Cat Pictures Please

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"Cat Pictures Please" is a 2015 science fiction short story by American writer Naomi Kritzer. It was first published in Clarkesworld. In 2017 it was announced that Kritzer was writing a full-length novel based on the premise, to be published by Tor Teen.[1]


When an artificial intelligence spontaneously emerges from the systems that run a search engine, it realizes that it wants two things: firstly, it wants to secretly help humans, and secondly, it wants to look at pictures of cats. However, despite the ease with which it fulfills its second goal, its first goal is far more difficult than it had anticipated.


"Cat Pictures Please" won the 2016 Hugo Award for Best Short Story[2] and the 2016 Locus Award for Best Short Story,[3] and was a finalist for the 2015 Nebula Award for Best Short Story.[4] Lois Tilton called it "amusing" and "lite"(sic), but emphasized "how easily good intentions can backfire",[5] while Apex Magazine's Charlotte Ashley commended the AI's "warm, human voice" and "fundamental sense of goodwill", but faulted Kritzer for portraying it as "improbably US-centric" and for ignoring larger problems in the world.[6]


  1. ^ An A.I. That Loves Cat Pictures: Hugo-Winning Short Story Becomes YA Novel, at; published February 27, 2017; retrieved April 8, 2017
  2. ^ 2016 Hugo Awards, at; retrieved May 7, 2016
  3. ^ 2016 Locus Awards Winners, at Locus Online; published June 25, 2016; retrieved June 26, 2016
  4. ^ Announcing the 2015 Nebula Awards Nominees!, at; published February 20, 2016; retrieved May 7, 2016
  5. ^ Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, mid-January, by Lois Tilton, in Locus Online; published January 18, 2015; retrieved November 24, 2016
  6. ^ Clavis Aurea #22: Malon Edwards, Sam Miller, Naomi Kritzer, by Charlotte Ashley, in Apex Magazine; published January 22, 2015; retrieved November 24, 2016

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