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Waldo & Magic, Inc. by Robert A. Heinlein
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Waldo & Magic, Inc. (original 1950; edition 1970)

by Robert A. Heinlein

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Member:GVassmer
Title:Waldo & Magic, Inc.
Authors:Robert A. Heinlein
Info:Signet (1970), Y6380 192 pgs, Mass Market Paperback, 14th printing
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Waldo & Magic, Inc. by Robert A. Heinlein (Author) (1950)

  1. 00
    The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump by Harry Turtledove (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: Specifically Magic, Inc. Waldo is rather good, but it doesn't match.
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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
This book has two novellas written by Heinlein in 1950. In Waldo, he describes remote handling devices used in the "fantastic 1990's". Magic, Inc. is set in the 50's but "demons, witches, elemental spirits and magical spells are a part of the fast pace of American life." It's always fun to look at early SF and see what they predicted. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 12, 2017 |
What I remembered from "Magic, Inc." was the restaurant menu that had regular entrees and magic entrees with no calories. But, rereading it in 2015, it seems that actually the story is about people who battle immoral businessmen who try to take over an industry---magic in this case---by means both criminal and political. There is a lot of talking about the points Mr. Heinlein is upset about. The plot is clearly not important and only at the end of the story does the action get exciting. The story makes a better essay or article, but I suppose it would have a smaller audience if presented that way.

What I remembered from "Waldo" was that complicated technical things, like airplanes, stop working if you don't believe in them anymore. (That's why I find flying so tiring---having to concentrate throughout the flight on keeping the plane in the air.) It's also a coming of age story about a resentful genius who lives isolated in space until he figures out how to save the world and himself.
  raizel | Jul 5, 2015 |
Two short novellas. The first is Waldo, telling the story of a man beset by weakness from birth, who, by way of a mountain hex doctor figures out how to touch an alternate reality of limitless power. The second is a story about what happens when government attempts to regulate and control magic users at the behest of organized crime. ( )
  helver | Sep 26, 2014 |
Waldo shows its age. It depends too much on technology that has gone in other directions. Magic, inc is good for what it is, but the magic has the feel of being invented as we go along. ( )
  MarthaJeanne | Nov 20, 2013 |
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 straightforward science fiction and in the end, there is still a scientific underpinning and rationale to the magic. And I liked the way Heinlein developed Waldo and his psychology. And how cool can you get that the real-life waldoes, remote robot manipulators are named after this fictional character? (Who in the story invented them and the device comes to be named after him.)

Magic, Inc is quite different. This is more traditional fantasy, although there's something of the science-fiction spirit in how it's treated. Because this is magic taken for granted in what is recognizably our modern-day technological culture--but one where magic is routinely used in business. Only someone seems determined to corner the market. There are witches, witch doctors, and more than a smidgen of political satire to be had, but all-in-all it's quite light-hearted. I think it shows its age a bit more than Waldo. Let's just say the racial and sexual depictions aren't exactly PC. But it's still imaginative and enjoyable.

I wouldn't say name either story as one of Heinlein's best--but then Heinlein provides tough competition for the best-of sweepstakes. But both of these are fun, entertaining reads. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Feb 10, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Heinlein, Robert A.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Di Fate, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eggleton, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaughan, JackCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shaw, BarclayCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodroffe, PatrickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Variant Titles: Waldo & Magic, Inc. was also published as Waldo: Genius in Orbit and also as A Heinlein Triad and in German as Die Zeit der Hexenmeister (The Time of the Warlock).
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345330153, Mass Market Paperback)

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 also held the key to his own...

Magic, Inc.
Under the guise of an agency for magicians, Magic, Inc. was systematically squeezing out the small independent magicians. Then one businessman stood firm. With the help of an Oxford-educated African shaman and a little old lady adept at black magic, he went straight to the demons of Hell to resolve the problem -- once and for all!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:10 -0400)

SCIENCE FICTION. Don't count out the underdog... Two classic short novels by Robert A. Heinlein, science fiction's Grand Master. Waldo North Power Air is in trouble. Their aircraft are crashing at an alarming rate and no one can figure out the cause. Desperate for an answer, they turn to Waldo, a crippled misanthropic genius who lives in a home in orbit around Earth, where the absence of gravity means that his feeble muscle strength does not confine him helplessly in a wheelchair. But Waldo has little reason to want to help the rest of humanity ? until he learns that the solution to Earth's problems also holds the key to his own. Magic, Inc. In a world where almost everything is done by magic spells, Magic, Inc., under the guise of an agency for magicians, is systematically squeezing the small independent magicians out of business. Then one businessman stood firm.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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