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Get Off the Unicorn by Anne McCaffrey
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1,748104,038 (3.61)54
Title:Get Off the Unicorn
Authors:Anne McCaffrey
Info:Corgi Adult (1982), Paperback
Collections:Your library, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Tags:Fantasy, Science fiction

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Get Off the Unicorn by Anne McCaffrey



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Awesome short stories by the Mistress of Fantasy. First story is powerfully emotional... my current addition to my jump bag, replacing a tattered copy of 1980 Annual World's Best SF. Should get me through my next field exercise without losing my sanity. lol ( )
  Ermina | Feb 25, 2016 |
I read the stories in this book in the late 70's or early 80's so I barely remembered the book. But I looked them over before I mooched it out and it's interesting how many of them I actually remembered once I just looked at the premise of each story. ( )
  phyllis2779 | May 4, 2014 |
This is an enjoyable collection of 14 of McCaffrey's short fiction. Six of the stories are set within the universes of popular series she created. "The Smallest Dragonboy" is set in her popular Pern universe--it's an enjoyable, even if not outstanding story. Three of the stories are set in the "Talents" universe concerning psychics of To Ride Pegasus, The Rowan and Damia. "Lady in the Tower" (1959) was actually McCaffrey's first published story and I enjoyed the follow-up "Meeting of the Minds." "Apple" was, I thought, one of the strongest stories in the book. As were the two similarly themed "Great Canine Chorus" and "Finder's Keepers" although technically both are standalones. "The Thorns of Barevi" is set in the same universe of Freedom's Landing and its sequels (although to be honest, that was my least favorite story in the book--too rapey.) And my favorite story in the book was "Honeymoon." Definitely not a standalone, McCaffrey warns in her introduction The Ship Who Sang should be read first. But then, given that aside from the early Pern novels, there's no McCaffrey novel I loved more, I adored being able to revisit Helva.

None of these works are going to be found on a list of science-fiction classics--nor should they be. They're not outstanding either in concept or style. But if these aren't first tier, they're definitely right below. I'd been rereading books to decide which I should winnow from my bookshelves. I recently reread short story anthologies by Orson Scott Card and James P. Hogan. Both wrote novels I loved, both anthologies had first been read much more recently. Yet I couldn't remember a thing about the stories within those books. In the case of McCaffrey I not only quickly remembered almost all the stories once I started reading, certain lines and events were vividly memorable. So no, McCaffrey might not be in the same league as Isaac Asimov or C.L. Moore--but she's very enjoyable--and, I decided, a keeper. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Jan 25, 2013 |
  rustyoldboat | May 28, 2011 |
*****Warning: The Review Will Spoil Many of the Stories*****

#1 Lady in the Tower – 2 and a Half Stars **1/2. I figured this is part of the Talent series. It’s OK. It’s pretty darn cool what those people can do with their minds, but it’s not as good as the sequel story.

#2 A Meeting of Minds – Three and a Half Stars ***1/2. This is the sequel to Lady in the Tower. Well, actually it’s I think twenty years later, but it’s still a sequel. This woman named Damia accidently gets all tied up with this alien life-form mind. Never sees him, but everybody around Damia the life form is not good. And it isn’t. Apparently it’s just a brain. Seriously. Somebody’s brain floating in space for god-knows-how-long on a mission until he meets Damia…and almost kills her. Very freaky story, but I liked it a lot.

#3 Daughter – Three Stars ***. What I like about this story, is that a lot of people can relate to it. I think everybody has had an instant, or at least heard about, where a parent wants their child to have a certain profession. And this is particularly true for Nora and her twin brother Nick with their father. In this time period, children have been limited, because of overpopulation. The parents can modify their children so that they can develop into what they want them to be. And somehow Nora’s mother had twins. She had a reason to do that. Nora’s mother wanted a boy to contribute to the farming that their family runs, and she wanted a daughter to have for her. Bad thing is, Nick doesn’t want to go into farming…he wants to go into husbandry, raising animals, which is totally different from farming. And the only reason why the family isn’t in total chaos is because of Nora, who is the unity of the family.

#4 Dull Drums – Two and a Half Stars **1/2. This is the continuation of Daughter. This was rated lower, because it wasn’t as good. It was kind of boring. Nora’s life is still somewhat still being controlled by her father. Didn’t think to highly of it.

