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  • SIX BLUE MARBLES loves Peter S. Beagle’s THE LAST UNICORN: THE LOST JOURNEY.

    My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤⛤

    THE LAST UNICORN: THE LOST JOURNEY is a look at the beginnings of Peter S. Beagle’s beloved novel The Last Unicorn and what paths the unicorn could have taken on her journey to find the other unicorns. Reader’s meet a cast of old and new characters as well as a new journey that is just as enticing as the one fans of The Last Unicorn are familiar with.


    I’m really not surprised that I loved THE LAST UNICORN: THE LOST JOURNEY, I love everything I’ve read of Beagle and this is no different. I loved seeing what parts of Beagle’s original story of the unicorn made it into the final novel, what changed, and what characters and aspects were given to others and which aspects were dropped all together. Probably the most interesting thing about THE LAST UNICORN: THE LOST JOURNEY is how different the journey of the unicorn is from the book we know and love, not in terms of the new characters we meet but in the setting.

    I loved the new characters that were introduced as well as the old familiar butterfly. Though different in many ways from the final product, The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey reminded me again of why I love this book so much, and it still held that charm and beauty despite all the differences.


    And the illustrations! If the cover alone wasn’t enough to get you excited for this book then Stephanie Law’s illustrations will! They add a whole new kind of magic to the story and are absolutely stunning to look at.

    THE LAST UNICORN: THE LOST JOURNEY is a must-read for any fans of The Last Unicorn who want to see the bones of the story they love and a journey and experience like no other. The magic is still there, as is the love for this amazing story, only in a different way.


    The German MEIN LESEZEICHEN BLOG praises IN CALABRIA.

    The style of the author is sublime and magical. The way Beagle describes the unicorn is unique and breathtaking. Not effective or clichéd. The unicorn is not portrayed as something special, but as something that is one with the world. On the contrary to the unicorn, man seems to be something out of the ordinary, something peculiar. The magic is clearly in the descriptions of the unicorn.


    Cover illustration: Velcro-Cotta


    It’s hard for me to connect the story with this word, but the story is romantic. By that I do not mean that she is cheesy or could be equated with romance novels. The romance goes deeper, is more complex, pure and sublime. The story covers many things: love and longing, criticism of people, of his dealings with nature, of society. There are elements of the uncanny and just as fantastic as supernatural elements. Again, the story seemed to me to be strongly based on the literary-scientific concept of Romanticism.


    What also made me enthusiastic was that the author captured the mood of southern Italy very well and put it on paper. He draws an authentic picture with beautiful and ugly pages. What baffled me when I read was about to end as Claudio plunges into a daredevil fight.


    With the help of the timeless and magical narrative style, I felt really comfortable and in good hands while reading.

    I love the stories of Peter S. Beagle. A reading recommendation goes out to all unicorn fans of the old school.

    Translation from the German courtesy of Google


    Iain Nicholas Mackenzie on THE GREEN MAN REVEW recounts an encounter with Peter S. Beagle.

    Yeah that’s Peter Beagle — author of such delightful works as the above-quoted  SUMMERLONG along with IN CALABRIA, Tamsin and of course The Last Unicorn to name but three of his many works — over in the sitting area in the Kitchen here at Kinrowan Hall.


    Reynard and he have been talking about ales and he says that ‘When I can get it — and I only know one pub in Berkeley that stocks it — I’ll take Blackened Voodoo, which is really a dark ale (as is the Brazilian Xingu, which is even harder to find). Blackened Voodoo is a Dixie Beer product; I think Katrina almost put them out of business — anyway, I couldn’t find it for quite a while. Sierra Nevada’s always a reliable bet, but BV’s worth the extra searching…’


    He’s just been offered a particularly decadent chocolate bar and the Several Annie is asking him if he wants it: ‘Whatever you may have heard, it is not true that I have ever killed for really good chocolate. Trampled … well, sort of.  But only when the person was directly between the chocolate and me.  I mean, after all …’ and I see the chocolate is indeed to his liking.


