cover image Peter S. Beagle's Immortal Unicorn

Peter S. Beagle's Immortal Unicorn

Peter S. Beagle. HarperPrism, $25 (525pp) ISBN 978-0-06-105224-8

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.'' (Oct.)