By the way, the story of how The Young Wizard's Hexopedia
came to be is just about as unlikely as the book itself. One November morning, a stranger wrote from out of the blue, asking for assistance with an extraordinary book of magic. The stranger turned out to be the CEO of a publishing house specializing in the world's quirkiest subject matter, in search of a grimoire that didn't technically exist. His own research had somehow determined that I was the one with the know-how to bring this lost book back from the depths. It seems that he had seen a window display of an esoteric bookshop and had noticed that the lost book in question wasn't there. The problem was that no surviving copies of the book are known to exist. My task was to rediscover and recreate the entire document from quotations and implications in magical literature. The stranger provided me with some crucial scraps, trusting that the whole work might be holographically contained within the parts. Knowing the title and a rough idea of the table of contents, I set to work hunting through cryptic volumes in private libraries of magic (whose locations I'm not at liberty to reveal, though I can say that I visited Hollywood's Magic Castle
). Suffice it to say, I left no philosopher's stone unturned. The process was very much like putting together a jigsaw puzzle in a dark room, with only a flickering candle for illumination. To my own surprise, the lost book began taking shape almost immediately. Restoring fragments into sentences and arranging them into paragraphs proved less challenging than one might suppose. For example, you can surely divine what the last word of this sentence will [...]. Whenever a passage seemed to have something almost tangibly missing, like the absence of a vital book in an esoteric shop window, I knew to keep digging. The moment it was clear that the entire Hexopedia
was restored, I verified the accuracy of my work with three highly gifted wizards of words: a playwright in New Hampshire, a poet in Pennsylvania, and a teacher of magical arts in Nevada. Then I sent the restoration to the stranger, who flabbergasted me by suggesting that the book should not
come back into print at all but rather remain hidden in shadowy slumber until a more enlightened era. (Apparently the trickster merely desired a copy for his personal use!) Having worked so intimately with the text for so long, I felt convinced that the world was
ready once again for the Hexopedia ...
that it shouldn't rest only in the private library of one megalomaniacal* publisher. And the rest, as the former, is history. Here's a random page from The Young Wizard's Hexopedia.
*Note that "megalomaniacal" is an anagram of "ole magi almanac," so it all seems to be part of some mysterious tapestry, eh?