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Oh, So That's What Sorcery Looks Like

November 3, 2011 at 11:08 pm

OK, here's one of the cooler things that happened at World Fantasy last weekend. (And this is saying something, because it was a fantastic convention.  I love WFC because it has one of the highest concentrations of incredibly cool and fun people of any convention I visit, including Worldcon.  It's just jam-packed with tons of wonderful folks, people with whom I love to hang out, and many of whom I only see once a year.  And I always make new friends at WFC, too.) 

But anyway.  There I was, minding my own business, when Derryl Murphy waved me over and said, "Hey, Ian, check this out.  This guy's doing card tricks."

So I figured it was somebody just hanging around doing little bar bet stuff.   I expected to meet a scruffy barfly.  But no.

"This guy" was Jonathan Pendragon, a professional magician.  A Magic Castle professional magician.  Just hanging around doing card tricks.  Really good card tricks.  Right there in the restaurant and bar.  He did a trick for me right there-- he handed me a deck of cards, I shuffled it (I swear I really shuffled it), and then when he started pulling cards off the top of the deck they alternated red, black, red, black, all the way down.  It was very cool.

I admit that as soon as I heard "professional magician" and saw some of this stuff, I immediately checked that I still had my wallet.

Of course, he wasn't there to meet the likes of us.  Someone had arranged for him to come down to meet Neil Gaiman, who was a guest of honor at WFC last weekend, and who showed up about 10 minutes later. So then Pendragon pulled out the really boffo tricks.  All with one deck of cards. 

Truly amazing stuff.  It's one thing to see things like this on TV, or from a distance.  But it's even cooler up close and personal like that.  I swear I wasn't standing more than five feet away and I have no idea how he made stuff appear and disappear.

I'd say there were barely more than a dozen of us standing around, watching this private show.  

So that was neat.


Andrew November 4, 2011 at 2:01 pm
I was around 7 years old when I first heard about the magic castle. My Brother (7 years my senior) was doing illusions and buying all sorts of neat tricks and ran across the magic castle in one of his books. With interest in Houdini and all sorts of illusion and magics it became my life long dream to go there. About 7 years ago my best friend was dating a Magician(a world class close up artist) and she got me into the Magic Castle. Absolutely as cool as it sounds. Every room had acts. Walking down the hall you bumped into some one doing some tricks. My favorite were the Con tricks used for making money back in the day because they seem so applicable-hahaha. It is one of those life long hopes that you never thought would happen because of the path you chose and it happened. How cool is that? Definitely something that anyone who can afford it should try out someday and there is this really expensive but beautiful sushi restaurant nearby to -ha! I'm also sorry that I didn't make it down to san diego! I really wanted too meet all my OWW friends but life just got in the way. Maybe you will make it to California again and I can buy everyone a drink. Next time, Andrew PS: Yes I did 7, 7, 7... illusion, tricks, magic, Art, Magick, and woowoo is all the same thing: Set + setting = changing ones perception:) Hehehe
loren November 4, 2011 at 8:13 pm
You have to check out this video....this is the type of magic I find astounding...if anyone has any type of explanation, I would love to hear it...
Tengland November 4, 2011 at 9:38 pm
So, the whole show was just another version of "wild cards," amIright?
Derryl Murphy November 17, 2011 at 11:04 pm
One of the things I loved about that was Jonathan telling us that he wasn't a closeup magician, that this wasn't what he was known for. And so, yeah, sometimes it was a little sloppy, but it was still remarkably cool. And that last trick, to discover he'd invented it himself under pressure in the space of just a few minutes, that was mighty cool. I've enjoyed poking around finding a few of his illusions online.
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