The Essential Peter S. Beagle, Volume 1: Lila the Werewolf and Other Stories

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$28.95  $26.92
Tachyon Publications
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6.1 X 9.0 X 1.3 inches | 1.3 pounds

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About the Author
Peter Soyer Beagle is the internationally bestselling and much-beloved author of numerous classic fantasy novels and collections, including The Last Unicorn, Tamsin, The Line Between, Sleight of Hand, Summerlong, In Calabria, and The Overneath. He is the editor of The Secret History of Fantasy and the co-editor of The Urban Fantasy Anthology. Beagle published his first novel, A Fine and Private Place, at nineteen, while still completing his degree in creative writing. Beagle's follow-up, The Last Unicorn, is widely considered one of the great works of fantasy. He has written widely for both stage and screen, including the screenplay adaptations for The Last Unicorn, the animated film of The Lord of the Rings, and the well-known "Sarek" episode of Star Trek. As one of the fantasy genre's most-lauded authors, Beagle has received the Hugo, Nebula, Mythopoeic, and Locus Awards as well as the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire. He has also been honored with the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award and the Comic-Con International Inkpot Award. In 2017, he was named 34th Damon Knight Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association for his contributions to fantasy and science fiction. Beagle lives in Richmond, California.

Jane Yolen's (Owl Moon, The Midnight Circus, the How Do Dinosaursseries) books and stories have won three World Fantasy, two Nebula, two Golden Kite, and three Mythopoeic Awards, two Christopher Medals, and a Caldecott Medal, as well as many other honors. Yolen lives in Western Massachusetts and St Andrews, Scotland.

Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's work is an exploration of mythology mixed with her personal symbolism. In her early career, she worked with various fantasy game, magazine, and book publishers as an illustrator. She created the Shadowscapes Tarot and is the author of the watercolor technique book series Dreamscapes. Law lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Washington Post Brilliant Forays into the Otherworldly
2023 Locus Recommended Reading List

[STARRED REVIEW] "Volume 1, introduced by Jane Yolen, contains some of Beagle's most classic stories, including 'Come Lady Death, ' in which a jaded British woman meets her match when she invites Death to her ball, and 'Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros, ' about a socially awkward academic's relationship with a somewhat unusually presented and philosophically minded unicorn. 'Lila the Werewolf' features the first appearance of Joe Farrell, the protagonist of Beagle's novel The Folk of the Air (1986); fans of that book will be delighted to encounter Farrell in an additional story that takes place after the novel and features some interesting character growth on his part. The collection also contains the absolutely chilling 'We Never Talk About My Brother, ' the story of a news anchor with a secret and impossibly powerful control over the stories he reports, and the sweetly melancholy 'Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel, ' concerning a painter's divinely compelling model. There are also whimsical works like 'Gordon, the Self-Made Cat, ' starring a mouse who refuses to accept that biology is destiny. Whether set in a fantastical landscape, the New York City of Beagle's youth, or the invented northern California town of Avicenna, these are fables that explore how a brush with the uncanny can either change a life or simply spotlight what is already present. Magic is the lens through which the author shows us how fraught a mother-daughter relationship can be, how difficult it can be to let go of a dead friend or lover, and how a greater threat can unite two squabbling siblings. Delicate line drawings by artist Stephanie Law add a charming coda to each tale. Brimming with magic, lyrical prose, and deeply felt emotion, this is, indeed, essential reading."

[STARRED REVIEW] "Beagle (The Overneath) showcases his versatility and ability to entertain even as he challenges expectations in 13 fantasy shorts from throughout his career. While several offerings, including 'Lila the Werewolf' (1969) and 'Come Lady Death' (1963), stem from Beagle's early years, the majority represent his post-2000 output, demonstrating that his skills have only been refined over the decades. With a tendency toward gentle thoughtfulness and philosophical rumination, tales such as 'Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros' and 'Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel' prove timeless in their quiet yet profound exploration of Jewish faith, friendship, family, and fellowship. Others, like 'The Stickball Witch' and 'Four Fables, ' drift into absurdity or everyday uneasiness, while 'We Never Talk About My Brother' looks at the balance between good and evil in a new light. Jane Yolen's introduction helps place Beagle and his work into further context. The result is both an ideal entry point for newcomers, and a lovely way for existing fans to revisit or rediscover old favorites.
--Publishers Weekly

"Gleaming gold, these two volumes of glorious stories remind us of what is true, though it might not be real, and of when the world was solid as a Spalding rubber ball and shadowy soft as a cat's fur, though that time might never have happened, and may not happen again. (But it was, his tales insist. But it will be.) We are fortunate to live in a world where his work exists; if we didn't, we ourselves might not exist. Such is Beagle's magic."
--E. Lily Yu, author of On Fragile Waves

"What becomes a legend most? For the author of the beloved fantasy classic The Last Unicorn, it would be The Essential Peter S. Beagle."
--Washington Post

