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Travels With My Cats by Mike Resnick

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Travels With My Cats

by Mike Resnick

• Word count: 7353
• Page count: 18

Travels With My Cats, a very soft science fiction short story by Mike Resnick, won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 2005, and was also nominated for the 2004 Nebula Award. It is about a middle aged man who is given the amazing opportunity to converse with the long dead author of his favorite book.

Ethan Owens is a forty year old bachelor living in the backwoods of Wisconsin. As he re-reads his favorite travel book he inadvertently brings the author back to life. While conversing with her each evening she encourages him to live life more fully, take risks, and do the things he longs to do.

Though there is very little of the speculative fiction element in this story, it is very well written and a joy to read. Is it possible to have a romantic science fiction story? I believe this one qualifies. If you are a fan of the movie Somewhere in Time then you will love this short story.

So I picked it up without much enthusiasm, and read the first page, and then the next–and suddenly I was transported to Kenya Colony and Siam and the Amazon. Miss Priscilla Wallace had a way of describing things that made me wish I was there, and when I finished a section I felt like I’d been there.

There were cities I’d never heard of before, cities with exotic names like Maracaibo and Samarkand and Addis Ababa, some with names like Constantinople that I couldn’t even find on the map.

Where you can find Travels With My Cats:
Travels With My Cats originally appeared in the February 2004 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction.
• You can read a free HTML version of Travels With My Cats online at Asimov’s website.
• If you would rather listen to Travels With My Cats you can find a free audio version at Escape Pod – though you may have to put up with a few ads.

Mike Resnick is a prolific science fiction author who has won several major science fiction awards. He has written many works that draw upon his experiences with Africa. You can learn more about Mike Resnick by viewing his Wikipedia page.

If you liked this story be sure to check out Old MacDonald Had a Farm, also by Mike Resnick, and Impossible Dreams by Tim Pratt.