Review of Unicorn Variation By Roger Zelazny

June 2, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
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Science Fiction Audiobooks - Unicorn Variation by Roger ZelaznyUnicorn Variation
By Roger Zelazny; Read by Rene Auberjonois
1 Cassette – 83 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Durkin Hayes
Published: 1995
ISBN: 0886467365
Themes: / Fantasy / Unicorns / Mythical Creatures / Chess / Angels /

Roger Zelazny wrote some of my favorite fantasies. I view him now as one of Neil Gaiman’s primary influences, as they both cover the same mythical territory in their fiction. (In fact, Neil Gaiman would be a perfect choice to pen scripts for Zelazny’s Amber novels – hint hint nudge nudge).

“Unicorn Variations” is a story from later in Zelazny’s career. In it, a man finds himself playing a chess game with a unicorn, the result of which could determine the fate of the human race. The unicorn talks quite a bit and has a sharp tongue with a dry sense of humor. The man in the story meets several mythical beasts, and they all know how to play chess, including Sasquatches, who are particularly good at it. A thoroughly enjoyable story.

“Angel, Dark Angel” is also included. It is much shorter than the cover story, and begins with a man who receives a phone call giving him the identity of a person he’s got to go meet. No more on this one – let Zelazny unfold it for you.

Rene Auberjonois is absolutely first-rate. I really enjoy his cadence and his personable tone. In the first story, he has the opportunity to use several different voices, which he does with wonderful skill, bringing the story to life as a great narrator can.

This one’s out of print – check eBay!

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

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