Cameron Francis is a very talented magician with a knack for thinking somewhat outside of the box (see our review of his excellent Annihilation Deck for another example). Fixed Fate, his latest release, is a really pleasing addition to the card magic repertoire.
What is it?
In effect, the spectator freely selects a number and deals down to the card at that number. The other cards are shown to be different and blue-backed. When their selection is turned over it has a red back and their chosen number is boldly written on the back!
I suppose you could describe this as a distant cousin of an ACAAN type plot. Particular strengths are the fact that a different number (and card) can be chosen every time, and the spectator can turn the card over themselves – it all looks extremely fair. And it’s not at all difficult to do.
It’s not real magic, so a special deck is required. Some people have an issue with pocket space and the idea of having a whole deck of cards for a single effect, but I think the strength of this effect more than compensates for the space used.
What do you get?
We looked at the ‘digital’ version which involves a PDF which explains how to put your deck together (it only takes 5 or 10 minutes) and then contains a link to the video of performance and explanations. It’s also possible to order a physical version with a pre-made deck and a CD-ROM. However, especially for our UK readers, it is probably not worth spending the extra money (and postage) on the physical version – putting the deck together takes no special skill.
The explanation is very clear – everything is explained in plenty of detail. It’s not the highest quality video I’ve ever seen – and it ends somewhat abruptly! – but there are no problems here. It is simply ‘no frills’ – and for $15 (about £9 at the time of writing) what do you expect?
The reset is straightforward and could probably done in front of your spectator if you were careful – which makes this fairly viable in a walkaround setting (assuming the pocket space isn’t an issue for you). There were a few bonus ideas too, though they didn’t add much for me.
What do we think?
We like this a lot. The climax is very strong and the handling is very clean. Clever thinking takes all the hard work out of this so we think it is well worth a punt.
[And if you order before Wednesday 30th October you will also be provided with a link to another previously unpublished routine called Counter Intuitive. We won’t give full details here, but our skinny on that is – not the most exciting plot in the world – but extremely fair looking and fairly impromptu.]
[UPDATE – since we wrote this review, this has now been put out in a more ‘professional’ package by BBM – and the links have been updated accordingly]
Available from Merchant of Magic (with thanks to Cameron Francis who kindly provided the review copy).