"Master enchanter Peter S. Beagle is best known for his novel The Last Unicorn, a book which has charmed generations of readers. But the briefer enchantments collected in these two volumes also brim with the deepest and truest of his magical powers: with laughter, with wisdom, and with the ineffable pleasure of the imaginary memories he shares. From the gradually refined focus of 'Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros' to 'Vanishing''s crankily slipped-and-skewed perspective, these are visions of an inner world all of us need to visit again and again. Each tale is a spell welcoming our hearts to their real home: wonder."
--Nisi Shawl, author of Everfair

"Stepping into a Peter Beagle story is like stepping out your front door into an alternate, but entirely logical, world: your girlfriend seems to be a werewolf, the evening news is anchored by the Angel of Death, dreadful poetry is a lethal weapon, and a Berkeley traffic cop has to negotiate a depressed dragon out of an intersection. But then, what else to expect from a wizard of mischief like Beagle? Two perfect volumes that should come with a warning: When you try and go back inside your house, all its rooms will have changed."
--Laurie R. King, author of The Beekeeper's Apprentice

"Having all these Peter Beagle stories collected together is pure joy. His writing has amazed me my whole life. You think I'd be used to it by now, but the amazement is ongoing."
--Carrie Vaughn, author of the Kitty Norville series

5/5 stars. "Beagle is an absolute master of the short story. This first volume of short stories has everything from ghosts with grudges, angels turned muses, dysfunctional werewolves, self-made cats, time-traveling brujos, to even Lady Death herself. If you loved the timelessness of The Last Unicorn when you were a child you're going to adore these more mature, but every bit as whimsical, tales as an adult."
--Seattle Book Review

"The Essential Peter S. Beagle Volumes 1 & 2 are everything I hoped for and wanted them to be. Beagle's clever and utterly whimsical storytelling is evident in every story, and I love jumping from tale to tale and exploring the facets of his mind. The writing is fun and explores the unique while keeping one foot in the familiar, making it perfect for readers of all ages. I highly recommend these charming volumes!"
--Charlie N. Holmberg, author of Keeper of Enchanted Rooms

"This was an amazing collection, and I cannot recommend it enough for existing fans of Mr. Beagle or fans of fantasy shorts or cozy fantasy."
--All Booked Up

"This collection of stories will surprise in its breadth--from children's to adult stories, fairy tales to urban fantasy, with unicorns, werewolves, witches, angels, and ghosts. . . . Highly recommended for fans of Neil Gaiman, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Susanna Clarke!"
--The Book on the High Shelf

"Peter S. Beagle's short stories tap into the sweetest sap of the soul and leave their mark forever. He always makes me cry in the most wonderful and necessary way."
--Delilah S. Dawson, author of Wicked As They Come

"Peter Beagle says it perfectly himself in one of his stories: 'The artist isn't the magic. The artist is the sight, the artist is someone who knows magic when he sees it.' To our everlasting benefit, we get to see the magic that he did."
--Girl Who Reads

"I enjoyed every story in this diverse collection. I liked the fact the stories are all different so I never knew what to expect with the next one. The stories all touched on the strange and fantastic in some way, some more than others."
--The Book Lover's Boudoir

5/5 stars. "This would be an excellent choice for public or school library acquisition, for home use, and for gift giving purposes. For connoisseurs of speculative fiction, this is required reading."
--Nonstop Reader

"[Beagle's] prose is evocative, poetic, sometimes transcendent, and generally surprisingly gentle--but with a bite. You'll never know what hit you with Beagle's stories, but you'll feel it anyway."
--Re-enchantment of the World

Praise for Peter S. Beagle

"One of my favorite writers." --Madeleine L'Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time

"Peter S. Beagle illuminates with his own particular magic such commonplace matters as ghosts, unicorns, and werewolves. For years a loving readership has consulted him as an expert on those hearts' reasons that reason does not know." --Ursula K. Le Guin, author of A Wizard of Earthsea

"Peter S. Beagle has both opulence of imagination and mastery of style." --New York Times Book Review

"At his best, Peter S. Beagle outshines the moon, the sun, the stars, the entire galaxy." --Seattle Times

"Peter Beagle deserves a seat at the table with the great masters of fantasy." --Christopher Moore, author of Lamb and The Serpent of Venice

"Not only one of our greatest fantasists, but one of our greatest writers, a magic realist worthy of consideration with such writers as Marquez, Allende, and even Borges." --The American Culture

"We all have something to learn--about writing, about humanity, about hope--from Peter Beagle." --Seanan McGuire author of Rosemary and Rue

"Peter S. Beagle is (in no particular order) a wonderful writer, a fine human being, and a bandit prince out to steal readers' hearts." --Tad Williams, author of Tailchaser's Song

"Peter S. Beagle is a master of the magical." --Kurt Busiek, author of The Avengers

"[Beagle] has been compared, not unreasonably, with Lewis Carroll and J. R. R. Tolkien, but he stands squarely and triumphantly on his own feet." --Saturday Review

"Not only one of our greatest fantasists, but one of our greatest writers, a magic realist worthy of consideration with such writers as Marquez, Allende, and even Borges." --The American Culture

"One of the all-time greats." --The Guardian