09 September 2010

Wizards, Inc. - Martin H. Greenberg and Loren L. Coleman (Editors)

  • Author: Martin H. Greenberg & Loren L. Coleman (Editors)
  • Title: Wizards, Inc.
  • Publisher: DAW 2007
  • ISBN: 978 0756404390
"What do you do for a living??" is, according to the blurb on the back cover, one of those questions that you will ask and be asked often during your lifetime. It's one of those things you ask to try to find some common ground, something to talk about, especially when you can't really find any obvious topic of conversation. Like, ya know, when you get introduced to some Gucci wearing, short haired, conservative looking Young Liberal types, the kind of people you'd rather punch than talk to.

Marty Greenberg and Loren Coleman have gathered together a bunch of original stories from a range of excellent genre authors who's stories take a look at life in the case where the answer to the question "What's your job, mate?" is "I'm a Wizard." Which is a pretty cool job, I reckon. Almost as cool as being a genre anthology editor...

The stories are for the most part pretty lightweight. It's a fun book to read, not too heavy, not too serious. I do quite like small paperbacks, since they are easy to hold up in one hand while you are laying down on the couch/bed reading while using as little energy as possible. My natural state, as it happens.

A look at the stories will magically appear, after the jump link!!

The Stories Are.......
  • Jamaica - Orson Scott Card: I actually think this could have been a much better story, but Card had to slip in his little Jesus bit at the end and spoiled it. The story of a teenager who's life is fairly ordinary except that he is a bit magic, his brother is crippled and his mommy is single. A mean teacher attempts to humiliate him at school one day. Magic, vomit, 11 twists and a surprise appearance by the Emperor of the World ensue.
  • Audition - Steve Perry: Corporate Security Sorcery and Ghostbusting in rainy Seattle. A really sweet story  despite the premise, I'll be looking out for Steve Perry in future.
  • Back Door Magic - Phaedra M. Weldon: A story about the importance of self confidence, with a really great ending. I was quite impressed with how thoroughly manipulated I was emotionally by this author!
  • Occupational Hazard - Mike Resnick: Mr Resnick can be relied on to blow your mind and make you laugh every time he commits words to print. This is one of his 'Harry the Book' stories, about a wizard SP bookie, his offsiders, and the lively world of bookmaking in a world full of magic. Gently Gently Dawkins and Benny Fifth Street might not be the brightest sparks, but they are loyal and kind, when it counts. And don't ever try to cheat Harry the Book.
  • Ties That Bind - Annie Reed: A really neat story about a young lady who is running the Magical Equipment business that she inherited from her father when he died in tragic circumstances. Obvious, but still one of the best in the book.
  • Hostile Takeover - Nina Kiriki Hoffman: A surly twenty something witch takes an untrained wizard under her wing when she spots him at Uni, with surprising outcomes. Excellent
  • A Different Way into the Life - Joseph E. Lake Jr: Good story, but all over the place in terms of plot. Java found this one really confusing, and didn't finish it. I thought it was just OK.
  • Disaster Relief - Kristine Katheryn Rusch: FANBOI WARNING: Nothing I say about this story can be taken at face value, because KKR is the greatest. She's in my all time top ten.
  • KidPro - Laura Anne Gilman: I quite liked where this one was going, kids recruited by a big corporation to do magic on the stockmarket before their magic ran out at 15 or so. It was quite a let down at the end, I think because it ended before I was really ready. Good premise, started strong but ended too quickly. I'd love to see a version of this story done as a novel actually.
  • Stocks and Bondage - Esther M. Friesner: A quite clever comedy piece in which a new recruit discovers that his terms of employment are a bit, erm, distasteful. And possibly downright dangerous. Luckily, a lady with a beard saves the day! Hooray for Beards!
  • The Keeper of Morals - Dean Wesley Smith: Oh, this one was clever. A brilliant but highly moral young lawyer has his morality magically taken away and stored (without his knowledge) by his employers.
  • Cosmic Balances Inc - Kristine Grayson: Hell is a cubicle workstation with fluorescent lighting.
  • Theobroma - Diane Duane: Ah, the old magically chocolate story. Really good one two. Made me jealous of the American attitude to WiFi. I love a good magical detective story.
  • Chocolate Alchemy - Lisa Silverthorne: A bitter sweet tale of corporate politics, romance and chocolate. I really liked this one.
  • No Rest for the Wicked - Michael A. Stackpole: A Trick Malloy story! Trick is an ex-cop, a wizard whos trigger is whiskey. Years ago, he was thrown of the police force because of false allegations of bribery, and these days he works as a bouncer and freelance investigator. In this story, Tricks arch nemesis and current employer, the rotten to the core Johnny Dawes is beheaded by his own jewellery. In his own club. Trick is forced to investigate by the white suited wanker who had him thrown of the police force years ago, and the outcome is so unexpected, I didn't expect it.
And that's it. It's not Dickens. It is just fun. I loved reading this book, and you will too. If you don't, I'll give you your money back. Honest!