Paper Engine by Aaron Fisher (No.4 in a series)

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 12/09/07 02:11 AM

Over the past 31 years I've amassed quite a huge magic library. I'm guilty, however, of often not giving each book the attention it deserves. I browse the entire contents, work on a few effects, and make a mental note of the other promising effects that I plan to learn. Then the next new book comes out, and I repeat the process. Unfortunately, I never really get back to the previous book. And the cycle repeats . . .

Reading the various posts here, I'm always pleasantly surprised to hear someone mention a killer effect that's actually in a book I own. (but overlooked)

That said, this is the third in a series of posts asking the Genii Forum members to share their favorite effects from some of the best books around.

This time, let's look at Paper Engine by Aaron Fisher.

Again, I'm not looking for "magician foolers." I'm interested to know which of the effects you find to be the most practical and effective for the lay audience. Effects that have the best 'pain to glory' ratio (to borrow a phrase from John Bannon.)

Thanks for your help.
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Postby Guest » 12/09/07 10:02 AM

I use "Search and Destroy" in casual spots on and off.
Once you read method for this version of "The Searchers",
you'll skip to next trick. But this is really great follow-up for any sandwitch card routine. Spectator really believe they did magic.

I still search for chance to use his "Helter Skelter" in formal performance. This is brilliant color changing deck routine that can be use as a closer.

And you can improve some of your repertoire with his wonderfully improved technique like me.

You must check out Genii December 2002 issue,too. You can found his other hidden gems like "Four-card Revelation" in this great issue.
I think this is good reason that you start to subscribe Genii magazine! :)

Sincerely,
Y
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Postby Guest » 12/09/07 11:55 AM

Thank you Y's-guy!

I actually have that issue of Genii, so I'll check out the routine you mentioned.

Thanks so much for your advice!
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Postby Guest » 12/11/07 09:57 AM

An overlooked effect in this book is the Three Kings. This is a wonderful routine buried in a highly overrated book.
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Postby Guest » 12/11/07 11:00 AM

Overrated book?

does that mean that you don't think this book is as good as the hype that surrounded its release?

Personally I loved this book and although I can't remember the name of the effect I can give you the description of my favorite effect in the book.
You pick a card for the spectator and then read their mind as to whether they want it to come to the top or the bottom of the deck.
I always love performing that on for people. They never see the ending coming so it hits them really hard.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/11/07 03:02 PM

Silly Walter is a smart fellow, but likes to be provocative.
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Postby Guest » 12/11/07 03:13 PM

I guarantee that if you get to see Aaron do the material, you won't think it's over-rated! ;) That guy can handle a deck of cards. :D

P.S. "Hello Goodbye" (I believe is the name) is an impressive "quickie"...
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Postby Jeff Eline » 12/11/07 03:33 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Silly Walter is a smart fellow
I question that. He wouldn't know a good magic book even if it was tossed in his topit.
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Postby Guest » 12/11/07 07:33 PM

Originally posted by Brandon Burton:
Overrated book?

does that mean that you don't think this book is as good as the hype that surrounded its release?
Exactly. One of the overlooked properties of this book is how well it props up the short leg of my card table. It's roughly the width of 3 packets of Sweet and Low.

Originally posted by castawaydave:

I guarantee that if you get to see Aaron do the material, you won't think it's over-rated! That guy can handle a deck of cards.
No doubt he can handle a deck of cards but I don't think I want to see the performance of the material. I mean, if I didn't like the script for Police Academy 8, I probably will not see the movie even if Tom Cruise is playing the role of Cadet Eugene Tackleberry. Can you dig it?

Seriously, I hear that Aaron does a fine show at the Magic Castle and I am glad to see him doing well in magic. Also, isn't he doing that Theory 11 thang? How's that going for him?
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Postby Guest » 12/11/07 07:52 PM

In fact I hear Mr. Fisher contributed a single trick to that 11 place, and he receives a check for numerous G's in cold, hard spending cash each and every month. Clearly: what a LOSER, truly worthy of scorn.

"Paper Engine"/"Police Academy 8"? Good try, but primitive--you're a nut. A cute, sassy nut.

Honestly, you would really turn up your nose at the chance to see Aaron do the tricks in the above book?

