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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Magicians Who are/were fiction writers (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MarkFinn
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Folks,
I hope this is an appropriate place for this query. I'm trying to put a list together of magicians who also wrote stories and novels (or novelists who were also magicians). The most obvious one, I think, is Walter Gibson, who wrote the Shadow and many other pulp characters, and featured magic prominently in his stories.

The most recent author I can think of is James Swain, who writes the Tony Valentine series about a guy who busts cheaters in Vegas and solves mysteries on the side.

There has to be more than that, right? Lots of actors these days letting it slip that they are lifelong fans and amateur magicians, but not so much for the writers. Are there any others, past or present, that I'm not aware of? Any help would be most appreciated.
Mark Finn
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Russo
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Was Conan Doyle also a Magician?? He was with an acquaintance of HOUDINI. And was interested in Seance. ??????????
Thomas Henry
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Hi Mark,

Charles Dickens was an avid amateur magician and put on many full evening performances for friends.

Does that count?

Thomas Henry
Omne ignotum pro magnifico.
MarkFinn
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It certainly does! I did not know that, and I consider myself fairly well-read. Cool!
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DGillam
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Besides editing "The Phoenix" and writing four wonderful books on magic, Bruce Elliott also wrote mystery and science fiction stories for pulp magazines and edited men's magazines.
MarkFinn
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Outstanding! I will add him to the list. Very cool.
Mark Finn
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MarkFinn
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Oh, I just connected the dots. He wrote some of the Shadow novels after Gibson. But his non-Shadow stuff was well-regarded. I've read a few of his stories. Didn't know about the magic side of his life.
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Thomas Henry
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Hi again, Mark,

I learned of Dickens' conjuring exploits way back in 1975 when as a young college student I made a pilgrimage to his still-standing house on Doughty Street in London.

Your reminding me of this got my curiosity up and I did a quick search on the Web. It seems an entire book has been written on Dickens the magician.

https://muse.jhu.edu/article/586791

The reviews give it high marks for research and low marks for writing style!

But just had another memory come back. When visiting Dickens' house, I struck up a conversation with the curator, and she said I might also enjoy seeing the Lewis Carroll exhibition elsewhere currently on display (at Hatfield House). I went, and lo! Turns out he too was an amateur magician performing for friends.

There you go: another one. Lewis Carroll not only performed magic, but also privately contributed to the literature of the subject. Somewhere around the overstuffed bookshelves here, I have an entire book which collected all of his magic effects under one cover.

So Lewis Carroll: professional mathematician, amateur magician, but most remembered today for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Thomas Henry
Omne ignotum pro magnifico.
David Todd
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Here are two more for your list:

Sid Fleischman - https://www.sidfleischman.com/

Clayton Rawson - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clayton_Rawson


.
David Todd
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Although primarily known as a filmmaker , I would say Woody Allen is a writer who has had a great interest in magic from his childhood to the present. (I recently read his memoir ,"Apropos of Nothing", and he frequently mentions his interest in magic.)

Magic themes are often found in his films (which he also writes) and short stories.

Click here to view attached image.
David Todd
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Steve Martin.

Like Woody Allen, I think most people would probably think of him as a stand-up comic and a film actor , but he also writes. His play, "The Zig-Zag Woman" has an obvious magic theme (an actual Zig-Zag illusion features prominently in the play).
rhettbryson
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The prolific magical inventor Edward Morrel Massey also wrote fiction.
Left Hand Left
Five Were Called
Through The Lens
The Adventures of a Boy Magician (teaches magic but was a fiction story)
Anatole
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I'm not sure if Paul Gallico qualifies as a magician per se, but he wrote two great novels that featured a magic theme--both with a main character--Alexander Hero--who was a parapsychologist/paranormal investigator: _Too Many Ghosts_ and _The Hand of Mary Constable_.

He also wrote _The Man Who Was Magic_--a novel about a city of prestidigitators where a magician who does genuine magic sort of applies for residency.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
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