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Magic Goes Away by Larry Niven
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Magic Goes Away (original 1978; edition 1978)

by Larry Niven

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874724,610 (3.57)14
Larry Niven created his popular Magic Goes Away universe in 1967, and it has been a source of delight and inspiration ever since. By asking the simple question, What if magic were a finite resource?, Niven brought to life a mesmerizing world of wonder and loss, of hope and despair. The success of his first story collection, The Magic Goes Away, birthed two sequel anthologies, The Magic May Return and More Magic. All three volumes are collected here for the first time, with stories by Niven himself, as well as contributions by such luminaries of fantasy as Roger Zelazny, Fred Saberhagen, Steven Barnes, and Poul Anderson.Featuring a brand-new introduction by Larry Niven, The Magic Goes Away Collection gives readers insight into the breathtaking world of Niven and Jerry Pournelle's The Burning City and Burning Tower and stands on its own as a landmark in fantasy fiction… (more)
Member:mgoddard
Title:Magic Goes Away
Authors:Larry Niven
Info:Ace Books (1978), Edition: 1st, Mass Market Paperback, 213 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Magic Goes Away by Larry Niven (1978)

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» See also 14 mentions

English (6)  Danish (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
A quest story with some interesting episodes. An entertainment. ( )
  DinadansFriend | May 15, 2014 |
This is the first book I have ever read solely authored by Larry Niven. I'm a big fan of his collaborations with Jerry Pournelle. They have a great partnership. So I decided to try Niven at full strength to see whether I would enjoy the rest of his work. I'm reasonably pleased. This book provides the setting Niven and Pournelle would later use in Burning City and Burning Tower. A prehistoric world powered by magic, magic that is running dangerously low.

A council of wizards embarks on a last hopeless quest to save the magic. They seek to resurrect the last god, hidden away in the frozen wastes of the North. Sometimes you should be careful what you wish for.

I liked the book. Niven has a fun style, summed up in the surprise afterword by Sandra Miesel as logical fantasy. The afterword was truly a shock; I didn't expect any such thing in this massively illustrated paperback. It was a bit wordy, but there was some fun stuff in there. This was a good introduction to Niven. I'll probably pick up some more of his work soon. ( )
  bespen | Apr 7, 2012 |
What I like about this book is the attempt to bring magic fantasy into science fiction. Or is it the other way around? Here Niven gives us a typical fantasy story and setting but with a twist: Magic is a real form of energy, and like fossil fuels it isn't exhaustible. So the story is in the dying age, where everything mythical and magical is crumbling as the energy that gives them life and form dribbles away. The reason: A weapon of mass destruction, a device that wastes energy at a tremendous pace, so sucking the power from any mage or beast. Sound familiar? I enjoyed this book and I think the idea works. What is a werewolf to do? ( )
  dgr2 | Mar 24, 2012 |
A short late-70s fantasy novel featuring several wizards and a warrior on a mission to replenish the world's dwindling reserves of magical energy. I'm not a huge sword 'n' sorcery fan, personally, but this one was a pleasant enough read as such things go. It features a few nice little wrinkles that make the usual fantasy cliches feel slightly less cliched, takes itself seriously but not too seriously, and completely avoids the bloat that is endemic to fantasy these days. In fact, it's even shorter than the 200 or so pages it appears to be; the edition I have devotes almost as much space to illustrations as to text. (The illustrations, by the way, are competent enough, but, unsurprisingly, they seem to exist largely to showcase a nearly naked woman, who is not, it should be noted, described as nearly naked anywhere in the story.)

There's also a pretty good little essay on the subject of Niven's fantasy included at the end. ( )
1 vote bragan | Apr 5, 2010 |
This novel seems to pride itself on the rationality with which it presents the possibility of ancient thaumaturgy. Still, the theory of magic involved is pretty meager, and sustains little reflection. The book is too slow-paced to qualify as ripping adventure, and the prose style and characterizations rate no special acclaim. It does succeed to a certain degree as a parable about the economy of fossil fuels.

The illustrations are pretty, and complement the text nicely. The laudatory afterword isn't much worth reading, except that it did provide me with the genre term "logical fantasy," which I now use for library tagging purposes.
1 vote paradoxosalpha | Sep 17, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Niven, Larryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eppers, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maroto, EstebanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miesel, SandraAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallejo, BorisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Larry Niven created his popular Magic Goes Away universe in 1967, and it has been a source of delight and inspiration ever since. By asking the simple question, What if magic were a finite resource?, Niven brought to life a mesmerizing world of wonder and loss, of hope and despair. The success of his first story collection, The Magic Goes Away, birthed two sequel anthologies, The Magic May Return and More Magic. All three volumes are collected here for the first time, with stories by Niven himself, as well as contributions by such luminaries of fantasy as Roger Zelazny, Fred Saberhagen, Steven Barnes, and Poul Anderson.Featuring a brand-new introduction by Larry Niven, The Magic Goes Away Collection gives readers insight into the breathtaking world of Niven and Jerry Pournelle's The Burning City and Burning Tower and stands on its own as a landmark in fantasy fiction

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