book reviews by Althea

Immortal Unicorn #2 – Peter S. Beagle, ed.

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*** “Julie’s Unicorn” – Peter S. Beagle.
A miniature but feisty unicorn jumps out of a museum’s medieval tapestry and ends up in the home of a modern California couple.

*** “Sea Dreams” – Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
Two women, long-time best friends. One’s always been flighty and imaginative, one practical and conservative. And now, one is gone. Whose choices were better?

** “The Same But Different” – Janet Berliner
A crass talent agent seeks to bring an African dance troupe to Vegas, and gets far more than he bargained for.

*** “Seven for a Secret” – Charles de Lint
A horned women passes through a crash pad for the down-and-out and other transients… and changes at least one life with her magic.

**** “The Brew” – Karen Joy Fowler
Two trespassing children discover an eccentric neighbor’s secret – one that will follow them into adulthood.

*** “Mirror of Lop Nor” – George Guthridge
Two different, but linked stories.
The first, a tragedy related by a dying warrior on a Mongolian steppe.
The second, a story of a modern Eskimo woman whose life reflects the experiences of that ancient warrior.

**** “The Hunt of the Unicorn” – Ellen Kushner
A drama of manners? A gay man who believes that those who love him must die, due to evil magics. If you loved ‘The Fall of the Kings” etc, you’ll also love this.

*** “Winter Requiem” – Michael Marano
A horror story, on the old theme of a deal with a devil and demonic possession. All right, but doesn’t bring anything strikingly new to the table.

** “A Rare Breed” – Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
If you like the sort of humor where a unicorn catches a middle-aged woman with her pants down in the woods, you will likely enjoy this (more than I did.)

** “A Plague of Unicorns” – Robert Sheckley
A faux-Greek, semi-humorous fantasy of a quest to a land where everyone is immortal, in order to gain a potion of magical unicorn horn to save a dying beloved.

** “Survivor” – Dave Smeds
A magical tattoo causes a Vietnam vet to be afflicted with multiple personality disorder, as he’s haunted by the personalities of all his dead army buddies.

*** “A Thief in the Night” – S.P. Somtow
A vampiric evil meets a more powerful purity, in sunny Southern California.

** “Half-Grandma” – Melanie Tem
A rather sappy story of a child encountering the death of a beloved elder.

*** “Three Duets for Virgin and Nosehorn” – Tad Williams
A resentful priest of the Inquisition is charged with accompanying a mysterious box on a sea voyage.
A Dutch maid is asked to model for a visiting artist.
A young Thai princess encounters a handsome and arrogant warrior.
Interesting, and well-written.

*** “We Blazed” – Dave Wolverton
In a mysterious and savage far future, an enigmatically resurrected man searches for the woman to whom he pledged a love beyond death.


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