The Unicorn Anthology

Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman

Unicorns: Not just for virgins anymore! Here are sixteen lovely, powerful, intricate, and unexpected unicorn tales from fantasy icons including Garth Nix, Peter S. Beagle, Patricia A. McKillip, Bruce Coville, Karen Joy Fowler, Carrie Vaughn, and more.


The Unicorn Anthology

by Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman

ISBN: Print ISBN: 9781616963156 Digital ISBN: 9781616962838

Published: April 2019

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and Digital

“What a treasure trove! This anthology is filled with stories that will surprise, fascinate, and delight you.”
—Sarah Beth Durst, author of The Queen of Blood

Garth Nix, Peter S. Beagle, Patricia A. McKillip, Bruce Coville, Karen Joy Fowler, Carrie Vaughn, Carlos Hernandez, Nancy Springer, and more.

Unicorns: They’re not just for virgins anymore.

Our intrepid unicorn experts have selected sixteen fantastical stories to radically expand your equine experience. From gloriously uplifting to utterly outrageous, here are spectacular tales of royalty and the undead; innocents and con artists; love and revenge; time-travelers, tattoos—and, obviously, unicorn beer.

Praise for The Unicorn Anthology

“Well worth reading…”
NY Journal of Books

“This slender but rich anthology compiled by Beagle and Weisman (The New Voices of Fantasy) centers on the mythical beast for which Beagle is best known, thanks to his classic novel The Last Unicorn. The 15 stories and one poem reinterpret the unicorn myth across genre and style. Caitlín R. Kiernan’s lesbian noir “The Maltese Unicorn” pits a hard-boiled rare book dealer against a sorcerous femme fatale. In Jane Yolen’s delicate “The Transfigured Hart,” a bookish boy and a horse-loving girl bond over a shared obsession with a mysterious white woodland creature. Dave Smeds’s “Survivor” includes elements of horror in its tale of a traumatized Vietnam vet, as does Garth Nix’s “The Highest Justice,” in which a princess and a revenant queen seek revenge with the help of a unicorn. Themes of innocence lost, first love, and yearning for transcendence pervade all of the stories in this collection, giving it a haunting and melancholy feel. Readers who love the mystery and elegance of unicorns will find this a lovely homage.”
Publishers Weekly

“Unicorns in literature are fascinating, evocative, mysterious, and elusive, and with The Unicorn Anthology, editors Peter S. Beagle—himself of unicorn fame—and Jacob Weisman invite continued appreciation of the legendary beast, drawing it beyond its familiar medieval framework.”

“Unicorns are a rare and wondrous breed; fortunately for us, stories about them are a little easier to find. Peter S. Beagle’s new anthology contains a marvellous collection of stories about the animal that probably never existed, but that we still can’t stop dreaming about. Like the creature itself, the stories are wild and wistful, graceful and glorious, kind and crazy. Everything we need to help us believe . . . in something worth believing in.”
—Simon R. Green, author of  Night Fall and Blue Moon Rising

“What a treasure trove!  This anthology is filled with stories that will surprise, fascinate, and delight you.  From an Arizona ghost town where souls are healed to a medieval European forest to the middle of an elephant herd in Persia, there are so many gems to be found!”
—Sarah Beth Durst, award-winning author of the Queens of Renthia series

“Between these pages you’ll find tales that are as mysterious and arresting as any creature of myth and legend. The Unicorn Anthology returned me to the stories of writers I already loved and introduced me to the stories of writers I know I will come to love.”
—Kevin Brockmeier, author of A Brief History of the Dead

5/5 stars. “Every single story in this collection is top-shelf.”
Nonstop Reader

“This collection is a great introduction to various authors and a great sample of their writing, in addition to various ways one can look at a unicorn.”
Infinite Text

“A wonderful collection.”
Girl Who Reads 

5/5 stars. “I have great things to say about every page. Gorgeous prose for gorgeous unicorns, surprising violence and sexuality, and trope reversal abound. I strongly recommend this to anyone.”
Black Forest Basilisks

“This is a brilliant little collection with a wonderful introduction and I recommend it wholeheartedly.”
Green Man Review

