Magic for Beginners

By Kelly Link, Shelley Jackson (illustrator),

Book cover of Magic for Beginners

Book description

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…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Magic for Beginners as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

While trending more toward the fantasy side, then the previous picks on the list here, Link still manages to pull out some of the most unsettling moments in a short story that I’ve ever read.

When I finished her story “Some Zombie Contingency Plans,” I found myself immediately flipping back to the beginning of the story and reading it fresh. Link is masterful when it comes to weaving together narrative threads, playing literary sleight of hand. While the collection and one of the stories within are called “Magic for Beginners,” she’s very much an expert.

The cross-genre blending is very…

After discovering Kelly Link in the Slipstream Anthology through her story, "The Specialist’s Hat", I wanted to read more. Magic for Beginners, her first collection, did not disappoint. Links’s imagination knows no bounds. She uses fantastical, sometimes whimsical, always surprising elements that mix fantasy with reality, and just when you think she’s reached the limits of imagination, she goes effortlessly forward to invent even more incredible layers. Her writing is wonderfully playful, with a sense of imaginative joy and a deeply knowledgeable foundation in fantasy, science fiction, and contemporary American culture.

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