Splendid selection some of which are introductions to some of her later work:
THE LADY IN THE TOWER is about The Rowan. HONEYMOON is about The Shio Who Sang. THE SMALLEST DRAGON BOY is about a soon to be dragonrider of Perm. These are just 3 of her imaginative stories! They have stood the test of time & are worth reading again.
An early and rare book of short stories by Anne McCaffery. If you are a fan of her, you will love them.
List of stories within the book Get Off the Unicorn by Anne McCaffrey. 1977
[The title was intended to be Get of the Unicorn, but the typo survived] Parentheses are for the later series that they link to/have characters from.
â¢ Lady in the Tower (Tower & the Hive series)
â¢ A Meeting of Minds (Tower & the Hive series)
â¢ Dull Drums
â¢ Weather on Welladay
â¢ The Thorns of Barevi (Catteni/Freedom series)
â¢ Horse from a Different Sea
â¢ The Great Canine Chorus
â¢ Finder's Keepers (Pegasus/Talents series)
â¢ A Proper Santa Claus
â¢ The Smallest Dragon Boy (Pern series)
â¢ Apple (Pegasus/Talents series)
â¢ Honeymoon (Brain & Brawn series)
A great mix of short stories from McCaffrey. She also includes an explaination for why each story was written, which was nice.
I'll at least mention all 13 stories, none of which have anything to do with Acorna, to the best of my limited knowledge of that book. McCaffrey originally intended to call *this* book _Get *Of* the Unicorn_, but she felt that the name suggested by a printing error had more pizzazz. The cover art on the current edition is from "The Smallest Dragonboy", the only Pern story in the book.
My first thought when _The Rowan_ came out, and again when I first leafed through _Freedom's Landing_: "She decided to roll those ideas out of storage after all." It's been a little surreal, wondering if I alone remembered the original short stories. :)
"Lady in the Tower" (1959) and "A Meeting of Minds" (1969) - the predecessors to _The Rowan_ and _Damia_.
"Daughter" (1971), "Dull Drums" (1973) - Nick and Nora (no, not Charles, but Fenn) are the twin children of a farmer who's obsessed with having Nick enter the family business (he couldn't care much less about his daughter, or that Nick wants to work with animals instead). Guess which twin gets the higher scholastic scores? "Daughter" is a bit predictable, but these two stories are OK, really. They're set in what would now be the near future; the academic system works differently. The vibes are a bit like the _Pegasus_ universe, to me, without the ESP.
"Changeling" - This self-described 'unusual experiment in human relationships' seems to have some gaping plot holes. Claire, living with Roy and Ellyot (who have a relationship), apparently married her husband, Chess, mostly to have children. The story never covers the details of how Chess went from storming out of his first meeting with Roy to the point of not only moving in, but accepting `oh by the way, I want to have Roy's child first, by artificial insemination'. We're not told, much less shown, how/why Chess changed his attitude; in fact, the story jumps from `architect for the new kitchen' to `husband' in about a paragraph.
"Weather on Welladay" (1969) - This one was written to fit the cover art of the magazine it originally appeared in. Whaling, on Welladay, means 'milking' the whales for radioactive iodine - now someone's pirating iodine and leaving whales to die.
"The Thorns of Barevi" (1970) - The origin of the Freedom series; originally written to cash in on the soft-porn market, as mentioned by an earlier reviewer.
"Horse from a Different Sea" - This is a sly reversal of the 'aliens need our women' type of plot in movies like "I Married a Monster from Outer Space" (not a bad movie, actually). Here, the alien passing herself off as a prostitute needs men - but *they're* the ones who become pregnant. The town doctor is the narrator for this one. Most of them are grown men cheating on their wives; the Boy Scout mentioned by a previous reviewer is an exception.
"Great Canine Chorus" (1971) - One night on their beat, Pete Roberts' K-9 partner, Wizard, acts a bit as though he's possessed. He is - by Maria, a 9-year-old telepath suffering from neglect. She has several parapsychic abilities, compensating for being blind, deaf, and paralyzed - and she's terrified of being taken away and cut up because her body doesn't work right. Enough that she uses her powers to keep Roberts from doing anything more than sending food to her via Wizard. Then she figures out other ways to get what she wants...
"Finder's Keeper" (1973) - Young Peter Anderson has a carefully concealed talent for 'finding'. Since his mother got too sick to work at the diner, he's been using it to help with his part-time work as a caddy (great for finding golf balls). Now Fargo, a sleazy detective, has figured out Peter's secret - and is using the threat of exposure to get Peter to do his own job for free. If you like this one, try Andre Norton's _Red Hart Magic_; Nan Mallory in "The King's Hunters" has the same gift.
"A Proper Santa Claus" (1973) - Little Jeremy's wild talent is that he can make his artwork come to life.
"The Smallest Dragonboy" (1973) - Keevan is the youngest boy at Benden Weyr who's old enough for Impression when Ramoth's latest clutch hatches. Some of the older candidates (old enough to be getting desperate) start getting their jollies by harassing him. (No wonder they were rejects in previous Impressions.) In later books, he appears as K'van, Heth's rider (even in the index of _Dragonflight_, which includes several characters who hadn't been born yet, e.g. Menolly). Heth was part of Jaxom and Ruth's team in _All the Weyrs of Pern_.
"Apple" (1969) - As in, the bad apple that spoils the barrel. The Talents have to hunt down and contain a young woman who has harnessed her abilities, only to cut loose on a crime spree. For best results, you should really read this as part of _To Ride Pegasus_, since it works on the assumption that you know Daffyd and company already.
"Honeymoon" - In "The Partnered Ship", the last story of _The Ship Who Sang_, Helva extended her contract, and acquired Parollan as her new brawn, preparatory to a 2nd mission to Beta Corvi. ("Dramatic Mission" in that book covers mission #1.) "Honeymoon" picks up where "The Partnered Ship" left off - Helva's first voyage with Niall Parollan. You *really* need to read _The Ship Who Sang_ first. (When Parollan's in port, incidentally, he's a party animal - and his idea of a date is a group of triplets.)