There is a story where every one is shown to have a unique knack. For example, one man can make an ashtray-sized object vanish (but he can't bring it back). Another man's knack is to be able to transport a person/object between two cabinets. As far as I recall, this was a short story in some collection.

Thanks for the help!

  • Do you remember if the setting was more fantasy or sci-fi? Or when you read it?
    – Tacroy
    Jul 11, 2012 at 1:26
  • Hmm... more fantasy than sci-fi I'd say. Also, I must have read it atleast 15 years ago. Jul 11, 2012 at 1:50
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    Hmm.. Each person having a Unique 'knack' makes me think of Pier Anthony's 'Xanth' books... But they were not short stories... Orson Scott Card's 'Alvin Maker' books had a few short stories connected to them, and specifically used the term 'knack'; either sound familiar?
    – K-H-W
    Jul 11, 2012 at 3:40
  • @KeithHWeston Thanks for the answer. I've read both the series. This story was unrelated and just a short story, not a series. Jul 11, 2012 at 7:00
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    Maybe some story from Wild Cards universe? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Cards
    – epll
    Jan 9, 2013 at 8:53

1 Answer 1


"A Trick or Two" by John Novotny features Jesse, a rather nasty man who discovers that his trick is transporting a person between cabinets. The person emerges sans clothing. He does this to Laura, a woman he's pursuing- only to find that she has a talent of her own.

Jesse's friend Tom can make small objects disappear; he demonstrates this with an ashtray.

I have this in the collection "A Decade of Fantasy and Science Fiction" (1964) edited by Robert P. Mills.

  • You got it! Thanks! Mar 25, 2013 at 9:57
  • You're quite welcome. One of my favorite SF books.
    – Frock
    Mar 25, 2013 at 10:00
  • That's the one I was looking for :) Mar 25, 2013 at 10:05

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