Get Off the Unicorn

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First edition (publ. Del Rey Books)
Cover art by Paul Alexander

Get Off the Unicorn is a 1977 collection of short science fiction by Anne McCaffrey. Twelve of the fourteen stories were previously published in various magazines and anthologies.

The title is derived by accident from "Get of the Unicorn" in the bestial sense of offspring (get). There was "a misprint in the Ballantine roster of unfilled contracts." After inquiries about the misprinted title, [clarification needed] editor Judy-Lynn del Rey "asked me what I could do about that theme", McCaffrey says in the introduction.[1]


  • "Lady in the Tower" (1959)
  • "A Meeting of Minds" (1969)
  • "Daughter" (1971)
  • "Dull Drums" (1973)
  • "Changeling"
  • "Weather on Welladay" (1969)
  • "The Thorns of Barevi" (1970)
  • "Horse From a Different Sea"
  • "The Great Canine Chorus" (1971)
  • "Finder's Keeper" (1973)
  • "A Proper Santa Claus" (1973)
  • "The Smallest Dragonboy" (1973)
  • "Apple" (1969)

Relationship to other published stories[edit]

The collection includes the Pern-set story "The Smallest Dragon Boy", later re-published in the all-Pern collection A Gift of Dragons (2002).

Several of these short stories were the basis for novels that McCaffrey completed much later:[citation needed]

  • "Lady in the Tower" was expanded to become The Rowan, and "A Meeting of Minds" was incorporated into Damia, both in the "Tower and Hive" series.
  • "The Thorns of Barevi" became Freedom's Landing, first in the Catteni series.
  • "Finder's Keepers" became part of the Talents story.[2]

"Honeymoon" "ties up the loose end" of the Helva & Niall story[3] about the first "brainship".

"Apple" is also another Talents-set story, originally published in the To Ride Pegasus (1973) collection.


  1. ^ McCaffrey, Anne (1977), Get Off the Unicorn, p. Introduction, ISBN 0-552-10965-7, retrieved 2011-03-20 
  2. ^ Publication Listing: Get Off the Unicorn, First edition June 1977 at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2011-10-15.
    ISFDB places all except "Finder's Keeper" in the stated series, and "Apple" in the first Talents book.
  3. ^ McCaffrey, Anne (1977), Get Off the Unicorn, p. 278, ISBN 0-552-10965-7 

External links[edit]

Get Off the Unicorn title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database