The Quest for Library/Librarian Short Speculative Fiction

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I am working on Ex Libris: Stories of Librarians, Libraries, and Lore, a reprint anthology for Prime Books.

I’ve compiled the following lists of stories. (No, I have not read all of them yet. Some I may not be able to track down at all. Some may not fit the theme. Some are probably not genre. Etc.) But if you have or know of another speculative fiction (SF/F/H) short story/novelette/novella about a librarian (or librarians) or a library (or libraries)—let me know! Email paula@prime-books.com Deadline September 16!

(Art above is by Julie Dillon)

[Alphabetical by Author; ignore notations]

NEWER Stories

  • Edoardo Albert, “The Last Librarian, Or a Short Account of the End of the World” (Daily SF)
  • Therese Arkenberg, “The Storms in Arisbat”
  • Alec Austin, “Blood Remembers”
  • Kage Baker, “The Books”
  • Kelly Barnhill, “The Taxidermist’s Other Wife”
  • Elizabeth Bear, “In Libres”
  • Gregory Benford, “The Sigma Structure Symphony”(SETI Library)
  • Matthew Bey, “The Secret of Pogopolis”
  • Richard Bowes, “There’s a Hole in the City” (librarian protag)
  • Jon L. Breen, “The Adventure of the Librarian’s Ghost”
  • Gary A. Braunbeck, “Paper Cuts” (just books, no library?)
  • Damien Broderick, “Time Considered as a Series of Thermite Burns in No Particular Order” (destroy Martian plague in library)
  • P.D. Cacek, “The Grave” (about?)
  • Jason K. Chapman, “Brief Candle”
  • Amal El-Mohtar, “The Green Book”
  • Ruthann Emrys, “Those Who Watch”
  • Esther M. Friesner, “Death and the Librarian”
  • Shaenon K. Garrity. “Librarians in the Branch Library of Babel” (Borges take-off)
  • Glenn Lewis Gillette, “She Called Me Sweetie” (library enough?)
  • Erin M. Hartshorn, “Matchmaker”
  • Xia Jia (translated by Ken Liu), “If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler”
  • Naim Kabir, “On the Origin of Song”
  • Ellen Klages, “In the House of the Seven Librarians”
  • Yoon Ha Lee, “Effigy Nights” (about library?)
  • Yoon Ha Lee, “Architectural Constants” (only one a librarian?)
  • Thomas Ligotti, “The Library of Byzantium”
  • Kelly Link, “Magic for Beginners (TV show/magic librarians)
  • H. P. Lovecraft, “The Shadow Out of Time”
  • Scott Lynch, “In the Stacks”
  • Ken Macleod, “The Vorkuta Event”
  • Jennifer Mason-Black, “In the Library of Souls”
  • Sarah Monette, [Kyle Murchison Booth]
  • Sunny Moraine, “It Is Healing, Never Whole” (enough?)
  • Steven L. Peck, “A Short Stay in Hell” (novella 106 pp) ?
  • Steven Piziks, “Hoard”
  • Steven Piziks,“A Quiet Knight’s Reading”
  • Tim Pratt, “The Fairy Library”
  • Tim Pratt, “Care and Feeding (DSM)
  • Robert Reed, “A Woman’s Best Friend”
  • E. Saxey, “The Librarian’s Dilemma”
  • Ken Scholes. “Of Metal Men and Scarlet Thread and Dancing with the Sunrise”
  • Carrie Vaughn, “The Librarian’s Daughter”
  • Joshia Viola, “The Librarian”
  • Connie Willis, “Nonstop to Portales”
  • A. C. Wise, “With Tales in Their Teeth, From the Mountain They Came”
  • Caroline Yoachim, “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Love, Death”

* * * *

OLDER STORIES

  • Poul Anderson,“Wolfram” (nongenre?)
  • Jorge Luis Borges, “The Library of Babel”
  • Jorge Luis Borges, “Book of Sand”
  • Ray Bradbury, “Exchange” +
  • Grant Burns, “A Note from Senora Sector” ?
  • L. Sprague De Camp & Fletcher Pratt, “No Forwarding Address”
  • Ramsey Campbell, “The Enchanted Fruit”
  • Ramsey Campbell, “In the Shadow”
  • Ramsey Campbell, “Call First” (library porter ?)
  • Orson Scott Card, “The Originist”
  • Fred Chappell, “The Lodger” +
  • Richard T. Chizmar, “Like Father, Like Son”?
  • August W. Derleth, “The Sandwin Compact”
  • August W. Derleth, “The Slayers and the Slain”
  • Hal Draper, “MS Fnd in Lbry” (fluff)
  • Mircea Eliade, “Nights at Serampore”
  • Elizabeth Emmett, “Enchantment +
  • Carol Emshwiller, “The Circular Library of Stones” +
  • Carol Emshwiller, “The Word Was to the Wise” +
  • Neil Ferguson, “The Second Third of C.” +
  • Michael Flynn, “Mammy Morgan Played the Organ; Her Daddy Beat the Drum” +
  • Gerald W. Gabbard, “More Things” (fluff)
  • Nikki Giovanni, “The Library” +
  • M. R. James, “The Tractate Middoth” +
  • David H. Keller, MD, “The Cerebral Library” (1931)
  • S. King, “The Library Policeman” (Four Past Midnight)
  • Ursula K. LeGuin, “The Phoenix” +
  • Ursula K. LeGuin, “True Love” (nongenre) -
  • Martin Loran, “An Ounce of Dissension”
  • Jack McDevitt, “The Fort Moxie Branch” +
  • Mary C. McKinlay, “Like a Diamond in the Sky” –
  • Steven Millhauser, “The Library of Morpheus” (Excerpt from novel?)
  • Hector H. Munro (Saki), “The Story of St. Vespaluus” +
  • Margaret Oliphant, “The Library Window” (1896)?
  • Edmund L. Pearson, “Their Just Reward” +
  • James Tiptree, Jr., The Starry Rift (3 novellas: Librarian Moa Blue, Chief Assistant Librarian used as framing device?)
  • “Lizard Lust” Lisa Tuttle ? /
  • Warren W. Wager, “A Woman’s Life” ?
  • Augusta Walker, “The Day of the Cipher”
  • Harold Wooster “Machina Versatalis: A Modern Fable”-
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5 thoughts on “The Quest for Library/Librarian Short Speculative Fiction

  1. D Cairns

    Hi. Came here via Stephen Volk’s Facebook. The Anatomy Lesson by Scott Sanders, in 100 Great Fantasy Short Short Stories is a really good one. Good luck with the collection.

  2. Jaymie Jess

    The only one I can think of you don’t have on the list is “What Was Once Good Still Is” by Emma Bull. It may not qualify. It may barely fit your remit. But, just in case, and, oh, it is good.

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