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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ebooks, PDF's or Downloads » » Ignis Fatuus - By Zach Allen (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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MikeJRogers
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Hi everyone,

I thought I may as well start a thread on Zach Allen's new e-book 'Ignis Fatuus'. From what I've read it sounds great.

So whats the verdict everyone?

Thanks,

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers Illusion Design - Australia - http://www.mikerogers.com.au
"Nothings impossible, the impossible just takes longer" - Dan Brown novel
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cybercardmagic
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Where can I find this new e-book???? It is about cardmagic????

Can you make a review????

Thanks for help

cybercardmagic
Zach Allen
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Hmmm...I'd be interested to know what people think, too. Smile


I had a few people PM/email me and tell me that of what they read so far was good. Maybe some people can post their reviews here. One purchaser said a few brief words about it in the post in the "Books and Lecture notes for sale/trade", but no one has put up a review yet...

Zach
Check out all 6 of my e-books!
The Magic of Zach Allen

Also, here is a free PDF of ideas:
Starlit Circles
Sean Fields
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Mr. Allen sent a copy of Ignis Fatuus to me to read over, and asked for my thoughts. I will post a condensed version here for anyone interested.

Now, I don't know if the version I was sent is a final draft, or if there is editting to be done, so keep that in mind while reading this review.

Ignis Fatuus is a strange mix of effects. Some good, some not so good, some simply outstanding. There is magic with cards, coins, rocks, and even raindrops!

Some of the highlights include:

Yin & Yang - A story deck with a dark story, as well a kicker effect.

Vanish 3-D - As simple as it is slick. A card is leaned against an object, and in an instant, the card falls flat, the object has vanished!

Think Of A Card - A simple gimmick makes the Paul Harris effect, and the Ray Kosby elaboration far simpler. Now the effect is attainable by mere mortals!

Crossing The Line - This effect made me wish I lived in the US. It is a simple coin transformation, but the transformation is very 'organic'. Paul Harris fans will most likely love this one.

Poke! - I developed a similar idea independantly, but Mr. Allen has gone far further with it than I ever did. It is a completely impromptu pencil thru bill. No gimmicks, and it looks as good as some of the marketed versions, better than some in fact! I have to mention Mr. Allen has included a 'melt thru' effect that almost exactly mimics Misled. Need I say more?

Ham & Rye - A unique, if albeit stupid 'sandwich' effect, utilizing a real ham sandwich. I have no doubt that this could be a comedy miracle in the right hands.

Re-Light - This is one of my favorites in the book. A match is lit, and blown out. After a few moments of concentration, the magician causes the match to burst into flames!

Mark of the Devil - A pentagram is drawn on the back of the magicians hand in blue marker. During the course of a card location, the pentagram changes color to red. Neat idea, with A LOT of possible applications.

Case Cut - A simple, and direct any card at any number effect. The method will make you smile.

White Cliffs - A very innovative ring on wand routine. A finger ring is borrowed, and threaded on a golf pencil. The ring is then caused to penetrate on and off the ring in a very convincing manner.

Matrix - Quite possibly the most disappointing effect in the book for some. For me, it is one of the best. The magician causes a raindrop to stop in mid flight, and hover in mid air, before continuing on to the ground.

Now, those are the highlights, but not all is perfect. There are some effects that read like 'filler' to me. They may work very well for Mr. Allen, but they don't do it for me. Whether it be due to originality issues, practicality, or simply effect, there are some effects which I would rather have seen on the cutting room floor. With just the effects that I have hightlighted, there is more than enough material to satisfy the most die hard neophyte, so I don't feel it neccessary for the 'filler'.

As it is now, it is a great book. If Mr. Allen eliminates some of the lackluster effects, and perhaps even replaces them with more of his 'A' material, it would be a spectacular book.

There is room for improvement, but not much.

I would rate it 7/10. That rating is based on the copy I received, and is subject to change if Mr. Allen adds or removes effects for release.

Recommended.

Sean Fields
Zach Allen
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Sean,
Thanks for the comments...I appreciate them. And please, call me Zach.

I'm not really trying to defend myself on any comments that Sean made, since I hate it when creators think their product is perfect and try to come up with a rebuttal to any criticism. As Sean said up above, some of the effects didn't work for him. They all do work for me. They may work for you, they may not. I do think that there is enough in this book to be of interest to anyone, however.

