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Peter S. Beagle

Author of The Last Unicorn

126+ Works 18,823 Members 529 Reviews 111 Favorited
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About the Author

Peter S. Beagle was born in Manhattan in April of 1939. During his senior year of high school, Beagle entered a poem and a short story in the 1955 Scholastic Writing Awards Contest, not knowing that the Grand Prize was a college education. He won that prize and went on to spend four years at the show more University of Pittsburgh after graduating from high school in 1955. In his sophomore year at the University of Pittsburgh, Beagle entered another contest, winning first place again in Seventeen Magazine's Short Story Contest. At the age of 19, he published "A Fine and Private Place." Beagle graduated college with a degree in Creative Writing and a Spanish minor and then spent a year overseas. When he returned, his new-found agent had enrolled him in a writing workshop at Stanford. After his first few published stories, Beagle supported himself and his family as a freelancer for many years. In the 70's he began to write screenplays, as well as take up the hobby of singing folk songs at a local club. Beagle has published music as well as books, both his passions, and both lucrative. Beagle gives lectures and readings at universities, and also hosts writing workshops at schools such as the University of Washington and Clarion West. His works have been translated into 15 languages. Beagle has also written a script for Star Trek: The Next Generation and the screenplay for the animated feature version of The Lord of the Rings. In 1987, Beagle's "The Last Unicorn" was proclaimed the Number 5 All Time Fantasy Novel. That same year, "The Innkeeper's Song" won the Mythopoetic Fantasy Award. In 1997, "The Unicorn Sonata" won the Locus Poll Award for Best Novella, and in 1998, "Giant Bones" won the same award as well as being nominated for the 1998 World Fantasy Award. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Wikipedia


