Announcing Aetherica 2009 – A Fantasy Convention
We are proud to announce Aetherica
, a new fantasy convention to take place in Chester, England on the weekend of June 19th – 21st, 2009.
The Crowne Plaza Hotel in the centre of Chester will play host to a weekend of diverse fantasy-themed programming, ranging from presentations and panels to craft workshops and team building activities. Just as fantasy ranges from fairy tales to complex epics, So Aetherica will offer everything from in-depth literary analysis to whimsical games.
Guests of honour include Peter Beagle, a superb author best known for his novel, The Last Unicorn who has been described as “America’s greatest living fantasist,” and Joe Abercrombie, a critically acclaimed new talent whose books have been labelled as “edgy”, “humorous” and “compelling, with a gritty, real-life feel.”
Join us at midsummer 2009, and spend a weekend celebrating all that is magical.
Current membership rates are:
Adults: £35 (until November 16th 2008)
Juniors (5-18): £25
Infants (under 5): £5
Please see our website (Aetherica FAQ
) for more details on the rates and price rises.
For more information about the convention, to join or to book a hotel room, see Aetherica.org
Media Enquires: Wednesday Jones Publicity@aetherica.org
The latest RAVEN newsletter came out yesterday, announcing a "Special Live Show" that will be on for two nights only in Wurstboro, New York (75 miles northwest of New York City) on July 18th and 19th.
Here's an excerpt from the RAVEN:
"On July 18th & 19th, PETER S. BEAGLE and PHIL SIGUNICK will be performing together in public for the first time in 44 years.
(That's right — more than four decades. Their last gig as a duo was all the way back in 1964, when they opened for Tom Paxton at a club in Berkeley, California.)
These two special shows will take place at the Red Eft Gallery in Wurtsboro, New York, just 75 miles northwest of New York City...
...and there are only 83 seats available for each night.
Tickets are $20, and with so few seats they should go fast. If you want to be there for this rare musical treat, make sure you get your reservation in ASAP by either (1) emailing email@example.com or (2) calling us at 415-731-2267. And please make sure you tell us which night you prefer!
There will be wine and cheese and what-nots before each show, and a chance to get books signed and hang around with Peter and Phil for a good while afterward.
Fans of Peter's classic travel memoir, I SEE BY MY OUTFIT, will absolutely not want to miss this chance to be there when Phil and Peter pick up their guitars and recapture the magic that helped make their long-ago cross-country journey so extraordinary."Oh, and as an interesting tidbit that Connor so cunningly inserted in the RAVEN, Peter Yuthrayard is the artist who is working with Peter on the manga-style graphic novel adaptation of The Last Unicorn. (I really can't wait for this to come out!) Both of the Peter's will be together at the ANIME EXPO in Los Angeles, CA on 07/03/08 through 07/06/08.
I SO wish I could go! It seems all of the fun stuff happens in either California or New York, and of course, I'm almost as far South as you can get, in Florida!
If any of you plan on going to this live show, please let me know. I'd like to arrange for you to post here about your experience =)
There was no other news in the RAVEN about The Last Unicorn audiobooks or Two Hearts, but I will try to get ahold of Connor and talk with him about the updates on these two projects. (I'm trying to get over being sick, first.) I know that some of you have been waiting for two years and some of you have even been waiting for three years.
The only consolation I can offer is that I do know that Connor is not putting you on when he says that there has been delay after delay with these two projects. You would not believe the hard times that these two (Peter and Connor) have encounted with the production of the audiobooks and Two Hearts. I've mentioned it before, but I really do highly encourage those of you who can (provided you have free long-distance or whatever good deal your phone plan offers) to call Connor and talk with him about your concerns and listen to what he has to say.
I am sure something good will happen this year with these two projects, and hopefully the next RAVEN will have some more news for us. ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE! =)
Peter will also make an appearance at the Pleasanton Library in Pleasonton, CA on 07/13/08 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. For more info on that, please call the Library at (925) 931-3400.
If any of you are going to either of these events, please let me know!
That's all for now, folks! =)
In a conversation with Connor Cochran about six months ago, he mentioned the title of this book. When I was on Amazon earlier today, hunting around for Big Band music, I got a notice: "We Never Talk About My Brother is available for pre-order."
