“The Thirteen Texts of Arthyria” — John R. Fultz

John R. Fultz is the author of several short stories which have appeared in the magazines Black Gate, Weird Tales, Space & Time, and in my own Lightspeed. His work has also appeared in the anthology Cthulhu’s Reign, and he is the author of the epic fantasy comic Primordia. He currently lives in California’s Bay Area, where he teaches high school English Literature. Learn more at johnrfultz.wordpress.com.

Fultz says that this next story was inspired by a lifetime exploring used and new bookstores, searching for the next great book. And truly, what else besides a good book can so thoroughly transport us to new worlds and distant realities? What else can shine the light of knowledge so brightly inside our own hearts?

For Jeremy March, a trip to a used bookstore turns into a journey beyond our own reality and into a vibrant world. The leather-bound volumes he discovers suggest that this magical universe is the true reality, hidden behind a veil of illusion. This true reality is a realm of green sunshine, beautiful women, and mysteries beyond the ken of the modern world. But the truth he learns about himself just might be more wild than the universe he is reading to life.

This short story may be fiction, but it’s drawn from Fultz’s real-life wisdom. As he says, musing over the role of books in his life: “We don’t find the books we’re truly meant to read, THEY FIND US.” 

And if that’s not magic, what is?