Dozois Gardner - Magicats! / Дозуа Гарднер - Волшебные кошки! [2013, EPUB, ENG]

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Gardner Dozois & Jack Dann - Magicats!

Название: Magicats! / Волшебные кошки!
Год выпуска: 2013
Под редакцией: Dozois, Gardner & Dann, Jack / Дозуа, Гарднер & Данн, Джек
Издательство: Baen
eISBN: 978-1-62579-120-7
Формат: EPUB
Качество: eBook
Язык: английский

Без сомнения, кошки - самые волшебные из реальных животных, известных человеку. В фантастике есть, конечно, драконы и единороги, но и здесь кошки занимают вполне достойное место.
В этой книге перед вами появятся кошки как жертвы и кошки как убийцы; кошки, строящие свое кошачье общество; кошки, покоряющие космос вместе с человеком; кошки, которые могут говорить и кошки, которые могут летать; кошки, получившие странные формы благодаря генетике будущего; кошки - маги и кошки, пишущие телевизионные сценарии; кошки - привидения; кошки любящие и заботящиеся и кошки - мстители; кошки слуги и кошки хозяева; коты ведьм; кошки, охраняющие ваш сон и кошки, наполняющие ваши кошмары.
Смешные кошки. Смертельные кошки.
Волшебные кошки.
    Preface Gardner Dozois and Jack Dann
    Space-Time for Springers / Пространство-время для прыгуна Fritz Leiber
    The Game of Rat and Dragon / Игра с крысодраконом (= Покер с крысодраконом) Cordwainer Smith
    The Cat From Hell / Кот из ада (= Адова кошка; Адская тварь; Гостья из ада) Stephen King
    Out of Place Pamela Sargen
    Schrodinger's Cat / Волновой кот Ursula K. Le Guin
    Groucho Ron Goulart
    My Father, the Cat Henry Slesar
    The Cat Man / Кошатник Byron Liggett
    Some Are Born Cats Terry and Carol Carr
    The Cat Lover Knox Burger
    Jade Blue Edward Bryant
    Tom Cat Gary Jennings
    Sonya, Crane Wessleman, and Kittee Gene Wolfe
    The Witch's Cat Manly Wade Wellman
    Antiquities John Crowley
    A Little Intelligence Randall Garrett
    The Cat Gene Wolfe
    Afternoon at Schrafft's Gardner Dozois, Jack Dann, and Michael Swanwick
The Witch's Cat
by Manly Wade Wellman

Old Jael Bettiss, who lived in the hollow among the cypresses, was not a real witch.
It makes no difference that folk thought she was, and walked fearfully wide of her shadow. Nothing can be proved by the fact that she was as disgustingly ugly without as she was wicked within. It is quite irrelevant that evil was her study and profession and pleasure. She was no witch; she only pretended to be.
Jael Bettiss knew that all laws providing for the punishment of witches had been repealed, or at the least forgotten. As to being feared and hated, that was meat and drink to Jael Bettiss, living secretly alone in the hollow.
The house and the hollow belonged to a kindly old villager, who had been elected marshal and was too busy to look after his property. Because he was easy-going and perhaps a little daunted, he let Jael Bettiss live there rent-free. The house was no longer snug; the back of its roof was broken in, the eaves drooped slackly. At some time or other the place had been painted brown, before that with ivory black. Now both coats of color peeled away in huge flakes, making the clapboards seem scrofulous. The windows had been broken in every small, grubby pane, and mended with coarse brown paper, so that they were like cast and blurred eyes. Behind was the muddy, bramble-choked back yard, and behind that yawned the old quarry, now abandoned and full of black water. As for the inside—but few ever saw it.
Jael Bettiss did not like people to come into her house. She always met callers on the old cracked doorstep, draped in a cloak of shadowy black, with gray hair straggling, her nose as hooked and sharp as the beak of a buzzard, her eyes filmy and sore-looking, her wrinkle-bordered mouth always grinning and showing her yellow, chisel-shaped teeth.
The near-by village was an old-fashioned place, with stone flags instead of concrete for pavements, and the villagers were the simplest of men and women. From them Jael Bettiss made a fair living, by selling love philtres, or herbs to cure sickness, or charms to ward off bad luck. When she wanted extra money, she would wrap her old black cloak about her and, tramping along a country road, would stop at a cowpen and ask the farmer what he would do if his cows went dry. The farmer, worried, usually came at dawn next day to her hollow and bought a good-luck charm. Occasionally the cows would go dry anyway, by accident of nature, and their owner would pay more and more, until their milk returned to them.
Now and then, when Jael Bettiss came to the door, there came with her the gaunt black cat, Gib.
Gib was not truly black, any more than Jael Bettiss was truly a witch. He had been born with white markings at muzzle, chest and forepaws, so that he looked to be in full evening dress. Left alone, he would have grown fat and fluffy. But Jael Bettiss, who wanted a fearsome pet, kept all his white spots smeared with thick soot, and underfed him to make him look rakish and lean.
On the night of the full moon, she would drive poor Gib from her door. He would wander to the village in search of food, and would wail mournfully in the yards. Awakened householders would angrily throw boots or pans or sticks of kindling. Often Gib was hit, and his cries were sharpened by pain. When that happened, Jael Bettiss took care to be seen next morning with a bandage on head or wrist. Some of the simplest villagers thought that Gib was really the old woman, magically transformed. Her reputation grew, as did Gib's unpopularity. But Gib did not deserve mistrust—like all cats, he was a practical philosopher, who wanted to be comfortable and quiet and dignified. At bottom, he was amiable. Like all cats, too, he loved his home above all else; and the house in the hollow, be it ever so humble and often cruel, was home. It was unthinkable to him that he might live elsewhere.
. . .
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