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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The Magic Shop, an anthology of 15 original short stories edited by Denise Little, investigates the possibilities that could arise if a magic shop really sold magical items. Authors featured in the collection include P. N. Elrod, Michelle West, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
Noteworthy stories include Laura Resnick's "The Magic Keyboard," a Twilight Zonelike tale about a struggling mystery writer ("pale, physically unfit, financially desperate, and emotionally downtrodden") named Ethelfreda Feldsnitch, who must get over a case of writer's block or be evicted from her apartment. After throwing her keyboard out the window, she fatefully visits a nearby magic shop, where the owner gives her a magic pen guaranteed to stop writer's block. The pen works wonderfully -- except that it's writing classic works already published by other writers! When Ethelfreda goes back to return the pen, she finally gets the motivation she needs!
Other literary gems are "Winter Phoenix" by India Edghill, an alternate history of sorts about Anastasia, Tsar Nicholas Romanov's youngest daughter, and her magic-aided escape from 1918 Russia, and "For Whom the Bell Tolled" by Jody Lynn Nye, about an owner of a small magic shop who gets exactly what he inadvertently wishes for.
After finishing this anthology, readers will never look at magic shops and new age/metaphysical bookstores the same way again. Little aptly describes the anthology as a "collection of stories of the changed fates and challenged minds of the amazed consumers -- both mundane and magical -- who dared to shop at a Magic Shop." Buyer beware! Paul Goat Allen