Jelly Ink Press


Small Beer Press

MFB pbmagic for beginners
kelly link
HC: July 1, 2005 · 1931520151 · $24 | Buy | Mail order | Our Local Bookshop | Your Local Bookshop | Powells
PB: Sept. 5, 2006 · 0156031876 · $14 | Our Local Bookshop | Your Local Bookshop | Powells
Limited edition

Link's engaging and funny second collection -- call it kitchen-sink magical realism -- riffs on haunted convenience stores, husbands and wives, rabbits, zombies, weekly apocalyptic poker parties, witches, superheroes, marriage, and cannons -- and includes several new stories. Link is an original voice: no one else writes quite like this.

Each story is illustrated by cover artist Shelley Jackson. The cover is modeled on Leonardo Da Vinci's "Lady with an Ermine."

"Link's stories ... play in a place few writers go, a netherworld between literature and fantasy, Alice Munro and J.K. Rowling, and Link finds truths there that most authors wouldn't dare touch."
-- Time Magazine

"Link's writing shimmers with imagination."
-- Salon

Story Prize recommended reading list. Locus Award winner. Young Lions Award, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy Finalist

Table of Contents: The Faery Handbag : The Hortlak : The Cannon : Stone Animals : Catskin : Some Zombie Contingency Plans : The Great Divorce : Magic for Beginners : Lull.

Stories from Magic for Beginners have been published in McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales, Conjunctions, The Dark, and One Story. "Stone Animals" was selected for The Best American Short Stories: 2005. "The Faery Handbag" received the Nebula, Locus, and Hugo Awards and was a finalist for the British Science Fiction Association and World Fantasy Awards. "Magic for Beginners" received the Nebula, Locus, and British Science Fiction Association Awards  and was a finlaist for the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire, Hugo, Sturgeon, and World Fantasy Award.

Also: poker cards, T-shirts.

magic for beginnersFree Download
October 2, 2008

To celebrate the publication of Kelly's new collection, Pretty Monsters, most of Kelly's previous collection Magic for Beginners is now available as a free download in various completely open formats with no Digital Rights Management (DRM) strings attached. It is licensed under a Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0) license allowing readers to share the stories with friends and generally have at them in any noncommercial manner. The book is provided below in these formats: Text file, HTML, rtf, and lo-res PDF.

Kelly Link and Small Beer Press would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (USA) and HarperPerennial (UK) for their willingness to participate in making these stories available online. Due to contractual obligations, "The Faery Handbag" and "Magic for Beginners" are not included in this download.

We encourage any and all conversions into other formats. We'll happily host, credit, and add your conversion to the file list below. Please abide by these few rules for file-conversions:

  • Send us a link to the reader for your conversion so that we can include it on the downloads page.
  • No DRM. If your format of choice has a means of restricting copying, use or playback, please do not use it.
  • If the book has been converted to your format of choice but the conversion doesn't suit you, go ahead and reconvert it for your own use and distribution. We will host the first and only the first version as the few formats we have provided are pretty much all we know anything about. And we don't know that much about those.
  • Enjoy!

Order the book
US hardcover: Signed | Powells | local bookshop
US paperback: Signed | Powells | Amazon | local bookshop
UK edition: Amazon | John Smith | Waterstones
More editions: Japan | Germany | Romania | Poland | . . .

Downloads: To get your Free Download of Magic for Beginners click on the links below:

Printable PDF file, 1.6MB
HTML file, 400k
Plain text file, 360k
RTF file, 428k
-- Click to open in browser. Right click (or Control+click) to "Save link" to save the pdf file to your computer.

Bonus downloads.

More Small Beer Press CC-licensed downloads.

Creative Commons: Some Rights Reserved

Magic for Beginners - JapanMagic for Beginners - US hardcoverMagic for Beginners - UKMagic for Beginners - Russia

Magic for Beginners - KoreaMagic for Beginners - CzechMagic for Beginners - Germany Magic for Beginners / Stranger Things Happen - France


Pretty MonstersPretty Monsters

  • First young adult collection.
  • October 2, 2008 from Viking Penguin.
  • Nine stories each with an illustration by Shaun Tan.
  • "The Wizards of Perfil," "Monster," "The Surfer," The Constable of Abal," "The Wrong Grave," "The Faery Handbag," "The Specialist's Hat," "Magic for Beginners," and "Pretty Monsters."


Stranger Things HappenStranger Things Happen

  • Debut collection by Kelly Link. A Salon Book of the Year and Village Voice Favorite Book.
  • Reviews


Trampoline -- click for larger image Trampoline: an anthology of 20 stories edited by Kelly Link.

  • Greer Gilman's novella "A Crowd of Bone" was a World Fantasy Award Winner. Alex Irvine's story "Gus Dreams of Biting the Mailman" and the anthology were also nominated.



Small Beer Press