Unicorn Variations

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Unicorn Variations
Roger Zelazny Unicorn Variations.png
Dust-jacket from the first edition
Author Roger Zelazny
Country United States
Language English
Genre Science fiction and Fantasy short stories, essays
Publisher Timescape Books
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 213 pp
ISBN 0-671-49449-X
OCLC 9827688
813/.54 19
LC Class PS3576.E43 A6 1983

Unicorn Variations is a collection of stories and essays by American author Roger Zelazny, published in 1983. The title story, "Unicorn Variation", was written as a result of Zelazny having been asked to contribute to two different upcoming anthologies — one collecting stories set in bars, and one collecting stories about unicorns. When Zelazny mentioned these requests to his close friend George R. R. Martin, Martin told Zelazny of a third upcoming anthology — one which would collect stories about chess — and jokingly suggested that Zelazny write a story about playing chess against a unicorn in a bar, so that he could sell the story three times. Zelazny did just that and then went on to win a Hugo Award for the story.


  • "Introduction"
  • "Unicorn Variation"
  • "The Last of the Wild Ones" (a follow-up short story to the earlier story "Devil Car")
  • "Recital"
  • "The Naked Matador"
  • "The Parts That Are Only Glimpsed: Three Reflexes" (essay)
  • "Dismal Light" (a follow-up short story to the novel Isle of the Dead)
  • "Go Starless in the Night"
  • "But Not the Herald"
  • "A Hand Across the Galaxy"
  • "The Force That Through the Circuit Drives the Current" (a short story that plays with themes developed in the novella "Home is the Hangman")
  • "Home is the Hangman" (initially published in the collection My Name is Legion)
  • "Fire and /or Ice"
  • "Exeunt Omnes"
  • "A Very Good Year"
  • "My Lady of the Diodes"
  • "And I Only Am Escaped to Tell Thee"
  • "The Horses of Lir"
  • "The Night Has 999 Eyes"
  • "Angel, Dark Angel"
  • "Walpurgisnacht"
  • "The George Business"
  • "Some Science Fiction Parameters: A Biased View" (essay)