Unicorn Mountain by Michael Bishop


ParanormalUnicorn Mountain by Michael Bishop

Unicorn MountainMichael Bishop; Arbor House 1988WorldCat 

Libby owns and runs a ranch near Snowy Falls, Colorado. Her only regular ranchand is Sam Coldpony, a full blooded Ute. Her ex-husband shows up and tells her about his cousin who is dying of AIDS. Even though they are no longer related, she remembers Bo fondly. She flies to Atlanta and takes Bo back to Colorado with her.

Sam is concerned about his boss bringing back her ex-cousin-in-law. Not because Bo has AIDS, or that he is homosexual, but that he might discover their secret. There, on Libby’s ranch, there is some sort of portal that allows kar’tajans (the Ute word for unicorns) through from another dimension. He and Libby have both seen them. What would happen if other people found out about these beasts that are not mythical after all?

Libby, Sam, and Bo live together in mid-1980’s Colorado. AIDS is still a disease that mainly afflicts homosexual men. To admit you had AIDS is to admit you were homosexual. They live on a normal ranch except for the kar’tajans and for the ghost of Sam’s ex-wife visiting him. Of course there are the strange television shows Bo watches most evenings. The programs feature new, unseen broadcasts of dead people.

What a fascinating book! A 1980’s typical Colorado ranch. A 30-year-old divorcee ex-hippie running a ranch. A Ute who has left his tribe and his daughter. A man who has shamed his parents with his homosexuality and is dying of AIDS. This is the stuff a good fiction novel can study. Throw in unicorns and ghosts and it turns into a fantasy novel that is unexpected and believable.

This book gets preachy at times, preaching tolerance for homosexuality and AIDS. Otherwise, it is an appealing book.

Note: This book deals with sensitive issues and has sexual content (nothing explixit) as well as a mocking attitude on some characters’ parts regarding homosexuality.

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