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Runes of Tomorrow by Tom Stone

Posted: August 13th, 2014, 2:47 pm
by Tom Frame
Runes of Tomorrow (Ebook) by Tom Stone $14.00
35 pages, 86 illustrations, 1 photograph
Available at:

I’m a big fan of Tom Stone’s work and I was delighted when he kindly sent me his latest ebook for review.

Mr. Stone writes well and does a fine job of teaching the material. The text contains a handful of grammatical errors, but they are merely annoying and don’t significantly detract from the reading experience. The author writes with an understated sense of humor that I enjoyed. He dutifully cites his inspirational sources.

The ebook is attractively designed and laid out. Mr. Stone’s illustrations are crisp, clean and helpful.

Mystery Inn: The performer removes the red Fives from the deck and tables them face up. He removes the four Queens from the deck, displays them, turns them face down and holds them in his left hand. He picks up the Fives and places them face down on top of the Queens.

The performer displays the Fives again and then tables them face down, separated by a few inches. He displays the Queen again and then turns them face down in his left hand. He places two of the Queens face down on top of the rightmost Five and the remaining Queens face down on top of the leftmost Five.

The performer turns the packets face up, revealing the four Queens in the leftmost packet and the red Fives in the rightmost packet.

Here we have Mr. Stone’s version of the “Hotel Mystery” plot. While I’ve never been particularly thrilled by this plot, it does afford the performer the opportunity to deliver all manner of salacious, disgusting, Aristocrats-type patter, and that’s important. Mr. Stone’s method is novel and effective.

I like it.

Ball & Vase Challenge: A Ball & Vase prop is sitting on the table, as is a small card board box, with its open end pointed toward the performer. He removes the cover from the vase to show that it is empty. He replaces the cover and then removes it, revealing a red ball in the vase. He replaces the cover and removes it, revealing that the ball has vanished. He tables the cover beside the vase.

The performer lifts the cover and exposes the red shell gimmick beneath it. He places the gimmick onto the vase and places the cover on top. He picks up the vase, removes the cover and dumps the red ball out of the vase.

The performer places the cover back on the vase and turns it upright. He removes the cover and dumps a second red ball out of the vase. He places the cover on the vase and then removes it, displaying yet another red ball in the vase. He places the cover in front of the base and places the two red balls into the cardboard box.

With his left hand, the performer picks up the vase with the red ball still inside. He wraps his left fingers around the vase. With his right hand, he picks up the cover. His hands briefly come together and then he turns the vase upside to pour out the ball, but the ball has vanished. He opens his left fingers and reveals that the vase has also vanished.

The performer removes the vase, with red ball inside, from the box. He begins to place the cover over the ball, but the cover transforms into a second vase. He tables it beside the other vase.

The performer removes two covers from the box. He places one cover beside the rightmost vase. His right hand removes the ball from the leftmost vase and places the other cover on the vase. His left hand removes the cover from the leftmost vase to reveal another red ball inside. He places his right hand’s ball into the rightmost vase.

The performer places the covers over both vases. He removes the covers and reveals that both balls have turned green.

Several Ball & Vase props are required, and you’ll have to do a quick bit of preparation. You must also be seated. But the resultant tyro-frying effect is well worth it.

I really like it.

Chromatic Clutch: The performer holds a large envelope that contains a prediction. He hands a clear glass bowl containing 10 balls of five different colors to a participant. The participant freely removes any ball from the bowl. Let’s say she chooses a blue ball. The performer removes his prediction from the envelope. The prediction is a drawing of a hand holding a blue ball.

You’ll need to make a trip to the crafts store and spend some time constructing the special prediction.

I like it.

Fatalistic Orb: The performer displays a stand that holds seven egg cups. Each cup contains a ball of a different color. He also displays a paper bag containing seven balls whose colors match the balls in the egg cups.

The performer reaches into the bag with his left hand and removes a prediction ball, which he conceals in his closed fist. He places the bag on the table. He holds the stand in his right hand and places it in front of a participant. The participant freely removes a ball from an egg cup and holds the ball in her closed fist. The performer places the stand on the table.

