Peter S. Beagle
Beagle at a showing of The Last Unicorn in 2014
Beagle at a showing of The Last Unicorn in 2014
BornPeter Soyer Beagle
(1939-04-20) April 20, 1939 (age 85)
New York City, US
OccupationNovelist, screenwriter
Notable worksThe Last Unicorn
Notable awardsHugo Award

Nebula Award
World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement

Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award

Peter Soyer Beagle (born April 20, 1939) is an American novelist and screenwriter, especially of fantasy fiction.[1] His best-known work is The Last Unicorn (1968) which Locus subscribers voted the number five "All-Time Best Fantasy Novel" in 1987.[2] During the last twenty-five years he has won several literary awards, including a World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2011.[3] He was named Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master by SFWA in 2018.[4]

Early life

Beagle was born in Manhattan on April 20, 1939, the son of Simon Beagle and Rebecca Soyer. Three of his uncles were noted painters: Moses, Raphael, and Isaac Soyer.[citation needed]

Beagle has said that The Wind in the Willows, a classic of children's literature by Kenneth Grahame, originally attracted him to the genre of fantasy.[5]


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Beagle was raised in Bronx, New York, and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1955. He garnered early recognition from The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, winning a scholarship to University of Pittsburgh for a poem he submitted as a high school senior. He went on to graduate from the university with a degree in creative writing. Following a year overseas, Beagle held the graduate Stegner Fellowship in creative writing at Stanford University, where he overlapped with Ken Kesey, Gurney Norman, and Larry McMurtry.

Beagle wrote his first novel, A Fine and Private Place, when he was 19 years old, following it with a memoir, I See by My Outfit, in 1965.

Beagle with the Inkpot Award at San Diego Comic-Con, 2006

He wrote an introduction for an American print edition of The Lord of the Rings. He and Chris Conkling co-wrote the screenplay for the 1978 Ralph Bakshi-animated version of The Lord of the Rings. Two decades later he wrote the teleplay for "Sarek", episode 71 of the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation.

With David Carlson as composer Beagle adapted his story "Come, Lady Death" into the libretto for an opera, The Midnight Angel, which premiered at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 1993.[6]

In 2005, Beagle published a coda to The Last Unicorn, a novelette entitled "Two Hearts", and began work on a full-novel sequel. Two Hearts won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 2006 and the parallel Nebula Award in 2007. It was also nominated as a short fiction finalist for the World Fantasy Award. Beagle also received a special Inkpot Award in 2006 for Outstanding Achievement in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and in 2007 the inaugural WSFA Small Press Award for "El Regalo", published in The Line Between (Tachyon Publications).[3]

He is also a winner of the Jack Trevor Story Cup, also known as the Prix du Goncourt, awarded to an outstanding humorous writer.[citation needed]

Beagle in 2006

IDW Publishing released a six-issue comic book adaptation of The Last Unicorn beginning in April 2010. The collected hardcover edition was released in January 2011, premiering at #2 on the New York Times Hardcover Graphic Novel bestseller list.

Beagle's 2009 collection of short fiction, We Never Talk About My Brother, was nominated for a World Fantasy Award.[3]

In 2013, he collaborated with the musician Phildel on a new track "Dark Water Down", mixing poetry and music. They then appeared together at a gig at Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco.[7]

Dispute with Granada media

Beagle's book The Last Unicorn was made into an animated film of the same name in 1982, based on a screenplay written by Beagle himself. In 1979, Beagle had a contract with ITC Entertainment, which entitled Beagle to 5% of the net profits in the animated property, and 5% of the gross revenues from any film-related merchandising. Since 1999 this film has been controlled by a British company, Granada Media International (a subsidiary of ITV plc).

