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The Invisible Library
The Invisible Library - Part II

By copperbadge

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Ishtar's Note:   The Invisible Library is a different sort of work from Copperbadge's usual.   Here's an excerpt from a post on his LiveJournal which started it:

This, the Invisible Library, was brought to my attention by hija paloma and watersword, though I wouldn't put it past juniper200 to be in on it too.

My reply to Dove's email was to say "I ought to open an Invisible Bookshop and offer to write nonexistent books for a by-the-page fee."

And then I thought,'s not like I'm doing anything for the next few days. Why not?

So. Leave the title of a book from the Library in the comments below -- or one of Ellis Graveworthy's books, or any other book you can justify as having existed only in literature -- and I'll quote you a hundred-word excerpt from it.

(The offer to drabble was posted in mid-February, 2006.   In early March, 2006, Copperbadge posted over 100 drabbles, each consisting of text excerpted from one of the books of the Invisible Library.   They are loosely grouped by fandom or genre.   There's a little something in here for everybody.   I hope you enjoy. — Ishtar)

These drabbles are from a meme that was posted originally on February 19th, 2006.

In the meme, I asked people to visit The Invisible Library and suggest a "nonexistent book" from the records there, which I would then write an excerpt from. They're filed here in an organised fashion and will eventually be available in PDF format.

With some exceptions, these drabbles are sorted by the genre of the book they can be found in -- thus, for example, one Sherlock Holmes drabble is in with the Sandman comics while another is in with the Mystery books. The LJ Username in front of each drabble signifies the person who requested it.   (I have removed the LJ links. — Ishtar)

Some drabbles have been tweaked slightly since their original posting. This is Part II, containing Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Satire.   Part I contains Harry Potter, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Mystery, Horror, Literary, and Ellis Graveworthy.

Drabbles from Assorted Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors

Drabbles in this section have their original canon and author listed below the title.

winterthunder83: From The Hegemon by Ender Wiggin, Prologue:
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

There are no lies in death. The dead may have left deceit behind them but they do not have the power to lie, and like an outer skeleton the deceit rots away eventually, revealing the truth underneath like a rebirth. There is objectivity in death, and only after death may one be truly honest regarding the dead, all fear of speaking-ill aside.

It is not the duty of those who remain to "speak no ill"; it is their duty to speak no lies. The dead can neither object nor encourage these things. We have nothing to fear from the dead...


lady_game: From The Hive Queen by Ender Wiggin:
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card; companion to The Hegemon possible way to imagine oneself in the position of Queen.

Save, of course, to exist within our own bodies.

Humanity believed that the Hive Queen's children were sinister, because they came from our dreams, enormous insects with absolutely no mercy or conscience. And yet our bodies are not inherently merciful; a shred of skin is incapable of feeling sorry. So too were the Queen's children.

We think it is monstrous that these individuals should submit to a master mind and have no independence, and yet if the cells of our skin rebel against us we vigorously scrub them away...


majrgenrl8: From The Orange Catholic Bible, the New Book of Job:
Dune series by Frank Herbert

And Job looked upon his ruined flocks; his dead children; his fallen house; his diseased and possessed wife.

And Job saw the Light-bringer striding the land, carrying in his hand the Parchment given him by God, and said,

"Accursed Light-bringer, why strideth thee my lands?"

And the Light-bringer said unto him, "Beloved of God, look on this parchment."

Job looked upon the parchment, and saw that for a wager God had cursed him, killing his children, innocents in the eyes of the Lord.

And Job raised his voice, and said, "No more will I be thy humble slave; I curse God, and die."


flamingsword: From The Bene Gesserit Training Manual, Book the First:
Dune series by Frank Herbert

...body is not your own. Never mistake what ye have done, Daughters; you possess nothing, not your fingers nor your eyes, not your tongue nor your nether parts. To whom do these belong? To none and all. The hand may move by another's order; the tongue may speak poisons to you, but it is no longer your tongue.

There will be no struggle for love, for wealth, for pleasures here or elsewhere; if a Daughter is separate from the whole, she is no Daughter to the Bene Gesserit. There is no service to self; there is only service to...


bright_weavings: From Is Man A Myth Chapter Three (Alternatives):
Narnia series, C.S. Lewis

...must be considered that in the seed of Myth there yet may be some Truth. That such a fantastical creature could exist, with two legs jointed like arms and completely bare of hair or hoof, seems impossible; and yet if he did not, then the equally impossible idea must be put forth that Man is a figment of imagination. What imagination could conjure a creature so bizarre?

