Buy Used
$0.01
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by thrift_books
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Light shelf wear and minimal interior marks. Millions of satisfied customers and climbing. Thriftbooks is the name you can trust, guaranteed. Spend Less. Read More.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Unicorn Variations Mass Market Paperback – April, 1987


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$9.99 $0.01

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 249 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books; Reprint edition (April 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380702878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380702879
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 4.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,210,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Hendricks on December 7, 1999
Format: Audio Cassette
Okay, so I've got a biased view-point. I love Zelazny's work. His "Chronicles of Amber" series was one of the first science fiction/fantasy works on an "adult level" that I read (I was maybe 12 at the time), and his twisted, convoluted style of writing had me turning page after page, unable to put the book down.
"Unicorn Variations" represents much of that style. It examines man's failures under pressure, (and ironically) man's ability to perform extrodinary feats under that same pressure. It uses an oft-humuorous touch to describe a serious subject. It draws upon fantasy to explain reality. Get the picture? Rarely does Zelazny ever come right out and say what he means; it's much more fun to keep the reader guessing the whole way through.
The version I have of the audio tape is read by Star Trek/Deep Space 9's Odo (Rene something-or-other -- sorry, his last name escapes me at this time); I enjoyed listening to it almost as much as reading the story for myself...
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Psychedelic Cowboy on March 13, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The titular story, Unicorn Variations, is just adorable. It is a delight to read. I love the Bigfoot and the beer drinking Griffin the most! The book's centerpiece, Home is the Hangman is a great novella that I would like to have seen better developed. There are some strong characters that could have stood more development. My Lady of the Diodes is quite good. The George Business seemed to be a direct inspiration for that movie The Last Dragon (with Sean Connery as the dragon's voice). Fire And/Or Ice-- with a different take on Ragnarok is great, but too short. Ditto the one about the Angel of Death (lots of unrealized story potential there!)
My favorite story is The Horses of Lir. Again, there is a lot of potential that I would love to have seen expanded upon. I didn't want this one to end! It has a great feel to it and in a way is a perfect short story. My assessment of this book is primarily a good one. There are some experiments of which some work better than others do. The best stories end too soon and beg for more treatment. The worst, are mercifully short. But nearly all of them made me think, and after all, that's what a science fiction short story should do.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tired Parent on September 28, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Absolutely brilliant story and a wonderful read.

For the chess fans:
It seems the original game was played between Halperin and Pillsbury in ~ 1900 in Muchich (I think). Pillsbury was, clearly, a stronger player but Halperin had help from two masters who, it seemed, wanted to play a practical joke on Master Pillsbury. Obviously they have succeeded. The result is a lovely pre-modern game given in the classical notation by Roger Zelazny. Here is the game in its algebraic version:

Opening: Ruy Lopez (Spanish Game) -- Berlin defense; l'Hermet Variation (eco:C67)

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5 Nf6
4. O-O Nxe4
5. d4 Nd6
6. dxe5 Nxb5
7. a4 d6
8. e6 fxe6
9. axb5 Ne7
10. Nc3 Ng6
11. Ng5 Be7
12. Qh5 Bxg5
13. Bxg5 Qd7
14. b6 cxb6
15. Nd5 exd5
16. Rfe1 Kf8
17. Ra3 Ne5
18. Rxe5 dxe5
19. Rf3 Kg8
20. Bh6 Qe7
21. Bxg7 Kxg7
22. Rg3 Kf8
23. Rf3 Kg7
24. Rg3 Kf8
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 7, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is an excellent collection of Zelazny short stories. "The George Business" is particularly good. If I could only own one Zelazny book, this would be it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Phillips on July 19, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book when I was only 11 or 12 years old. Now I'm grown and a writer myself, and there is no question that this book played a huge part in it. You'd think this is because the stories are well-crafted, the language musical but not overdone, the ideas in each story clear and touching. But the story that affected me the most was "Recital," where Zelazny himself is on the page, thinking through the story in the text as it unfolds. That story showed me the process of being a writer -- and ultimately turned me into a writer, too.

A powerful collection of stories, many of which will stay with you for years. This book might not be considered a classic... but it should be.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By AmberAlice on February 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is my second copy. The first I gave away years ago to share with family.

On a personal note, Zelazny has affected our family (50 + people) positively with his Amber series. In our proud and presumptuous ways, we can all (parents, siblings, nieces and nephews) relate to the internal royal scheming for power and control over self (and occasionally, over each other!).

So many Hugo and Nebula awards aren't given freely to one author unless he merits them. Zelazny may not be for everyone, but if you enjoy well written fantasy and science fiction, you will likely find Unicorn Variations to be a memorable book of imaginative delights and surprises.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paratima on July 5, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm glad to see this still in circulation. Some of Zelazny's stories here that can't be found elsewhere. I'm buying a lightly used one to replace my read-to-death copy.

Come, observe a Master at work...
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Clark A. Steelman on February 8, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I love most of Roger Zelazny's work and this is a very tongue in cheek book and I love the premis that our killing off species of animals, brings about the return of mythical ones,and the protagonist finds himself in a chess match with one of them, winner takes over reality. Great book. 5stars
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?