Works by Peter S. Beagle

The Last Unicorn (1968) 7,602 copies
A Fine and Private Place (1960) 1,414 copies
Tamsin (1999) 1,110 copies
The Folk of the Air (1986) 830 copies
The Innkeeper's Song (1993) 810 copies
The Unicorn Sonata (1996) 477 copies
The Line Between (2000) 380 copies
Giant Bones (1997) 376 copies
In Calabria (2017) 321 copies
The Last Unicorn [1982 film] (1982) — Screenwriter — 302 copies
I See By My Outfit (1964) 281 copies
The Lord of the Rings [1978 animated film] (1978) — Screenwriter — 251 copies
Summerlong (2016) 249 copies
Sleight of Hand (2011) 215 copies
The Secret History of Fantasy (2010) — Editor; Contributor; Introduction, some editions — 202 copies
The Urban Fantasy Anthology (2011) — Editor; Introduction; Contributor — 201 copies
The New Voices of Fantasy (2017) — Editor — 180 copies
Peter S. Beagle's Immortal Unicorn (1995) — Editor; Contributor — 148 copies
A Dance for Emilia (2000) 145 copies
The Overneath (2017) 140 copies
Peter S. Beagle's Immortal Unicorn: Volume 1 (1995) — Editor; Contributor — 131 copies
Peter S. Beagle's Immortal Unicorn: Volume 2 (1999) — Editor; Contributor; Foreword — 122 copies
Two Hearts {short story} (2005) 104 copies
Return (2010) 78 copies
Lila the Werewolf (1973) 61 copies
The Story of Kao Yu (2016) 47 copies
The Unicorn Anthology (2017) — Editor; Contributor — 47 copies
Strange Roads (2008) — Author — 35 copies
Come Lady Death (1963) 15 copies
The Last Unicorn #1 (2010) 14 copies
The Karkadann Triangle (2018) 11 copies
Gordon the Self-Made Cat (2005) 11 copies
El Regalo (2006) 9 copies
The California Feeling (1969) 7 copies
Barrens Dance 5 copies
The Fable Of the Octopus (2006) 5 copies
Quarry (2004) 5 copies
Sweet Lightning: A Novel (2008) 5 copies
The Fable of the Ostrich (2006) 4 copies
Salt Wine (2006) 4 copies
The Fable of the Moth (2006) 4 copies
Mr Sigerson (2004) 3 copies
The Rabbi's Hobby (2008) 3 copies
W Kalabrii (2022) 3 copies
Underbridge {short story} (2011) 3 copies
King Pelles the Sure (2008) 3 copies
Four Years, Five Seasons (2015) 3 copies
Tükörbirodalmak (2007) 2 copies
Kaskia 2 copies
By Moonlight (2009) 2 copies
The Stickball Witch (2009) 2 copies
Dirae [Novelette] (2010) 2 copies
Die Einhörner (2012) — Contributor — 2 copies
La Lune T'Attend (2010) 2 copies
Four Fables 2 copies
Giant Bones {short story} (1997) 2 copies
The Way Home 1 copy
Mr. McCaslin 1 copy
Spook [short fiction] (2008) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Hobbit (1937) — Introduction, some editions — 95,251 copies
The Fellowship of the Ring (1954) — Introduction, some editions — 55,192 copies
The Two Towers (1954) — Introduction, some editions — 48,805 copies
The Return of the King (1955) — Introduction, some editions — 47,187 copies
The Tolkien Reader (1966) — Introduction, some editions — 3,733 copies
Unnatural Creatures (2013) — Contributor — 1,259 copies
Wizards: Magical Tales From the Masters of Modern Fantasy (2007) — Contributor — 788 copies
After the King (1991) — Contributor — 768 copies
Phoebe and Her Unicorn (2014) — Foreword — 752 copies
The Charwoman's Shadow (1926) — Introduction, some editions — 683 copies
Naked City (2011) — Contributor — 654 copies
Warriors (2010) — Contributor — 649 copies
A Mirror for Observers (1954) — Afterword, some editions — 441 copies
Troll's Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales (2009) — Contributor — 349 copies
Masterpieces of Fantasy and Wonder (1989) — Contributor — 331 copies
Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron (2012) — Contributor — 315 copies
Knights of Madness: Further Comic Tales of Fantasy (1998) — Contributor — 301 copies
Space Opera (1996) — Contributor — 235 copies
Beyond the Woods: Fairy Tales Retold (2016) — Contributor — 226 copies
The Book of Dragons: An Anthology (2020) — Contributor — 225 copies
Tails of Wonder and Imagination: Cat Stories (2010) — Contributor — 217 copies
Modern Classics of Fantasy (1939) — Contributor — 211 copies
The Way of the Wizard (2010) — Contributor — 208 copies
The Fantasy Hall of Fame (1998) — Contributor — 197 copies
The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People (2010) — Contributor — 194 copies
The Oxford Book of Fantasy Stories (1994) — Contributor — 191 copies
Wings of Fire (2010) — Contributor — 185 copies
Eclipse 3: New Science Fiction and Fantasy (2009) — Contributor — 160 copies
The Fantastic Imagination (1977) — Contributor — 155 copies
Eclipse 1: New Science Fiction and Fantasy (2007) — Contributor — 151 copies
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017 (2017) — Contributor — 144 copies
Serve It Forth: Cooking with Anne McCaffrey (1996) — Contributor — 142 copies
J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: The Fotonovel (1979) — Contributor — 137 copies
Eclipse 2: New Science Fiction and Fantasy (2008) — Contributor — 136 copies
Salon Fantastique: Fifteen Original Tales of Fantasy (2006) — Contributor — 128 copies
The Best American Mystery Stories 2012 (2012) — Contributor — 126 copies
Year's Best Fantasy 5 (2005) — Contributor — 123 copies
Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom (2012) — Contributor — 108 copies
Sherlock Holmes: The Hidden Years (2004) — Contributor — 106 copies
Once upon a Curse (2012) — Contributor — 105 copies
Magical Beginnings (2003) — Contributor — 101 copies
Nebula Awards Showcase 2008 (2008) — Contributor — 92 copies
Fantasy: The Best of the Year, 2006 Edition (2006) — Contributor — 88 copies
The Treasury of the Fantastic (2001) — Foreword — 83 copies
Full Moon City (2010) — Contributor — 77 copies
Fantasy: The Best of the Year, 2007 Edition (2007) — Contributor — 76 copies
Fantasy: The Best of 2004 (2005) — Contributor — 75 copies
Werewolf! A Chrestomathy of Lycanthropy (1979) — Contributor — 74 copies
Mermaids and Other Mysteries of the Deep (2015) — Contributor — 74 copies
New Worlds of Fantasy #3 (1971) — Contributor — 73 copies
Beyond the Pale: A Fantasy Anthology (2014) — Contributor — 70 copies
The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2009 Edition (2010) — Contributor — 69 copies
The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2013 Edition (2013) — Contributor — 66 copies
New Worlds of Fantasy (1967) — Contributor — 65 copies
Year's Best Fantasy 7 (2007) — Contributor — 61 copies
A Book of Wizards (2008) — Contributor — 58 copies
Real Unreal: Best American Fantasy 3 (2010) — Contributor — 55 copies
The Mammoth Book of Angels and Demons (2013) — Contributor — 52 copies
David Copperfield's Beyond Imagination (1996) — Contributor — 46 copies
Superheroes (2013) — Contributor — 45 copies
Unplugged: The Web's Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy (2009) — Contributor — 45 copies
Curse of the Full Moon: A Werewolf Anthology (2010) — Contributor — 38 copies
The Night We Buried Road Dog (1998) — Introduction — 35 copies
Year's Best Fantasy 9 (2009) — Contributor — 34 copies
Best American Fantasy 2 (2009) — Contributor — 20 copies
Visions and Imaginations: Classic Fantasy Fiction (2005) — Contributor — 13 copies
Phantastische Literatur 82 (1982) 11 copies
Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 68 • January 2016 (2015) — Contributor — 10 copies
Das Hobbit-Buch (1988) — Author — 7 copies
The Westerfilk Collection, Second Edition (1980) — Contributor — 4 copies
Triangulation: End of the Rainbow (2010) — Contributor — 3 copies
Nuove avventure nell'ignoto — Contributor — 2 copies


