is an Alternate History Magitek
novella by Robert A. Heinlein
, published in 1940. It is the Ur Example
and Trope Maker
Archie Fraser's construction business was thriving, and magic was just a mundane part of every day operations. Trouble brews when mobsters try to shake him down for protection money. After cleaning up the mess they made after his refusal, Fraser runs into a suspiciously similar shakedown from the much more "legitimate" and powerful Magic, Inc.
that has suddenly gained foothold in town. As he and other businessmen try to hold out, his magician friends try to figure out the truth behind the corporation.
Provides Examples Of:
- Blue and Orange Morality: The salamander who helped in the destruction of Archie's business cannot be yelled at or punished as the other fantastical beings can. It has no sense that what it did was wrong, just that the person who asked it to do so provided something entertaining that it was inclined to do. Archie offers it a special fire place in his home to gain its favor and encourage it to do what he wants.
- Dungeon Punk
- Elemental Embodiment
- Ethnic Magician: Dr. Royce Worthington, the witch smeller.
- Gorgeous Garment Generation: Jedson is seen working with a young witch whose specialty is creating unique garments out of thin air. Unfortunately, she's been having some problems and produces dresses that are copies of existing designs on one try, and several hundred left shoes on another.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Amanda Todd Jennings
- Instant Mass Just Add Water: Jenson's new product idea involves shrunken items that regain their full size when they come in contact with water. With an umbrella contained in a pen, you'll never get caught in the rain again!
- The Legions of Hell: The group demands the right to inspect Satan's legions looking for the demon who runs Magic, Inc.
- Magic Realism
- Mega Corp.: The titular Magic, Inc. The heroes find out that it is a literal evil corporation when they discover that the founder and CEO is a high ranking demon from Hell.
- Oracular Head: Dr. Worthington carries the shrunken head of his grandfather who gives protection and advice.
- Suddenly Ethnicity: Fraser didn't expect Doctor Worthington to be a large black man. Heinlein was very fond of doing this to challenge people's prejudices back in the day.
- To Hell and Back: The heroes journey into hell to find the person behind Magic, Inc.
- Undercover Cop Reveal
- Utility Magic