What a cute, sassy, petulant little provocaeur! What a breath of fresh air! Where can I purchase your book? I look forward to being wowed by your original material! :) :eek: :p
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Postby Guest » 12/11/07 08:05 PM

Originally posted by castawaydave:
What a cute, sassy, petulant little provocaeur! What a breath of fresh air! Where can I purchase your book? I look forward to being wowed by your original material! :) :eek: :p
If you got a big **** over the stuff in Paper Engine, I think you will love the trick in my upcoming ebook where I pretend to pull my thumb off but I really don't. Also, I have a spelling trick, an ungaffed handling of the linking rings, some mentalism and a word search. It's called Silly Walter 69.

No seriously, you can like Aaron's magic and his book. I have no problem with it. That is totally awesome of you to come to his rescue like that though.
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Postby Guest » 12/11/07 08:55 PM

Originally posted by Jeff Eline:
Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
[b] Silly Walter is a smart fellow
I question that. He wouldn't know a good magic book even if it was tossed in his topit. [/b]
Hi Jeff. I am so sorry the Magic Cafe' is down but please be quiet, the adults are talking. Thanks.

Yours In Magic,

Silly Walter the Polar Bear
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Postby Jeff Eline » 12/12/07 06:50 AM

Just like Mr. Bear tried to ruined the Cafe, he's trying to do it here too. Well I for one won't stand for. I'm ignoring the 800 lb bear in the corning and will simply stick to the topic at hand... The Paper Engine.

Top three tricks? Anyone?
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Postby Guest » 12/12/07 07:48 AM

Originally posted by Jeff Eline:
Just like Mr. Bear tried to ruined the Cafe, he's trying to do it here too. Well I for one won't stand for. I'm ignoring the 800 lb bear in the corning and will simply stick to the topic at hand... The Paper Engine.

Top three tricks? Anyone?
Fair enough:

1. Three Kings
2. Revolver
3.
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Postby Guest » 12/12/07 08:23 AM

Search & Destroy went straight into my repertoire. You won't fool magicians with it (something I don't care for anyway), but it's a real layman pleaser. The 'pain to glory' ratio is excellent too, the trick is almost self-working.

Other than that, the book left me cold.
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Postby Guest » 12/13/07 09:55 AM

i guess other don't agree but i liked the simple golden nugget routine, plus the sandwich applications
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Postby Guest » 12/14/07 01:57 AM

I heard that when Aaron Fisher wrote the book he had never worked a magic show professionally for lay people. If you want session stuff and "speculators" then you'll be happy, but you can't expect anything intentionally commercial - only accidentally.

He has since worked professionally - well, at least at the Magic Castle anyway. Maybe his next book will have a better hit rate?

Joe
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Postby Guest » 12/14/07 07:54 AM

Have you seen the lecture video he made in London? You can see how inexperienced he was in performing back then. Trust me, I've seen worse but for someone that was touted as the second coming and for someone who according to Mike close wrote one of the best magic books he had ever written (hopefully that line went into his new joke book), it was typical magicians hype with no delivery.

Fortunately he has been working pro for the last several years and I am sure he is night and day in his performing style. Also, I would be surprised if he performed the majority of the stuff from Paper Engine, especially as written.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 12/14/07 10:53 AM

We were all young once, and there was a time when all of us had not performed for a lay audience, so I can't comment on that phase of Aaron Fisher's career. But I have read the Paper Engine and find it full of excellent magic tricks with, more important to me, excellent patter presentations. I have seen Aaron perform material from the book, as written, in the context of a packed Magic Castle lecture, to excellent results. I have also seen him perform one on one for me and fool me badly. So, if this is the difference of night and day, so be it: the day is very bright.

Has anyone noted in all this that The Paper Engine is being re-released in paperback? A fine book, one I recently revisited to brush up on the half pass in order to do a trick from David Solomon's new book. I had forgotten how many fine things there are in The Paper Engine. Highly recommended.
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Postby NCMarsh » 12/14/07 12:12 PM

I am surprised by the negative response to the book. It has been several years since I read it, but I recall it being a very, very good work on fine card technique.

The "I didn't find the routines commercial" criticism is a very strange criticism for this book. It's like complaining that Miracle on 34th Street wasn't scary.

While I am sure that Aaron selected the routines with care -- and I recall them being very strong -- their commercial appeal is not the focus of the book. They are included primarily as applications of the techniques taught.

You need only look to the sub-title of the book: "Tension, Focus & Design in Card Magic" The major purpose of the book is to explore the blocking of techniques and the elimination of tension in the design of sleight-of-hand.

If you'd rather read a collection of tricks assembled because of their commercial value, awesome! That's your preference. But it is ridiculous to criticize a book because you are not interested in its subject.

Now, I should be clear that I am not saying the tricks that are included are not commercial. I haven't read the book in years, and when I read it I did not have any significant professional experience...so I wasn't in a position to judge then...

I'm saying that the book was not written or advertised as a collection of material designed to be commercial, but as a work about the technical design of sleight-of-hand...and it should be judged by how well it accomplished what it was trying to accomplish

N.
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Postby Guest » 12/14/07 02:43 PM

well, i saw AARON FISHER 's lecture in Blackpool and all i can say is that his magic is very clever and well thought!! A REAL PROFESSIONAL !!
you can't go wrong with his stuff, i'm planning to get his book in my library soon!!!
thanks for sharing your stuff and thoughts AAron !!
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Postby Guest » 12/14/07 03:43 PM

Nice post, Nathan.

I will admit, I was scratching my head for a moment with the "It's like complaining that Miracle on 34th Street wasn't scary" comment but you totally explained it well.

I've been out of the "card magic" scene for a while but I enjoy them, personally, and love books talking about theory and such.

So, thanks again, your post was more informative than many reviews I have read today.

Silly Walter,

Good for you having an opinion, we all have them. I personally think your attitude and interpersonal skills are a bit lacking but I appreciate honest feedback. Which book of the same genre would you recommend then? Thanks and I hope everybody has a great day!

C
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Postby Guest » 12/14/07 03:44 PM

Originally posted by Nathan Coe Marsh:
Now, I should be clear that I am not saying the tricks that are included are not commercial. I haven't read the book in years, and when I read it I did not have any significant professional experience...so I wasn't in a position to judge then...


I did (15 years of restaurants) and I was in a position to judge. Take my word for it, there aren't a lot of finished routines in there. One or two good ones and some clever blueprint ideas, though.

I'm saying that the book was not written or advertised as a collection of material designed to be commercial, but as a work about the technical design of sleight-of-hand...and it should be judged by how well it accomplished what it was trying to accomplish

N.
How can you expound on the technical design of card magic if you don't know how to consistently construct (design) a commercial (entertaining and practical) effect?

To me, this was a bunch of moves (some practical, some not) and a handful of tricks (some good, some not) that would have made a solid set of lecture notes, dressed up with some pretentiousness about "tension, focus & design".

YMMV. This is just my opinion, and we don't all have to adhere to identical opinions. It's not about forming a consensus.

Like I said, he was young and inexperienced then. It's been a long time and he's worked a lot of conventions and so on. I am sure his next book will be superior.

Joe E. Pike
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/14/07 05:25 PM

Everyone's entitled to their opinion, and Joe is entitled to his. Fortunately for Aaron, most book buyers feel otherwise.
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Postby Jim Martin » 12/14/07 05:45 PM

When I read Larry Jennings' comment that Aaron was "...the most promising card magician he had seen in the past twenty years...." I bought a copy. I have not been disappointed - it's great stuff.
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Postby Guest » 12/14/07 07:47 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Everyone's entitled to their opinion, and Joe is entitled to his. Fortunately for Aaron, most book buyers feel otherwise.
Exactly. Vive la difference!
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Postby Guest » 12/14/07 10:23 PM

Originally posted by Nathan Coe Marsh:

The "I didn't find the routines commercial" criticism is a very strange criticism for this book. It's like complaining that Miracle on 34th Street wasn't scary.

N.
Worst analogy ever.
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Postby Guest » 12/14/07 10:36 PM

Originally posted by Carlos the Great:
Silly Walter,

Good for you having an opinion, we all have them. I personally think your attitude and interpersonal skills are a bit lacking but I appreciate honest feedback.
My attitude and interpersonal skills are awesome. Don't take it personally or me seriously. That's great that others liked the book and I like it when people voice their opinions why or why not. I don't agree with what others have said but that's OK. At least the people that post on this forum are willing to stand up and give a reason as to why they like something. Nathan Coe Marsh even stated that it has been a while since he has read the book so perhaps this discussion made him go back to his library, go through the book again and either confirm or change his opinion. It's all good.


Originally posted by Carlos the Great:
Which book of the same genre would you recommend then? Thanks and I hope everybody has a great day!

C
Same genre? Do you want me to recommend another crappy card book? If so, how about Tricks of the Imagination or Marlo Without Tears?

