Tales of Strange Encounters from Tor.com

Tor.com

Time for another collection of short-stories from the reliably thought-provoking archives of Tor.com. This time I’ve selected a group of tales which focus on strange encounters, in which curious creatures add meaning to characters’ mundane lives, or people unearth odd threads in their own family histories. The stories also have a refreshing cultural and historical sweep, stretching from the modern-day anonymity of a big American city, to the parched grasslands of a post-apocalyptic future; to the exotic charm of medieval China and India at the turn of the 20th century.

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In Calabria: Peter S. Beagle

★★★½

This charming little fable is a tale of what can happen when the miraculous imposes on the ordinary. It tells the story of the cantankerous Calabrian farmer Claudio Bianchi, who lives alone on a remote farm with his half-wild cats, his dog Garibaldi, his cows and his goat Cherubino. He shuns company and can go weeks at a time without seeing anyone but the cheery young postman Romano. All he wants is peace and quiet, to till his earth and write his poetry. But then, one day, he sees a unicorn in his vineyard.

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