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Free Fiction Friday: Peter S. Beagle

Peter S. Beagle is the author of many novels and stories, including the beloved classic The Last Unicorn. In 2005, F&SF published Beagle’s Nebula Award-winning sequel to The Last Unicorn, the novelet "Two Hearts." You can read that story here. But Beagle’s history with F&SF begins way  back in 1966 when we published his story "Come Lady Death" (which originally appeared in The Atlantic Monthly). That story was recently adapted into a podcast on the new fantasy-focused Escape Pod spin-off PodCastle. You can listen to the whole story here.

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7 Responses to “Free Fiction Friday: Peter S. Beagle”

  1. Mikayla on July 23rd, 2008

    I love Last unicorn the movie and cant wait to read the book and 2 hearts. What do other people think of his books?

  2. Chris Willrich on July 24th, 2008

    I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t read The Last Unicorn, Mikayla, though I loved the movie and “Two Hearts.” But do look for his book The Innkeeper’s Song, a fantasy which has some of the most memorable characters I’ve ever run into, and A Fine and Private Place, a sad and funny modern ghost story. I can’t speak directly about his other books, but I’d bet all of Beagle’s work is worth your time.

    The thing about his writing that sticks in my head is a sense of tragedy, a sense of wonder, and a sense of humor, all spun together to make a story you feel like you’ve actually experienced, or at least heard from someone who was there.

  3. mjibrower on July 24th, 2008

    _Folk of the Air_ is one of my favorite books of all time. The story has become a fairly familiar one (members of an SCA-like group in a Berkeley-like town get in over their heads with a powerful supernatural being), but I read it just a couple of years after it came out and it seemed fresh to me then… as it still does. But mainly, it’s the characters and setting that make me go back and read it over and over; it’s actually hard for me to finish the book because I don’t want to leave Avicenna. :-) Every time I find it used (it’s been out of print for years) I pick it up just so I’ll have a copy to hand out to people I think should read it.

    It’s quite different from _The Last Unicorn_, so I can’t say that if you loved that one you’ll love it, but I think it’s a great urban fantasy and well worth trying to find.

  4. EThomas on July 25th, 2008

    I love Peter Beagle’s works, too. His prose has this beautiful flow, and he isn’t afraid of building completely new worlds and stories. Like Chris, I am also embarrassed to say I haven’t read _The Last Unicorn_ yet, but I loved “Two Hearts.” My favorite Beagle novel is the haunting _A Fine and Private Place_. For me, Beagle’s stories always have this feeling that they are natural and inevitable, as if the story just told itself. He’s a master of his craft, and I have never read a Beagle story and been disappointed.

  5. rreugen on July 27th, 2008

    Peter S. Beagle is an amazing writer. The Last Unicorn was a book I had to buy 5 or 6 times because I kept giving it as a gift…it was so wonderful that everytime I thought about a nice present for someone close it came immediately to mind!

  6. rreugen on July 27th, 2008

    One more thing I just have to say: In my opinion Peter S. Beagle is one of those Authors who’s entire work is amazing, not just one book or a story or a song or a movie.

  7. barb on March 29th, 2009

    he is a fantastic author and i wish his novels werent so underappreciated. fantasy is so popular now but he is one of the few who never seemed to turn out novels geared to attract a large audience based on flimsy and forgettable action-oriented stories. his books are thoughtful, strange, beautiful and unique. always worth reading and any fantasy genre fan would be doing themselves a favor to check out all of his novels, or at least the ones they can find

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