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The Incompleat Enchanter (The Incompleat Enchanter #1)

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  847 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
The Mathematics of Magic - it was the greatest discovery ever. Or so thought Professor Harold Shea. With the proper equations he could instantly transport himself and his friend Reed Chalmers back - or sideways - in time to all the wondrous lands of ancient myth and legend.

But slips in time were a hazard. and Shea's magic didn't always work quite as he expected. A dragon s
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 25th 1979 by Sphere Books (first published 1940)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,821)
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Greg Curtis
Aug 13, 2011 Greg Curtis rated it it was amazing
Of the incomplete enchanter books the first was clearly the best which is why I have given it five stars and the complete enchanter four. Having said that they are both excellent reads.

This is a fast paced, enjoyable fantasy adventure in several parts in which our hero, an academic of course, finds himself whisked across parallel universes simply by an act of will and belief to mystical realms from books and legends, where he can suddenly find he can do magic. Its awesome as he realises that his
Norman Cook
Retro Hugo Award Finalists (1940)

• “The Roaring Trumpet” by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (Unknown, May 1940)
Professor Harold Shea discovers a way to transport himself back to a time of ancient legend. But instead of landing in Ireland as he wanted, Shea discovers he is really in the Scandinavia of Norse myth, hanging out with the likes of Thor and Loki. To his disappointment, Shea realizes that his modern artifacts such as matches don’t work in this land, but through trial and error man
Sep 30, 2015 Nigel rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I picked this up randomly from a used bookstore because the title caught my eye. It has a decent hook; namely, a handful of scientists and psychologists devise a mathematical formula that pushes people into alternate universes, and for some handwave-y reason these universes are based off existing myths and stories. Once in an alternate universe, they must use their wits and scientific knowledge to deal with the locals, figure out how magic works, and (ultimately) travel back home. This book incl ...more
Jan 12, 2016 Fabio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Weird psychologists find a way to travel to fictional worlds through magic performed via complex formal logic. The worlds they travel to are worlds of our myths and legends, and there the magic they can use depends on the narrative style, lexicon etc the original opera's author used. So they often have to invent some sorts of poem, appropriate for the setting, to get the desired effect - and while one of the two psychologists avoids trouble and try to focus on understanding said magic, the other ...more
Alessandro Paci
Jun 04, 2015 Alessandro Paci rated it it was amazing
Shelves: narrativa
Stupendo libro, assoluta poesia. L'ho adorato per la sua particolarità, per come giustifica l'esistenza della magia, l'esistenza dei mondi fantastici stessi, per l'assoluta logica e indiscussa varietà della storia. Meraviglioso, non esagero nel dire che sia uno dei fantasy che in assoluto mi è piaciuto di più.
May 26, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
This book was on my dad's shelf growing up, somewhere around where he kept Asimov, Aspirin, Heinlein, and so many others. I'm never really objective when reviewing, but here even less than normal. It's a part of my childhood. I wonder what I would think if I read it now?
Oct 31, 2014 Alexander rated it really liked it
Never thought I'd see the day where Frege's definition of a number is a key plot point in a fantasy novel...
Jess George
I enjoyed this light, fun tale of time-travel into mythical worlds.
Oct 10, 2014 Kim rated it liked it
One of those good old literature hopping humour stories. In these Harold Shea transports himself into the myths of Viking legend and then the world of Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene. I wouldn't say it is laugh out loud funny but is a nice romp and adventure nonetheless.
I must say I enjoyed the first half more than the second but that may well by the result of my familiarity with Norse Myth over Spenser's writings.
Will Shetterly
Jun 02, 2013 Will Shetterly rated it it was amazing
Loved this when I was in my teens. Dunno what I would think of it now, and would rather like to reread it someday to see. For now, consider this the rating of my young self, who might very well be wiser about these things than I am today.
Timothy Boyd
Feb 19, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very funny fantasy series. Great read. Very recommended
Aug 20, 2012 Polly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, adventure, adult
Very, very funny fantasy! Some scientists discover a formula that allows them to visit alternate worlds, and they do: the world of Scandinavian Mythology, and the world of Spenser's Faerie Queen, with hilarious results!
Erik Graff
Apr 20, 2010 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: followers of the series
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
This book of two connected stories is rather like Poul Anderson's A Midsummer Tempest in concept. The device employed for the transition between worlds is interesting.
Apr 08, 2015 Kalef rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Piacevole e divertente, inoltre ti costringe a cercare i miti a cui si rifà per capire come dovrebbero andare le cose e comportarsi i personaggi incontrati :)))
Feb 06, 2013 Cindy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was one that belonged to my dad and I really wanted to like it, but I couldn't get to chapter 3. I couldn't understand the language or the plot.
Oct 20, 2008 Nicole rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Harold Shea in a parallel world or two. Nordic mythology and Spenser's Fairy Queene offer settings where magic works.
Isca Silurum
Feb 12, 2009 Isca Silurum rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A strange book in as much as written in the American vernacular, but very enjoyable all the same.
Jun 24, 2008 J2robins rated it it was amazing
Fabulous book!! Everything your looking for in an adventure book!!
May 06, 2012 Peter rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, time-travel
Really fun read - a bit frustrating at times
Richard Wagner
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Lyon Sprague de Camp, (Pseudonym: Lyman R. Lyon) was an American science fiction and fantasy author and biographer. In a writing career spanning fifty years he wrote over one hundred books, including novels and notable works of nonfiction, such as biographies of other important fantasy authors.He was widely regarded as an imaginative and innovative writer and was an important figure in the heyday ...more
More about L. Sprague de Camp...

Other Books in the Series

The Incompleat Enchanter (6 books)
  • The Castle of Iron
  • The Enchanter Compleated
  • The Enchanter Reborn
  • The Exotic Enchanter
  • El aprendiz de Mago

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