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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  311 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Isaac Asimov and science fiction are one and the same to millions of readers.He was the field's transcendent genius, its reigning prophet, its genial patriarch, and its most prolific author. But Asimov also wrote fantasy, and invariably of an enduring quality. Magic is his final original collection, containing all of his uncollected fantasy stories that have never before a...more
Paperback, 305 pages
Published May 19th 1997 by Voyager (first published 1995)
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(showing 1-30 of 658)
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Arun Divakar
At some level of reading, the line between Sci-Fi and Fantasy seems to merge is what I have been given to understand. My reading into both these genres has not been extensive enough to validate this theory either. Both these genres to me are flights of fantasy in varied levels. When Tolkien tells us that Gandalf banishes the trolls with his staff we called it fantasy and when Crichton told us that Dinosaurs could be created again through cloning we called it Sci-Fi. Each has its own share of fan...more
Philip Bunn
Don't be fooled by the low rating: This book was brilliant.

In both his fiction and his non-fiction, Isaac Asimov grabs the reader and engages them. Prior to this work, I had only read the first two books of Asimov's Foundation series, so I had not been exposed to a significant amount of his wit and humor. That changed with the George-and-Azazel stories. These delightful tales are reminiscent of P.G. Wodehouse's golf stories, where the Oldest Member forcefully imparts a tale to a protesting youn...more
I haven't read much of Isaac Asimov, and the stories that I have read were all science fiction, so I was really pleased to check out this book of uncollected fantasy stories. Half of the book consists of these short stories and the other half are several essays composed by Asimov on fantasy and science fiction, so it was an interesting mix. Several stories have a common theme of the author having lunch with his friend George (who seems to be a bum), regaling each other various tales. George appa...more
Thomas Arvanitis
3.5 stars actually. This book collects some of Asimov's fantasy works and is divided into 3 parts.The first part consists of his fantasy short stories, the 2nd of essays/editorials on fantasy, and the 3rd of essays on various other (related) topics.
The short stories are made up of several "George and the Demon" tales (although the demon was later turned into an extra-terrestrial being to qualify these stories as science-fiction) and a couple of fairy tales. The former stories are unremarkable,...more
Dushyant Shetty
Before my review, some disclosure... Isaac Asimov is my favourite among authors in the science fiction genre, which is also my favourite genre. This ensures that when I pick up an Asimov title, I have great expectations from it. I have never been disappointed by any of Asimov's books, and this book wasn't bad either. But first up, Magic is not a science fiction book, it deals with the world of fantasy. What's the difference, you ask? Read the book for an essay on this subject. Yes, an essay! Tho...more
I'm sad to say that this is already a terribly dated collection. It is divided in three parts. The first part is predominately short stories that are in no way fantasy stories. At best, a few are barely fairy tales, but most are a moralistic sort of science fiction.

The second part, however, may be slightly worse. Although it is interesting from a historic perspective, Asimov's views on fantasy writing are so disparaging that it was hard to reconcile with his open-mindedness about other matters....more
Mohammad Ali Abedi
The book seemed more interesting that it actually was. It is called “Magic: The Final Fantasy Collection” and is supposed to be a collection of fantasy stories by Asimov. Now Isaac Asimov is my favorite science-fiction author and…no wait, Asimov is probably my FAVORITE author in general. I love his stories, I love his writing style, and I frankly, love his personality.

But I did not know Asimov wrote fantasy, so this collection should have been interesting. The book is divided into three sections...more
Caroline Lee
The first section, which consisted of short stories, was sweet, simple, and did its job. Knowing Asimov was known more for sci fi rather than fantasy, I didn't expect too much. Each of the short stories was entertaining enough, but most were easily forgettable. The latter half of the book contained his thoughts on a variety of topics. Most were somewhat interesting, but towards the end he shifted towards essentially religious bashing. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I can imagine man...more
It's been a long time since I've read any Asimov, or any sf for that matter and this was a good choice to ease me into the genre. Asimov shows he can do fantasy, not just science fiction and the short stories keep the pace up and my interest level high. I particularly enjoyed the Azazel stories, having something of a Wodehouse-type vibe which worked really well and added plenty of humour. 'Northwestward' was another favourite of mine, even if it fitted better with the detective genre than specul...more
Camille Mccarthy
The fantasy short stories were amusing but I much prefer his science fiction works. What I liked a lot were his essays, both on Fantasy and on other topics. I especially liked that he hated "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" as much as I did. He had interesting views on Tolkien's literature and his essays on what he thought were the most important problems facing America at the time (racism or inability to accept those who are different in general, the state of our education, and ignorance) ar...more
Jonathan Buchstaber
This book is divided into three sections; Stories, on fantasy, and general thoughts. The second section was definitely my favorite. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading someone else's view, and does not mind it it conflicts with their own.
this was the last set of stories written by the good doctor

the book is divided into three parts

a set of short stories mainly dealing with the adventures of george and a two centimetre devil called Azazel + a couple of short stories..they are all humorous and fun to read.

the second and third parts of the book deals with his thoughts on various subjects like fantasy,tolkien,education,racism etc. All of them are thought provoking.

Ed C
Asimov isn't a conventional fantasy writer. As such, I rather liked it. It's not anything you'd usually expect from a mainstream fantasy novelist, so it is a breath of fresh air. They are, of course, only short stories, and as such, not so engrossing as a big fantasy epic, but no less enjoyable are the bite-sized chunks Asimov has on offer. Not a great fantasy writer, but a good one.
Some more whimsical Asimov, but mostly, Asimov all over. I'm not sure he was ever made to write fantasy, but his digressions and musings on the genre are more interesting than his forays, and he has a unique perspective, as well as a genuine regard for, fantasy and storytelling. It was especially compelling to see fantasy through a lens of technology--or that which is a tool.
Lucie Janků
Oct 21, 2012 Lucie Janků rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lucie by: Kubík
Shelves: fantasy
Funny and smart. Smartly funny. It made me think a lot, too. I've never read anything from Asimov before and it might seem that his fantasy collection is not a traditional choice to start with but I am pretty happy I did. I liked the first (story) part. It was okay, it was something different. But I LOVED essays. Gold.
Jul 13, 2008 Pioden marked it as to-read
"A collection of 31 fantasy stories, ranging from the humorous to the profound. The book also contains previously uncollected writings about the craft of fantasy writing and essays about fantasy itself in which Asimov writes on matters such as metaphor, irony, originality and symbolism." (Quoted from )
Niranjan Sathyamurthy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I found the short stories a load of fun and the essays on various understandings about fantasy and human kin as well as intelligence to make a lot of sense.

read it.. no seriously read it
Stories were fun; essays were just okay - although some were funny. I like his fiction much better than his essays, but overall, still worth reading.
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Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered the most prolific writer of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine of the te...more
More about Isaac Asimov...
Foundation (Foundation, #1) I, Robot (Robot, #0.1) Foundation and Empire (Foundation, #2) Second Foundation (Foundation, #3) The Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, #1-3)

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