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Casting Fortune

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  11 reviews
The theater anywhere is a magical place - but in Liavek, where wizardry is as common as unemployed actors, the theater is a place where magic rules.

"May These Events" is opening for its first (and only) run, and wizard Oten Chitaru is behind the scenes. Chitaru thinks nothing of producing steaming hot cups of tea from his sleeves for the actors awaiting auditions - what ef
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Paperback, 249 pages
Published June 1st 1989 by Tor Books
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Nomadman
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
John M Ford is one of our forgotten treasures.

This small book is a collection of two short stories and a novella set in the shared world of Liavek, a sort of Lankhmarian city state filled with magic, weird cults and the like. I'd previously read a few other stories set in this universe, including one by Gene Wolfe, but none of them compare to this. As with other works set in a shared world, Ford takes the setting and makes it entirely his own. Ford was incapable of dialling it in, and there is a
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Wm
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
These three stories are excellent. Beautifully written, intriguing, elusive, tragic, hilarious. This is my kind of secondary world fantasy.
Humbledaisy
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Although I am a strong fan of world building in novels, I think I traveled over the hill from like into ennui when reading this short collection of stories set in the shared world of Liavek. This setting is a mishmash country of Central European/Middle Eastern/magical origins and is shared by several authors. Maybe I’m just too old for this genre but - there are too many descriptions and not enough actions to hold up the framework. The interesting vibes of the stories - one about political uphea ...more
matthew
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
the man was a genius. the book is a collection of vignettes, not all of them, on their surfaces, t'do with theatre... but surfaces, and theatre, as the book makes, well, not plain, precisely, but brilliantly, are - perhaps by their natures? - deceptive. i can't do it justice. it hurts me to know ford will write no more.
Molly
Jul 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Three stories set in one world--the first two, "A Cup of Worrynot Tea" and "Green Is the Color" are about 50 pages each, while the final story, "The Illusionist", which the back of the book claims is the novel, is about 150 pages.

"A Cup of Worrynot Tea" was the least interesting of the three stories. It sets up the basic political environment of Liavek, a major city in a world where sorcery is common and technology is early-industrial. It focuses on three teenagers who get caught up in a politic
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Colin Birge
Jul 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
In the 1980s, John M. Ford was invited to contribute to the shared "Liavek" universe by Emma Bull and Will Shetterly. Casting Fortune is a collection of three of his Liavek short stories. (It omits several poems and songs, as well as the more rare short story "Riding The Hammer.")

"A Cup Of Worrynot Tea" is a typical Ford story, a coming-of-age bildungsroman set in a fantasy world, complex, with unspoken subtleties and deep characterization. "Green Is The Color" is a more straightforward fantasy
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Lissa Notreallywolf
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This is one of my favorite collections of fantasy stories-they leave images hanging in my head that I can recall for years. One of my favorite stories is A Cup of Worry-not tea, which I have read to very different understandings over the years. This book will remain on my shelves for as long as I have shelves.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I skipped past "A Cup of Worrynot Tea" (didn't do much for me when I first read it) and "Green is the Color" (awesome story, but I wanted to get to the new-to-me stuff) to read "The Illlusionist." And it had everything that I enjoy about Liavek. I loved that Jemuel got lots of lines, I loved Aritoli, I loved the reference to Deleon Benedicti.
Dan
May 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: signal
Story about a possibly-insane playwright; centers on the cast and whether somebody is planning to kill them all. Beautiful writing, some plot holes.

The book comes with two short stories which were okay but weaker.
John
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Nice collection of stories about a pre-industrial society with a bit of magic thrown in...
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John Milo "Mike" Ford was a science fiction and fantasy writer, game designer and poet.

Ford was regarded (and obituaries, tributes and memories describe him) as an extraordinarily intelligent, erudite and witty man. He was a popular contributor to several online discussions. He composed poems, often improvised, in both complicated forms and blank verse, notably Shakespearean pastiche; he also wrot
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“I long for the simplicity of theatre. I want lessons learned, comeuppances delivered, people sorted out, all before your bladder gets distractingly full. That's what I want. What I know is what we all know, whether we'll admit it or not: every attempt to impose the roundness of a well-made play on reality produces a disaster. Life just isn't so, nor will it be made so.” 8 likes
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