#5 Changeling – One and a Half Stars *1/2. I kind of didn’t get it. It featured one woman and a bunch of her homosexual male friends. And the majority of the story focuses on the woman giving birth, which to me did not appeal to me at all. I believe, and it’s probably only me who thinks this, that it’s very wrong to give any detail of a woman giving birth to anybody except herself, the father, and possibly the helper. But that’s just me.

#6 Weather on Welladay – Four and a Half Stars ****1/2. This is a world named Welladay where the great vast majority of the planet is covered in water, much like the Cloral from the book I read called [73374::The Lost City of Faar] by D.J. Machale. If I remember right, that means the planet is fairly new, because the land hasn’t came up over the ocean. Anyway, the main purpose of this planet is to get the precious iodine from the milk of whale like creatures (I say whale-like, because I doubt they are whales, because they are indigenous to Welladay). Well, there’s becoming a problem. Some people are starting to tap into these whales for the iodine so much, they die. And if they keep it up, all the whales will die leaving a whole planet tainted with the corruptness of humans. I enjoyed this very much. I like any/all aquatic mammals, so that helps. After reading it, all I thought was typical humans. I have a theory that someday all the humans will destroy the universe…if we don’t destroy each other first.

#7 The Thorns of Barevi – Half a Star 1/2. Didn’t like this at all. Anne McCaffrey wrote this in the sixties where porn was very popular. At least she warned me. But it’s about a woman from the planet Terra, who comes to Barevi and basically gets raped by a native. Don’t like those kind of stuff…

#8 Horse from a Different Sea – One Star *. To be honest, I didn’t get this story at all. It is very short. The only thing that I do maybe get is that the setting of the story is part of some government project to see if you can have sex in space and how that affects childbirth. Wasn’t good.

#9 The Great Canine Chorus – Four Stars ****. Loved this one. This man finds a small girl with telepathic powers. At first, the child seems helpless and powerless, but she quickly grows stronger and so everybody’s at her mercy. Perfectly evil.

#10 Finder's Keeper – Three and a Half Stars ***1/2. This is about another small child, this time a boy, who has the powers to find lost items, which reminds me of Lucky in [Hidden Talents] by David Lubar, only more extreme. Anyway, you can only imagine what you would do if you had the power to find lost things, because some of those things can be really priceless. And now Pete is forced to use his power for evil.

#11 A Proper Santa Claus – Three and a Half Stars ***1/2. OK, so this is different for the rest. Another small boy named Jeremy has this ability, or I think it’s an ability, to draw what he thinks is right, and make it come to life. Now the reason why I think it’s an ability is because it may also be just his imagination. You know when someone writes a story in a little kid’s point of view it’s hard to tell what is and what isn’t. But nevertheless, pretty good concept.

#12 The Smallest Dragonboy – Four and a Half Stars ****1/2. Another book people can relate too…kind of. This book fits in with the You’re not too young to do anything theme that helps motivate younger kids. Well Keevan wants to become a Dragonrider like pretty much all boys. But he’s really young, and he’s afraid he won’t be able to participate in the Impression, even though he’s a candidate. Well when he unknowingly Impresses his dragon Heth, the dragon telepathically communicated with Keevan, who is mortally distraught he didn’t get a chance to Impress according to him at the time, which I guess just sounds like a normal human voice to him, and Keevan tells Heth to basically jump in a volcano. Harsh and funny in it’s way.

#13 Apple – Two Stars **. This seems like another Talents story, but the story was very confusing, but somewhat good in a way I can’t explain.

#14 Honeymoon – Can’t Rate. In McCaffrey’s intro, she wrote that this was an “un-story”. It’s a continuation of a Helva book that “ties loose ends” and said that anybody that hasn’t read that book would have no idea what it’s about. And I was very lost. And since I have no idea if it’s actually good or not, this would not be rated and will not affect the scoring.

So after every rating together, this book is a….2.8 rating which rounds to Three Stars *** ( )
1 vote DragonFreak | Feb 23, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anne McCaffreyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Alexander, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fairbrother-Roe, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siudmak, W.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vonarburg, ElisabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345349350, Mass Market Paperback)

Open these pages and discover 14 remarkable stories of fantasy by a grand master of the genre. A wonderful writer, as well as successful and beloved by fans across the world, Anne McCaffrey has created an exciting collection of telepaths, secret gifts, dangerous missions, dragonriders, and more.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:07 -0400)

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A collection of fourteen science fiction short stories.

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