There’s more to being an imaginary mythical creature than chasing rainbows and dancing in the rain. The unicorns I know are constantly dealing, not just with issues we’re all intimately familiar with—erectile dysfunction, failing to find a job in these recessionary times, under-representation in government, and crack addiction, which they are particularly susceptible to—but also with the peculiar brand of existential angst that goes along with, well, being a fictional construct.
Just think about the meta-fictional possibilities here. You could have a unicorn, writing about a unicorn, writing about a unicorn, none of whom actually exist. Hell, send them to the stars in a particularly futile attempt to find meaning in a cosmos that insists they’re only real to children under five and adolescent boys trying shrooms for the first time while on vacation in Amsterdam. That was oddly specific, wasn’t it? Anyway. Science fictional possibilities. Watch as the advanced technologies that come hand-in-hand with interplanetary travel—technologies like genetic engineering—stratify the fabric of unicorn society, creating unbridgeable gaps between those with big horns and those with small, between those who fart rainbows and those who must content themselves with chasing after the rainbows farted out by others.
Throw in a love triangle. Does Brown Sugar, with her genetically engineered rainbow farting capabilities, choose to follow her heart and make crazy passionate one-night-stand love to Sweetness, despite his lower class upbringing and modest horn size, or does she abide by the social mores of her futuristic times and make crazy passionate one-night-stand love to Angel, whose horn is roughly the size of Battlestar Galactica? Switch point of view in mid-sentence to Sweetness, who, after he is inevitably rejected, snorts some coke in a back alley off the lithe metal body of a robotic-equine-hooker and then goes home, and in his drug-addled state, proceeds to live vicariously through a virtual avatar whose horn-size he can customize to his liking.
The possibilities here are endless. And that’s why I think young adult fiction with unicorn protagonists is an untapped literary coal mine. The only question is, what bold pioneer is going to strip mine the shit out of it?