Books: Magic Powers

THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOW

by Clive Barker

Harper & Row; 550 pages; $19.95

Just as one of the grand traditions in science fiction is to be antiscience, warning of the dangers of ambition, so fiction of the supernatural often tends to be subtly antimagic. The underlying message in each case is the inherent peril in man's playing God. The two genres are cunningly fused in the rich and absorbing new novel by Clive Barker, a horror writer (The Books of Blood, Weaveworld) and filmmaker (Hellraiser, Nightbreed) who is branching into fantasy. While The Great and Secret Show is populated by...

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