THE RAVEN is a free email newsletter dedicated to Peter S. Bagle and his work. It comes out whenever there is news wort sharing and we have time to pull an issue together. In an ideal world this would be every couple of months. In this less-than-perfect version? Hah! But we're catching up...
Peter's Deepest Thanks To All
As mentioned in the last RAVEN, Peter's mother Rebekah passed away on June 24th. She was 100 and her death had been expected for a long time, but of course that didn't make it any easier. What did help — a lot — was the outpouring of support that Peter got from all the people who read this newsletter, for which he is deeply, deeply grateful. There were too many amazing notes and letter to quote in any reasonable length, so we're gong to let one stand here for all:
It was with great sadness that I read of the passing of Mr. Beagle’s mother. She was truly a remarkable woman and I feel privileged to have known her through Mr. Beagle’s writings and your newsletters. My mother passed away this last December, and I have come to understand the meaning of bereavement. I extend to Mr. Beagle the same strength, love and faith that was given to me. Love filled the universe before the first star took light, and after the last star has faded back into eternal night, still there will be love.
In accordance with the family’s wishes, a donation has been made to the Judah L. Magnes Museum. Additionally, 20 new trees will be planted in Mrs. Beagle’s memory in Gallatin National Forest near Yellowstone National Park. Perhaps this little grove will attract a unicorn one day.
All my prayers and best wishes to Mr. Beagle in this time of sorrow.
Thank you, Dennis. And thanks to everyone. It meant the world.
To Hugo Or Not To Hugo — Tonight We'll Know!
We can hardly type right now, our nerves are jittering so. Three or four hours from now, down in Anaheim, California, this year's Hugo Awards will be announced. Will the Hugo for Best Novelette go to Peter and "Two Hearts?" Will it go, instead, to Michael Burstein or Cory Doctorow or Paolo Bacigalupi or Howard Waldrop? Mind you, we're all convinced that Peter isn't going to win, for a variety of reasons. And it truly is an honor for him to be nominated, especially since this was his very first. But still — fingers crossed! (And tomorrow, when we know, we'll send out a mini-RAVEN to spread the word...whatever it may be.)
"Two Hearts" Nominated For The World Fantasy Award
No matter what happens with the Hugo, it is great to be able to announce that "Two Hearts" has been nominated for this year's World Fantasy Award, in the Short Fiction category. The other nominees are Joe Hill's "Best New Horror," Holly Phillips' "The Other Grace," Caitlin R. Kernan's "La Peau Verte," and George Saunders' "CommComm." The winner will be announced at the World Fantasy Convention in Austin, TX, in early November. Peter has previously been nominated three times for the World Fantasy Award before (for Tamsin, Giant Bones, and The Innkeeper's Song) but he's never won. It would be great if "Two Hearts" broke that streak.
New Story Collection THE LINE BETWEEN Now Available
Peter's first story collection in nine years, The Line Between, is now out from Tachyon Publications. It has gotten uniformly great reviews (check out these three from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Sf Site), plus a featured presentation slot in Barnes & Noble...so it isn't terribly surprising that only a month into general release, Tachyon is having to go back for a second printing. Peter isn't known as much for his short fiction as he is for his novels, but with this wonderful co llection that should start to change. The 10 stories in it are really quite remarkable, and all but two (both quite short) were written in the last six years. Included in the book:
Gordon, the Self-Made Cat
Four Fables (The Fable of the Moth, the Fable of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Fable of the Ostrich, the Fable of the Octopus)
A Dance For Emilia
A Special Fund-Raising Message From Peter
We're almost there!
The end of a seemingly endless road is in sight. At this writing it appears — battered skeptic that I am — that there is a deal coming into place regarding the many conflicts over The Last Unicorn. There remain only a couple of hurdles, among them the major legal bills accumulated in the battle to bring Granada Media to the negotiating table. If it hadn't been for your contributions — not to mention your assistance with my late mother's medical care, for which I will always be grateful — we would never have gotten this far. I truly had no notion that I had so many friends.
For this last push, I ask you to consider, if you can, logging on to the Conlan Press website and ordering my new story collection, The Line Between (autographed to your request), and/or Rebekah Naomi Cox's computer wallpaper art inspired by The Last Unicorn. You'll be helping a brilliant young artist at the dawn of her career, whose work has brought my images to life as no other has done in 40 years. And since more than half the money goes directly to supporting the fight for my rights, you will also be helping this particular 67 year-old white-haired storyteller pay for the lawyers I had to hire. Soon, with enough support, we will set the last unicorn free! With deep thanks,
Peter S. Beagle
A note from the RAVEN management: There are just under 5,000 people on the distribution list for this newsletter. If everyone reading this were to help Peter out by placing an order — for either the book or the computer wallpaper or both — it would completely pay off all his legal bills. Please give it a thought, and help out if you can.
