Concept Art Writing Prompt: Safari Inside a Bookstore

Illustration for article titled Concept Art Writing Prompt: Safari Inside a Bookstore

This bookstore is more than just a place to purchase your reading material; it's an adventure, which no customer enters without the proper gear. What goes on in this unusual shop?

This piece is titled, simply, "Elevation Cart," by Spera artist Afu Chan. See if you can come up with a short story inspired by this illustration and post it in the comments.

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'On The Mating Habits of Venusian Gargopods'... No. 'The Inner Mechanics of Lifespheres'.... No. 'A Month in the Jungles of the Thetis Regio'... No. 'Climbing Maxwell Montes'... No. Sarah sighed. She had been past the shelves half a dozen times and the young explorer had still not found the book that she had been told could be find on them.

Perhaps it was coincidence or it had actually noticed her irritation and responded, but as she turned around a Mechanoman extended into view. "May I help you, miss?" it said in its trademark metallic voice. A bit surprised by the convenience of the machine's appearance, she replied: "Yes, actually. I have been looking for 'Life Among the Natives of Venus' for ages, but I still can't find it. One of you told me I could find it here." The robot followed her gaze to the identical Mechanoman at the front desk, five stories below. It turned its back to meet her eyes and for a moment froze. Sarah wondered if it was thinking.

Without giving her more time to think about the subject, the mechanical librarian sprang back to life. It extended its metal arm behind her head while speaking: "Yes, Life Among the Natives of Venus by the explorer Sir Clive Danko." Before she could turn her head to see where its hand was going, it had already come back into view. Holding a book. Sarah extorted: "What? That's it. Where did you find it? I looked everywhere." "No matter, here it is," it replied while pressing the book into her hands. Before she could say anything the Mechanoman was already gone. A few seconds latter she saw it scurrying along the floor below, off to help it's next customer. She clutched the book and pulled the lever to go down. As she descended the five floors to the ground floor, she smiled. With this book, she had everything to make her trip to Venus a success.

Hope you like it. English is not my first language, so forgive me if I made some grammar/stylistic mistakes. Tips are always welcome.