The baloney weighed the raven down, and the shopkeeper almost caught him as he whisked out the delicatessen door. Frantically he beat his wings to gain altitude, looking like a small black electric fan. An updraft caught him and threw him into the sky. He circled twice, to get his bearings, and began to fly north.

Below, the shopkeeper stood with his hands on his hips, looking up at the diminishing cinder in the sky. Presently he shrugged and went back into his delicatessen. He was not without philosophy, this shopkeeper, and he knew that if a raven comes into your delicatessen and steals a whole baloney, it is either an act of God or it isn't, and in either case there isn't very much you can do about it.

* * * * * * *

Thus begins Peter S. Beagle's first novel, A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE, written when he was still only 19 years old. Very shortly after this opening, the raven delivers the baloney to the graveyard residence of one Jonathan Rebeck and the novel's story begins in earnest.

Ravens are full of surprises.

Same with this one. Our Raven -- The Raven, let's call it -- is an "irregularly regular" gift from Peter S. Beagle to his friends, loved ones, and fans. If you sign up for it, then The Raven will come swooping into your email box at whatever interval may please it, bringing you something plucked straight from Peter's filing cabinet. It might be a song lyric or an MP3. It might be an essay, or a story, or a poem. It might be a string of odd jokes, or perhaps a door on the future (an entire chapter from some upcoming novel, for example).

In fact, there's just no telling what The Raven will bring, not in advance! What can be guaranteed is that the gift will be new, previously unpublished, and 100% grade-AA unadulterated Peter S. Beagle.

If you would like to receive The Raven, just enter your email address into the space below and click on "Send."

[Please note: any information you give us will be kept strictly confidential, and shared with no one without your permission.]