Sunday, August 12, 2018

Michael and the Magic Man

Not strictly a gaming-related post, but I found this in an old issue of Ares Magazine (Issue #3, July 1980). It's a short "capsule review" by Greg Kostikyan of a little-known novel: Kathleen M. Sidney's Michael and the Magic Man.

I found the novel by chance at a local used bookstore, and I'm surprised and dismayed to find that there's basically nothing about it online; few have heard of it, and it looks like the author hasn't gotten any other books published. I'm posting the review here for two reasons. First, to make it available in searchable text; the PDF scan of the magazine from the Internet Archive, while of great visual clarity, hasn't been run through an OCR program. Second, to spread the word on the book in my own small way; while it's not perfect, I did enjoy it and would like to see it in print again some day.

Without further ado, the review (after the jump):

I'm surprised that Kathleen Sidney's Michael and the Magic Man was published as a fantasy novel. It is, of course; but it is also the kind of novel that will appeal to mainstream readers. There is no doubt that a "fantasy" label on the spine ghettoizes a novel to some extent, so I doubt the novel will receive the mainstream critical attention it deserves.

Michael and the Magic Man is a story of a group of psychics wandering across America in a van, the world's only defense against nefarious, psychic, alien invaders. They are and can be the only defenders, for their story would be dismissed as insanity were they to reveal it to the authorities, who have already been infiltrated by the invaders and therefore cannot be trusted. But things are not as they seem...

Sidney is a writer of considerable power; Michael and the Magic Man is as innovative as it is unusual. One hopes that she will be accorded the recognition she deserves.

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