    DRAWING TUTORIALS offers Easy The Last Unicorn Drawing Tutorials for Beginners and advanced.


    For more info about THE LAST UNICORN: THE LOST JOURNEY, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover by Thorsten Erdt

    Illustration by Stephanie Law

    Design by Elizabeth Story


    For more info about IN CALABRIA, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover design by Elizabeth Story


    For more info on SUMMERLONG, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover art by Magdalena Korzeniewska

    Design by Elizabeth Story

  • Photo: Jason Stemple


    THINGS IN HER HEAD praises Jane Yolen’s forthcoming HOW TO FRACTURE A FAIRY TALE.

    The idea of twisting and changing a part of a story is not that easy, especially a story that is already so popular and has been passed down by generations. This fracturing is greatly done and it is so fun to read! I really like that I could recognize some of the stories here because it excites me to read what we’re fractured and retained. I admit not all of the fairy tales here were familiar to me and I would want to read the original because I enjoyed it here!

    This is a five-star for me!! I like how the stories were fractured and mashed-up to give a new flavor and tone to it. It is not overly done and the lessons and morals that you could get from it is still there and in fact it is also leveled up along with the story. If you enjoy fairy tales and would want to read them in a different perspective then this book is definitely for you!!

    NOVELTEA CORNER also enjoys the collection.

    This is, essentially, a collection of fractured fairytales – both the very famous ones and some of the more obscure tales – with a spin on them I haven’t seen before. It also served to highlight just how few traditional tales I actually know well, because I was constantly having to look up the original source material to understand the changes that we made.


    I have to say, my favourite stories were the retellings of The Three Billy Goats Gruff (from the Bridge’s perspective) and the Cinderella retelling – which I would not have originally thought to be stories I’d gravitate towards but I ended up loving and am still thinking about them now.


    If you enjoy fairytale retellings, this is definitely worth a look when it’s released in November 2018.


    Méabh Mcdonnell at CINDERS MAGAZINE lauds THE TRANSFIGURED HART.

    The writing is beautifully lyrical, as we have come to expect from Yolen, but also has the refreshing rhythm of argumentative teens thrown in amid the dialogue.


    The story is a grounded and entertaining depiction of a well-worn fantasy trope, but is handled with care and finesse by Yolen. It is fascinating to see how she integrates teenagers into the magic of the Hart’s domain, and how the real magic that occurs is between two very different people solidifying an enduring friendship.


    And isn’t that the joy of fantasy? Of seeing traits you wish you had and traits you wish you didn’t reflected in people who witness magical scenes?  Jane Yolen will always be a lyrical superstar and a moment spent reading her stories is never a moment wasted.


    CAPTAIN’S QUARTERS finds THE EMERALD CIRCUS perfect for a rainy day.

    While I have read many of Jane Yolen’s works, most have been her novels.  It has only been recently that I have been reading her short stories.  And I have been missing out.  I was saving this collection for a day when I needed a pick me up.  So when I was stuck in rain and fog and feeling under the weather, I picked this up to be transported to a more magical time and place.


    This collection has 16 varied tales.  Like any collection, I liked some better than others.  But all show Yolen’s skill and love of storytelling.  In addition this book also had something I wasn’t expecting.  The end of the book has author reflections on how the stories came to be along with some of her poetry.  I don’t really know much about the author’s life but she sounds like one awesome lady and this look into her writing process was lovely.

    I had to admit that I was immensely cheered up by reading this collection and will be thinking about me favourites for quite some time.  If ye be a Jane Yolen fan, this should tickle yer fancy.  If ye aren’t familiar with her work then this might be a good place to start.  Arrrr!


    For more info on HOW TO FRACTURE A FAIRY TALE, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover design by Elizabeth Story


    For more info on THE TRANSFIGURED HART, visit the Tachyon page.