The third explanation, that Man may once have existed, must be examined thoroughly before the myth of Man may be dismissed altogether. While the concept has no relevance to our existence, it still....


hedgerose: From The Book of Gramarye, section titled Mercy:
The Dark Is Rising series, Susan Cooper pity, but compassion and love above all are the choice tools of one trained. Compassion and love beget mercy, which is the subject of the lesson and the whole of the lesson. For mercy is the gift and is held in the palm of the hand, to be extended to those who wish for compassion and love.

The evil men do is done of desire for love, and evil requires compassion, therefore extend mercy to those whom your heart sees truly desire it. There will be those who have killed their desire, and for them no mercy will be enough...


cawti: From the introduction to Things that Are Not Good to Know at All:
One for the Morning Glory by John Barnes

...should cleanse the mind quickly of these things and forget that they ever existed. There are so many things which no man should know that it seemed necessary to set them in a book, that men may be aware of what they should never know.

The recipe for Peasant's Cake (p. 224) is entirely not good to know, for it is quite a terrible dish and never served anymore, even by Peasants. An entire chapter is devoted to the broad-sword method of skinning cats, which is definitely not good to know. There are several much more effective ways, after all.


phoenixfire_lia: From Darkling Plain by Fellowes Kraft, Chapter One:
Aegypt by John Crowley

...the seashore of the little town. Southend-on-Sea was not the glory of Victorian life but a pale mirror of it, as all the old haunts had become. Once, or at least so Paul had been told, it was a garden of delights -- fine hotels, delicious food, bathers, children running in the parks, gentlemen doing business while their wives gossipped and took their ease.

Now, however, people did not look for delights; they looked for somewhere that was simply Not-Home and did not know the difference between a holiday and hell. Southend was not hell by a stretch, but....


belmanoir: From The Swordsman Whose Name Was Not Death:
Swordspoint universe by Ellen Kushner

"Have mercy on me," she begged, and each tear was more crystal, more diamond in his eyes than the last. He thought of the old story of the huntsman told to bring the heart of a princess to her mother in a box, and knew he would not be able to kill this beautiful young girl.

"What can you offer me?" he asked, to prevent for a few precious minutes the time when one of them must die.

"Pearls! Gold! I have diamonds..." she turned to her jewelery box, but he wrenched her back.

"May I have a kiss?" he asked, fearfully.


clodia_risa: From The History Of Damar by Astytlet, Chapter Two (Men):
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

...came to Damar from the earth, not from north or south or east or west but rising up out of the soil, which is why the nobility of Damar are dark-haired, dark-skinned to this day.

It is known that earth will douse fire when kicked over it; so the hope of the spirits of Damar, who resided in this place before Men and Dragons, that Man would rise and smother the Dragons that laid waste to the land, killing the green and beautiful things the Spirits had fathered there.

But it came to pass that Men were weak and fearful...


nakki: From The History of Damar by Astytlet, Chapter Four (Fire):

The theft of a piece of hair, a chip of tooth, a clipping of the nails or scrap of skin is involved in these magics; but Men, who had existed in fear of Dragons but who had been borne of a need to fight them -- born with the urge to conquer -- knew a better trick yet.

One man was elected to assume the wearing of Kenet and venture into the lairs of the dragons. He was sent to steal fire, which would give power to men and weaken dragons, no matter how much they could provide, for it...


shadowfyre8537: From The Book of the Dead, Chapter Two (Comportment):
Abhorsen series by Garth Nix

Remember always that all men are of high blood, being capable of greatness; breeding shows not in our ancestry but in our achievement of the potential of our noble race. Thus you may, if you cannot produce an heir, adopt without fear so long as the child is raised in high ideals. A child which honours his parents is no less an heir than one which merely came from the proper womb.

Here follow the rules of comportment amongst the living and dead: the carriage of one's body, the treatment of servants, the treatment of peers, the treatment of the dead...


no name given: From The Book of the Dead, chapter 3 (Speaking Ill):

...unwise to speak of the dead at all. To be a necromancer is to straddle two worlds not meant for co-existence; the barrier is a wide one, and the necromancer stands in neutral territory. Unhappy dead wish to cross back, to atone for their wrongs or to escape punishment for them. Therefore to speak of the dead is to invite the dead to enter that neutral ground where our art is practiced.

