Passions Read & Hearts Fed

Science Fiction Orients Library Science to the Anthropocene—A Review of “I Met a Traveler in an Antique Land”


  • Wendy Highby University of Northern Colorado
  • Katherine Shull University of Northern Colorado
  • Emory Jay Trask University of Northern Colorado



A review of Connie Willis' recently-published story, “I Met a Traveler in an Antique Land,” (Asimov’s, December 2017).  The setting for Willis’ cautionary tale is a chimeric Manhattan bookstore, Ozymandia’s. The labyrinthine business is a last refuge for endangered books.  The protagonist, an ambitious, forward-thinking blogger, rethinks his penchant for all things innovative when he visits the store and becomes conscious of the havoc wreaked upon books by the circumstances of the Anthropocene (wars, weather, bookworms, bookburning, thoughtless culling, etc.).  He comes to understand the urgent need for, and complexity of the systematic preservation of information. 

Pre-print first published online 11/08/2019