From 2003 through 2011, Beagle was involved in a financial dispute with Granada over nonpayment of contractually due profit and merchandising shares. On July 29, 2011, Beagle announced at his Otakon appearance that he and ITV had reached an agreement that was beneficial to all parties, and should please fans of The Last Unicorn. On October 14, 2011, at his New York Comic Con appearance, he announced the first results of the deal.[citation needed]

Dispute with Connor Cochran

Beagle sued his former manager Connor Cochran in 2015 for $52 million. The Alameda County Superior Court judge Michael M. Markman found Cochran liable for financial elder abuse, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty, awarding Beagle $325,000, as well as an additional $7500 for defamation, and an undetermined amount in attorney's fees.[8]

Cochran declared bankruptcy sixteen hours before the trial was due to begin. Beagle was unable to collect the money Cochran owed, and the rights to Beagle's work were left in legal limbo. In February 2021, Beagle regained the intellectual property rights.[9]


This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (November 2020)

Novels and chapbooks

Beagle talking to readers in Rochester, Minnesota in 2014
As editor

Short fiction




These five audiobooks are unabridged readings by Beagle, except the first, which is abridged. Giant Bones is a collection of short fiction; the others are novels.




Source: The Locus Index to SF Awards[3]

These are annual "best of the year" literary awards, with three exceptions (‡).

That is, best foreign-language short fiction published July 2002 to June 2003, for the French edition (Gallimard, 2002, ISBN 9782070421473) of The Rhinoceros Who Quoted Nietzsche and Other Odd Acquaintances (1997)[21]

In 1987, Locus ranked The Last Unicorn number five among the 33 all-time best fantasy novels, based on a poll of subscribers.[2] The 1998 rendition of the poll considered many book series as single entries and ranked The Last Unicorn number 18.[23]


  1. ^ "Peter S Beagle". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Locus Poll Best All-time Novel Results: 1987, fantasy novels". Locus. Retrieved April 18, 2012. Originally published in the monthly Locus, August 1987.
  3. ^ a b c d "Peter S. Beagle" Archived August 29, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Literary Nominees. Locus Publications. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Beagle Named SFWA Grand Master". Locus Magazine. January 23, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  5. ^ Cristopher Hennessey-DeRose (June 19, 2006). "Peter S. Beagle goes back to his fine and private place to continue the saga of The Last Unicorn". Science Fiction Weekly. Archived from the original on March 25, 2009. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  6. ^ "Review/Opera; Death Visits a Dissonant Family in a New Work by David Carlson". The New York Times. June 14, 1993. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  7. ^ "Phildel featuring "Dark Water Down" poetry and music by Peter S. Beagle and Phildel and TBA". Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  8. ^ "State Judge Awards Peter S. Beagle $332K in Damages". June 25, 2019.
  9. ^ "'The Last Unicorn' Returns Home: Renowned Fantasy Author & Screenwriter Peter S. Beagle Prevails After Multi-Year Legal Battles Against Elder Abuse and to Regain Control of His Literary Legacy" (Press release).
  10. ^ "The Essential Peter S. Beagle, Vol. 1: Lila the Werewolf and Other Stories". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved August 14, 2023.
  11. ^ "Summerlong - Tachyon Publications".
  12. ^ "In Calabria - Tachyon Publications".
  13. ^ "The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey - Tachyon Publications". June 18, 2023.
  14. ^ Beagle, Peter S. (May 14, 2024). I'm Afraid You've Got Dragons. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-6680-2527-7.
  15. ^ "Secret History of Fantasy, The - Tachyon Publications".
  16. ^ "The Urban Fantasy Anthology - Tachyon Publications".
  17. ^ "The New Voices of Fantasy - Tachyon Publications".
  18. ^ "The Overneath - Tachyon Publications".
  19. ^ ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ "jeff slingluff : line 6 - Google Search".
  21. ^ "Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire 2004" Archived August 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. GPI: Palmarès. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  22. ^ Inkpot Award
  23. ^ The Locus Online website links multiple pages providing the results of several polls and a little other information. "The Locus Index to SF Awards: 1998 Locus All-Time Poll". Locus Publications. Archived from the original on January 13, 2004. Retrieved April 25, 2012.