Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Magic” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  405 Ratings  ·  26 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Magic, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Magic

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 888)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Arun Divakar
Jan 20, 2013 Arun Divakar rated it it was ok
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
Stephen Stewart
Nov 29, 2015 Stephen Stewart rated it liked it
A strange mashup of a series of fantasy short stories and critical essays. I personally enjoyed the analysis of what is fantasy and Tolkien, but the addition of just Asimov's essays on American and education, while interesting, just didn't mesh with the other material. Still, it's Asimov and fun to read through it all.
Philip Bunn
Jun 01, 2014 Philip Bunn rated it it was ok
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
Jan 20, 2014 Kat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Sep 02, 2014 Thomas Arvanitis rated it liked it
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,
Ежко Таралежко
May 26, 2016 Ежко Таралежко rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Сборника на Азимов ме остави с леко киселеещ вкус в устата.

Сега ще обясня защо - първата част от него са малобройните фентъзи разкази на автора - сещате се, тези за Азазел ( а може и да не се сещате ) и 1-2 други, по-неизвестни. Няма лошо, забавни са, езика на Азимов е изключително лек и читаем. После обаче идва втората част, която са предимно статии и трактати на тема "Фентъзи".
Или по-скоро на тема колко по-долно е фентъзито от научната фантастика. И макар и да са написани интелигентно, отново
Scott Holstad
Asimov is real hit or miss for me and this was a definite miss. With a capital M. It purports to be a book of fantasy short stories, as well as essays on the topic, but the vast majority of the stories are of a writer, possibly himself, talking over drinks or dinner with a friend named George who can summon an extraterrestrial demon imp named Azazel to deal with various domestic problems in the lives of people he knows, often with horrifying results. Hate to tell ya this, Ike, but that's not fan ...more
Feb 03, 2015 Annise rated it it was ok
Asimov has written some brilliant short stories, but alas this collection left me underwhelmed. The first third contained the actual stories, mainly of a series about the narrator's friend George and the demon, Azazel, whom he summons to do his bidding. In each case, good intentions predictably go awry. They're amusing, but too self-indulgent for my tastes. The stories that weren't part of this series were vanilla fairy-tale style stories that left me unmoved. The second part was a set of essays ...more
Dushyant Shetty
Feb 23, 2012 Dushyant Shetty rated it really liked it
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
Feb 05, 2011 Lindsey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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.
Mohammad Ali Abedi
Aug 01, 2013 Mohammad Ali Abedi rated it liked it
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
Caroline Lee
Aug 27, 2014 Caroline Lee rated it it was ok
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
Tim Poston
Apr 20, 2016 Tim Poston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fantasy stories are thin stuff (but amusing) because Asimov couldn't believe in magic with even a part of his mind. The best here are the non-fiction articles, ranging from evolution to the nature of intelligence and prejudice; but perhaps I am biased by the fact that I agreed already. The case for friendly rationalism, put far better than I ever could.
Rob Tesselaar
Apr 12, 2015 Rob Tesselaar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Isaac Asimov has long been one of my favourite authors, and this book is no exception to his skill with words. That said, his approach to fantasy is not entirely to my preference and I found myself enjoying much more his essays on fantasy compared to science-fiction and topics beyond fantasy.
Oct 11, 2011 Bigyellowtaxi1 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
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
Jan 05, 2013 Camille McCarthy rated it liked it
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
Jul 12, 2015 Moonflower rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: fantastic
Fantastic. Wonderful. Brilliantly insightful.
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.
Jun 18, 2013 Subu rated it liked it
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
Jan 23, 2010 Ed C rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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.
Mar 28, 2012 C.J. rated it liked it
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 really liked it
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
Apr 19, 2012 Niranjan Sathyamurthy rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 23, 2013 Azrael rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 14, 2012 Vicky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dr. J.
Dr. J. marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2016
Wesley Miller
Wesley Miller marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2016
Tristan Bella
Tristan Bella marked it as to-read
Jul 17, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 29 30 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Inferno (Isaac Asimov's Caliban, #2)
  • Spider Kiss / Stalking the Nightmare (Edgeworks, #2)
  • The Merchants' War (The Space Merchants, # 2)
  • Worlds (Worlds, #1)
  • Year's Best SF 2
  • The Best of C. L. Moore
  • The Best of Clifford D. Simak
  • Mirage (Isaac Asimov's Robot Mystery, #1)
  • The Collected Stories of Greg Bear
  • Perihelion (Isaac Asimov's Robot City, #6)
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fifteenth Annual Collection
  • Expanded Universe
  • The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction
  • Anthonology
  • Treasures of Fantasy
  • The Eyewitness Handbook of Trees (Eyewitness Handbooks)
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 about Isaac Asimov...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »