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
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.
"Me too," he
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.
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
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.
but curiously decorated 6500 SF Zeus suite aboard the newly built luxury
was . . . strangely fascinating, even weirdly beautiful in its own way.
It had sort of a StarWars Hogwarts Disneyworld Titanic thing going for
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."
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
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.
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
"Carry on," he said.
The Quantum Cat , by C.K.
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.
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