It is not out of respect that humanity has so long feared to insult the dead. Fear is proper, for if the dead hear, they grow passionately angry...


crimsonhue: From The Adventures of Jain Farstrider, subtitle The Lessons of The Ayyad:
The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan

...kept for breeding stock and father many children at once. The Ayyad are killed when they show sign of channelling, and thus these men, ignorant of the outside world, have developed a highly advanced but simply communicated philosophy. They know they are under sentence; they have no time for epics. Their speech is short and clipped. There is no time for lies.

The men are of unusual beauty, being unspoilt by cares and active of body. They believe wholeheartedly that they live to serve the world outside and each man is a martyr to the cause of the Dragon.


xanthia: From A Study of Men, Women, and the One Power Among Humans, Chapter One (The Experiment Never To Be):
The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan it not possible that fear of death, rather than their abilities, is what drives men mad?

These legends of the Dragon and the Other One are three thousand years old. Much changes in three thousand years; we as a race believe that men who Channel must inevitably go mad, waste, and die. But is it so? Or is it not rather that men who channel are expected to do these things, and out of hysteria and fear -- they do channel our beliefs, do they not? -- they obey the laws we have set out for them?

We will not ever know...


fabalafaepotter: From So You Want To Be A Wizard Chapter Eight ("Moral Responsibility"):
So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane

It is the duty of every Wizard to perform civic tasks and charitable actions within his or her own community. Not only is this something that ought to be required of everyone, it is particularly important for Wizards for several reasons:

1) It keeps Wizards in touch with ordinary folk and their concerns;
2) It absolves the Wizard of certain responsibilities they may feel they owe the community on account of trifling things like blowing up a house or two, misplacing a dragon, or the occasional unfortunate transfiguration into a frog;
3) It tidies up the place a bit.


wherdragon: From The Book of Night with Moon:
So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane

Many who are easily frightened may think that darkness implies evil. "If they are truly good," it is asked, "Why do they not show their faces in the daytime? Why do they hide in sacred groves and worship a pale imitation of the sun?"

My children, it is not for us to choose when we may practice our craft. The day is false; the night is the true fabric of our world, for there are many dark places in it. Until we can be as the moon, lighting the way, we cannot hope to be as the sun, destroying all darkness.


smellen_of_troy: From Tales of Nowhere by Polly Whittacker, Chapter 11:
Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones

The cats of Nowhere lead interesting lives, being feathertailed and curious-whiskered creatures with bright golden eyes and six toes on each rear foot. Only a very few cats wandered into Nowhere, and from them all the cats of Nowhere came.

They were quite clever cats, the first Nowhere cats. Here, they said, we will be free of dogs and loud roaring things, there will be fish and tender mice.

The Nowhere cats are the sentinels of the borders of Nowhere, guarding it from the dangers they see. Whenever you see a cat suddenly vanish -- that was a Nowhere cat.


elucreh: From Millie Plays the Game:
The Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynne Jones

"Utterly ravishing!" Freida said, twirling around and around with the dress held up against her shoulders. It was quite the prettiest thing Millie had ever seen, like some kind of cupcake made to be worn instead of eaten. "Shall I be wicked and try it on?"

"Oh you oughtn't! That's Madam Blitherton's!" Millie cried, coming back to herself.

"Come on, Millie, it's only dress-up. She won't know," Freida said in a whisper. "Look, this one should fit you..."

It was a vision in green, all lace and frills. It looked like an ocean wave in Freida's hands. Millie hesitated, then nodded.


ifylla: From the Very Useful Book:
Mirrormask, "by" Neil Gaiman

...three things that are truly important to know in life. These are Useful things, and therefore may be noted down in some appropriate place, such as on the back of your hand.

1. Where you are going.
2. Who you, in fact, are.
3. Where your towel is.

Number three is, it must be admitted, not quite as important as the first two. That is not to say that one may not undertake adventures without this information; indeed, it is sometimes necessary to Adventure in order to find the answers to the three Very Important Questions.

As a guide to this discovery, we present...


Drabbles from various works of Satire

Drabbles in this section have their original canon and author listed below the title.

shibaiko: From The Kase of the Kreepy Kove, by Kit Karr:
The Case of the Not So Nice Nurse by Mabel Maney

"Gosh!" said Sally. "It could be a pirate's cave!"