About the Editors

Peter S. Beagle (editor) is the bestselling author of The Last Unicorn, which has sold over five million copies since its initial publication in 1968. His other novels include A Fine & Private Place, The Innkeeper’s Song, Tamsin, Summerlong, and In Calabria. His short fiction collections include The Rhinoceros Who Quoted Nietzsche, The Line Between, and Sleight of Hand. Beagle has won the Hugo, Nebula, Mythopoeic, and Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire awards and the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jacob Weisman (editor) is the World Fantasy Award-winning co-editor of The New Voices of Fantasy (with Peter S. Beagle).  He is the publisher at Tachyon Publications, an acclaimed San Francisco-based speculative fiction press, which he founded in 1995. Weisman is the series editor of Tachyon’s critically acclaimed, award-winning novella line, including the Hugo Award-winner, The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson, and the Nebula and Shirley Jackson award-winner, We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory. He has also edited the anthologies Invaders: 22 Tales from the Outer Limits of LiteratureThe Sword & Sorcery Anthology (with David G. Hartwell), and The Treasury of the Fantastic (with David M. Sandner)

Praise for The New Voices of Fantasy, edited by Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman

[STARRED REVIEW] A companion piece of sorts to Beagle’s critically acclaimed anthology, The Secret History of Fantasy (2010)—a collection of stories that transcended the conventions and clichés of contemporary fantasy—Beagle and Weisman’s latest contains 19 comparable stories from some of the genre’s most innovative and exciting new voices.Although most of the authors included here may not be household names like the ones in the earlier collection (which featured works from Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Octavia E. Butler, among others), the quality of the stories is undeniable. Also undeniable is the impressive diversity of storylines, which range from the whimsy of Ben Loory’s “The Duck,” about a bird who falls hopelessly in love with a rock, to the horror of Carmen Maria Machado’s Nebula Award-nominated “The Husband Stitch,” a darkly lyrical and deeply disturbing look at a woman with a penchant for storytelling whose life becomes a twisted tale. E. Lily Yu’s “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” is particularly memorable. A political fable that works on multiple levels, it chronicles a conflict between a nest of imperialistic wasps and a colony of peaceful bees. A few young bees begin questioning the violent new world order and plot rebellion. Other standout selections include “Tornado’s Siren” by Brooke Bolander, a love story featuring a tornado and a girl, and Alyssa Wong’s Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning “Hungry Daughters and Starving Mothers,” which puts an innovative twist on the vampire mythos with a story about a young woman who, after realizing she can find sustenance consuming people’s thoughts, becomes addicted to eating the darkest. While all 19 pieces are exceptional, the anthology’s title is a bit of a misnomer; some stories were originally published as far back as 2012. A stellar anthology that proves not only that fantasy is alive and well, but that it will be for years to come.”

[STARRED REVIEW] “This excellent anthology showcases up-and-coming speculative fiction writers, many of whom have received award nominations and critical attention to support their status as future influencers of the genre. The anthology opens with Alyssa Wong’s Nebula-winning “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers,” a gripping story of creatures who walk among humans and feed on ugliness. The stories vary in tone: Amal El-Mohtar’s “Wing” is lyrical, A.C. Wise’s “The Practical Witch’s Guide to Acquiring Real Estate” is gently humorous, and Carmen Maria Machado’s “The Husband Stitch” is haunting. Some, such as E. Lily Yu’s beautiful “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees,” eschew the well-worn Western setting that is the English-language-fantasy default; others, such as Brooke Bolander’s “Tornado’s Siren,” thoughtfully embrace their American and European settings. Fantasy legend Beagle and Tachyon publisher Weisman have provided a valuable snapshot of SF/F’s newest generation of writers.”
Publishers Weekly  

[STARRED REVIEW] “This anthology represents some of the most exciting and interesting work in the fantasy field today, and anyone interested in the genre should read it immediately.”

“For readers who are anticipating the end of HBO’s Game of Thrones and looking for new fantasy authors to follow, this 19-story-strong collection provides plenty to sample.”
Library Journal

“Delightful and discomforting, indelible and self-assured, the stories of New Voices of Fantasy take our familiar old world and imagine it anew. In amongst the dancing buildings, lovelorn tornadoes, and domesticated vampires, we find our deepest truths dressed in fresh and unexpected garments. Rest easy, lovers of the genre: the future is in excellent hands.”
—Helene Wecker, author of The Golem and the Jinni

The New Voices of Fantasy is a fabulous collection of vivid, surprising, and remarkable stories. Highly recommended.”
—Kate Elliott, author of Poisoned Blade and The Very Best of Kate Elliott

“These stories give me hope.”
—Michael Swanwick, author of  Bones of the Earth and Not So Much, Said the Cat

“The key word in this anthology’s title is new, and if that doesn’t quicken your heart, a sampling of the impressively diverse voices will.”
See the Elephant

“What Beagle does with this anthology is an elegant passing of the writing pen to a younger generation of fantasy writers . . . I recommend this anthology to anyone who loves fantasy.”
Infinite Text

“It’s honestly a breath of fresh air  . . .  Five stars from me. Perfect, bite-sized pieces of beautifully-crafted fantasy morsels.”

