Beagle's 1968 novel, The Last Unicorn, is a benchmark of contemporary mythic fantasy; here, Beagle and Berliner present a noteworthy anthology of original fiction featuring unicorns. In general, the 27 stories are satisfying and often strikingly well-written. Some horror authors are represented (including Lucy Taylor and Melanie Tem), and many stories have grim and horrific elements. Science fiction concepts work well in stories by Judith Tarr ("Dame a la Licorne") and Susan Schwartz ("The Tenth Worthy"). Many of the tales also demonstrate the virtues of realistic fiction, with well-drawn characters in settings from the familiar to exotic cultures?remote Alaska, the Mongolian empire, the Chinese ghetto in post-Gold Rush San Francisco. Yet all are also mythic in the best sense, including Beagle's bravura performance in his own new story, "Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros."
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Theme anthologies are often mixed bags, and one on that overused fantasy motif, the unicorn, might easily be among the worst. Rest easy. Beagle, author of the contemporary fantasy classic The Last Unicorn (1968), and his collaborator, whom he credits with the lion's share of editorial work, give us what may be the year's best anthology of new stories. None of the unicorns here is cute, some are barely corporeal (e.g., the unicorn tattoo in Dave Smeds' "Survivor" ), others resemble Judith Tarr's beloved Lipizzan horses in "Dame ala Licorne," and the attributes of the rest span a wide gamut. The settings, treatment, and tone of the 27 stories differ widely, too, and not one of them is less than readable--this goes even for pieces from such surprising hands, in this context, as Kevin Anderson and Rebecca Moesta (better known for Star Wars fiction) and martial-arts thriller scribe Eric Lustbader, whose gritty realism somehow fits in well here. A very good choice for fantasy collections. Roland Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.