    Art by Thomas Canty

    Design by Elizabeth Story


    For more info about THE EMERALD CIRCUS, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover design by Elizabeth Story

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    In a STARRED review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY praises Lavie Tidhar’s forthcoming novel UNHOLY LAND.

    World Fantasy Award winner Tidhar (CENTRAL STATION) will leave readers’ heads spinning with this disorienting and gripping alternate history. Author Lior Tirosh, grieving a personal tragedy, travels home after years abroad and immediately has a series of strange encounters that pull him into a complex plot to destroy the border between worlds. He arrives in Palestina, the land that the Jews were offered on the Ugandan border in 1904, which both closely resembles and is profoundly different from the Israel of our world, and is followed by two government agents who are trying to stop the destruction of “borders,” though it’s unclear whose side they are really on.

    “No matter what we do, human history always attempts to repeat itself,” Tidhar writes, even as he explores the substantial differences in history that might arise from single but significant choices. Readers of all kinds, and particularly fans of detective stories and puzzles, will enjoy grappling with the numerous questions raised by this stellar work.


    Gary K. Wolfe on The Coode Street Podcast (Episode 336) recommends UNHOLY LAND.

    Readers talk to other readers. They share information about the books and stories they love. They recommend. It’s as natural as breathing. Those recommendations lead to a broader commentary, to lists and canons and all sorts of other things. This week Jonathan and Gary discuss the way we talk about books, the nature of recommending, and much more.


    As promised, this episode contains recommendations for books published during 2018 that Jonathan and Gary thought were of interest and might make for rewarding reads for Coode Streeters. As always, these are personal recommendations and not a whole lot more. There’s some fine reading on the lists below, which we both hope you’ll seek out.


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    Photo: Kevin Nixon


    Tidhar on his eponymous site announced a 3 book deal with Blackstone Audio.

    Delighted to say I’ve signed a new deal with Blackstone Publishing, for audiobook versions of the upcoming UNHOLY LAND and The Circumference of the World, plus an audiobook edition of Martian Sands!


    The first books will be UNHOLY LAND, which should be available around the same time as the print edition – so, shortly!


    For more info on UNHOLY LAND, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover by Sarah Anne Langton

  • A trio of reviews and more about Nick Mamatas’ brilliant, oddball THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING

    For SHELF AWARENESS, Cindy Pauldine praises the collection.

    Nick Mamatas (I Am Providence) creates landscapes in THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING that are off-kilter yet disconcertingly familiar. This short story collection examines his recurring themes of “the body, technology, [and] materialism” with tales that span conventional narrative, science fiction and dystopian fantasy; dark themes abide, touched with a fair bit of humor.

    This collection also includes the preferred author edition of Under My Roof, a novel set in the near future when war is constant. A telepathic boy tells the very funny story of his father’s homemade nuclear bomb and the reaction to his declaring their house a new country. Part Kurt Vonnegut and part The Mouse That Roared, it’s a biting and relevant satire.


    Mamatas adds author notes at the end of each story. The reader may come away with the feeling that it’s a minor miracle that any of his unusual work sees print–and a very good thing that it does–because his underground aesthetic and slightly skewed imagination give adventurous readers a wild ride.

    THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING is a subversive and darkly humorous collection of stories showcasing author Nick Mamatas’s ability to work across a variety of genres.


    Nisi Shawl at THE SEATTLE TIMES enjoys the stories.

    Bay Area author Nick Mamatas is renowned in his work and in his online presence as witty and perspicacious; his new collection, THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING (Tachyon Publications, 336 pp., $15.95), will bolster that reputation.


    Only “The Glottal Stop,” a fast-and-furious account of a harassed woman’s last date, is original to this book. Many of the rest of the stories, though, are gathered from venues either obscure, defunct, or both.

    All of which goes to show that the brilliant, oddball speculations of Mamatas surround us on every side. It only takes the focus of this thoughtfully curated collection to bring out their gloriously surprising details.

