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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Library Planet is a literary science fiction novella written by Tom Hendricks. Street and Smith is a solitary man who finds great pleasure in the company of books. Being a wealthy man, both through inheritance and his own industriousness, he was able to take advantage of the rift that occurred among the over 70 planets that had set up this planet as a museum and later a library for the Capital of the confederacy. The entire planet had eventually become the library before the two factions decided to set up their own libraries. Street and Smith was able to provide the money and material incentives to the departees, leaving him the lord of his domain and owner of the planet. He revels in the solitary delights of roaming his halls, cataloging his current and new acquisitions, and reading for hours each day, until one day his perfect solitude is broken by a sound. Following it, he comes upon a ghostly presence who swiftly departs. He's enchanted by the visitation and knows which books to consult to find the way to coax her to appear once more.
Every so often, I run across a literary work that makes me want to read great sections of it aloud in order to savor more fully the marvelous and magical blend of language and meaning that merges into a living and synergistic spark. Reading Library Planet, I found not only that desire but also the compelling and irresistible impulse to read those phrases, sentences, and whole sections aloud -- and I actually did. I was initially quite intrigued by the concept of a library planet and discovered an instant connection and feeling of rapport with that solitary man whose world is filled with vast uncharted shores and canyons, and the lore and knowledge of a thousand thousand beings. And I soon shared in his enthusiasm and delight as he finds and sets out upon his quest. Library Planet is hauntingly beautiful, and the author's use of language and imagery throughout the work is inspired. This story is part fantasy, part fable, and totally awesome; and it's most highly recommended.