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Isaac Asimov's Zauberland by Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov's Zauberland (original 1995; edition 1997)

by Isaac Asimov

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498529,880 (3.28)3
Title:Isaac Asimov's Zauberland
Authors:Isaac Asimov
Info:Lübbe, Berg.-Gladb. (1997), Broschiert
Collections:Your library
Tags:fantasy, short stories, german

Work details

Magic: The Final Fantasy Collection by Isaac Asimov (1995)



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Showing 5 of 5
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 fantasy. It's closer to sci fi or perhaps can just be labeled as speculative fiction. There's nothing remotely fantasy-like in these stories. In fact, virtually nothing at all even happens in these stories. They're all rather stupid. There are a couple of other stories that read like fairy tales, but that's it as far as the stories go.

The essays are short and critical and seem dated. There's one that's hugely critical of the movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He crucifies it. But Star Wars is okay. Um, yeah. The final part of the book is more essays on random crap that have nothing to do with fantasy.

Asimov was prolific, no doubt, and wrote some excellent novels, true, but in my opinion, he was vastly overrated as a writer and this, to me, is just another example of how he can't write -- fantasy, in this case -- worth shit, much of the time. Sure, as he got older and matured as a writer, his writing improved. He actually learned what transitions are. He learned a little bit about plot and character development. But he never did learn how to write realistic dialogue. Perhaps he could have benefited from some creative writing workshops? Heh.

If you're into fantasy, avoid this book like the plague. If you're into Asimov, consider it, but be wary. I think it's crap and you might too. Not recommended. ( )
  scottcholstad | Jan 7, 2016 |
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 apparently has a little extraterrestrial demon friend Azazel who performs various tasks for him, often with unintended consequences. The stories tend to be on the light, amusing side, so it's nice, light reading. My favorites, however, were the more traditional fairy-tale-like stories, "The Fable of the Three Princes" and "Prince Delightful and the Flameless Dragon." There's also an interesting one called "Northwestward" involving Batman (although not how you'd expect.) I think that, in this particular collection, the essays were probably more interesting than the stories, and probably had more impact for me. "The Reluctant Critic" was my favorite of the essays. All in all, a fun read. ( )
  Starsister12 | Jan 7, 2014 |
A posthumous collection of Asimov leftovers. The short stories are occasionally funny but very lightweight, and the essays on fantasy and science fiction bring no great insights. The science essays are more interesting, but it's not enough to make the whole book worthwhile. It would probably have been a better idea to leave the essays in a separate volume and make this a pure short story collection. ( )
  andersocheva | Apr 9, 2011 |
Picked up this book long ago, even started it at one point - finally finished it this summer. The beginning stories about Azazel the little alien thingy were as usual fairly tripe. I find their repetition a bit boring. The later essays concerning San Francisco and Fantasy were much more interesting. The group of essays, “Beyond Fantasy” are a delightful insight into Asimov’s brain. His interest in America’s growing science illiteracy scores is uncanny after my Capstone on the same subject. He gives insight into security beliefs that most people use to govern their lives. “There exist supernatural forces that can be cajoled or forced into protecting mankind.” T”here is no such thing, really, as death.” “There is some purpose in the Universe.” and finally “You are better than the next fellow.”

16-2002 ( )
  sgerbic | May 7, 2008 |
A collection of Isaac Asimov's fantasy short stories, published posthumously. Asimov tends toward "hard" science fiction, but when he takes on fantasy the stories tend to have a light, humorous touch which works quite well indeed. Included are some essays on writing, science fiction and fantasy, and a few other related topics. ( )
  burnit99 | Dec 26, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061054127, Mass Market Paperback)

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 appeared in book form.

In addition, this farewell collection of Asimov's writings also includes his thoughts on the genre of fantasy itself. Here are the fascinating musings of a wide ranging intelligence, discussing everything from Tolkien to Spielberg, from Unicorns to King Arthur, from the difference between maidens and damsels to the speed of Seven League Boots - scientifically calculated at last!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:10 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A collection of stories, mixing fiction and non-fiction. Most of the fiction pieces belong to a series about a man and his demon, while the non-fiction pieces discuss the craft of science fiction and fantasy writing. The author analyzes the work of famous writers, including his own.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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