Eye of Cat

Eye of Cat is a 1982 science fiction novel by American writer Roger Zelazny. It was among his five personal favorite novels from his own oeuvre.

Eye of Cat
Eye of cat
Cover of first edition (hardcover)
AuthorRoger Zelazny
Cover artistStephen E. Fabian
CountryUnited States
GenreScience fiction
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover)

Plot summary

When the galaxy's most skilled hunter is asked to use his skill to protect an important political mission, he realizes that he needs specialized aid. Thus Billy Singer must seek the shape-shifting telepathic creature only known as "Cat", whom he had caught and trapped for a museum. Cat agrees to help on the condition that, once the mission is over, he be given the chance to hunt his former captor. Billy accepts Cat's offer. However, Billy has been growing increasingly fatalistic in the time leading up to the story, and originally offers to let Cat kill him with no struggle. Cat, a hunter refuses, encouraging Billy to flee. Billy does so, but remains fatalistic, with Cat reading in his mind a wish to die and his foreknowledge of a final location. Billy must reconcile his personal chindi to evade Cat. Billy turns increasingly primitive, away from the technology of the day, and eventually returns to his Navajo roots. Traveling across the world using teleportation technology, he eventually comes to Canyon de Chelly where he regresses to a state where he can, or believes he can, walk in the spirit world. At the same time, a collection of psychics try to pool their powers to help him and to attack Cat. Cat is able to kill one by destroying his mind, but even so the dead man seems to linger as a part of their group consciousness.

Billy is eventually able to kill Cat, but then has to face his chindi, who is his deathwish, in a battle that pits him against his own shadow. The novel ends with Billy apparently united with his other self.


The dedication page reads "To Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee", two Navajo Tribal Police characters in detective stories by Tony Hillerman. Zelazny took much inspiration from Hillerman's stories of Navajo life and culture. Hillerman repaid the compliment by having one of his characters reading a Zelazny novel while on a stakeout.

The creature "Cat" is referred to as a Torglind Metamorph, last of its kind from a planet long since destroyed when its star went nova. The alien's plight parallels that of Billy Singer, who has become displaced from his people and traditions.

The book also contains several long cosmogonic poems with many beings from the Navajo pantheon in as characters.

Eye of Cat was nominated for the 1983 Locus Award[1]


  1. ^ http://www.sfadb.com/Locus_Awards_1983


  • Levack, Daniel J. H. (1983). Amber Dreams: A Roger Zelazny Bibliography. San Francisco: Underwood-Miller. p. 37. ISBN 0-934438-39-0.
  • Chalker, Jack L.; Mark Owings (1998). The Science-Fantasy Publishers: A Bibliographic History, 1923-1998. Westminster, MD and Baltimore: Mirage Press, Ltd. p. 669.
1982 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1982.

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List of Case Western Reserve University people

This is a list of famous individuals associated with Case Western Reserve University, including students, alumni, and faculty.

Roger Zelazny

Roger Joseph Zelazny (May 13, 1937 – June 14, 1995) was an American poet and writer of fantasy and science fiction short stories and novels, best known for The Chronicles of Amber. He won the Nebula award three times (out of 14 nominations) and the Hugo award six times (also out of 14 nominations), including two Hugos for novels: the serialized novel ...And Call Me Conrad (1965), subsequently published under the title This Immortal (1966) and then the novel Lord of Light (1967).

Roger Zelazny bibliography

This is a partial bibliography of American science fiction and fantasy author Roger Zelazny (missing several individual short stories published in collections).


Underwood–Miller Inc. was a science fiction and fantasy small press specialty publishing house in San Francisco, California, founded in 1976. It was founded by Tim Underwood, a San Francisco book and art dealer, and Chuck Miller, a Pennsylvania used book dealer, after the two had met at a convention.

Underwood and Miller chose to begin with a first hardcover edition of The Dying Earth by Jack Vance. This was a classic fantasy novel never done in hardcover. Both Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc. and Mirage Press had tried to publish The Dying Earth but had failed to obtain the rights. Underwood was acquainted with Vance and was able to secure the rights directly from him. Vance was enthusiastic, had several other projects in mind, and became the author most identified with the press. In the next few years they produced a number of Vance hardcovers, many of them new to boards as well as a few reprints of scarce, early Vance hardcovers.

The press then diversified and began publishing works by other authors such as Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg and Roger Zelazny. In several such cases, the books in question printed recently done stories that either appeared only in magazine form or only in paperback, with no previous hardcover edition.

In 1994, Underwood and Miller decided to dissolve the partnership. As their last book, they reprinted The Dying Earth.

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