Talk about exciting! And isn't that a BEAUTIFUL cover?
The Product Description says this about the book:
"Modern parables of love, death, and transformation are peppered with melancholy in this extraordinary collection of contemporary fantasy. Each short story cultivates a whimsical sense of imagination and reveals a mature, darker voice than previously experienced from this legendary author. In one tale the Angel of Death enjoys newfound celebrity while moonlighting as an anchorman on the network news, while in another the shortsighted ruler of a gentle realm betrays himself in dreaming of a "manageable war." Further storylines include an American librarian who discovers that, much to his surprise and sadness, he is the last living Frenchman, and rivals in a supernatural battle who decide to forgo pistols at dawn, choosing instead to duel with dramatic recitations of terrible poetry. Featuring several previously unpublished stories alongside a bevy of recently released works, this haunting compilation is appealing to both genre readers and mainstream literature lovers."
This new work by our one and only PSB sounds extremely exciting and I can't wait until it's available for purchase!
November 1st , 2008 - Keep that date in mind and go snag a copy of this sure-to-be exciting and beautiful book!
I'll see if I can get ahold of Connor this weekend and see what's going on in the Team Beagle homefront!
Have a great weekend, all! =)
Hello again, everyone!
If you are not signed up to receive Peter's free e-mail newsleter, THE RAVEN, that is put out by Peter Beagle's Unoffical Website
, then this is where you can find the latest news on what's going on with Peter! A few days ago, a new RAVEN popped up in my Inbox with some exciting news that I'd like to share with you here. Taken from the latest Raven:
Regarding The Last Unicorn
Audiobook, the Two Hearts
Hardcover and Writing Sarek
: "All three of these delayed items will definitely be coming out in 2008." What GREAT news! And, Connor Cochran wants us to take note that, "As a special thank-you, all the customers who have been waiting while we solved the problems that delayed publication will also get a free download of the audiobook edition of Peter's first novel, the fantasy classic A Fine and Private Place
I am VERY excited about the free download, because A Fine and Private Place
just so happens to be my second favorite PSB novel!
Also, for those of you who don't know about the new deluxe hardcover edition of our beloved classic, The Last Unicorn
, Conlan Press is pleased to announce that they settled a deal with Barnes & Noble to supply them (and only them) with this wonderful edition.
According to THE RAVEN, "This wonderful volume contains not only the corrected text of the original novel (did you know that a sentence-and-a-half have been missing from the book for over 25 years?), but also its Hugo and Nebula-winning coda, "Two Hearts," new introductions, a 34-page interview with Peter about the history of the book and the animated film made from it, a complete Beagle bibliography, and a beautiful cover painted by Leo and Diane Dillon and designed by Ann Monn. It is, in short, terrific."
Here's a shot of the beautiful front cover:
This breath-taking volume is available, personally autographed by Mr. Beagle himself, from Conlan Press
for only $20, and from Barnes & Noble for only $10.
Connor assures us that there are 500 copies in stock at Conlan Press, ready for immediate shipment, so why not mosey on over there and buy your personally autographed copy of the new deluxe edition? =)
There is more news to share with you, but the work on my desk is calling me, so I will return later to update this post.
Please feel free to comment on these new developments in the meantime!UPDATE
Okay, I'm back with more news from THE RAVEN:
Announcing Strange Roads
, a brand-new, 3-story illustrated chapbook from DreamHaven Books!
According to THE RAVEN, "DreamHaven Books is just now releasing a special chapbook with three new brand-new stories by Peter, each inspired by the extraordinary artwork of Lisa Snellings-Clark.
In 2006, DreamHaven published Gene Wolfe's Strange Birds, a chapbook with two stories based on pictures by Lisa Snellings-Clark. Lisa's idea was to follow this title up with others, each time working with a different author. (Neil Gaiman is working on one, and possibly Stephen King as well!) Now Strange Roads, the second in the series — with 27,000 words of new fiction by Peter S. Beagle — has arrived.
The contents of the chapbook include the novelette "Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel," the short stories "King Pelles the Sure" and "Spook" (featuring Joe Farrell, Peter's fictional alter-ego from "Lila the Werewolf" and The Folk of the Air)...plus, of course, the striking images by Lisa that were Peter's inspiration."
