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Waldo and Magic Inc.

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  7,110 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
North Power-Air was in trouble. Their aircraft had begun to crash at an alarming rate, and no one could figure out what was going wrong. Desperate for an answer, they turned to Waldo, the crippled genius who lived in a zero-g home in orbit around Earth.

But Waldo had little reason to want to help the rest of humanity until he learned that the solution to their problems als
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Paperback, 0 pages
Published January 2nd 1970 by Roc (first published January 1st 1950)
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Community Reviews

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Marilyn
Nov 04, 2012 Marilyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I'm astonished so many people read this and miss the point. Some folks apparently don't see any connection between the two stories and think these novellas are in a single volume by a fluke or "to fill up space." Either they didn't really read it or they are conceptually challenged, unable to make a logical leap between two related ideas without a flow chart.

The point is that technology is a based on the belief that it will work. As long as we believe in it, it functions; if or when we stop bel
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William
Oct 29, 2016 William rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Waldo by Robert Heinlein
I read this book many years ago; I was probably 15 or 16. As a budding engineer and scientist, I completely understood how remote manipulators "Waldoes" would work in the future.

In November of 2013, I had my prostate and seminal vesicles removed surgically, due to locally advanced prostate cancer. The surgeon is the brilliant Dr Chris Ogden, and his instrument is the DaVinci surgical robot, a waldo. The robot has 4 arms inside you, and the surgeon sits at a stereoscopic w
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Manny
Feb 16, 2009 Manny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction

Waldo, the world's greatest expert on building remote controlled manipulators, wants to know why things are malfunctioning. It seems to be a problem that happens at very small scales. So he takes his smallest manipulator, and uses that to build an even smaller manipulator. Then he uses that to build a smaller manipulator still. Then... well, you get the picture. Pretty soon, he's moving individual atoms around.

I read this story in the early 70s, and here's a question I'm surprised didn't occur t
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Kat  Hooper
Apr 18, 2014 Kat Hooper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature. http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

Waldo & Magic, Inc is a collection of two seemingly unrelated stories by Robert A. Heinlein (though both involve magic “lose in the world”). I listened to the recent audio version produced by Brilliance Audio. MacLeod Andrews, who I always like, narrates. William H. Patterson Jr provides an introduction to the stories and Tim Powers provides an afterword.

The first story, “Waldo,” was originally published in Asto
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Monica
Feb 04, 2017 Monica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Ya sabemos, o por lo menos los suficientemente introducidos en Heinlein, que el maestro de sci fi por excelencia tocaba, trataba y fusionaba deliberadamente ambas ciencias. Ésta no es otra excepción, ya que mediante una dinámica y entretenida historia , que mezcla la fantasía con las Sociales, el autor vuelve a hacer gala de su crítica más ácida hacía ciertas profesiones, poco nobles por naturaleza moral, con los embustes y líos innecesarios que conllevan los trámites y protocolos políticos. Ade ...more
Rebekah
Jul 24, 2016 Rebekah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Heinleinian romp through mid-century libertarianism, social problems, and of course, the line between science and magic. Heinlein was ahead of his time and is now way the hell behind ours; it's fascinating to read his once cutting-edge work as it fades.

ETA: Goodreads lists this as a 1986 publication, which it totally was not. This novella pair was published in 1950 (and written in the early 1940s).
Bruce
Mar 11, 2015 Bruce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Mediocre Heinlein. 2 short novels. Waldo starts out as a proper technological fix the problem story then gets very weird, jumps the shark. Not satisfying as a story. Magic Inc. is readable but not outstanding; the depiction of the mechanics of the political process is however just as fresh and relevant as when it was written over 60 years ago. Nice ways to kill time if you have nothing better to do, but yeah, skip Waldo completely I reckon.
John
Nov 25, 2014 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
1977 grade A+
2010 grade A
Valerie
For a long time remote handling devices were called 'waldoes' after the central character in the first part. I was most interested in the fact that Waldo, handicapped by myaesthenia gravis, moved to an outer space habitat on the proceeds of the waldos. This marked the first time I'd ever HEARD of myaesthenia gravis.

