Although this isn’t one of my favorite of Connie Willis’s stories, it is a worthy addition to her oeuvre. Told in the first person, the narrator is doing publicity for his blog, Gone for Good, about things that are just that. He is also trying to get a deal to turn his blog into a book. After a particularly bad interview, he takes a walk in midtown Manhattan, is caught by a rainstorm, and finds shelter in Ozymandias Books.
The rest of the story is his experience within Ozymandias Books, what he finds there, and how it changes him. As he is led through the shop by Cassie, an employee, he notes many of the book titles, including an old favorite of his from childhood. As he realizes what the shop truly is, his agent calls him that an interview has been moved up and he has to leave. I’ll leave what happens next for the reader to enjoy.
Unlike my favorite Willis stories, there is little humor. It does have the character’s obsessive noting of details, the strangeness of the setting, and action that moves the plot forward. The story is a quick read, and one that will stick with me. I recommend it.