First, Peter S. Beagle got the rights to his work back. Then news broke that new live-action and musical versions of The Last Unicorn are in the works. And now there’s something equally exciting on the way: new fiction set in the world of The Last Unicorn. Next spring, Ace Books will publish Beagle’s The Way Home, a collection containing two novellas set in the world of his beloved story.
Should you want to refresh your memory of that story, though, you can pick up an updated edition of The Last Unicorn, with the author’s preferred text and an introduction from Patrick Rothfuss. This edition—which also marks the first time the novel is available as an ebook—will be out this July.
The Last Unicorn was first published in 1968. The classic animated film adaptation (pictured above)—with a legendary voice cast including Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Christopher Lee, and Angela Lansbury—was released in 1982, and went on to delight and upset elementary school children for decades. (Don’t get me wrong: I love this movie. But it’s not not distressing when you’re small!) The movie celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
The Way Home, according to a press release, “continues the story of beloved characters unicorn, Molly Grue, and Schmendrick the Magician from the point of view of a young girl named Sooz.” The two works included in the collection are Two Hearts, which won the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novelette in 2006, and Sooz, which has not been previously published. It’s described as “a lyrical story of childhood left behind, dedicated to the love of Beagle’s life, who passed away before it could be published.”
The new edition of The Last Unicorn will be available in July; The Way Home publishes in spring 2023.