The second part (Magic Inc) is basically unrelated. I figure the page count turned up short, so they just plugged in another short story of about the right length, with a little cutti
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Pruitt
Sep 11, 2012 Pruitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally got around to reading this classic novella from the master of SciFi, Robert Heinlein. Not sure why I've never read it before now, but I'm glad I finally got around to it. A very enjoyable novella length near-future story that with a number of twists and turns in it that I found to be a very enjoyable read. As always, Heinlein makes you think when you read his stories, and this one is no exception. Definitely on my recommended list.
William Ritch
May 14, 2011 William Ritch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, fantasy, heinlein
The great thing about reading a book you read more than 25 years ago is that it is almost like reading a brand new book. I had vague, happy, memories of what went on in these stories - but I remember that Waldo was this genius who had very weak muscles and I remember about the "vanishing food" at restaurants in "Magic, Inc."

There is much richness in these stories and I can see now how even in these stories Heinlein influenced my philosophy, politics, and economics.
Ariel
Jan 15, 2017 Ariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Waldo was very interesting: I had some mixed feelings about the whole "energy from nowhere"thing and keeping things going by imagination.... I was hoping he'd explore its source a little more, it's an uncomfortable concept to be honest, but I suppose leaving it vague and unexplored was the point.

Magic, Inc was an interesting take on magic in the modern world with issues such as certifications, licenses, businesses, laws, and monopolies on the use of magic.
Ruby Hollyberry
One of the fascinating things about these two novellas (and perhaps why they are always bound together) is that Waldo is about the discipline of Magick, whereas Magic, Inc. is about the practice of politics.
Fredrick Danysh
When a company starts having it aircraft crashing at a fantastic rate, Waldo who is forced to live in zero gravity is contacted to identify the problem and develop a solution. He discovers that not only will the solution solve the company's problem but his own as well.
Thomas Strömquist
Sci-fi from the early 40's probably by definition has not aged well, no matter how skilled an author that penned it. Still, it's an OK read.
Louise Armstrong
I got a tatty, falling apart copy of this from the internet because I'd been reading Rupert Sheldrake and his theory of morphism reminded me of these stories - they are absolutely wonderful!!! Each page is packed with ideas. The last time I read this book there were no computers, and RAH didn't see them coming, but he was brilliant at so much else that it is still a great read. And yes, he thought of morphism first.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Waldo (1942) and Magic, Inc. (1940) are two (mostly) unrelated novellas that (mostly) wear their age well. The tenuous connection is that in both "magic is loose in the world" and there is talk of "laws" such as those of "sympathy," "contiguity" and "homeopathy" that rule magic, which is associated with another world, an alternate universe as it were, called the "Other World" in Waldo and the "Half-World" in Magic, Inc.. Waldo is more a hybrid of science-fiction and fantasy, starting out as stra ...more
Linda J. Sandahl
Heinlein is usually not thought of as a lyrical writer; his fantastic imagination usually ran along scientific and sociological lines. Waldo, written in 1942, is different.
True, the foundation is science; the story is set in a near-future of advanced technology, with the concomitant social changes. Society has become dependent on an easily produced electro-magnetic power that fuels industry and transportation. But suddenly the specialized motors running on the power have started to fail inexpli
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Tracey
Sep 05, 2007 Tracey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Heinlein fans and (at least "Magic, Inc.") possibly poli-sci majors
was in a re-reading mood, so got out my copy of Waldo & Magic, Inc. - two novellas combined into a slim paperback.

"Waldo" is supposedly the inspiration for waldoes - mechanical hands controlled remotely by gloves, found in medicine & industrial applications. The main character suffers from myasthenia gravis, a type of muscular atrophy, that renders him nearly helpless in any physical activity. He lives in his own space station, under zero gravity, and uses the eponymous equipment and h
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Dustin
May 25, 2008 Dustin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: persons
Recommended to Dustin by: Kevin Clark
This compilation of the two stories was first published as a book in 1950, but written in '40 ('Waldo') and '42 ('Magic, Inc.')... right about the time people realized computing was something computers were pretty good at.

In 'Waldo,' Heinlein's story is set in a world reliant on "radiant power" - energy beamed through thin air. The power company hasn't ever bothered to check if this is harmful to humans (it is) and the technology is so enmeshed into society there's no going back. Think: CELLPHON
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Ed
Aug 02, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compilation of novellas - Waldo (1942); Magic, Inc. (1942. Waldo gave rise to the term 'waldo' for 'hands' remotely run by bio-feedback for microscopic uses in miniature application, macroscopic uses for manipulation of weighty objects in assembly, and toxic applications, such as manipulation of nuclear fuel.

