Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats

Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats

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Overview

Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats by Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough's Catacombs.

Pilot, navigator, engineer, doctor, scientist—ship's cat? All are essential to the well-staffed space vessel. Since the early days of interstellar travel, when Tuxedo Thomas, a Maine coon cat, showed what a cat could do for a ship and its crew, the so-called Barque Cats have become highly prized crew members. Thomas's carefully bred progeny, ably assisted by humans—Cat Persons—with whom they share a deep and loving bond, now travel the galaxy, responsible for keeping spacecraft free of vermin, for alerting human crews to potential environmental hazards, and for acting as morale officers.

Even among Barque Cats, Chessie is something special. Her pedigree, skills, and intelligence, as well as the close rapport she has with her human, Janina, make her the most valuable crew member aboard the Molly Daise. And the litter of kittens in her belly only adds to her value.

Then the unthinkable happens. Chessie is kidnapped—er, catnapped—from Dr. Jared Vlast's vet clinic at Hood Station by a grizzled spacer named Carl Poindexter. But Chessie's newborn kittens turn out to be even more extraordinary than their mother. For while Chessie's connection to Janina is close and intuitive, the bond that the kitten Chester forms with Carl's son, Jubal, is downright telepathic. And when Chester is sent into space to learn his trade, neither he nor Jubal will rest until they're reunited.

    But the announcement of a widespread epidemic affecting livestock on numerous planets throws their future into doubt. Suddenly the galactic government announces a plan to impound and possibly destroy all exposed animals. Not even the Barque Cats will be spared.

    With the clock racing against them, Janina, Jubal, Dr. Vlast, and a handful of very special kittens will join forces with the mysterious Pshaw-Ra—an alien-looking cat with a hidden agenda—to save the Barque Cats, other animals, and quite possibly the universe as they know it from total destruction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345518972
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/05/2010
Series: Barque Cats Series , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 180,486
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Anne McCaffrey, one of the world’s most popular authors, is best known for her Dragonriders of Pern® series. She was the first woman to win the two top prizes for science fiction writing, the Hugo and Nebula awards. She was also given the American Library Association’s Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement in Young Adult Fiction, was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and was named a Science Fiction Writers of America Nebula Grand Master. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1926, McCaffrey relocated to Ireland in the 1970s, where she lived in a house of her own design, named Dragonhold-Underhill. She died in 2011.

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, winner of the Nebula Award for her novel The Healer's War, is the author of numerous fantasy novels. She has co-authored ten other novels with Anne McCaffrey. She lives on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Catalyst 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The Barque Cats are extremely valuable because they keep vermin off space ships and are adept at finding oxygen leaks or other hazardous gases as well as just keeping people on board the vessel safe. Thomas's Duchess, known as Chessie and her human companion Janina, whose title on the ship is Cat Person, dock on Head Station, where a pregnant Chessie goes for a check-up. Janina and Dr. Jared Vlest fly down to the planet Sherwood to look at the animals that need care. A con artist Carlton Pontius aka Ponty steals Chessie and brings her to his farm on Sherwood as she is worth a fortune especially with a coming litter of Barque kittens. He gives Chessie to his son Jubal who takes care of her and her litter. Chessie loves all of her offspring, but the kitten Chester bonds with Jubal. Chessie needs to reunite with her Cat Person Janina. Unfortunately, they cannot, as a "supposed" plague has arrived leading to the impounding of all animals and those exposed (even the Barque cats). They will be executed. Janina and her allies try to free their companions, but an alien feline Pshaw-Ra with psionic power wants to take the cats to his planet so they can begin the universal domination of the known universe. This is the first tale of a duology that contains the usual strong outer space world building, a trademark of the authors who make a whole galaxy seem real. The Sparkles plague is caused by a harmless beetle but the GG scientists refused to accept a simple explanation. The point of view is told mostly by various feline characters, but it comes across as believable and as important not simplistic cute as the cats understand their troubles. The humans are for the most part empathetic especially Janina and cranky Ponty who has his own pet cat. Although the audience will need to wait for the second entry to see whether Chessie and Chester have more than one life each, fans will enjoy the opening Barque Cat caper. Harriet Klausner
dancingBeagles More than 1 year ago
Catalyst is an intriguing story, but unless you have been owned by a cat you may not appreciate it completely. It may be more of a young adult book, but it makes for an enjoyable light read. I've read both the PERN series and the Crystal Singer series. I recommend this book for someone who may be a little intimidated about jumping into the science fiction (you know, that whole "science" part). The technology is definately in the background and you can just sit back and enjoy hearing what cats really think of us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Catalyst was a fast read and was a fast pick based upon my love of science fiction and cats. The plot was a bit predictable but none the less I enjoyed reading this book during my vacation and would recommend it to those who do not take science fiction to seriously. A great read for children as well.
SerenahAK More than 1 year ago
Barque cats are one of my favorite characters in Anne's writing.
Charlotte_Holley More than 1 year ago
I found this book utterly delightful, from the outset. The authors are wonderful story weavers who know how to keep the action going and provide hours of fun and entertainment. I'm so looking forward to reading the sequel, CATACOMBS, to see what is next in this action-packed fantasy adventure!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anne McCaffrey is one of my favorite authors! Despite the fact that I don't love everything she writes. For instance, I just can't get into her Crystal Singers series, and her "Freedom's" series has left me cold. But her Pern series, almost all of her one-off stand-alone books, and Sasnik series I throurally enjoy! Thankfully her stinkers are VERY few and far between. Starting Catalyst, I had great hopes for the series, but then within the few chapters my hopes seemed to be dashed. We seemed to be dealing with superintelligent cats who's origins were unknown, but who could not only understand human speech, but also spoke to each other, and who's gift of understanding and speech seemed to cross all animal barriers. AND it seemed that even normal cats enjoyed this special enhancement. It seemed to me that too many of the animals in this world shared this type of bond, and was streatching credibility past it's breaking point. BUT... Anne pulls it back out of the fire, not by reigning in her apparently SuperIntelligent cats, but by going all in! All this against a backdrop of an unknown Plague, political shenanigans, and business manuverings that threaten to destroy not just the loveable and loyal Barque Cat''s, but every animal in the known universe! Anne hit's another home with this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love McCaffrey Books
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Yea i agree and curse anyone who hates them
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Peter Brandon More than 1 year ago
This amazing book is perfect for all.
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