Magic for Beginners (novella)

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"Magic for Beginners" is a fantasy novella by American writer Kelly Link. It was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in September 2005. It was subsequently published in Link's collection of the same name,[1] as well as in her collection Pretty Monsters,[2] in the 2007 Nebula Award Showcase,[3] and in the John Joseph Adams-edited anthology "Other Worlds Than These".[4]

Setting[edit]

Jeremy Mars is a young teenager who (like many of his friends) is a fan of — and also a character in — a mysterious television program called "The Library". The story follows his life, and those of his friends and family, as various episodes of "The Library" are broadcast at irregular intervals.

Reception[edit]

"Magic for Beginners" won the 2006 Nebula Award for Best Novella,[5] the 2005 BSFA Award for Short Fiction,[6] and the 2006 Locus Award for Best Novella,[7] and was nominated for the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Novella,[8] the 2006 World Fantasy Award for Best Novella,[9] and the 2006 Theodore Sturgeon Award.[10]

Nancy Pearl compared "Magic for Beginners" to M.C. Escher's Drawing Hands, saying that it is "intricate, wildly imaginative and totally wonderful".[11] Cory Doctorow called it the "standout" story in Link's 2006 similarly-titled anthology, describing it as "absurdist magic realism, like Douglas Coupland wandering through a Marquez novel".[12] At the SF Site, Rich Horton stated that "Beginners" was "one of (his) favorite stories of this decade", and "a delight",[13] while at Subterranean Press Magazine, Dorman T. Shindler compared it to being mildly intoxicated.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Magic for Beginners at KellyLink.net; retrieved 15 May 2014
  2. ^ Pretty Monsters, at KellyLink.net; retrieved 15 May 2014
  3. ^ a b Review: Nebula Awards Showcase 2007 edited by Mike Resnick, by Dorman T. Shindler, at Subterranean Press; published Spring 2007; retrieved May 15, 2014; "“Magic For Beginners” is a bemused, slightly distant narrative (in an I got a great buzz from that beer/joint or whatever way)"
  4. ^ Table of Contents: Other Worlds Than These, at JohnJosephAdams.com; retrieved May 15, 2014
  5. ^ Nebula Awards Winners, at Locus; published 6 May 2006; retrieved 15 May 2014
  6. ^ BSFA Awards, at the British Science Fiction Association; retrieved May 15, 2014
  7. ^ Locus Awards Winners, at Locus; published 17 June 2006; retrieved 15 May 2014
  8. ^ 2006 Hugo Awards Nominations, at SF Signal, by John DeNardo; published 22 March 2006; retrieved 15 March 2014
  9. ^ 2006 World Fantasy Awards Ballot Archived 2007-07-22 at the Wayback Machine., at the World Fantasy Convention, published 2006; retrieved 15 May 2014
  10. ^ The Theodore Sturgeon Award, at the Center for the Study of Science Fiction; published no later than Archived 2012-11-19 at WebCite; retrieved May 15, 2014
  11. ^ Under the Radar: Books Not to Miss, by Nancy Pearl; at National Public Radio; published 8 May 2007; retrieved 15 May 2014
  12. ^ Kelly Link's "Magic for Beginners" - knockout short story collection, by Cory Doctorow, at Boing Boing; published February 7, 2006; retrieved May 15, 2014
  13. ^ Featured Review: Pretty Monsters, by Rich Horton, at the SF Site; published 2009; retrieved May 15, 2014