The performer transfers his prediction ball from his left hand to his right hand, keeping its color concealed. He and the participant open their hands, revealing that they both selected a ball of the same color.

A considerable amount of one-time fabrication and construction is required. Despite Mr. Stone’s caveat that this effect is an untested pipedream, I imagine that it will play well for those willing to put in the time and effort to bring it to fruition.

I like it.

(Fantasy Flight): Mr. Stone describes a pleasing, punitive bit of business to be used with an oppositional participant.

I like it.

Dr. Griffin’s Palm: The performer cleanly displays the four Sevens and holds them in a face-down fan in his left hand. He tables one Seven face down off to his right. He places his palm-down right hand onto the table and jams the three card fan under his right hand, trapping one of the Sevens beneath it. He tables the two remaining Sevens face up.

The performer raises his right hand to reveal that the Seven has become invisible. He places his palm-down right hand over the face-down Seven. When he lifts his hand, the face-down Seven is seen on top of the other Seven.

The performer hands the two Sevens to his participant for examination. When she is done examining them, she tables them face up. The performer picks up the two other Sevens, turns them face up, and without relinquishing his grip, lets the participant feel them to affirm that there are only two cards. He tables those Sevens face down and slightly spread to his right.

The performer picks up the face-up Sevens, turns them face down and holds them in his left hand. He props up the top Seven of the pair in “tent” position. His right hand palms the Seven as his left hand tables the remaining Seven face up.

The performer places his palm-down right hand over the two face-down Sevens. He lifts his hand and reveals that the second Seven has travelled to join the other two.

With his palm-down right hand, the performer picks up the three face-down Sevens. His palm-down left hand picks up the face-up Seven and turns palm up, displaying the card’s back. He uses the left edge of his right hand’s cards to flip his left hand’s Seven face up in his left hand and then he tables it face up.

The performer turns his right hand palm up, displaying the faces of the three Sevens. Without relinquishing his grip, he allows the participant to feel the cards. Then he turns the cards face down and tables them off to his right.

The performer picks up the face-up Seven, turns it face down and holds it in his right hand. He places his palm-down left hand onto the table and sticks the Seven under it. The performer raises his left hand and turns it palm up, “displaying” the invisible Seven in his palm. He executes a palm-to-palm transfer, palming the invisible card in his right hand. He lowers his right hand over the three, face-down Sevens. He raises his hand to reveal that the fourth Seven has joined the other three. He turns the cards face up onto the table, emphasizing that there are only four cards.

This is Mr. Stone’s clever version of Larry Jenning’s ”Invisible Palm Aces.” You must be seated to perform this effect. While only four cards are used, one of them is a special card that you will have to purchase.

I really like it.

Deck of Decroux: From the ceiling of the stage, an envelope hangs from a string. A director’s-type chair is also on stage. The performer invites a participant on stage. He hands her an invisible deck, from which she freely selects and announces any card.

The performer moves the chair under the dangling envelope. He stands on the chair in order to detach the envelope from the string. He tears open the envelope and removes a folded prediction. He shows the crowd that there is nothing else in the envelope. He hands the prediction to his participant.

The participant announces that she chose, say, the Four of Clubs. She opens the prediction and displays it to the crowd, who sees that the performer correctly predicted the Four of Clubs.

This is essentially a stage version of the “Invisible Deck” presentation that doesn’t employ an Ultra Mental deck. Mr. Stone’s elaborate method is a super-sized application of a principle that dates back to at least 1853. It requires a considerable amount of one-time preparation. The effect doesn’t pack small, but it certainly plays big.

I really like it.

I love Tom Stone’s innovative, other-worldly thinking and I thoroughly enjoyed Runes of Tomorrow. The material in this slim collection is worth more than the author’s asking price because there is much more to this ebook than the effects. Mr. Stone’s brief, valuable insights into blocking, misdirection, psychological subterfuge and cancelling principles made me grin and nod and thirst for more. I wish I could Vulcan mind meld with him in order to experience and savor his inspired mental machinations.

Highly Recommended