By Robin Sloan
From Robin Sloan, writer of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour bookstall, the tale of Mr. Penumbra’s first journey to San Francisco—and of ways he acquired entangled with the city’s most unique always-open enterprise…
It is August 1969. The summer season of affection is a fading reminiscence. The streets of San Francisco pulse to the sounds of Led Zeppelin and Marvin Gaye. And of jackhammers: A futuristic pyramid of a skyscraper is emerging a couple of blocks from urban lighting book shop and an extraordinary subway tunnel is being outfitted less than the bay. in the meantime, south of town, orchards are speedy giving approach to a brand-new outfitted on silicon.
But younger Ajax Penumbra has no longer arrived in San Francisco searching for unfastened love or a glimpse of the technological destiny. he's looking a book—the unmarried surviving replica of the Techne Tycheon, a mysterious quantity that has introduced and misplaced nice fortune for someone who has owned it. The final checklist of the e-book locates it within the San Francisco of greater than a century prior, and on that scant little bit of facts, Penumbra’s collage has dispatched him west to procure it for his or her library. After a number of weeks of rigorous searching, Penumbra feels no toward his target than while he began. yet overdue one evening, after one other day of dispiriting lifeless ends, he stumbles throughout a 24-hour bookshop, and the probabilities sooner than him extend exponentially
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Extra info for Ajax Penumbra 1969 (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Book 0.5)
After what he’d told me about this song, I kept looking up at that window, but there was nothing from Mrs. Gardner, no movement, no sound, nothing. Then we’d finished, and the quiet and the dark settled around us. Somewhere nearby, I could hear a neighbour pushing open shutters, maybe to hear better. But nothing from Mrs. Gardner’s window. We did “One for My Baby” very slow, virtually no beat at all, then everything was silent again. We went on looking up at the window, then at last, maybe after a full minute, we heard it.
A bit like those plays when the same actor’s playing two parts. You can’t get both me and Emily in the same room at the same time. ” “This is obviously a bad time for me to have come. I’ll go away, straight after lunch. ” “What are you talking about? You’re not listening. I just told you. ” “I thought that was your way of saying …” “No, you idiot, I’m the one who has to clear out. I’ve got to go to a meeting in Frankfurt, I’m flying out this afternoon. I’ll be back in two days, Thursday at the latest.
After that, I knew it wouldn’t work out. But my mother, she never stopped believing it. And every time she felt down, maybe like you are tonight, you know what she did? She put on your records and sang along. All those long winters, in that tiny apartment of ours, she’d sit there, knees tucked up under her, glass of something in her hand, and she’d sing along softly. And sometimes, I remember this, Mr. ’ I used to watch my mother carefully, but it was like she hadn’t heard a thing, she’d be listening to you, nodding her head to the beat, her lips moving with the lyrics.