20th century (1,027) adventure (2,849) anthology (2,205) British (983) British literature (948) classic (3,605) classics (2,749) dragons (871) dwarves (1,277) ebook (760) elves (1,426) English literature (751) epic (1,327) epic fantasy (1,068) fantasy (42,325) fantasy fiction (953) favorites (957) fiction (21,212) high fantasy (1,084) hobbits (2,350) J.R.R. Tolkien (1,259) literature (2,063) Lord of the Rings (5,479) magic (1,714) Middle Earth (5,026) novel (2,315) own (1,243) owned (673) paperback (880) read (3,405) science fiction (1,871) Science Fiction/Fantasy (705) series (1,632) sff (1,296) short stories (1,950) to-read (5,995) Tolkien (6,979) unread (701) wizards (1,025) young adult (748)

Common Knowledge



OT Suntup the last Unicorn in Folio Society Devotees (September 2023)
Peter S. Beagle's short story anthologies in Fairy Tale Readers (March 2013)


Peter is the rare writer whose stories are ageless. They are as poignant and intimately relatable to me as a 66 y.o. as they were when I was 16. They touch both my heart and soul, reassuring me that, by some miracle, I have retained both -- despite the intervening half-century of life I've experienced. These two tales are set in the world of his duely reknowned "The Last Unicorn." As of this review, there are but three others, stories of the early life of his protagonist Schmendrick the Magician in contrast to his latter days recounted in this present collection. I can only hope there will be more.… (more)
Dr_Bob | 2 other reviews | Jun 12, 2024 |
Robert Thrax is a dragon exterminator who hates his job (he secretly loves dragons and has a real affinity with them) and dreams of being anything else. Princess Cerise of Bellemontagne turns away dozens of eligible princes every month, until Crown Prince Reginald of Corvinia catches her eye. But Prince Reginald never meant to court the princess; he was only out adventuring with the king's valet Mortmain, looking for a suitable task to prove to his father he is eligible to inherit the throne. When the three meet up, Mortmain hatches a plan: Reginald will learn from Robert how to kill a dragon (or perhaps Robert will kill the dragon and Reginald will take the credit).

But their dragon-killing adventure goes tragically pear-shaped, and they realize that there's something behind these new, huge, murderous dragons...the wizard Dahr, who King Krije killed (but not permanently, it seems). Dahr has big ambitions and is out for vengeance, but he's no match for Reginald, Robert, and Cerise.

Royalty, dragons, some dry humor (the valets' negotiations were hilarious) and not one but two love triangles (Ostvald-Elfrieda-Robert and Robert-Cerise-Reginald) make for a satisfying fantasy with the feeling of a classic.

See also: Terry Pratchett, Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede, The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde


...but sincerity has a way of trumping circumstance... (40)

There's just something upsetting about getting what we want. (Queen Helene to Cerise, 95)

It was like picking their way through a nightmare, and soon enough even the quiet praying stopped. (122)

"Fear cannot breed where there is action." (Reginald, 124)

"[He is] neither what he thinks he is, nor what he dreams of being." (Dahr re: Robert, 167)
… (more)
JennyArch | Jun 6, 2024 |
This book is regarded as a classic within the fantasy genre, and it is easy to see why. It has rich themes, and mixes tragedy and sadness with funny elements. It has the tone of a fairy tale, and perhaps because of that it did not grip me as much as other novels have done. I liked it, but I did not love it.

The edition I read also had Two Hearts, a novella written decades later that can serve as a sequel. I enjoyed this one more than the original novel. It is narrated by a spunky young girl who made the story feel less distant than the fairy-tale tone of The Last Unicorn.… (more)
jcm790 | 191 other reviews | May 26, 2024 |
This is an easy read fast paced classic about the adventures of the last Unicorn.

The Unicorn stole my heart and I was enthralled with her very interesting comrades who chose to accompany her as she sets out to find if she is indeed the very last of this immortal breed.

I realized I had read this book before about halfway thru, but it is good enough to read twice or more in a lifetime. It definitely had more depth this time though, because the last time I read it I was 15!