Anyone else have a review?

Zach
Check out all 6 of my e-books!
The Magic of Zach Allen

Also, here is a free PDF of ideas:
Starlit Circles
Sean Fields
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I didn't mean to sound overly critical. I must stress that some of the effects did not work for ME. As I mentioned, I have no doubt that the effects in question work well for Zach, and will work well for others, they are just not for me.

I also have to stress that in this day and age, where people are releasing subpar magic (Heaven knows I have been accused of this), Zach's book is refreshing. There really are great, offbeat, original effects presented here.

Sean
larry7412
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Just wondering where I can order this e-book?

thanks
Larry Smile
Zach Allen
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Hi everyone,
My website is currently under construction. However, those wishing to purchase this ebook from me can either click on the following link to pay by PayPal, or can pay by a check / money order.

Click here

I prefer PayPal, as it is easier to deal with and also easier for you, as you will get Ignis Fatuus delivered to you within 24 hours, and more than likely a lot sooner than that.

However, if you want to pay by either a check or money order, you can send payment to:

Zach Allen
5 Quail Run
Plymouth, MA 02360

Be sure to PM me informing me that you sent payment via mail, and also include your email address, either in PM or in the mail so that I can email the file out to you pronto.

Since I just recently re-realized that the Buy, Sell, Trade forums are only viewable by those that have made 50 posts, I wanted to post the rest of the contents of the book here.

Dealing with the Devil - a false deal that places the card into a palm as it is dealt - completely different from the Snap deal

Allen Spin - card flourish

Visi-Triump - a gimmicked deck triumph that is visual and clean

TrainStop - version of Jay Sankey's Locomotion with ungimmicked cards

Death Switch - a versatile switch of a card - must be seated, but still useful

New Best Friends - version of Collector's that uses a "no-force - force" technique to put you three ahead (That really doesn't make much sense, so I'll just say that it makes it very clean)

Psych 101 - 3 routines strung together that allows for a psychological force of a card

Heads, Tails, Gone - 3 coin vanish along with a utility ditch - coins heard in the hand until the vanish

3 / Visual Tenkai - my two additions to the 3-Fly plot - a no hands transfer and a barehanded, sleight-of-hand vanish of the last coin - looks good, requires practice

Card of Mystery - Inside magic joke. If you've been in magic for any period of time, you might find this funny.

BLiMP (Barehanded LIt Match Production) - what the title says

Bluff Find - If you lose the spec's card, this is the way to go to find it - requires ACTING

Rock Through Window - again, what the title says - its a situational effect that takes a bit of prep - up to you to see if you want to do it

NewsJump - a way to pull a newspaper unharmed out from under your feet while you're standing on it

Got business? - tear your business card in half, put it back together

Q-Tip up ear - for the third time, what the title says

ClayDo - harden a lump of bake-in-the-oven clay in the spectator's hands



I think I just about covered everything that wasn't mentioned up above by Sean. Any other reviews from the 20 or so of you who pre-ordered this? I'd really like to hear what you think of it. Thanks!

Zach Allen
Check out all 6 of my e-books!
The Magic of Zach Allen

Also, here is a free PDF of ideas:
Starlit Circles
Sean Fields
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In my review, I forgot to mention one effect that I also felt deserves to be highlighted, TrainStop.

This effect, while dirt simple, produces a great illusion. You visibly move a pip on a card from one end to the other. The better you are with cards, the more amazing this will look.

Please excuse the oversight. Having said that, I would probably have to bump the review slightly, 7.5 perhaps?

Sean
montz
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Zach, I particularly enjoyed your ebook, and although all the effects weren't for me, to be honest I bought it for the matrix effect, and wasn't disappointed.

The other routines, particularly the 3-D vanish, were an unexpected bonus.

These things, together with the false deal, really made my day.

Cheers,

Liam.
Tom Jorgenson
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Very well executed, and most reasonable. I think your choices for doing it e-Book style were right on. This sure seems a reasonable way to get your work in print.

