Note ye ed's email address:

Finally unearthed: The Little Egypt Book of Ghosts from H&R Magic Books.
It's to die for!
Check out Jamy Ian Swiss' review in our Bookstore.

We're trying to contact Leo Kostka, out in Hollyweird.

October 2009

With Halloween now only days away, I hope you have delved into The Little Egypt Book of Ghosts and found something scary to foist on your seasonal audiences. Thanks to discussions at MAGIC Live and later discussions with friends, I am gratified and delighted to learn that many of you are doing just that, with plans to frighten audiences from Boy Scout campouts to top professional engagements in the big cities. Happy haunting!

Of the big-ticket items I mentioned last month, one is at hand and it's a lulu, Jim Steinmeyer's Technique & Understanding. Details below. Also this month: a card cheat drops in on a Ring meeting, and Kozmo spreads his wings.

So that's how he does it!

THE SECRET GARDEN -- A little over three years ago, I hailed Jim Steinmeyer's A Conjuring Anthology as possibly the best book ever written about magic, especially parlor magic. If anything, Jim has topped his Anthology with his new book on parlor and stage magic, with the unassuming title of Technique & Understanding. This book contains secrets unlike any I have ever encountered before, simply thrilling methods for producing and levitating human beings, or for hiding their body parts during such scenarios as sawings and vivisectionings.

The ads boast (in addition to numerous fine essays on modern magic performance) eight parlor effects and sixteen illusions, and I'll take their word for it. Among the parlor effects, Toccata for Light Bulb & Paper Bag is an appearing/disappearing electric bulb routine (hint: Pepper's Ghost comes into play) that is worth building just to play with it. You needn't build anything for The Magazine Test; just give your brain a workout. Johnathan Levit is currently killing with this old classic. For both the parlor and the illusion items, Jim provides compelling scripts that beg to be performed. Ah, but the illusions. Here are the real secrets. One of the levitations (the magi himself floats up off the floor, vertically), whose method also allows for the appearance of a girl, is unlike anything I've ever seen, yet eminently practical. Another might remind you of Super-X, but with mechanical and presentational touches that would fool you badly if you saw it performed. And the concealments! Again, I have been in magic for a very long time, but I never dreamed such methods existed. They are not only new to me, but are so satisfyingly clever that it is a joy and privilege to read about them. Some of the illusions you will be able to build and attempt, others will require a master craftsman and considerable tweaking. Jim works hard to conceal inches. Don't let the modest title fool you. If you possess this book, you will possess secrets that I'd estimate more than 99 percent of magicians don't know. I no longer expected to be floored by a magic book, but this one did just that. As we approach the end of a decade, I consider this to be the most excitingly revelatory book the 21st century has produced. Large format, 304 pages, $135 from

Wait until you learn how this works!

AS MY OLD PAPPY USED TO SAY -- Thanks to family ties in Evanston, Illinois, I occasionally have the opportunity to drop in on Ring 43 meetings, where a fine bunch of guys congregates for lectures and to swap card tricks. This month afforded such an opportunity, made far more exciting thanks to Sandy Marshall and Pedro Nieves escorting Richard Turner to the meeting. Richard was to perform and lecture the following day at Magic Inc., so it was a special treat to see him demonstrate his otherworldly skill the night before. An example: Richard asked for a number of hands at poker, and who should win the round. It would be six hands, with the fifth hand to win. Richard then began with a shuffled deck, dealt out the two down/one up for seven-card stud, then handed me the deck. I was to shuffle the cards, then hand him back some of the cards. I did, he dealt another round. Same thing: I shuffled again, handed him some of the cards. (Partly because I misunderstood, I handed him fewer and fewer cards each time.) From this random set, he dealt another round. And so on. The indicated hand wound up the winner, a full house queens over aces. I so envied those who would get to attend the full show at Magic Inc., as family duties kept me away. My first interest in playing cards wasn't magic tricks, but what Bret Maverick could do at the poker table. Richard Turner is the closest to Maverick that I have ever witnessed.

Bret and Bart think twice about playing against Richard Turner.

reel magic in your pocket.

KOZMO TO GO -- Kozmo's reel magic magazine ("tv for magicians") for October 2009, aka issue 13, is at hand, featuring the first part of a Daniel Garcia interview, the second part of a Eugene Burger interview, and posts from the usual suspects such as Simon Lovell, David Regal, Jon Armstrong, Garrett Thomas, David Kaye, and Wayne Kawamoto. What makes this issue noteworthy is that Kozmo has finally made good on his promise to make the magazine portable. It's a gutsy move and a welcome one. Just drag the mp4 file that comes on the disk to your iPhone or iPod Touch, and you can take the entire DVD with you. There is no DVD-style navigation per se on your portable device, but I found it quite easy to step through the file and rapidly home in on what I wanted to view. Nifty! (From

Now you can listen to Simon's rants on the way to work.

School is back in session. Break out your books and learn something old.

Sarah and Simon (Vixen and Spike to old Gazette readers) were married on April 1, 2006. You may access their wedding photos at wedding photos.

Little Egypt Magic is the erratically updated web site of Steve Bryant, spawned (the site, not Steve) by a former internet magazine known as The Little Egypt Gazette/for magicians only.

Steve Bryant is an obscure magician and writer who generates this site from an iMac in Bloomington, Indiana. He frequently journeys to and performs magic in Little Egypt, the local name for extreme southern Illinois, where the towns bear such names as Cairo, Thebes, and Karnak.

Past issues of this web site: Index to Past Issues

A JSB Creations product

Copyright© 2009 by Steve Bryant