I really enjoyed Mr. Mead's book reviews in the August issue of Genii. The aspect of the reviews that fascinated me (okay, I don't get out much) was his take on the derivative nature of Mike Powers routines in "Power Plays".
Do all newly published routines that use the classics as a starting point have to "represent advancement in either the effect or the method?"
Mr. Mead calls the kind of routines that might have a new plot twist but not necessarily original "session tricks." They're interesting and special, but not necessarily effective.
I'm not a professional magician. I love session tricks (derivative and Paul Gordon comes to mind, but hey, I love Paul's stuff). Many times they step down the difficult sleights that this old-timer does badly or can't do at all. This way I can pretend to be a pale imitation of Mr. Jennings or Mr. Vernon, or whomever.
I thought he was a little harsh on Mr. Powers' new book. And yet, in Andrew Galloway's book (Diverting Coin Magic), he praises Mr. Galloway for his focusing on classic methods with clarity of effect. The simplified versions puts the difficult routines within reach of the intermediate coin man.
Food for thought. Thanks, Mr. Mead. But it's going to be hard to give up all those Aces changing to Kings and those kickers. ;)