Update on Conlan Press LAST UNICORN CD Audiobook & TWO HEARTS Collector's Edition Hardcover
The Good News: all vendor problems have been solved. The Bad News: all the art direction has to be completely redone to accommodate the different packaging and formats that have been chosen. Which is a lot of work, but it's now under way. The minute it is finished, and press/manufacturing time firmly scheduled, a firm release date will be announced here. We're getting much closer, and everything is looking more than worth the wait.
Subterranean Press Announces New Signed Collector's Limited Edition Hardcover — THE LAST UNICORN: THE LOST VERSION
Quoting from the Subterranean Press website..."The Last Unicorn has sold at least six million copies around the world since it was published in 1968, and tens of millions of viewers have delighted in the animated film version (for which Peter also wrote the screenplay). But none of the fans of this amazing work have ever known the full story of how The Last Unicorn came to be. In 1962, the 23 year-old Beagle was at a career crossroads. His fantasy novel A Fine and Private Place had been released to great critical acclaim in 1960, but his mainstream second book had been flatly rejected by his publisher. What Peter wrote next was an 80-page fragment about a unicorn, the last of her kind, lost in the modern world of superhighways and Kodak cameras, with only a banished demon from Hell for a traveling companion. This first take on the beloved classic — so much the same, so very different — is now available to readers for the first time, with an introduction and commentary by the author."
Cover art will be by Michael Wm. Kaluta. The price is $35, and Bill Schafer of Subterranean says the book will ship in December. He also suggests that folks "preorder early, as the size of the edition will be directly related to the preorders." Here's the announcement page, and here's the pre-order page.
THE GREEN MAN REVIEW does special on-line ALL PETER S. BEAGLE Issue
Here's the link. True fans of Peter's work will be thrilled with this extremely informative collection of reviews, essays, and poetry, including a special interview with Peter.
Cool Shadow Puppet Art Inspired By The Last Unicorn
One of the great side-benefits of working with an author as creative as Peter is getting to see some of the creativity his work inspires in others. Like these amazing metal shadow puppets by Sara Kate Sams, a college art student. Take a look!
Sara is going to add four more to the set for display in her exit show. We'll share them here just as soon as we get pictures.
v Peter has often said that his great passions in life are reading, beer, theater, the guitar, and baseball. That last one is finally showing up in his fiction, in the form of an as-yet untitled short fantasy novel for Tachyon Publications. All we can tell you is that Peter is now four chapters in, that the book is set in 1957 Pittsburgh, that it involves the Pittsburgh Pirates, and that it is going to be funny. Tachyon hasn't announced a pub date, but we assume it will be sometime in 2007.
v Peter has agreed to do two stories based on the artwork of Lisa Snellings-Clark, which will be published in chapbook form under the title Strange Roads. This will be part of a series of chapbooks based on Lisa's art, all published by Dreamhaven Books. (The first one, Gene Wolfe's Strange Birds, is already out. Neil Gaiman's Strange Machines is upcoming.)
v "El Regalo" has just hit the stands in the special October/November anniversary issue of F&SF Magazine. It's also in Peter's new collection, The Line Between. This is the first in a series of stories that Peter is going to write about young Angie and Marvyn Luke, two siblings who are considerably more than they appear to be, which is definitely not always a good thing. Eventually they will even have their own novel: My Stupid Brother Marvyn the Witch.
v "Salt Wine," Peter's old sea tale of greed, loss, and a merman's secret, is just out now in both Fantasy #3, from Wildside Press, and The Line Between.
v "Two Hearts" will be available for a little while longer on-line at F&SF's website. It can also be found in The Line Between; in Rich Horton's Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2006 from Prime Books; and in Jonathan Strahan's Fantasy: The Very Best of 2005, from Locus Press.
v "The Chandail," a new Innkeeper’s World story, will be published in September in Salon Fantastique: Fifteen Original Tales of Fantasy, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. The publisher is Thunder's Mouth Press.
Meet Finn, the new Cat About Town here at Raven Central. We've been talking about getting a cat for what feels like ages, and kind of figured it would happened when we met The Right One.
Which we now have. He's a pure-bred Turkish Van about four months old, with a remarkably calm and friendly disposition despite being a rescue kitten. He's very Zen, our Finn, and those odd-colored eyes are to die for.