Prologue

Fruitless discussion with Boyfriend P. Kitty

"Hey . . . that's my side of the bed."

"You got up."

"Yeah, but I came right back."

"And your point would be . . . ?"

"Wait a minute . . . Are you sitting on my iPhone?"

"It's my warm thing. Go find your own warm thing."

"That IS my . . . "

Mental head slap. I'm standing here arguing with a 30 pound cat.

"Oh, for . . . Give me the damn phone and shove over . . .

And try not to snore."

____________________________

 


"Beautiful place, Mars," Boyfriend remarked offhandedly. "I own a subterranean Time Share near the Capitol."

I simply goggled. "Excuse me . . . Are we talking about Mars, as in Mars . . . the fourth planet from the sun?"

I'm sitting here discussing inter-dimensional portals and the merits of an on-time planetary shuttle service with a talking cat. This entire experience is surreal.

I sat there, mind reeling, struggling to take it all in. It occurred to me that I wasn't doing all that well with the assignment.

Boyfriend must have recognized the expression my face.

"Trying to get a grasp on the moment?" he inquired gently.

I nodded.

"Me too," he replied dryly.


 

THE STORY:


Alyssandra Lawrence was perfectly content. She had a career she loved, and she owned her own home. She dated, but there was nobody special in her life, that is, until a stray cat showed up at her front door, exhausted and clearly bewildered. She invited him in, fed him, and on a whim, decided to call him "Boyfriend." She wasn't dating anybody at the moment, and she figured his name would allow her to honestly and tactfully avoid events she didn't particularly want to attend. She could just say "Thanks so much, but I'm going to be spending that weekend with my Boyfriend."

So the cat stayed. She cuddled him and talked to him, and just generally enjoyed his company, until one day a couple of weeks later, when he answered one of her rhetorical questions in perfect English. She found this fairly disconcerting.

Jeffrey Goldstein is a brilliant scientist who has come up with a whiz-bang invention the government would very much like to get its hands on. His former high school classmate Alyssandra Lawrence, whom he hasn't seen in years, has rescued a stray cat who turns out to be a wise-cracking Theoretical Physicist from a dimension where felines are the dominant species. He's also royalty, a titled feline billionaire who owns a Time Share on Mars, and during a research project he accidentally tumbled through a dimensional portal.

A mischievous kitten named Schrödinger who can walk through walls, and a gender-selectable android named Dimitri previously owned by the Mars counterpart of the NSA, round out the crew.

The five of them have suddenly found themselves thrown together, forming a most unusual nuclear family, forced to combine wit and wisdom, in an attempt to hang on to Jeffrey's invention, avoid a particularly determined assassin, and secure the future of planet Earth.


 

SCENE LOCATION:

The magnificent, but curiously decorated 6500 SF Zeus suite aboard the newly built luxury starship Athena.

"The suite was . . . strangely fascinating, even weirdly beautiful in its own way. It had sort of a StarWars Hogwarts Disneyworld Titanic thing going for it.

Jeffrey simply burst out laughing.

Possibly they changed interior designers three or four times while it was under construction.

And truthfully, until after nearly having a heart attack when a colorful school of parrotfish suddenly materialized underfoot and swam up the sweeping staircase to the second floor, I didn't even know that animated three dimensional virtual reality floor art even existed."

 


 

STORY EXCERPT:

Arms folded, Dimitri casually leaned against one wall of the 30' high foyer. He gazed upwards, to where the massive winding staircases met the second floor.

A bloodcurdling shriek from young Schrödinger suddenly pierced the silence, yet Dimitri didn't move.

Panic stricken, Jeffrey and Boyfriend burst out of rooms located on opposite ends of the suite and each barreled towards the foyer at a dead run.

Jeffrey brandished a deadly looking weapon that nobody knew he had, and Boyfriend had transformed into full warrior mode.

The pair skidded to a halt in front of Dimitri who still had yet to move. From somewhere on the second floor Schrödinger shrieked again, and this time her voice was followed by my own piercing scream.

Boyfriend and Jeffrey shared a brief glance and began to charge up the stairs. Dimitri's arms shot out and restrained the both of them, dragging them backwards and pinning them against the wall.

"Wait," he said quietly.

The two of them struggled angrily, trying to break Dimitri's hold. "What the hell is the matter with you?" Jeffrey demanded with a furious snarl. "Let me go you miserable pile of scrap metal!" he shouted.

Boyfriend's claws were sharp enough to penetrate Dimitri's armored body, but just as he was about to do so he caught sight of a blur of motion in the second floor hallway and froze.

"Wait!" Dimitri commanded again, and the two of them ceased resisting. They followed Dimitri's upwards gaze.

"Wait for it," Dimitri said, "Wait. For. It. In . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . "

I hovered a foot above the floor, whizzing down the wide hall, doing my best Superman impression, while Schrödinger hovered six inches above my back, clutching my long braid between her front paws like a water-skier grasping a tow rope. We were closely followed by the missing pair of virtual penguins who apparently couldn't resist the opportunity to come out of hiding to belly slide down the stairs behind us. An entire contingent of multi-color virtual fish brought up the rear as we all plummeted down the stairs, skimming the floor mere inches above the marble steps. Schrödinger and I were shrieking and laughing hysterically.

We skidded around the corner, and whizzed past Dimitri, Jeffrey and Boyfriend as we tore down the long hall, whipped a U-turn in the master bedroom and retraced our route. "Whoop! Whoop!" yelled Schrödinger, lifting a paw to wave as our colorful little parade passed the three of them on our way back upstairs.

Dimitri gently released his grip and Jeffrey massaged his arm where he had been restrained.

"This morning's lesson was Levitation," Dimitri said quietly. "It turned out to have been a remedial lesson for Madame. According to 'Aunt Buggy', Madame's original instruction transpired when she was seven years old. She excelled in this subject," he said dryly.

"The kid is going to give me a heart attack," muttered Jeffrey, shaking his head.

He wordlessly turned and headed back to his makeshift laboratory.

Boyfriend sighed and retracted his claws. "Did I injure you?" he asked Dimitri.

"No, Your Grace," Dimitri replied.

More shrieks and laughter echoed from somewhere near the ceiling on the second floor.

"You've got this, I presume?" Boyfriend inquired.

"I've got this, Your Grace," Dimitri assured him.

Boyfriend looked upwards and his whiskers twitched with ill concealed amusement.

"Carry on," he said.




The Quantum Cat , by C.K. Gurin

The Illustrator for The Quantum Cat cover is the multi-talented Rich Okun


C.K. Gurin is represented by the Virginia Kidd Literary Agency.
Her Agent for this novel is William Reeve. (WmReeve (AT) ptd.net

The Virginia Kidd Literary Agency is one of the longest established science fiction specialized literary agencies in the world. VKA embodies half a century of rich experience in the top end of the science fiction and fantasy genres. Their client list reads like a top notch "who's-who" of science fiction: Beth Bernobich, Gene Wolfe, Anne McCaffrey, Ted Chiang, Alan Dean Foster and others set the bar very high indeed. Their authors have won Hugos, Nebulas, World Fantasy, Tiptree, National Book Award, PEN Malamud, SFWA Grandmaster, Gandalf, Locus Award, Margaret Edwards Award, IAMTW Lifetime Achievement Award (Grand Master), Rhysling Award, Author Emeritus SFWA, BSFA Award and more. They represent the best of the best. C.K. Gurin is honored to be represented by VKA.

Inquiries from Publishers should be directed to Wiliam Reeve.

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