Eye of Cat is arguably the most carefully crafted and executed of Roger Zelazny’s novels. At the same time, it may be the most misunderstood, reviled, and incorrectly promoted of all his works.
I spent several years editing and annotating Zelazny’s short fiction and poetry and researching and writing a biography, the results of which (combined with the efforts of my coeditors Dave Grubbs and NYRSF’s own Ann Crimmins) became the six volumes of The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny (NESFA Press, 2009). When those books appeared, Zelazny fans approached me and also e-mailed NESFA Press directly to eagerly inquire if there were any plans to republish Zelazny’s novels with the same care and diligence. But a surprising number also declared that NESFA Press should absolutely not reprint “that damned awful novel with all the poetry, the Indian, and the one-eyed alien cat.” Even more blunt comments can be found on Goodreads and other discussion groups, such as “unfortunately, the bits with Cat in them are a minority in the book. I liked his motives, but it was lost in bullshit about Singer’s dumb spirit journey where he battles himself.” And yet there are some readers who steadfastly declare that Eye of Cat is their favorite Zelazny novel!