I'm suprised he hasn't been mentioned yet. John bannon is a laywer for schiff hardin llp, and also a hobbyist magician.
he has released four books. Mirage was his first one in 1986 (Incredibly hard to find, even he doesn;t have a copy!) then he wrote impossibilia in 1990, which is where he was first noticed and got a lot of attention because of his play it straight triumph and shirek of the mutilated, a very different type of torn and restored. Although Impossibilia is out of print, it still pops up in ebay every now and then, which is how I got my copy. In 1992, he released smoke and mirrors, which was the book that made bannon's potential fully realized. This book has 31 card and coin routines, and almost every trick in the book is real world material. Many people consider this book to be in their top ten favorite magic books of all time. John bannon then dropped out of the magic world for a while, occasionally releasing some lecture notes or marketed versions of the tricks in smoke and mirrors (like strangers gallery and detour de force). Smoke and mirrors is out of print, but a second printing by kaufman and company came out recently. Around 1998, bannon resurfaced with a new set of lecture notes called cardzilla is coming. these were an exfeptional set of lecture notes, and also gace a bit of insight into a book he was writing called cardzilla, which was to be a huge collection of original card magic he was writing. Obviously, this caused a big stir, and got people more interested in him again. In 1999, he appeared with some new material in the live in london tape, which was a collection of various performers at a london convention. About two years ago, he began writing hiw newwest book called dea mr fantasy. as you can imagine, this caused a considerable amount of buzz sincei it was his first book in 15 years! It finally got published around july of 2005, and has been hailed by many as the best book of 2005. In the foreword, he said that this was not cardzilla, but a smaller, more personal project. Cardzilla is coming soon though, and its arrival will probably make a huge smash.
That's a short magiucal bio on john bannon. anyone have something they want to add? He is my favortie magician, and although he hasn't released much, I have yet to see one bad or impractical effect from him EVER.