The Overneath

Product Details

$15.95  $14.83
Publish Date

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About the Author

Peter S. Beagle is the best-selling author of The Last Unicorn, which has sold a reported five million copies since its initial publication. His other novels include A Fine & Private Place, The Innkeeper's Song, Tamsin, Summerlong and In Calabria. Beagle's short fiction has been collected in four volumes by Tachyon Publications, including The Rhinoceros Who Quoted Nietzsche, The Line Between, We Never Talk About My Brother, and Sleight of Hand. He has won the Hugo, Nebula, Mythopoeic, and Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire awards and the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Beagle lives in Northern California, where he is working on nearly innumerable projects.


Praise for The Overneath

A Barnes & Noble Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Book of November 2017
Locus 2017 Recommended Reading List

[STARRED REVIEW] "Beagle's latest collection of short stories includes 13 fantasy gems and features many previously uncollected and never-before-published works. Highlights include a couple of stories about one of Beagles' most beloved characters, Schmendrick the Magician from his iconic novel The Last Unicorn (1968). A coming-of-age tale of sorts, 'The Green-Eyed Boy' offers a glimpse into the bumbling magician's inauspicious beginnings, when the wizard Nikos took him in as an apprentice. Nikos sees potential in the shy boy but soon realizes his student's unparalleled ineptitude could have deadly consequences. In the never-before-published 'Schmendrick Alone, ' the magician, newly released from his service to Nikos, attempts to heroically defend a young woman from an unwanted suitor--with disastrous results. 'My Son Heydari and the Karkadann' is another remarkable story, chronicling a young Persian man's attempt to nurse a dangerous mythological beast back to health; as is 'Kaskia, ' a poignant love story about a lonely man who buys a strange laptop that allows him to video chat with a beautiful alien. 'The Queen Who Could Not Walk' is set in a world where the rulers must, at some point in their reign, exchange their bejeweled crowns for a beggar's bowl and live out their lives in poverty. The story follows a crippled queen-turned-beggar who has her life saved by the unlikeliest of people. Two aspects of this collection stand out: the impressive diversity of stories (from interdimensional trips with novelist Avram Davidson in 'The Way It Works Out and All' to the supernatural horrors in a fish tank in 'The Very Nasty Aquarium') and the philosophical and thematic profundity of each story. Even in the most whimsical of tales, there are kernels of wisdom to be found. A masterful collection from a short story master--a must-read for Beagle fans."
--Kirkus, starred review

[STARRED REVIEW] "With sharp, lean elegance, Beagle (In Calabria) effortlessly chronicles the lives of unicorns, trolls, magicians, and adventurers in 13 poignant stories, many of which caution readers about magic gone awry and temperamental creatures. Cultivating his extensive knowledge of mythical beasts, Beagle travels the world in 'The Story of Kao Yu, ' in which a chi-lin (Chinese unicorn) passes the final judgment, and in 'My Son Heydari and the Karkadann, ' in which a Persian teenager nurses a dangerous karkadann. Beagle also recalls the themes of his classic novel The Last Unicorn with stories about misplaced love and misfortune around summoning a demon. In 'The Way It Works Out and All, ' a traveler discovers portals to the shadow world of Overneath. In 'Olfert Dapper's Day, ' a Dutch swindler escapes to colonial Maine, where he is privy to a remarkable sight. Urban fantasy stories delight: in 'Underbridge, ' a lonely adjunct professor offers distraction to the Freemont Bridge Troll, and in 'Trinity County, CA, ' government agents search the California woods for drug dealers who guard their camps with dragons. The steampunk 'Music, When Soft Voices Die' follows an inventor who hears unexpected voices coming from his new wireless transmitter. This enchanting collection employs simple humor and affectionate sarcasm and will enchant any reader who still believes in magic."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review

[STARRED REVIEW] "Beagle's strong and versatile talent is well on display here, and fantasy readers will be missing out if they don't give it a look."
--Booklist, starred review

"Verdict: For fantasy fans, Beagle should be a staple."
--Library Journal

"I was lucky enough to get an advance reading copy of this book a month ago, and reading it reminded me why Peter S Beagle is one of my favorite authors."
--Patrick Rothfuss

"I loved these stories because they are, above all else, human. Their magic does not lie in the fantastical settings and situations, but in the essential human truths they reveal."
--Washington Independent Review of Books

"[Beagle] continues to produce exceptional work and The Overneath, an enchanting collection of short stories which--fans won't be surprised to hear--also includes one or two new tales about unicorns, will only consolidate his legend even further. This anthology is a triumph. 10/10 stars."

