Think how he lashed out at the Earth inspectors who came through a year ago trying to murder the feral cats in tunnel M. The inspectors wanted to vent that corridor and let the cats die of decompression. Benoit put them in their place. ..."

If you're not afraid of spoilers, check out detailed reviews of "Steak Tartare and the Cats of Gari Babakin” by Jim Steel of The Fix: Short Fiction Review and Lois Tilton of the Internet Review of Science Fiction, as well as brief reviews by Stephanie Young, Sam Tomaino of SFRevu, and Wendy S. Delmater. According to Delmater, Turzillo's novelette has “the sensibility of a good Pink Panther flick, but with some real science behind it.”

Speaking of real science, Jan Messersmith’s blog post about the parasite Taxoplasma gondii is worth reading, too.

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