Peter S. Beagle’s poetic IN CALABRIA comes highly recommended


MANNY’S BOOK OF SHADOWS loves their first exposure to Peter S. Beagle with IN CALABRIA.

This is a magical book. I had a hard time keep my composure while reading some of the more emotional portions of the story. The love affair is touching albeit unlikely. It hit a bit close to home since I have been in similar May-December romances which weren’t as successful as depicted here. I find the unicorn more believable than that part of the tale. The text is peppered with Italian word and phrases, but most times one can surmise their import through context. The tale is a bit gritty in spots and comes off more as a tale of magical realism that straight fantasy. Bianchi lives a hermit’s life in a remote location, but is still living in the 21st century. The only fantastic element is the unicorn. The language is at times frank and realistic, and some situations are not the sort one might expect to find in a tale about magical creatures. There is some violence which gets a bit graphic in spots, but it is not gratuitous and Beagle does not linger on it.

I read this book in one day and loved it. It is a lot different than what I expected and I am glad I listened to my intuition and looked into it. There is much here for lovers of fantasy, as well as a well-told tale. The prose is poetic without being too self-conscious and the story is heartwarming but not cloying. I highly recommend it.


Photo: Rina Weisman

Becky Hosman at YAKIMA HERALD enjoys the book.

Beagle spins a short but lasting story of finding magic in the world and in others. The hero of the story is Claudio Bianchi, a curmudgeon who has isolated himself on a farm in the hills of southwest Italy. He allows for the occasional interference from his pesky postman, and secretly writes poetry that he shares with no one.


CON OR BUST, which helps fans of color go to SFF cons, is auctioning off a signed, advance reading copy (ARC) of SUMMERLONG.

Con or Bust’s annual online auction is its principal source of funds for the entire year. Items may be submitted for auction now through Sunday, April 23, 2017, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern (time zone conversions, countdown). Bidding will begin Monday, April 24, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern (time zone conversions) and end Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. (time zone conversions, countdown), EXCEPT that last-minute bidding on an item will extend the bidding for that item (see below).

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