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Richard Kaufman
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The January 2016 Digital Issue of Genii is Now Live

Welcome to the new year and the start of our 78th year of publication. Our January issue is now live online for your enjoyment. (If you’re viewing the digital issue with your phone or tablet using an app, everything is operating normally. However, if you view it through your browser, please go to, sign in, and click on the “Issues” tab. Enter our system through the November issue. Once there, click on the “Issues” button in the black ribbon on the right side. A new window will open and you’ll find the January issue listed first. We’re having some extensive and long-overdue maintenance done on our system and I apologize for the round-about way you have to use to access the December 2015 and January 2016 issues.)

Following the rousing success of our sold-out Genii Convention this past October, we are going to do it again Wednesday October 4 through Sunday October 8, 2017. Activities begin as usual on Wednesday night with the opening of the dealers room and an event; normal convention activities will run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and the very popular extra-charge Workshops will take place on Sunday. The venue will again be the Florida Hotel and Conference Center in Orlando. Details to follow in the coming months. I’m going to book a combination of new artists and guest favorites.

Our cover story this month is our feature coverage of the biennial Los Angeles Conference on Magic History, now in its 14th year. I thought it was one of the best, with excellent talks given on a wide variety of historical subjects, and recreations of some amazing magic from the past. This was the year to see a portion of Harry Kellar’s performance recreated by Jim Steinmeyer, with Nicholas Night portraying the master showman using props either from John Gaughan’s collection, or newly built by John for the occasion. And Mike Caveney produced Tina Lenert during the performance of “Birth of a Pearl” using a vintage piece of apparatus. All this and much more in our top to bottom coverage by Dustin Stinett, accompanied by excellent photography by Bill Taylor, A.S.C., and Kari Hendler.

Our newest columnist is one of my oldest friends. He wrote a very large book on the history of prints which picture the Cups and Balls (sadly yet to be published in its intended form), and also a column called “Hidden Treasures” which will appear in Genii for the next several years. I am, of course, speaking of the remarkable Bob Read. Bob was a force of nature, an incredible magician and one of the funniest performers who ever lived. Though he died unexpectedly of a heart attack 10 years ago at age 65, I have refused to believe it to this day. Some people are unique in all the world in the way they embody so many different things which are not duplicated, or known by, anyone else. When they die, much is lost. With the help of Martin McMillian at International Magic, I guided the creation of a four DVD set of Bob’s performances and material which captured a lot of that. But he left more. As a literary personage, Bob succeeded wonderfully in his ability to write in his own true voice. It’s so nice to have Bob back with us in “Hidden Treasures,” which is a humorous potpourri ramble on things which only Bob could link together.

One of magic’s great treasures was Barrie Richardson, who died in September after a long illness. He is remembered by Jon Racherbaumer.
The balance of our issue comes from our one-of-a-kind lineup of columnists. Those looking for tricks need only to turn to Jeff Prace’s column “Left-Handed” for a simple yet amazing climax to your card work, along with three excellent tricks in Andi Gladwin’s “Magicana.” This month Dani DaOrtiz and Kainoa Harbottle take different tangents into psychology and the historical, while David Kaye muses what the homogenization of language due to political correctness is doing to performers in “The Expert at the Kids’ Table.” John Gaughan’s “Chamber of Secrets” is linked to our coverage of the History Conference and highlights Harry Kellar’s classic “Coffee Trick”; Jon Racherbaumer reads and discusses four new books in “On the Slant”; Daniel Ulin returns for a robust “Knights at the Magic Castle” with all the latest doings at the Academy of Magical Arts; finally, our reviewers start with the debut of Kainoa Harbottle on books, Danny Orleans on tricks, and Dustin Stinett on videos.

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