Friday, May 19, 2023

The Essential Peter S. Beagle, Volume I: Lila the Werewolf and Other Stories

The Essential Peter S. Beagle, Volume I: Lila the Werewolf and Other Stories is the a collection of short(er) fiction by perennial author Peter S. Beagle. Released together with its sister volume 16th May 2023 by Tachyon, it's 352 pages and is available in hardcover and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. 

This is a wonderfully curated collection of 16 pieces, all of which I had previously read, but which still had the power and relevance to render me breathless. There simply isn't a lesser or unworthy story in the entire lot. Mr. Beagle is a superlative writer with a sublime and consummate command of English as well as being a master of written fiction and he is here in top artistic form.

Each of the stories contains a short introduction by the author himself. The collection is also enhanced by the intricate chapter headings and line drawings of artist Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, whose art is ethereal and reminiscent of Sulamith W├╝lfing and calls to mind P. Craig Russel as well, without being the slightest bit derivative of either.

Five stars. This would be an excellent choice for public or school library acquisition, for home use, and for gift giving purposes. For connoisseurs of speculative fiction, this is required reading. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

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