This wonderful book is available now, from Conlan Press, personally autographed by Peter for $25 (+shipping) and for $15, direct from DreamHaven
Two other exciting things are available now from Conlan Press. The first item is the five limited edition prints of the original 1979 Japanese character concept paintings for the animated version of The Last Unicorn
. Connor notes that "This edition was limited to 500 copies, hand-numbered, and signed on the back by Peter S. Beagle. There are only 132 complete sets left." The five images in the set are The Last Unicorn, The Lady Amalthea, The Red Bull, Mommy Fortuna
, and The Full Cast Line-Up
. You have to see these designs for yourself to truly appreciate the artistry and the beauty. You can find these limited-edition prints at Conlan Press
The other exciting announcement is the 1962 recording of the "Sigunick & Beagle Acoustic CD." If you've read I See By My Outfit
, then you will know that Phil Sigunick is the same Phil that accompanied Peter on his motorcycle journey across the United States. The book mentions that Peter and Phil often sang together, and now, with the production of this rare CD, you can finally hear a bit of the history from I See By My Outfit
. According to THE RAVEN, "This CD restoration of that original 25-minute tape contains 11 tracks of French, American, and Mexican folk music; extensive liner notes by Peter; and a cover painting by Peter's famous artist uncle, Moses Soyer, that Peter and Phil posed for during the same summer that this tape was made."
The CD, with liner notes, is available from Conlan Press for only $6 (+shipping.)
SO! How is that
for exciting news from the Beagle Homefront?
I am very excited, both for Peter and Connor, and I just know
that 2008 is going to be the best year ever for them!
The Last Unicorn: The Lost Version
Okay, folks, here is your long-awaited review of The Lost Version! I am so incredibly sorry that it’s taken me so long to get back to Team Beagle. There’s really no good excuse, other than “Life happens.” However, I hope to be back in full-swing, now that the Fall semester is winding down.
Nevertheless, onto the review!
The book opens with a familiar scene: “The unicorn lived in a lilac wood and she lived all alone…” This opening disarms the reader, because I think most are expecting a totally different story, and indeed, it is, but Peter originated perfection when he wrote this famous opening.
However, about two paragraphs in, the scene totally changes. The Unicorn discovers a battle-weary Dragon in her forest. I won’t totally give away the dialogue, but suffice it to say that it is the Dragon, instead of the beloved Butterfly, that tells the Unicorn that she is the last. They have a very in-depth dialogue about what life is like outside of the forest, and the Dragon describes it as being very modern with policeman and such. Very entertaining, indeed.
The scene where the Unicorn has inner turmoil about leaving her forest is there, word-for-word, and makes the reader feel secure once again; however, one is surprised when the Unicorn is discovered by the old man in the field. He has a wife; a nagging one, at that! The dialogue changes a little, but the scene remains generally the same, with him trying to rope her and she slipping away from him “like rain.”
After the Unicorn runs away from the field man, she encounters a little boy, whom she has minor dialogue with, and then she runs into a familiar face: the Butterfly! Although the Butterfly’s fanatical dialogue changes a bit, the reader still finds him- or herself entranced by the Butterfly. (Who wouldn’t be?!)
After taking leave of the Butterfly, the Unicorn continues on her journey, feeling a premonition of… what, she doesn’t know. This is where the story changes drastically. The Unicorn happens upon a two-headed demon on the side of the road. One head is named Azazel and the other is named Webster. The demons have been evicted from Hell and are on the run with a precious coal from Hell, with which they’re determined to start their own Hell someplace else.
I can’t give too much of the story away, but suffice it to say that the demons are extremely likeable at times and extremely annoying at others. I think that was Peter’s intention, and he designed them well. One of my favorite quotes is when Webster is making fun of Azazel’s name: “Azazel. Hoo. Sounds like a sneeze in a bathtub.” Definitely a quote to giggle at =)
So, instead of the bumbling magician, Schmendrick, accompanying the Unicorn on her quest, Azazel and Webster join her instead. In fact, there is no Schmendrick, Molly Grue, King Haggard, Prince Lir or Red Bull. However, don’t let this turn you away from The Lost Version. It is priceless, indeed, even without the Unicorn’s familiar cohorts.
