2-4pm, Sunday, February 4th: Philip K. Dick Award-winning Richard Paul Russo signed and read from his latest collection, Terminal Visions (in hardcover from Golden Gryphon Press), and his new novel, Ship of Fools (in trade paperback from Ace Books).
Shagrat! in her own words, transcribed by Andrew
Brrrreow Eeeowrr Mrrreow Meowrr Meowrr . . . Ehmm, as a Bookstore cat, I feel it’s quite appropriate to begin with a quote from one of my all-time favorite books, which I’m sure you all recognized as the ThunderClapp in Finnegan’s Wake. Though the other occupants of mrry store seem to be oblivious to mrry daily inquiry on the topic . . . such is life with these Humyn.
They are quite like kitten, you know, and of course must be treated accordingly . . . Disciplining marking of boundaries, the daily and nightly greetings, and of course, the constant reminders of their duties to mrree. How forgetful these cubs can be.
Mind you, I have had much rougher life than this. I was a hunter at one point, dirtying my paws and picking feather from my teeth. Though the freedom to wander to and fro, from my establishment I used to frequent, still plague me on sunny days . . . Ah memories . . . but when I was snatched up during that one fateless day, I thought mrry life was at its end . . .
I had just left mrry current fetish, a handsome black Tommy . . . I spot those really slow flappers that never seem to have a care in the world. As I was about to pounce one of these Humyn things, unknown to me, snatched me up and threw me into a cage . . . Me . . . ! I was horrified and then they took mrry . . . Well, I can’t mention it here, but let us say I no longer had any interest in that Tommy. Ahhhrrrr . . . But I regress . . .
The completely furless cub seemed lost when he came to my Prison (I soon found out this was an ongoing state). I was in the socializing mood, which is part of my nature, to say the least, and decided to help him. And here he brought me, with a few other cubs, to mrry store. All the other cubs who work mrry store know their place or mrry space . . . There of course is that one who thinks he is honoured enough to be as I am, a cat that is, but who’s to blame the cub . . . and there is the one who believes he’s actually superior to me. Well, we all have our foibles, don’t we? All the rest, I have wrapped around my paw and when they don’t do as I want, they know it. The names the store cubs decided to call me, since they can’t pronounce my real name, does get confusing at times: Ag At is such a pretty stone, but what it has to do whith me, I dare not think about. Then there is that Eckla name which must describe my furball problem, and Thev O Elia, which is what I scream when my tail gets tromped on. Humyns! Who can understand them . . .
As for my occupation, I deal with many of these Humyn on a daily basis, supervising and keeping them in line. The hardest time I have is finding a place to rest without being disturbed after entertaining all of them.