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Known affectionately by her kids as "Indiana Mom", Dr. Mel. White renounced the Dilbert-In-Cube-Land existence of a computer programmer for a life of adventure, books, artwork, music, digging up dinosaurs (yes, really), and lots and lots of homework and research as she goes for her next degree -- in Egyptology -- when she's not trying to save the local bee populations.
She's had a number of cartoons and comic book stories published as well as three graphic novels (the Duncan & Mallory series with the late Robert Asprin.) Her fiction has appeared in magazines and five different anthologies and as the latest degree stumbles toward completion, she's begun to write again. Some of her current projects and ideas in progress can be found at http://www.planetmel.com.
on Feb. 27, 2013 :
“The Lamp of Many Wishes” is the story of the jinni after Aladdin’s death. What happened to the lamp? Did Aladdin leave it to one of his children? This is a good question, indeed. Such a wonderful object can become very dangerous in the wrong hands. We saw what happened when the evil magician had it. So, the author builds an interesting story around this question, and I must say I rather liked the result.
Before he dies, Aladdin summons the jinni and gives him a last order: from then on he would only grant three wishes, so that no one who comes in the possession of the lamp would have the entire power of the jinni in his hands. Then he hides the lamp in his treasury, among hundreds of other similar lamps.
As the years passed and no one found the magic lamp, the adventures of Aladdin and the jinni became a children’s story. Until Malouf Ali Akbar, the Grand Vizier of Tabuk, hears about the lamp from an old storyteller and uses all his magic tricks to find it. When he does, and the jinni tells him he will grant him three wishes, what do you think the Vizier’s first wish is? Well, of course, for the jinni to grant him as many wishes as there are stars in the sky. The jinni admits that Aladdin’s plan had a serious flaw, and he couldn’t do anything but obey.
This short story is a really light and enjoyable read. It is quite clever too. Don’t expect the Vizier to come up with great wishes that would turn him into a powerful, wealthy and feared man. At first he does, but he gets bored so easily of everything he gets, that he soon asks the jinni to take it all away. This does raise some thought-provoking questions, like “What would you wish for if you had a magic lamp?” or “Would you really be happy if anything you ever wanted would be yours just like that?” Yeah, maybe we could all use a magic lamp, but wouldn’t life get really dull?
If you want to find out how the jinni makes the Vizier release him after endless days or making him water the flowers, dust the furniture and cook, maybe you’ll give this short story a try.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)