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No Great Magic

Fritz Leiber

Book Overview: 

They were a traveling group of Shakespearean players; perfectly harmless, right? wrong. For one thing, why did they have spacemen costumes in their wardrobes,next to caveman ones? Why was the girl in charge of backstage suffering from amnesia and agoraphobia? No Great Magic is needed to perform the plays they put on, but sometimes great science. No matter where, or when.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Page_158" id="Page_158">[158]here we were, two females undignifiedly twisted together, at the moment getting her into that crazy crouch-deep bodice that's like a big icecream cone, and yet here at the same time was Queen Elizabeth the First of England, three hundred and umpty-ump years dead, coming back to life in a Central Park dressing room. It shook me.

She looked so much the part, you see—even without the red wig yet, just powdered pale makeup going back to a quarter of an inch from her own short dark bang combed and netted back tight. The age too. Miss Nefer can't be a day over forty—well, forty-two at most—but now she looked and talked and felt to my hands dressing her, well, at least a dozen years older. I guess when Miss Nefer gets into character she does it with each molecule.

That age point fascinated me so much that I risked asking her a question. Probably I was figuring that she couldn't do me much damage because of the . . . Read More

Community Reviews

VERY weird story. I was not sure what to expect, and it went so quickly. Is a short book, which I have not seen for a while (having spent a long time with longer, classical, literature). By the time I figured out the players and the setting, The climax was already setting in.

Somehow this book ma...more

It is very hard to describe the plot of this book without giving a huge spoiler right away. Basically, it is about a group of actors performing. This is all I can say if I want to avoid the spoiler. The first half of the book where everybody is introduced is WAY too long, thus only 2 stars.

A mind bending read, which is a good thing . I will have to read the previous book as well. Reading this story out of the blue really puts you into the confused jumble of Greta's mind.

I can't really say any more, as to say what I liked about this brief work would give away the interesting twists....more

This review is not actually of any of the listed versions of "No Great Magic" but rather of the story as it appears in Changewar, a collection of stories by Fritz Leiber. My review of this story is excerpted from my review of the book, with some minor emendations.

The Change War is being fought b...more

A sequel (though it may not seem like it at first) to Leiber's The Big Time.

Returning are our intrepid players, narrated again by the quirky Greta, who has lost her memory.

In The Big Time, Greta is in-the-know, very up-front with the reader about the Change War, the comings and goings of the sold...more

Apparently this is the sequel to The Big Time. I enjoyed it, but I can imagine I would have appreciated it even more if I had read the first book. Ill have to track down a copy.
No Great Magic had engaging characters, an intriguing storyline and terrific world building for a short story. And, fro...more

What if a Shakespeare troop could change history? Fun read.

Started this one having no idea that it was a sequel to Leiber's "The Big Time", which I had coincidentally just finished. Another hard-to-follow, rather philosophical, exploration of "The Change Wars." I spent the whole story trying to figure out how this story connected with the previous one. I...more

Smásagan No Great Magic eftir Leiber lýsir minnislausri stúlku sem starfar í leikhópi, býr reyndar í leikhúsinu og á sér engar minningar um að hafa verið utan þess.
Verið er að setja upp leikrit frá tímum Shakespears þegar hún áttar sig á því að undirbúningurinn er með öðrum hætti en hún á að venj...more

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