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Space Unicorn Blues: 11/22/20
Space Unicorn Blues by T.J. Berry is a good follow up read for fans of Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente (2018). Imagine the classic fantasy creatures and put them in a galaxy similar to that of Firefly.
The book opens in a dive bar. Gary Cobalt is trying to win back his ship. He lost it when he was arrested for the grisly murder of a human. He's one of a kind with a unicorn father and a human mother. But he can't afford to let anyone know that, not when the Reason are trying to round up the Bala, and not when unicorn horn is a precious commodity.
Imagine if you will that FTL space travel runs on magic. The most efficient form is unicorn horn. A little sliver of it will take a ship good long way. Gary's horn is hidden somewhere on that ship he lost.
Meanwhile Captain Jenny has important cargo to deliver by a specific time for a conference. But she has her own side hustle which includes breaking her wife out of the Reason's Bala concentration camp.
I know what I'm describing sounds like a random collection of details that shouldn't work. Except they do. They work in the same way that Douglas Adams's jokes come together to tell a compelling tale of the end of humanity and its redemption in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Except this time the foundation feels more Discworld than Hitchhiker's.