If you are looking for some awesome magic books, how about the Tamariz books, Dai Venron's Book of Magic and the Inner Secrets Trilogy. The Card College series is wonderful as well as the Dingle book, the Ortiz books and Close Up Card Magic by Harry Lorayne (Hell yes !!!)
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Postby Guest » 12/14/07 11:52 PM

PS - I also really recommend the Collected Almanac if you don't have it. You get some excellent routines from some of the best close up magicians that ever lived.
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Postby Guest » 12/15/07 12:04 AM

Sir--your last two posts have made me regret my over-the-top b.s. above. You obviously know your stuff.
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Postby Guest » 12/15/07 12:14 AM

Originally posted by castawaydave:
Sir--your last two posts have made me regret my over-the-top b.s. above. You obviously know your stuff.
It's all good Dave and you seem like a good sport. You really should pick up Close Up Card Magic if you haven't done so. Harry might even sign it for you.
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Postby Guest » 12/15/07 12:26 AM

Wow - Thanks everyone for all the feedback.

Like many, I bought the book because of all the hype, in particular the Jennings quote. Perhaps because of the raised expectations, at first I was disappointed with it overall.

In fairness I have to admit that I immediately adopted his Gravity Half Pass, and still use it regularly. When I remember that the Gravity Pass was (for me) one the the main selling points, I shouldn't complain as I did, then, get my money's worth.'

I guess the problem is the need to remind myself of the above because otherwise, like Uli said, "the book left me cold."

Now, however, thanks to your generous posts, I will definitely re-read these recommended effects:

Search & Destroy Y's-Guy & Uli Weigel
Helter Skelter Y's-Guy
Three Kings Silly Walter
Revolver Silly Walter
Hello Goodbye castawaydave
Golden Nugget Joshua Barrett
Four Card Revelation (title?) Y's-Guy

Thanks again everyone.
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Postby Guest » 12/15/07 01:28 AM

I don't use the effects so much as the sleights.
I've gotten a lot of use out of a few of them, particularly the "Illusion Control" and the strip out.

The illusion control is handy for lie-detector type tricksinstant placement into the desired position (not necessarily second) with no apparent deck handling.

His gravity half pass ideas also apply very well to turnover and cover passes (I believe Mr. Kaufman has said Fisher's cover pass is the best he's ever "seen").

That one-hand pop-out move is fun to play around with too.


No regrets,
Neil
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 12/15/07 10:43 AM

No, sorry folks, I won't autograph Close-Up Card Magic for you because I don't sell it anymore. What I do sell is LORAYNE: THE CLASSIC COLLECTION, which is my re-write, upgrade, etc., of that book plus four other of my books and a bonus of 16 great new routines. That's a much better buy, much better stuff, etc. And I'll autograph that for you. Best - HARRY LORAYNE.
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 12/15/07 11:27 AM

Nate, your analogy was well-appreciated by me. Don't listen to whispering imps when you've got a listening angel who reads you loud and clear.
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Postby Guest » 12/15/07 01:13 PM

Originally posted by Silly Walter:
Top three tricks?

1. Three Kings
2. Revolver
3.
3. The Omen.

One of the best small packet tricks EVER.
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Postby Guest » 12/15/07 01:17 PM

Actually if I were to put a third effect in that list, I think the Long and Winding Card Trick is a good premise. I seem to remember thinking it had some potential but I never played around with it. Has anyone performed it or does anyone use the Long and Winding Card Trick?
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Postby Guest » 12/15/07 01:56 PM

If offering different opinions and then backing them up well constitutes "ruining the Cafe", then i pray that guys like Silly will continue to do so. Well, pray might be too strong of a word. But still. Ruining the Cafe would actually be done by not allowing dissenting opinions to be posted, and also allowing more "what are the 5 best" threads to continue to fester and grow.

The trick that comes to mind for me was "Search & Destroy" - i remember that one from Aaron's lecture a few years back and it was a good one. I was quite taken by the idea of the two face up queens creeping closer and closer together in the pack. It was neat.

Plus i do love the Beatles.
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Postby Guest » 12/15/07 02:08 PM

Originally posted by T. Joseph O'Malley:
Plus i do love the Beatles.
You have excellent taste in music, my friend.
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Postby Guest » 12/16/07 09:21 AM

I've had the pleasure of seeing Aaron Fisher perform and he smoked me badly!

Try the following effects from The Paper Engine for starters:
  • A Simple Sandwich
  • Revolver
  • Revolution No. 9

All of his material is good!
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