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» Hatrack River Forum » Intergalactic Medicine Show » Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show » The Sturdy Bookshelves Of Pawel Oliszewski, by Ferrett Steinmetz

   
Author Topic: The Sturdy Bookshelves Of Pawel Oliszewski, by Ferrett Steinmetz
Scott R
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When people asked me about Pawel Oliszewski's bookcases - which they inevitably did, especially for the brief period I was paid to answer their questions - I told them my story in strict chronological order. I explained how I moved next door to Pawel, a quiet Polish accountant, when my mother died. I told them how, over the course of seventeen years, my neighbor gifted me with seven fine specimens in his legendary line of improbable bookshelves.

No, I wasn't willing to sell them. Yes, he offered me more bookcases - roughly four a year, actually. Yes, I turned him down - the man would have filled my house with bookcases, if only I'd let him. Yes, I still have them all - the specimens I currently possess are specimen #89 (Vickers hardness test: 970 MPa), specimen #113 (Vickers: 1325 MPa), specimen #234 (Vickers: 2250 MPa), and the much sought-after late-era specimens #269, #287, #292, and #304 (effectively untestable).

Yes, it is an irony that each of the bookcases are worth more than my house now. Oh, no, I've never heard that one before.

But above all, I tried to tell the origin of the bookcases honestly - the tedious hobby of an asocial immigrant who specialized in awkward pauses. This was an error. People wanted Pawel's garage workshop to be a magical wonderland - wanted Pawel himself to be a sage, armored in wise silence.

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Scott R
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Story behind the story
Posts: 14504 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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