#ShortStoryMonth Day Twenty — “The Library of Lost Things,” by Matthew Bright


Another Volume

I have so many authors I love who revisit characters on the regular, or settings on the regular, that I’m spoiled for riches, really. And though I always want more, I decided to take today’s prompt from the point of view of a story that—to my knowledge at least—is singular. So!

“The Library of Lost Things,” by Matthew Bright.

I loved this wee tale. It’s full to the brim with a slightly off-kilter weird fiction vibe that, in the hands of a skilled writer such as he, is entirely endearing. What’s a library of lost works? Well, it’s full of books that were considered, or abandoned, or written but lost, gathered through some version of magic or mystery or something. A librarian with a dark need for those of zero imagination or expansiveness to sort—without reading—those works? I mean, you already had me at the books.

Rats who’ve nibbled enough fiction to learn polysyllabic verbiage? And maybe, just maybe, a little bit of romance of a forbidden sort?

Yeah, just bring it.

Even better? You can even read it for free, at Tor.

There was a story in Bending the Landscape: Science Fiction, Kathleen O’Malley’s “Silent Passion,” that was set on a world where aliens made (literally) deafening levels of noise, so a man (and his Deaf lover) travel there together, the man implanted with a device to render him functionally deaf, and I always wanted to go back there again; also Hank Edwards’ “Thaw,” which was a great story about two men meeting in the midst of an accident in a slightly future world that is our own, but after a disaster, from Bears of Winter.

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