Australian Fantasy (was Re: Obernewtyn (was recommended books))

Kathryn Andersen kat_lists at
Tue Jun 25 07:49:59 EDT 2002

On Mon, Jun 24, 2002 at 11:01:04AM -0600, Melissa Proffitt wrote:
> I was wondering if perhaps an Australian unicorn might look different from
> the "traditional" image.  Sort of the way Oriental dragons are different
> from Occidental ones.  (Okay, some of that is because they come from
> different traditions, different mythologies, but still.)  Or an African
> unicorn.  I could easily picture an author digging right down to the roots
> of what makes a unicorn a unicorn, and rebuilding it from those foundations
> in the shape of some other country or climate.  I don't know how
> well-accepted it would be--some people are very picky about their fantasy
> settings--but it might be an interesting change.

Wow, what an interesting idea!

Tossing some thoughts....

One could have a black unicorn, like the black swans, but I think that
would be rather inauspicious.

Or the Australian Unicorn could be something of surface resemblance,
like the Australian Magpie which, while it looks like a European Magpie
in that it's black and white, has quite different behaviour (and the
most beeaaautiful song, which I gather the European Magpie does not).
So, it could be that the deceptively Australian Unicorn could have
completely different properties like, er, singing like Sirens or
something... ah but that would make it a bit too like the Kelpie,
wouldn't it...?

But if we're talking building from roots, then... say that the Unicorns
came over with the Brumbies, and walk in the wilds like they do, nimble
and wild, the colour of sandstone and heat-haze, seen, but not seen, in
the dappled shade of the trees...

Kathryn Andersen
Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.
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