There is still the stunning prose that Peter never fails to mesmerize his fans with, and there is still clever dialogue, although after Azazel and Webster step into the picture, they kind of run the show. Still, I found that I learned a lot from the clumsy duo. In fact, they have a fascinating dialogue about what Hell is like and where it is. I found myself reading it over and over again, turning it over in my brain like a child does a chocolate bonbon in their mouth.
While the story is incomplete and unrefined, I still really enjoyed reading it and seeing the humble beginning from which our beloved Unicorn came. At the end of the book, there is an Afterword penned by Peter, where he shares a sentimental memory about Molly’s character. He says, “…I could never have created Molly Grue when I was twenty-three.” He goes on to explain that it was a few years of marriage and fatherhood that matured him “to a point of understanding an aging, bitterly disappointed woman made wise by her discovery of beauty.” It makes you further appreciate Molly’s character in The Last Unicorn.
Ultimately, The Lost Version is a gem; a diamond in the rough. Any fan of Peter’s will enjoy this novel. I was lucky enough to purchase it from a dear soul on Amazon who wanted to pass it on, and it is numbered 864 out of 1,000. Perhaps you may find yours soon, and I guarantee you will cherish every word.
Thought I'd share the videos I took of Peter S. Beagle and Connor Cochran at Dragon*con this past weekend. I would have had more, but a) my camcorder decided to stop recording sound; and b) I was a mere 20 minutes early for the TLU screening instead of 90, so I wasn't allowed in. :( Definitely the biggest disappointment of the weekend for me, but Peter and Connor handled it very well (considering it was completely beyond their control).
So here you go!
Peter reading a bit of "Gordon, the Self-Made Cat" from A Line Between. 1:22, 3.26 MB
Peter singing The Innkeeper's Song. 2:00, 4.8 MB
Peter talking about how he was NOT disturbed by strange crowds. 0:59, 2.4 MB
I made it to two of the panels: the reading and the showcase. At the reading, Peter read a bit from his new book, "I Hear You've Got Dragons" (hopefully I've got the title right), and the summarized the plot a bit more after that. The showcase was my favorite though...besides reading "Gordon, the Self-Made Cat", Peter also read the introduction to A Line Between and "The Fable of the Moth". Connor read "The Fable of the Tyrannosaurus Rex". Then they just took questions, told jokes, and talked about whatever came to mind. It was very fun and informal. :D My husband tagged along this year and is becoming a fan as well...he says Peter's stories remind him of Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker novels because some of the humorous lines are just so zany.
As I said, I got turned away from the TLU screening due to it being in this itty bitty room that filled up to capacity over an hour before the screening. If anyone has any info/stories/vids/whatever from that, please share!
I also picked up the new version of The Last Unicorn novel from Peter's table in the Walk of Fame, then found A Dance for Emilia and I See By My Outfit at a booth in the dealer's room. And got pounced on by Connor for having an old version of I See By My Outfit which apparently has many typos. But I don't care, I've been wanting to read it for ages and now I can. :D
I finally sat down tonight and watched my copy of the new TLU DVD, since I missed seeing it at the con. I watched the special features first and I really loved "The Tail of The Last Unicorn"....if you haven't seen it, it's Peter summarizing the movie interspersed with actual clips. I just thought it was very well done!
I watched carefully for the swear words that were removed, but this new version does a MUCH better job of it. It's not noticeable at all, unlike the old version where the mouths still moved or words just seemed slightly off. I was very pleased to see that.
Also, if you want to see how much nicer the new version of the movie looks compared to the old, watch the original trailer in the Special Features and THEN watch the movie. Wow what an improvement! This was definitely worth my money.
BTW, when I had Peter sign my DVD, I asked him to write his favorite TLU quote on it. "...and anything can happen in a world that holds such beauty."
x-posted to last_unicorn_
, and the_last
I was browsing the Young Adult Literature schedule for Dragon*con and saw that they're going to have a viewing of The Last Unicorn and Peter S. Beagle will actually be there doing live commentary. Here's the programming description:This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Last Unicorn, the moving story of a captive unicorn who struggles with love, immortality, and freedom. Peter S. Beagle, writer of book and screenplay, joins us to offer his unique commentary and insights.
I'm looking forward to it! :D
Here's the ling to the YA Lit sched: http://yalit.dragoncon.net/fullsched.html
x-posted to peterbeaglefans