Waldo - North Power-Air was in trouble. Their aircraft had begun to crash at an alarming rate, and no one could figure out what was going wrong. Desperate for an answer, they turned to Waldo
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Craig
Aug 22, 2016 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the paperback many years ago and enjoyed listening to these two novellas on a long drive last weekend. Tim Powers contributes an illuminating afterward in which he points out that one is a fantasy told as a science fiction story and the other is a science fiction story told as a fantasy. Both are well known and acknowledged classics; Waldo has lent its name universally to remote-handling devices, and Magic, Inc., can arguably be named as a founder of the urban fantasy genre decades before ...more
Fantasy Literature
Waldo & Magic, Inc is a collection of two seemingly unrelated stories by Robert A. Heinlein (though both involve magic “lose in the world”). I listened to the recent audio version produced by Brilliance Audio. MacLeod Andrews, who I always like, narrates. William H. Patterson Jr provides an introduction to the stories and Tim Powers provides an afterword.

The first story, “Waldo,” was originally published in Astounding Magazine in 1942 under Heinlein’s penname, Anson MacDonald. The titular ch
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Matteo Pellegrini

Pubblicato negli Anni d'Oro della science fiction su « Astounding » con l'imprimatur di John Campbell e della sua concezione della narrativa fantascientifica e fantastica. Il tema sta tra il contrasto fra il « superuomo » e la realtà codificata. In questo romanzo l' inventiva di RAH si è scatenata: già il protagonista, un giovane genio condannato ad una esistenza assurda ed amara da una miastenia congenita, è un personaggio fuori dell'ordinario; e l'intera vicenda spinta fino al sovvertimento de

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Ainslee

Waldo's story is a little disjointed, the beginning and end make sense once finished, but meant that I was constantly trying to find the connection - and leaves the ending a little bit predictable.

Magic inc is a quick read, with well built characters for such a short story, but plays more along the lines of the supernatural -something I haven't often found in other books by Heinlein

Both entertaining and engaging for short stories, an interesting pairing in a single print, but they're complimenta
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Jc
Aug 28, 2016 Jc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As this is the 3rd or 4th time I read this since first encountering it in Junior High, I obviously must like it. This is truly classic Sci-Fi from a different world - the early 1940s. Among Heinlein's first successful stories, these oddly were never seen as related by the author himself. But his publisher around 1950 saw that they would work together, and with some initial mild protest by Heinlein, they have been published together ever since. Like much good older Sci-Fi, Heinlein could seem pre ...more
Peter
May 13, 2014 Peter rated it it was ok
I can't remember the last really good Heinlein novel I read. I went through some of the "juveniles" a few years ago that I really enjoyed. These stories were cute, I liked Magic, Inc., better, although points to Waldo for giving us, well, the Waldo as used in so many later sci-fi stories. Magic, Inc., had a sort of backhanded progressiveness toward the role of women in government, not quite the misogyny I've sometimes found in Heinlein, so that was interesting (and relevant to the current kerfuf ...more
Adrian
May 24, 2010 Adrian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Magic, Inc. but not the other book in this duo. Heinlein is a very, very crisp storyteller and uses words well. It seemed to me that the story was going along nicely and then suddenly finished up lickety-split in five pages. Spencer thinks its because it was a short story that outgrew itself. I'm going to look up some of the books that Heinlein was more famous for, because I like the way he wrote.
Metello
Aug 27, 2012 Metello rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: digitale, sci-fi
Spesso nella fantascienza la scienza, quando è in primo piano ha solo due ruoli: il mezzo per arrivare alla soluzione oppure la causa del problema.
In questo breve (88 pagine) racconto, questa logica viene ribaltata e il super scienziato si unisce allo stregone, mantenendo sempre un rigido punto di vista scientifico, veramente particolare!

Per il resto ben scritto, breve ma simpatico, non straordinario.
Jim
Oct 18, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The earliest Heinlein you can find, written in 1940 and 1942. I don't remember Magic, Inc., but rarely do I use a mouse without thinking of Waldo. Not exactly the same concept, but humans get inside these big robot-like contraptions that allow them to move big objects with finger movements inside specially connected gloves. You can see similar machines in Avatar. The datedness of the SF shows in many ways, as I recall, but I'll take that as a feature rather than a bug.
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Robert Anson Heinlein was an American novelist and science fiction writer. Often called "the dean of science fiction writers", he is one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of "hard science fiction".

He set a high standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of literary quality. He was the first SF writer to break into mainstre
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