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Get Off the Unicorn by Anne Mccaffrey
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1,863125,756 (3.6)55
A collection of fourteen science fiction short stories.
Member:dennymeta
Title:Get Off the Unicorn
Authors:Anne Mccaffrey
Info:Corgi (1982), Paperback, 316 pages
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Get Off the Unicorn by Anne McCaffrey

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
The usual collection of rape, slut-shaming and misogyny from an author I used to think was pretty cool.

TL;DR

Not Terrible: Horse From a Different Sea, The Great Canine Chorus, Finder's Keeper, Apple.
Avoid At All Costs: A Meeting of Minds, The Thorns of Barevi, Honeymoon

Lady in the Tower: This later became part of the novel The Rowan. It's actually less terrible on its own, but still kinda cringe-y.

A Meeting of Minds: In which the daughter of The Rowan eventually realizes the dude who was formerly, unrequitedly in love with her mother is in love with her, ew ew ew.

"And he was suddenly a very different man. A man! That was it. He was so excessively masculine. How could she have blundered around so, looking for a *mind* that was superior to hers, completely overlooking the fact that a woman's most important function in life begins with physical domination?"

That's when I threw the book across the room, but sadly, I eventually retrieved it and read the rest.

Daughter / Dull Drums: This actually had some promise, as it's about a young woman studying to be a computer scientist, and kicking ass at it, despite her father being a misogynist and a seemingly endless stream of dudes manhandling her "affectionately". But then it transpires that she has TOO MUCH EMPATHY to be a scientist!!!! And needs the men in her life to paternalistically tell her to change majors, because they know better than she what will make her happy. ARGH

Changeling: I knew this was going to be... interesting... when McCaffrey's introduction emphasized how many "homosexual male friends" she had.

I don't really know what to say about it, because on the one hand it's... almost... a pretty positive polyamory story, but ALSO this woman is in (unrequited) love with the gay dude and agrees to have his child and then she goes into labor and he kidnaps her to a mountain cabin instead of taking her to the hospital (despite her protests) and it's just... all a little weird. Also stories about giving birth give me the heebie-jeebies.

Weather on Welladay: First non-terrible story! Though personally I found it a bit dull.

The Thorns of Barevi: In which a woman gets kidnapped and enslaved by aliens, escapes them, then reveals herself to aid one....... who shows his gratitude by raping her. AUGH NO STOP BAD

In her introduction to the story, McCaffrey states that it was "an attempt to cash in on the lucrative market for soft- and hard-core pornography in the 60's", so, that's charming.

Horse From a Different Sea: Okay actually kind of funny.

The Great Canine Chorus: Probably best thing in this collection.

Finder's Keeper: Another pretty okay story, though the ending was pretty weak.

A Proper Santa Claus: I give McCaffrey credit for not pulling the punch at the end of this grim tale, though I found it needlessly depressing.

The Smallest Dragonboy: It's like someone asked McCaffrey to write the most generic Pern story possible. Like you know from the very beginning that Keevan is going to Impress a hatchling -- it's in the title, ferchrissakes -- which pretty much undermines any dramatic tension this extremely straightforward underdog-gets-his-comeuppance story could possibly have.

Apple: Another pretty good telepath story, similar to "The Great Canine Chorus", although I'm getting a bit tired of this "women Talents are all unstable psychopaths" thing??

Honeymoon: The Ship Who Sang is actually pretty cool, except what is this nonsense where she is worried her "brawn" will rape her, and then some weird alien stuff happens that seems to amount to "he and a group of aliens pressured her into having sex with him"? ( )
1 vote wirehead | Sep 3, 2018 |
A wonderful collection of stories from McCaffrey's early years as a writer (1959 to 1973). ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 17, 2017 |
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 |
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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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