"It isn't some old pirate's cave," Nina answered. "It'll be much better than that!"

The cave was definitely an odd shape. A long, narrow slit divided it in half, but the stone was rounded and looked as if the two edges might fit perfectly together if they were pressed. Lichen hung thickly over the cave entrance and all over the stone on either side, giving it a bushy appearance, and just as they entered -- Nina first, as always -- Sally noticed a strange rounded protuberance of rock just above the entrance.

Sam's Note: The imagery of the cave is a lot clearer if you're aware that the original canon is a lesbian take on Nancy Drew style mysteries.


bluejeans07: From The Lustful Turk, Chapter One:
Die for Love by Elizabeth Peter

...not Turkish at all, in fact, though he liked to dress the part. That way people would call him the Turk, and admire his bright red jacket, his sleek trousers, the sharp, curving sword at his side which was exotic in a generic, bejeweled sort of way. They admired his command of Turkish, and only few could say whether or not his accent was authentic. He considered none of this a lie, exactly.

But in reality, of course, he was not the Turk. He was a Turk, the son of James Turk, and he was, in fact, a Turk Junior.


ekaterinn: From Coffee Making as a Fine Art by Captain Eustacio Binky, Chapter Three ("Upon Beans"):
The Disappearing Dwarf by James Blaylock

...finer scent than the roasting coffee bean? Can there be any more lowly creature than the green bean, dull and hueless, not yet imbued with the deep beauty of the roast?

It seems sacreligious that the rich colour the lowly green bean achieves through slow, pungent roasting should be thrown cruelly into a canister of spinning blades and shredded into powder. If I were able, I would leave each bean perfect and whole to be admired, but such is not to be. Therefore we must turn our attention to methods of grinding, beginning with the mortar and pestle of old...


luxanebulis: From Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Sex but Have Been Forced to Find Out by Oolon Colluphid, Chapter Eleven ("Unintentional Pain"):
The Hitchhiker's Guide series by Douglas Adams

If you have ever put yourself in the position of having to undergo coitus with a partner, as so many of us in our foolhardy youth appear to have done under the influence of hormones, alcohol, or lack of sufficient funds with which to procure shuttle fuel, you may be aware that occasionally this arduous chemical process has been known to cause some small amount of discomfort.

Generally this discomfort can be attributed to one of only a handful of things: lack of experience (easily remedied), external influences (unstable beds, doorknobs, etc), intentional sadism (whips, chains, etc) or Misplaced Surgical Implements.


switchercat: From The Ultra Complete Maximegalon Dictionary of Every Language Ever, volume Pian - Piap:
The Hitchhiker's Guide series by Douglas Adams

Piano: Scholars are still in debate over the precise meaning of this word. Due to certain religious afiliations may either mean "Man created from the stars" or "stars which created man", a definite ambiguity in the area of philosophy and theological doctrine. It is of interest to note that a small but vocal segment of scientists studying a now-defunct backwater named Earth claim that it can also be used to describe a stringed Earth instrument similar to primitive versions of the Grahfflesnop, in which bits of bone and metal wire are assembled to create a series of musical tones.


dramaturgca: Lines 927 - 942 of The Ipsiad:
The Awdry-Gore Legacy by Edward Gorey

Then nobly did young Ipsi, fairest face
That maiden whom no man could beat in race
Whose courageous exploits have been told
In this and other epic songs of old
Whose feet were dainty and whose hands were cold
Did take the sword from Gooderich-the-Bold
Her fingernails were maincured in red
She wore a jaunty cap upon her head
And when she whacked the monstrous Ugly Ned
She struck him very rightly stonecold dead
Her hairdo still in place, yea, every pin
Lipstick unsmeared, mascara all undimmed
Her knightly guardian upon his horse
Swore the monster suffered well the worse
When suddenly she shrieked so long and loud:


Phil: From The Unstrung Harp by CF Earbrass, Chapter Two:
The Unstrung Harp by Edward Gorey

The lake at Disshiver Cottage was not deep, but murky brown and pale blue. Melindina had proposed an island in the middle of it, but sufficient sand could not be conveyed so far. Dividing it seemed another option, but Melindina did not believe two small ponds were half so romantic as a large pond with an island in.

"Shall we now drag it?" the Vicar asked, worriedly.

Far off in Tibet, however, the problem of dragging a lake was the leastmost on Ladderback's mind, though he did spare a moment to wonder whether the island had been constructed yet.

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