A Direwolf Interviews a Unicorn
Because I’m an artist, I don’t get qualified as schizophrenic.
– Peter S. Beagle
On April 20th, 2013, the city of San Francisco chose to present a Certificate of Honor to a prolific author whom City Mayor Edwin M. Lee describes: “Your many notable works have been important contributions to the science fiction and fantasy genres and are enjoyed by millions around the world.” Few names are capable of riding alongside this description, though perhaps you’ve already thought of a few of your favorite sci-fi/fantasy authors: Ursula Le Guin, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Anne McCaffrey, or perhaps Tanith Lee. Maybe R. A. Salvatore (if only he’d start writing outside the D&D sandbox) or J. K. Rowling (for those of us who have never read anything but Harry Potter).
But the author Mayor Lee is referring to actually pre-dates most of the individuals on this list. The occasion for this honor marks the beginning of a screening tour that features the famous animated film The Last Unicorn (1982), and at the vanguard is the film’s screenwriter, who also happens to be the author of the original book published in 1968, Peter S. Beagle. Since April of last year, Mr. Beagle and his agent, Connor Cochran, have been appearing at Alamo Drafthouses and other venues across America sharing the story about a female unicorn who learns that she may be the very last of her kind, that a giant red bull has driven all the other unicorns in the world to the ends of the earth. And it is up to her to rescue them.
The film was produced by Rankin/Bass, who also produced the original animated film version of The Hobbit (1977), and boasts an all-star voice cast, including Jeff Bridges (Kevin Flynn, Tron), Christopher Lee (Saruman, The Lord of the Rings), Alan Arkin (Lester, Argo), Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts, Beauty and the Beast), and Golden Globe Award winner Mia Farrow.