Today, we have the second excerpt from The Essential Peter S. Beagle series, this time from Volume 2: Oakland Dragon Blues and Other Stories. (You can read the excerpt from Volume 1, here.) The excerpt is from the story “The Mantichora”; but first, here’s the synopsis for Volume 2:
The essential second volume of bestselling author Peter S. Beagle’s (The Last Unicorn) short stories, including one previously unpublished and four uncollected stories, shows again that Beagle is one of America’s most influential fantasists. With his celebrated versatility, humor, and grace, Beagle is at home in a dazzling variety of subgenres. Evoking comparison to such iconic authors as Twain, Tolkien, Carroll, L’Engle, and Vonnegut, this career retrospective celebrates Beagle’s mastery of the short-story form.
A dilapidated dragon, a frustrated cop, and an unapologetic author square off over a dangerously abandoned narrative. The seemingly perfect addition to a weekly card game hides a dark secret from everyone but her teammate. A deeply respected judge meets his match in Snow Ermine, a gorgeous pickpocket.
From heartbreaking to humorous, these carefully curated stories by Peter S. Beagle show the depth and power of his incomparable prose and storytelling. Featuring a newly published story, “The Mantichora,” an original introduction from Meg Elison (Find Layla), and gorgeous illustrations from Stephanie Pui-Mun Law (Shadowscapes), this elegant collection is a must-have for any fan of classic fantasy.