Magic for Beginners

Magic for Beginners

Book - 2005
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Perseus Publishing
An engaging and funny second collection by an original voice.

Best of the Decade: Salon, The A.V. Club

"If I had to pick the most powerfully original voice in fantasy today, it would be Kelly Link. Her stories begin in a world very much like our own, but then, following some mysterious alien geometry, they twist themselves into something fantastic and, frequently, horrific. You won’t come out the same person you went in."—Lev Grossman, The Week

"Highly original."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Dazzling."—Entertainment Weekly (grade: A, Editor’s Choice)

"Darkly playful."—Michael Chabon

Best of the Year: Time Magazine, Salon, Boldtype, PopMatters.

Kelly Link’s engaging and funny stories riff on haunted convenience stores, husbands and wives, rabbits, zombies, weekly apocalyptic poker parties, witches, and cannons. Includes Hugo, Nebula, and Locus award winners. A Best of the Year pick from TIME,, and Book Sense. Illustrated by Shelley Jackson.

Kelly Link is the author of three collections of short fiction Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, and Pretty Monsters. Her short stories have won three Nebula, a Hugo, and a World Fantasy Award. She was born in Miami, Florida, and once won a free trip around the world by answering the question “Why do you want to go through the world?” (”Because you can’t go through it.”)

Link lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she and her husband, Gavin J. Grant, run Small Beer Press, co-edit the fantasy half of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and play ping-pong. In 1996 they started the occasional zine Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.

Publisher: Northhampton, MA : Small Beer Press : Distributed to the trade by SCB Distributors, c2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781931520157
Branch Call Number: Fiction Lin
Characteristics: 272 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Jackson, Shelley


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Feb 13, 2015

Link’s “Stone Animals” is a brilliant short story that starts off in a very normal, contemporary fiction kind of way, filled with psychological realism. It then free falls, veering sinisterly into the dark and fantastical. A lot of reviewers have thrown the term “magical realism” around when discussing the story, but for me personally, I think "Stone Animals" is a foray into horror.

The “haunted house" aspect is an inference we can make, and so we’re immediately primed to expect strange things to happen. And they do. Everyday objects outside and inside the home begin to emanate something strange. Thankfully, there are never any obvious confrontations with ghosts or poltergeists or anything outwardly paranormal. What happens outwardly is that the family starts to grow apart. They become increasingly alienated from each other and from their own things in the house. Their house is unfamiliar because its new, they just moved in, and their discomfort and unease are to be expected. But then that strangeness begins to permeate and spread—the TV, the alarm clock, and the family cat are affected in some way—until everyone starts to feel unhinged and out of control.

Feb 19, 2010

i would say the premises were original, though to be fair a story about a handbag that can trap people within the magical realm inside it is pretty much old hat

Feb 07, 2010

Very well executed surreal stories. I didn't find the individual ideas particularly novel, but the way they were put together was very well done.


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Feb 07, 2010

dida thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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