“If these ladies and gentlemen represent the future of fantasy we are in for a wild and terrific ride. 10/10 stars”
Fantasy Faction

With The New Voices of Fantasy, Jacob Weisman and Peter S. Beagle have composed one of the strongest fantasy anthologies I have read in a long time, brimming with extraordinary tales that range from thought-provoking to spine-tingling.”
The Brazen Bull

“Overall, The New Voices of Fantasy is a very strong collection and one that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. It is perfect for anyone who looking to discover some of the newest talent in the genre, as well as for anyone who just loves a good story.”
The Illustrated Page

“An excellent starting point for people who may not have come across them yet—get in on the ground floor, type of thing, so you can follow what are sure to be excellent bibliographies.”

“There’s no collective theme to these stories other than they’re all beautifully crafted and chosen to represent the best of the genre.”
A Novel Haul

“The quality of the writing and the ideas presented is unbelievably high . . . I defy anyone to not find at least one gem inside that makes this box of treasures worthwhile.”
—A. M. Steiner, author of The Censor’s Hand

“Immediate, entertaining and fun.”
Blue Book Balloon

“Each [story] is a shining example of the genre, featuring gorgeous sentences, images that stick in the mind, and heartbreaking loss.”
World Literature Today

“This is 100% the sort of anthology that you would expect Peter S. Beagle to put together. If you know and love his writing, read it.”

“If you think fantasy is only about elves, trolls and witches, you will be impressed to see how extraordinary diverse this collection of stories is. If the future of the genre is sampled in this book, we are in for a treat!”
Curious SFF Reader

“There are some exquisitely written pieces in this anthology.  All of them are worthy.”
Nonstop Reader

“This anthology is without any kind of doubt one of the best anthologies of the year.”

“Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman bring together a wide selection of talent, with a broad range of topics—there is something for everyone in this collection—to create a stunning collection that will just draw you in. A perfect way to find new writers in the fantasy genre.”
The Flutterby Room

Praise for the anthologies of Jacob Weisman and Peter S. Beagle

On The Secret History of Fantasy edited by Peter S. Beagle

“All 17 stories eschew all or most of the conventions of commercial fantasy . . . Start reading and expect to enjoy.”

“…set[s] out to rewrite our concept of fantasy, and with the help of some of the world’s best writers, succeeds admirably.”
The Agony Column

“This is a very well-done collection: The stories are all, in many different ways, pleasures to read.”
The Civilian Reader 

On Invaders: 22 Tales from the Outer Limits of Literature edited by Jacob Weisman

A Kirkus Science Fiction and Fantasy Book You’ll Want to Read in July
A 2016 Publishers Weekly Best Summer Read

[STARRED REVIEW] “In this very fine reprint anthology, Weisman has brought together 22 SF stories by authors who, although not generally associated with the genre, are clearly fellow travelers (not the ominous invaders suggested by the title) . . . This volume is a treasure trove of stories that draw equally from SF and literary fiction, and they are superlative in either context.”
Publishers Weekly

Invaders is a playful and imaginative exploration of what it means to write in the field of science fiction”
AV Club

“From the first page to the last, Invaders surprised and intoxicated me, offering one stirring, visionary, warm-hearted, funny, probing story after another.”
—Kevin Brockmeier, author of A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip

“For almost forty years I’ve believed and practiced and preached that there’s no necessary distance between ‘high literature’ and ‘science fiction.’ Invaders is convincing proof. Funny, absurd, frightening, streetwise, probing, heartbreaking—the fiction collected here touches all registers.”
—Carter Scholz, author of The Amount to Carry: Stories and Radiance

“[O]ne of the best SFF collections I’ve read in years. It’s a smorgasbord of visionary and thought-provoking stories…”
Battered, Tattered, Yellowed, & Creased

“Consistently excellent”
Foreword Reviews

Visit the Peter S. Beagle website.

Table of Contents

“The Magical Properties of Unicorn Ivory” Carlos Hernandez

“The Brew” Karen Joy Fowler

“Falling Off the Unicorn” David D. Levine and Sara A. Mueller

“A Hunter’s Ode to His Bait” Carrie Vaughn

“Ghost Town” Jack C. Haldeman II

“A Thousand Flowers” Margo Lanagan

“The Maltese Unicorn” Caitlín R. Kiernan

“Stampede of Light” Marina Fitch

“The Highest Justice” Garth Nix

“The Lion and the Unicorn” A. C. Wise

“Survivor” Dave Smeds

"Homeward Bound" Bruce Coville

“Unicorn Triangle” Patricia A. McKillip

“My Son Heydari and the Karkadann” Peter S. Beagle

“Unicorn Series” Nancy Springer

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