Award winners Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman’s wonderful THE UNICORN ANTHOLOGY delivers a delightful array of tales
Praise keeps coming for THE UNICORN ANTHOLOGY, the new title from World Fantasy Award-winning tandem Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman.
For BOOKLIST, Frances Moritz likes the book.
Beagle, well known for the classic The Last Unicorn (1968), has compiled further fantastical stories about the creatures, exploring a range of beliefs and myths, from the magical attraction of unicorns to maidens to the enchantment of a unicorn tattoo. In Carlos Hernandez’s “The Magical Properties of Unicorn Ivory,” a visiting journalist explores the English woods with a forest ranger, searching for unicorns who have trasversed black holes to our world from other parts of the multiverse.
Rounding out the collection are some tales where unicorns are not ultimately good, topping off a delightful array of entries from some of today’s most beloved fantasy writers.
MK French at GIRL WHO READS enjoys the volume.
One story that really sticks out in my mind is “The Magical Properties of Unicorn Ivory.” It’s the opening story, whete unicorns crossed over into our universe through microscopic holes punched by particle accelerator experiments. They now exist in our world, and are majestic and magical creatures; this makes them a commodity for poachers willing to abduct children or harm adults trying to save them. Like with poachers of other protected animals, they don’t care who they hurt, including the animals they’re hunting, and the end of this story still haunts me.
Another beautiful one in this collection is “The Highest Justice” by Garth Nix, where the magic of the Unicorn allows a princess to keep her mother’s dead body animated enough to get revenge on the king and his mistress, who had poisoned her. “The Transfigured Hart” by Jane Yolen brings her deft magical realism to a story of two children and an albino deer.
This is a wonderful collection to read, and one I am very grateful to have read.
Jacob Weisman and Peter S. Beagle at Worldcon 76 in San Jose, CA
CAPTAIN’S QUARTERS reviews the work.
So ye scalawags, many of ye likely know about me first love, horses, before the sea stole me heart. So of course I was also obsessed with unicorns, too. Peter S. Beagle’s, the last unicorn is one of me favourite books along with the joyful animated movie of the same name. So when I saw that there be a new unicorn anthology out, I knew I had to read it. Many of these stories have appeared in other places and were not new to me. For me this anthology was uneven. But I do have several from this collection that are now new favourites:
“The Magical Properties of Unicorn Ivory” (Carlos Hernandez) – I absolutely loved this reporter’s article of the first time she gets to see a unicorn in the wild. The ending was unexpected and poignant. Beautiful.
“The Brew” (Karen Joy Fowler) – This is about what happens when ye brew something using unicorn horn and how the mixture changes the life of two young teens. The use of memory in this story was lovely. Apparently this story was in immortal unicorn volume 2 but I don’t remember reading it back then. Glad to be reintroduced.
Out of the 16 stories I liked 6 of the new ones and still loved 3 of the tales known previously. I didn’t like 6 of the new ones and 1 previously read before. So about half of this collection floated me boat. In addition to the stories, there is also a lovely introduction by Peter S. Beagle on what it be like to be known as the “unicorn guy”. If ye haven’t read any of these stories previously then I do think this could be a good place to start. Arrrr!
B&N SCI-FI & FANTASY BLOG includes THE UNICORN ANTHOLOGY among The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of April 2019.
For more info about THE UNICORN ANTHOLOGY, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Thomas Canty
Design by Elizabeth Story