The book has more details and adventures than in the movie, and the story will live on in my heart for as long as the sun rises each day and the waves crash against the sand.
… (more)
AngelaOMalley72 | 191 other reviews | May 17, 2024 |


1980s (1)
Ghosts (2)
1960s (1)


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Associated Authors

Jack Dann Contributor
Janet Berliner Contributor, Editor, Introduction
Ray Dillon Illustrator
Renae De Liz Illustrator
Joe R. Lansdale Editor, Contributor
Patricia A. McKillip Contributor, Foreword
Jules Bass Director
Chris Conkling Screenwriter
Jane Yolen Contributor
Courtlandt Johnson Illustrator
Karen Anderson Contributor
Mike Resnick Contributor
Doris Pitkin Buck Contributor
Robert Arthur Contributor
Neil Gaiman Contributor
Paula Guran Contributor
David G. Hartwell Contributor
Charles de Lint Contributor, Introduction
Ann Monn Typography, Cover designer, Cover design and art, , Cover artist
Carrie Vaughn Contributor, Preface
Marina Fitch Contributor
Karen Joy Fowler Contributor
Dave Smeds Contributor
Jeffrey Ford Contributor
Lucy Taylor Contributor
Robert Devereaux Contributor
Edward Bryant Contributor
Lisa Mason Contributor
Eric Lustbader Contributor
Susan Shwartz Contributor
P. D. Cacek Contributor
Nancy Willard Contributor
Judith Tarr Contributor
Will Shetterly Contributor
Michael Marano Contributor
Tad Williams Contributor
George Guthridge Contributor
Robert Sheckley Contributor
Kevin J. Anderson Contributor
Melanie Tem Contributor
Dave Wolverton Contributor
Rebecca Moesta Contributor
S. P. Somtow Contributor
Ellen Kushner Contributor
A.C. Wise Contributor
John Hurt Actor
Saul Zaentz Producer
Ursula K. Le Guin Contributor
Stephen King Contributor
Jonathan Lethem Contributor
Thomas M. Disch Contributor
Terry Bisson Contributor
Al Sarrantonio Contributor
Suzy McKee Charnas Contributor
Charles de Lint Contributor
Aimee Bender Contributor
Maureen F. McHugh Contributor
Michael Swanwick Contributor
Steven Millhauser Contributor
Robert Holdstock Contributor
Norman Partridge Contributor
Emma Bull Contributor
Patricia Briggs Contributor
Holly Black Contributor
T.C. Boyle Contributor
Tim Powers Contributor
Kelley Armstrong Contributor
Susanna Clarke Contributor
Octavia E. Butler Contributor
Kij Johnson Contributor
Yann Martel Contributor
Steven R. Boyett Contributor
Gregory Maguire Contributor
Susan Palwick Contributor
Bruce McAllister Contributor
Alyssa Wong Contributor
Usman T. Malik Contributor
Ursula Vernon Contributor
Sarah Pinsker Contributor
Adam Ehrlich Sachs Contributor
Chris Tarry Contributor
Neon Yang Contributor
Eugene Fischer Contributor
Kelly Sandoval Contributor
Ben Loory Contributor
Sofia Samatar Contributor
Hannu Rajaniemi Contributor
Max Gladstone Contributor
Brooke Bolander Contributor
E. Lily Yu Contributor
Amal El-Mohtar Contributor
Yvonne Gilbert Cover artist
Stephanie Law Illustrator
Patrick Rothfuss Introduction
Bruce Coville Contributor
Sara A. Mueller Contributor
Garth Nix Contributor
Caitlin R. Kiernan Contributor
Nancy Springer Contributor
Margo Lanagan Contributor
David D. Levine Contributor
Carlos Hernandez Contributor
Gervasio Gallardo Cover artist
Darrell K. Sweet Illustrator, Cover artist
Renée Bodt Translator
Kick Sprangers Translator
Diane Dillon Cover artist
Rebekah Naomi Cox Cover artist
Melvyn Grant Cover artist
Tom Kidd Illustrator
Terry Oakes Cover artist
Elizabeth Phillips Cover designer
Leo Dillon Cover artist
Sergey Prygov Cover artist
Chris Collingwood Cover artist
Darrell Sweet Cover artist
Michael Sabanosh Cover artist
Paul Youll Cover artist
Greg Call Cover artist
Kristina Duewell Cover designer
Dan Craig Cover artist
Elizabeth Story Cover artist, Design & cover design
Barclay Shaw Cover artist
Holly Johnson Designer
Romas Kukalis Cover artist
Neil Pinkett Cover artist
John Jude Palencar Cover artist
Matthew Williams Cover artist
Robert Rodriguez Illustrator
Jörn Ingwersen Translator
Tony Diterlizza Cover artist
John D. Berry Designer
Oliver Plaschka Translator
Michael Dashow; Cover artist
Maurizio Manzieri Cover artist
Thorsten Erdt Cover artist
Alyssa Winans Cover artist
Hannes Bok Illustrator
John Michnya Narrator


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