Look, around here, we’ve read a lot of novels about interstellar space travel, and encountered more than our share of weird ways humanity finds to travel between the stars (for example). It takes a lot of creativity to surprise us these days—which is why the premise of T.J. Berry’s genre-mashing debut Space Unicorn Blues immediately caught our interest. In a world in which some humans have the properties of magical creatures of myth, those with special powers are treated like slaves and mined for their resources. People like Gary Cobalt, who is half-unicorn, and has been held captive for years by Captain Jenny Perata, who grinds down his horn to power her faster-than-light engines.
A unicorn’s horn—from a half-human unicorn no less—as the basis for FTL travel? That’s a new one.
Which is why we’re so excited to read this one when it is released by Angry Robot in July and to show off the cover, designed by Lee Gibbons of Argh! Nottingham (best company name ever). Check it out below the official synopsis.
A crew of misfits race across the galaxy to prevent the genocide of magical creatures, in this unique science fiction debut
Having magical powers makes you less than human, a resource to be exploited. Half-unicorn Gary Cobalt is sick of slavery, captivity, and his horn being ground down to power faster-than-light travel. When he’s finally free, all he wants is to run away in his ancestors’ stone ship. Instead, Captain Jenny Perata steals the ship out from under him, so she can make an urgent delivery. But Jenny held him captive for a decade, and then Gary murdered her best friend…who was also the wife of her co-pilot, Cowboy Jim. What could possibly go right?
Gotta love that tagline.
T.J. Berry has been a political blogger, bakery owner, and spent a disastrous two weeks working in a razor blade factory. She now writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror from Seattle with considerably fewer on the job injuries, and co-hosts the Warp Drives podcast with her husband. Her fiction has appeared on Pseudopod and PodCastle.