Loved the work on gaffing your own cards, and the instantaneous ring off pencil seems to be an anywhere anytime minor miracle.

cant wait for the next volume....
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
Zach Allen
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Sean,
Thanks for "bumping up" the review a bit. Smile

Liam and Tom,
Thanks for the kind words. I'd also like to thank all of you who purchased this from me...I encourage you to post your thoughts here, or at least PM/email me with them. I'd really like to hear what people think of this.

Thank you for your post. I'm more than happy to answer all of your questions.

"Is there any original material that you have performed for 10 yrs in front of a paying public. "

First of all, I have been practicing the art of magic for nine years now, so no, I can't say that I have performed for 10 years in front of a paying public. However, all of the items in my book I have performed in front of paying audiences, with the exception of two routines, because they are inside magician jokes. Everything in my book has been audience tested. Many changes over the years have occured in my routines.

"All I see is other peoples material that you have rehashed."

You are certainly welcome to see that. Yes, I will admit that some of these routines are either variations on a classic plot, or the effect was derived after seeing another similar effect. The effect, not the method. In some cases I feel I have added an improvement, or at least a variation which is not a step backwards. Then, in other cases, I thought of an effect, and came up with a method. These routines have been years in the making.

"Please tell me where you have performed in Las Vegas, Alantic City, Chicago, LA. If you are a student how could you be a full time professional."

Well, I have never had the opportunity to perform in any of those places. Yes, I am a student, and I never claimed to be a full-time professional. Just because I am not a full time professional magician, does not mean that I do not use these routines. I created these effects for my own personal use, and decided to share them with the magic community as a way of getting my work into print and attaching my name to my original creations. These routines work, and while they may not all be for everyone, there is enough variety in this offering to satisfy most.

"I only buy material from proven sources."

Ouch...I must admit that one hurt a bit. Ok, here we go. I will be the first to admit that I am not a "proven source", as you call it. Yes, I am a relative unknown in the world of magic. And yes, I'm sure some of you are thinking, "Oh no, here's another new magician thinking he can whip an ebook together and make a few bucks by selling bad magic."

That was exactly the presumption that I was trying to avoid. I did this by having a vote in the Secret Sessions forum. I listed the tricks above and had people vote for their two favorites. Then, I released the two routines for free, for public consumption. Im including the links below, so you can check out my "rehased material" and judge for yourself.

I'd type more, but my fingers are getting tired...

Here are the links:

Slo-Mo
http://www.geocities.com/magicpdog/slomo.html

SCISP
http://www.geocities.com/magicpdog/scisp.html

And since you have enough posts to gain access to the SecretSessions forum, I'll post the links to the topics as well, so you can read the feedback I've gotten on my tricks.

SCISP:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......7&51

Slo-MO:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......7&32


Well, I apologize for the long post, but I always hate the assumption that I'm simply another newbie trying to make a quick buck...

Zach
Check out all 6 of my e-books!
The Magic of Zach Allen

Also, here is a free PDF of ideas:
Starlit Circles
Steve Friedberg
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William:
I will stipulate several things off the top...

- I have not read Zach's book.
- I've never met him.
- I'm unfamiliar with his effects.

However, I'm well familiar with Sean Fields, and if he says Zach's efforts are worth review, that's good enough for me. Zach may not have the 10 years of experience, nor may he have performed in any of the cities you mentioned. But there are a number of younger magicians who don't have that experience, who can certainly teach me and others a heck of a lot. (And others, like Vernon, weren't exactly known for their frequent performing outside of a small circle.)

Moreover, I just finished reading a thread about Harry Lorayne's OOTU, which is a variant on Paul Curry's OOTW. Well, that's a rehash, to be sure...but it's powerful all by itself (and I do it all the time). My point is that there's a lot of excellent stuff out there which is a re-hash on something else, and in its own way, an improvement over the original.

Your end opinion is fair; I'd ask that you reconsider your logic leading up to it. Thanks.
Cheers,
Steve

"A trick does not fool the eyes, but fools the brain." -- John Mulholland
montz
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Quote:
On 2004-01-29 20:39, wmhegbli wrote:
Is there any original material that you have performed for 10 yrs in front of a paying public.

All I see is other peoples material that you have rehashed.

Please tell me where you have performed in Las Vegas, Alantic City, Chicago, LA. If you are a student how could you be a full time professional.

I only buy material from proven sources. Smile


Exactly the kind of comment that stops real creators wanting to release anything.