    For THE NATIONAL HERALD, Eleni Sakellis profiles the book and interviews the author.

    Author Nick Mamatas’ latest book THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING is another must read by the talented writer whose family hails from Ikaria. He spoke with The National Herald about his new book and the Greek-American aspects of some of the stories in the collection.


    Mamatas told TNH, “THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING includes a couple of stories about the Greek-American experience, or at least a Greek-American experience— The Phylactery, about a Greek-American man giving his child a filakto, and North Shore Friday which is a science fiction story set in the Ikarian-American enclave on Long Island. The short novel included, Under My Roof, is a modern-dress version of Aristophanes’ The Acharnians. There’s also plenty of dark fantasy and science fiction stories along the lines of the old Twilight Zone TV series and historical fiction as well.”


    For those unfamiliar with the term, a “filakto” is traditionally a small cloth pouch made in a monastery and pinned to a baby’s clothes to ward off evil, like an amulet.


    Among the 15 compelling stories in the book, North Shore Friday is especially entertaining with solid characters, touches of Greek, and a bit of “typographic trickery” as Mamatas describes it which draws the reader deeper into the thoughts of the characters and heightens the intensity of the story. “I have always been a sucker for typographic trickery,” Mamatas noted in the book, adding that “any book or story that features a disruption of layout immediately attracts my interest.”


    Tammy Sparks on BOOKS, BONES, AND BUFFY reviews THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING.

    In the end, I’m very glad I picked up this book. If I hadn’t, I would have missed some very good stories, and that would have been a shame.


    Nick Mamatas is curating the The Anarchist Bundle for STORYBUNDLE, which includes selections from Mamatas, Michael Moorcock, Marge Piercy, Dennis Danvers, and Lisa Goldstein.

    The Anarchist Bundle, curated by Nick Mamatas: Anarchy is perfectly science fictional—it’s widely derided as absolutely impossible, even as the entire apparatus of state and capital are dedicated to making sure that anarchy never blooms. And yet, constantly, sometimes in venues as small as a household, or across entire nations and a worldwide social class, it blooms. Anarchy is inevitable.

    Science fiction is the genre of change. The state and capital may try to forestall the future, contain it, or control it, but they will fail. The books in this bundle are about the weaknesses in authority’s stranglehold, and the fun we can have escaping it. Some science fiction is about anarchy; some is written in the spirit of anarchy and revels in the anarchic.

    I’m extremely pleased to bring to this StoryBundle three titles available as ebook for the very first time. Lisa Goldstein’s The Dream Years is a stellar timeslip novel about Surrealism and the Events of May 1968 in Paris, France. Dennis Danvers’ The Watch brings Kropotkin into the twentieth century, with the key to changing the world. My own anthology The Urban Bizarre includes extreme early work by Charlie Jane Anders, Tim Pratt, Jeff Somers, and many more. 


    For more info on THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover by Elizabeth Story

  • Michael J. Sullivan first gained notice for Riyria Revelations and Riyria Chronicles, a pair of interrelated series set in the fantasy world of Elan. Translated into fifteen languages, the acclaimed Riyria novels have been selected for more than sixty best of the year or most anticipated lists, including mentions by Library Journal, Barnes & Noble, Audible.com, and Goodreads.

    Sullivan’s third series, Legends of the First Empire, set in the distant past of Elan, explores the true history of the mythical world. Three books of the six volume series have been published: Age of Myth (2016), Age of Swords (2017), and Age of War (2018).

    His first science fiction novel, the standalone HOLLOW WORLD came out in 2014 to overwhelming praise including a James Tiptree, Jr. Award Honorable Mention and a Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis nomination.


    All of us at Tachyon wish Michael a stupendous birthday!


    For info on HOLLOW WORLD, visit the Tachyon page.

    Cover by Michael J. Sullivan

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