The staff of the Poison Pie Publishing House paid a recent visit to the Portable Library. We sought a specific document and suspected that inquiries into any lesser library would prove unsuccessful. Therefore, we started with an institution possessed of a reputation for housing a collection of works that is supposedly second to none.
We were immediately directed to the head librarian, Hong Samud himself, who, after a rather perfunctory welcome, claimed not to have heard of the work, Gas Giant. "Is it a discussion of planetary astronomy?" he asked.
We quickly set him straight on the nature of the work. "Poetry." Although we did not intend to provoke him, we added as a disclaimer, "You may not have it here; it was, to our knowledge, never widely circulated."
A look of mild perturbation crossed Old Hong's face. "That sort of book," he said, "happens to be our speciality." Despite his initial confidence, we spent several fruitless hours wandering from one reading room to another looking for the book. "What did you say the author's occupation was?" he asked at one point, when we feared he might become flustered.
"We understand that she had multiple positions at various points in her life, among which she was reputedly trained as a librarian."
"Why didn't you say so in the beginning?" said Old Hong, as if we had intentionally left out the most salient piece of information.
We followed passively behind the shuffling librarian as he continued the search. Time passed in the nondescript way that is characteristic of the Portable Library. We circled the seemingly infinite spiraling central corridor more times than could be counted, slowly ascending the stacks to the rarefied collections. In one room lined, much like all the others, with shelves bearing neat regiments of books with nary a gap between them, Hong exclaimed, "Ah! I thought so." He pulled a narrow envelope from between two books (one of them a romance novel) that seemed to have no relation to each other, nor to the work now in Hong's hands. "You neglected to mention its unconventional binding." His look softened only a little when we admitted that we had not, up to this point, been aware of that fact.
The librarian then left us at a reading table to peruse the poems at our leisure. He unnecessarily admonished us to treat it with the respect due any book and to leave it on the table when we were finished so that it might be properly reshelved by a librarian. Because Gas Giant was somewhat difficult to find, we made a concerted effort to document its existence and to summarize its contents. An admittedly incomplete description is provided below.