With space on the library shelves scarce, the characters of your most beloved genres are banding together into gangs to secure their books' places - and their lives.
The little town of Stonewood sits in the forested hills of East Tennessee. Like most towns, it has a public library, and like in most libraries, a strange and entirely invisible war rages.
Gangs centered around major book genres battle one another for space on the shelves. The more books in their area, the better the chance of their own novel being read. Readership determines life or death, so it's every genre for itself.
But if survival alone wasn't enough, genre rivalries and biases leave some gangs not only fighting for shelf space but pushing their own agendas as well - even within their own groups.
Welcome to Shelf Space. Let the war resume.
of the month
Jan. 1 Welcome to 2018! This month's newsletter is short and sweet, but don't let that stop you from reading it.
No special event this month, so let's really use this time to further our gang sub-plots!
" Nothing brings you together like a common enemy.”
― David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4593/38720755914_479147fa0e_o.png
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Posted: May 28 2017, 10:58 AM
May 28, 2017 @ 10 PM
While Stanton didn't mind a good mystery, he did mind that the mystery genre could be utterly boring and unoriginal at times. Most of all, he detested the cozy mysteries. How did readers not tire of a crossword-solving old lady figuring out who the small-town murderer was? And how many spins could there be on Cozies that featured food and animals? Utterly unoriginal and perfectly annoying.
So Stanton decided to spice things up for them. No need to thank him.
As a shadow, he flew by the rows of mystery books, browsing for the perfect one to target that night. He didn't worry about what any out-of-covers characters would think of a dark mass casing their territory. Stanton was immortal, and even if he wasn't, he had supernatural abilities on his side. Unless they were unfathomably lucky, what could they really do to him?
Finding a stupid-sounding book featuring a girl who works Sudoku puzzles, Stanton slipped into it and materialized. "Time to think outside the boxes," he muttered with a smirk.
The person in front of him had her back turned to Stanton and didn't appear to hear his hushed statement. His smirk widened. As gently as a petal drifting to the ground, Stanton slipped into her mind. Numbers everywhere. He had arrived while she was enjoying her hobby.
Slipping deeper into her mind, Stanton procured a name: Liza Kelly. She worked for the Oregon Daily, meaning that Stanton was most likely somewhere within that U.S. state. He learned the basics of her book's plot and latched onto the murder victim.
With skill honed over centuries, Stanton introduced a single short thought about the victim to the forefront of Liza's mind. Once the thought had time to disappear, he waited a number of seconds and repeated his action. This time, he included shadows. The thought lasted only seconds, but Stanton didn't allow much time between the second and third thoughts.
Slowly, he filled Liza's mind with thoughts, wonderings, and concerns about the victim. With each thought, he increased the eerieness and upped the fantastical element.
Stanton refrained from chuckling when Liza shook her head and aloud said, "You're being ridiculous, Liza." In her world's reality, she was being ridiculous, but in Stanton's reality, Liza was ridiculous for brushing aside the possibility of supernatural intervention.
Stanton refused to allow her thoughts to subside with her reprimand. He added more and more, until they blocked out all thoughts of sudoku. Then, when he thought she was perfectly unsettled, Stanton whispered into her mind, "Think outside the boxes, Liza." She would hear it in his voice.
Sure enough, she froze in place then slowly turned around to face whatever intruder she thought was behind her. By that point, Stanton had melted into shadow and tucked himself away in the darkest area he could find. He lingered there while Liza scanned the room and resettled herself.
As a final farewell, Stanton spoke into her mind once more. "Always outside the boxes." Then he slipped out of the book before he could see her reaction.