You only buy material from proven sources?

Proven Sources? If everyone gets there material from the same proven sources, Everyone's act is going to look mighty similar.

And all you see is other peoples material rehashed?

I'm sure Zach would appriecate having the sources for these in print, so he can put in the appropriate credits. And out of interest, what exactly was the last TOTALLY original effect you bought?

Because mine was where you slow down a raindrop, from a shower, and leave it hanging in midair.

Unless your criticism is contructive, there seems very little place for it in a forum of reviews.

In my opinion.

Liam.
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I can only echo Sean Fields comments...

I've just skimmed through the book for now but I've immediately found some gems...

All I can say for now is that the book is well thought of and I like it.

And, for the people buying only from professionals with 10 years experience (why 10 and not 15 or 20?), you are free to not buy this book. YOUR LOSS!

Also, if Zach received very good comments about his routines by some professionals (with more than 10 years of experience in the field!) then, by your logic, this book is clearly a GOOD BOOK!

Paolo Cavalli
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Larry Davidson
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Quote:
On 2004-01-30 03:49, montz wrote:
"...And out of interest, what exactly was the last TOTALLY original effect you bought?

Because mine was where you slow down a raindrop, from a shower, and leave it hanging in midair...."


I have a method for doing that, but it only works if it's 32 degrees Fahrenheit or colder in the bathroom. Smile Didn't Marlo have a variation that worked at 0 degrees Celsius or lower?

Most magic that's created is derivative, and that in itself doesn't make it bad.

Larry
Zach Allen
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Thanks for all the responses...I just wanted to say that it is perfectly fine for wmhegbli (William) to have the opinion that he does. However, as Steve pointed out, I wish that you would use better logic in coming to that opinion. Yes, I understand that some of the conclusions that he came to were based on the assumption that most new or unknown magicians put out bad magic.

I understand that things like that happen from time to time. However, I don't feel that this is the case for me. I'm not going to sit at my computer chair and tell all of you that my ebook is the greatest thing to come along in the magic world since the TT. I tried to list the effects as openly and without hype as possible. I prefer to let people read my book, and then offer comments on it. In the end, it all comes down to your judgement, but I wish you would pick better reasons than were listed above.

Ok, I just had to get that out of my system and I apologize once again for the mini-rant. I just couldn't stop thinking about it all day. That's enough of that subject.

As for Ignis Fatuus, thanks for all of the comments. I look forward to reading more reviews/comments on the book.

Zach

Larry,
Just re-read your post...I'm not quite familiar with Marlo's version, perhaps you could list a source for it? Smile

My method is pretty simple; in fact, all you need to do is deliver millions of pounds of iron filling into the atmosphere via your local space shuttle. Once that is accomplished, just hold a weak magnet out while it is raining. However, care must be taken not to attract ALL of the rain. Another alternate method is to train a fly, and then stick the fly inside a tiny soap bubble that poses as a raindrop. The rest should be apparent.

(Luckily, the real method is one actually obtainable by mere mortals Smile )

Zach
Check out all 6 of my e-books!
The Magic of Zach Allen

Also, here is a free PDF of ideas:
Starlit Circles
Larry Davidson
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Quote:
On 2004-01-30 18:06, Zach Allen wrote:
Larry,
Just re-read your post...I'm not quite familiar with Marlo's version, perhaps you could list a source for it? Smile


It's in an underground manuscript entitled "Watered Down Marlo."
Zach Allen
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Excellent; I'll be adding that to my library immediately. Thanks!

Zach

I forgot to mention the two other tricks that come with the e-book. These are the two that I posted in the Secret Sessions forum, but I realize may not have been read by all. So, here they are...

SCISP - Signed Card in Spectator's Pocket - this is a way to load a spectator's card into their own pocket, without going near them at any time. Uses no stooges and no assistants, etc.

Slo-Mo - this is a slow-motion card change.

Thanks for all the support!

Zach
Check out all 6 of my e-books!
The Magic of Zach Allen

Also, here is a free PDF of ideas:
Starlit Circles
Menetekel
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This book of Zach Allen is really great!

I especially liked two effects and I'm already re-working one to fit my needs!

I tell you there are some GEMS inside this book! BUY IT!
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