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The Genie Who Had Wishes of His Own:      21st-Century Fables

Twenty-two brand new heroes, villains, and earnest strivers go after health, love, and fulfillment.

* Idealistic architect Zoe creates a building so green it might save the Earth--if she can protect it from the people living in it.

* Health food expert Myrna decides to rescue her husband from a nutritional wasteland. But Stanley's a big man who likes ice cream.

* Roger makes himself a multibillionaire by exploiting workers, squeezing expenses, and stretching loopholes--until he accidentally explodes his world.

* Nina, who knows exactly what she wants, finds a genuine genie, who discovers what he wants.

Endearing and determined, these trapeze artists, juggler, caterpillar, song sparrow, ballerina, and the rest are exactly who we want them to be: us. Our favorites walk beside us as private guardians and powerful allies.


"Fantastic!" --Ray Bradbury


"There is something hedonistic and luxurious inherent in these fables. . . . Look around for this book. You'll find it useful in countless social and literary ways." --Carolyn See


"Very clever." --Barnaby Conrad


Freeing the Genie


      A woman named Nina knew exactly what she wanted.  In an antique shop to buy herself a birthday present--something exotic, she'd know it when she saw it--she found an ancient bronze oil lamp.  It was covered with dust, but its elaborate handle and thick spout looked important, its ideal proportions the work of a master artist.  So she scooped the lamp from the shelf and talked the shopkeeper into selling it for fifty dollars instead of seventy-five.

      At home with a magnifying glass, she searched the lamp for hallmarks to see when and where it was made, and found one tiny cuneiform.  The lamp's base was crafted with the same care as its spout, as though for the joy of creating, for the light it would give.

      But it was grimy.  So, though she respected patinas, she gentled it into warm water.

      It trembled in her hands.  Fumes and vapor bubbled from the spout.

      She shrieked and grabbed her fire extinguisher.

      The fumes and vapor grew into an exquisite genie wearing little more than an emerald turban.  He bathed her in a smile: dark eyelashes swept air when he blinked.  He'd been sculpted by the Michelangelo of genies.  He bowed graciously from the spout.  "For finding me in this cursed lamp, I grant you three wishes!"  He swelled and swayed above the lamp.  "They must be personal--for you alone."

      His lovely manners and kind voice softened her fears.  And she had wishes!  Silently, she prioritized.  This physically stunning creature will understand.  "I wish to have  . . .