"Peter Beagle deserves a seat at the table with the great masters of fantasy. If you had any doubts, The Overneath will dispel them."
―Christopher Moore, author of Lamb and The Serpent of Venice

"These stories open a wider window on the work of a master storyteller. We all have something to learn--about writing, about humanity, about hope--from Peter Beagle."
--Seanan McGuire, author of Rosemary and Rue

"I loved this collection of stories. Every story was well-written, compelling and just fantastic. 5/5 stars."
--The Book Lover's Boudoir

"In his 34th book, The Overneath, Beagle shows that he hasn't lost the playful and imaginative touch that made The Last Unicorn an international bestseller and delighted readers for more than half a century."
--Pop Mythology

"Peter S Beagle just has an incredible skill for putting together both short and full length stories. I have been in love with The Last Unicorn my whole life and I continue to adore every single thing Peter writes. The Overneath is no different. A fantasy lover's heaven from start to finish."
--Life Has a Funny Way of Sneaking Up on You

"What is truly beautiful about this book is that Beagle's writing lets you believe, if only for a little while, that magic, mythos and wonder are real. As you enter his world you become part of it and for that time the impossible is achievable."
--Artistic Bent

"Peter S. Beagle is writing some of the most exciting short form fantasy today."
--Jo Walton, author of Among Others and the Thessaly series

"This many faceted-collection sparkles with gems old and new, all unique in their telling. I highly recommend this collection to fans of fantastical tales. If you'd like to read more by Beagle, check out his catalogue at Tachyon."
--Sabrina's Library

"Every story was well-written, compelling and just fantastic . . . The Overneath remind[s] me of the short fiction of George R. R. Martin. This is a compliment, believe me. 5/5 stars.
--Paper Blog

"Lovely, strange, and an utter, heartwrenching joy."
--The Seattle Review of Books

"The Overneath is a lovely collection that, like its namesake, manages to be everywhere at once. Aliens, dragons, unicorns, supernatural fish tanks, cursed queens, and matriculating magicians: all find their place in Beagle's sweet grimoire."
--Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

"With a well-known wizard, three flavors of unicorns, fire-breathing cannibal dragons, a troll, and judges and scholars and queens and beggars, these tales are diverse in tone and subject matter, but all are pure enchantment! 5/5 stars."
--Read Well

"[Beagle] creates fantastic stories where you least expect it, and at the end they stay in our minds for a long time. 5/5 stars."
--Open Book Society

"Altogether an exceptional collection, a beautiful introduction, as I've said, to Beagle's writing."
--Blue Book Balloon

"5/5 stars. Peter S. Beagle is an amazingly generous gifted storyteller and we're lucky that he has shared his stories with us."
--Nonstop Reader

"The Overneath is a highly inspired collection of short stories . . . the attention to detail is amazing. The writing is immersive, and the stories are imaginative."

"Beagle shows his mastery of depicting characters who are rounded, believable, and likable coming into contact with the otherworldly. He slips into their worlds without effort . . ."
--Black Gate

"Beagle is a master of prose and his every sentence delights . . . this is an excellent collection from an accomplished fantasist operating at the height of his powers."
--SF Revu

"Beagle is also proof that you don't have to write 20 volume epics to do fantasy. Small is beautiful."

Praise for Peter S. Beagle

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

"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 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 The Dragonbone Chair

"Peter S. Beagle is the magician we all apprenticed ourselves to."--Lisa Goldstein, author of The Red Magician

"Peter S. Beagle would be one of the century's great writers in any arena he chose; we readers must feel blessed that Beagle picked fantasy as a homeland."--Edward Bryant, author of Cinnabar

[STARRED REVIEW] "[A] charming, lyrical tale of unicorns and love . . . Beagle's kindly fable shows how a man who seems to have nothing can really have everything--with just a touch of magic."--Publishers Weekly (on In Calabria)

"A novella about love in a world of hardship, loss, magic, and recovery. Beagle's unicorns have never been more bewitching, impossible, and genuine. I cherished every page."--Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and After Alice (on In Calabria)