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The Compendium

A Library. The Library of Ages. An important Library. One where the stories of the universes are imagined and their books are shelved.   And where will they be shelved? Ah - that is the rub is it not? For while there are thousands of shelves, there is only one Shelf of Life, and there is only so much room on the Shelf of Life.   Such an odd name, the Shelf of Life. But then again - no. For the Shelf of Life is the place where the stories of universes are not just written and read, but when shelved here, they come to life and become real. The competition for a spot on the Shelf of Life is impossibly fierce, though the stories are sublimely unaware of it, each existing placidly, even obliviously, between the covers of their book. The standards are high, but that is not the real challenge - many stories meet the standards.   No, the real challenge is the librarians, and the annual sorting.   Which stories will they read? Which will be granted a place on the Shelf of Life? Which will they choose to keep? Which will they choose to remove?   Who will live? Who will die? Who will never exist at all?