The Essential Peter S. Beagle, Volume 2: Oakland Dragon Blues and Other Stories
by Peter S. Beagle
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Pub Date 16 May 2023 | Archive Date Not set
The essential first volume of bestselling author Peter S. Beagle’s (The Last Unicorn) short stories demonstrates why he is one of America’s most influential fantasists. With his celebrated versatility, humor, and grace, Beagle is at home in a dazzling variety of subgenres. Evoking comparison to such iconic authors as Twain, Tolkien, Carroll, L’Engle, and Vonnegut, this career retrospective celebrates Beagle’s mastery of the short-story form.
“For over forty years, Peter S. Beagle has been the gold standard of fantasy.”
—Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods and The Sandman
An unlikely friendship based on philosophy develops between an aging academic and a mythological beast. A mysterious, beautiful attendee who attends a ball thrown in her honor chooses whether or not to become mortal. A dysfunctional relationship is not improved by the consequences of lycanthropy. One very brave young mouse questions his identity and redefines feline wiles.
From heartbreaking to humorous, these carefully curated stories by Peter S. Beagle show the depth and power of his incomparable prose and storytelling. Featuring an original introduction from Jane Yolen (Owl Moon) and gorgeous illustrations from Stephanie Pui-Mun Law (Shadowscapes), this elegant collection is a must-have for any fan of classic fantasy.
A Note From the Publisher
Selected praise for the short story collections of Peter S. Beagle
“Multiple Hugo and Nebula award-winning Beagle opens readers’ eyes to wonder with his latest collection of 13 short stories. Each piece bridges the rich intersection of fantasy and fairy tale, reality and possibility, exploring predestination, fate, and the power of love through characters that come to vivid, three-dimensional life within a few short pages. Beagle’s lyrical writing is set in a wide range of landscapes both familiar and fresh, with twists on Jack and the Beanstalk, monsters and dragons, a singing enchantress, ghostly photographs, and a modern werewolf tale.”
“Wise, warm and deep.”
—The New York Times
“The perfect book.”
“Beagle’s true strength in the last few years lies with his short fiction, an area in which he’s been both prolific and brilliant. His latest collection, from Tachyon Publications, showcases the best of his recent output.”
“Beagle plays the classic themes of love and death, sacrifice, and self-discovery like a master. Never clichéd, he pulls out new riffs and vamps on the expected conventions of modern fantasy, even the ones he helped create in the first place.... Pure poetry. Beagle is an American bard.”
“Peter S. Beagle [has] rejoined the main flow of literature with a vengeance.... His work is marvelous.”
—Green Man Review
“Everything Beagle touches, he makes new. Every sentence he shapes encapsulates a song. This is both a delightful and moving collection.”
—Michael Bishop, author of Brittle Innings
“Before all the endless series and shared-world novels, Beagle was there to show us the amazing possibilities waiting in the worlds of fantasy, and he is still one of the masters by which the rest of the field is measured. I envy people reading these stories for the first time.”
—Lisa Goldstein, author of The Uncertain Places
*Promotion at major trade and genre conventions, including Readercon, the International Convention for the Fantastic in the Arts, the World Science Fiction convention, and the World Fantasy Convention
*Author book launch event, tour, readings, and signings TBD
*Features, interviews, and reviews targeting literary and genre venues, including the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, NPR, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and San Francisco Chronicle
*Planned galley distribution and book giveaways to include NetGalley, Goodreads, Tor.com, Amazon, and additional online outlets
*Planned Instagram tour and outreach to influencers
*Advertising and promotion in national print, online outlets, and social media
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 3 members
These were another great collection of stories from Peter S. Beagle, it was what I was hoping for from the Last Unicorn and from Volume 1. It was so well written and I enjoyed each story in this collection. I'm grateful that I was able to read this and the first book and look forward to more.
“Not in this world.” Arceneaux’s voice was bleak and slow. “Maybe in some other world he back, but ain’t in this one.” He turned from the window to face Garrigue. “I killed Duplessis, man. Ain’t none of us come back from what I done, Duplessis or nobody. You was there, Rene Garrigue! You saw how I done!”
I love that Beagle's work is being re-assembled and published again, and that he has written his own introductions to these works. I'm especially delighted to find stories here that I hadn't read before, and to re-read old favorites with his intro in mind. Here, Meg Elison does a somewhat better job of writing the Foreword than Jane Yolen, whose Foreword should be trashed completely, but I wonder why have these Forewards in the first place? Just read the stories with Beagle's recollections, and enjoy his worlds and words.
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