Don D’Ammassa was born on April 24, 1946
D’Ammassa won the FAAN Award in 1979 for Best Single Issue of a Fanzine for Mythologies #15. He has been nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer four times and for Best Fanzine twice, without receiving the Hugo. Although D’Ammassa has written dozens of short stories, collected in more than a dozen volumes, and numerous novels, he is best known as a reviewer and a critic.
“The Library of Lost Are” was published by Algis Budrys in issue #5 of Tomorrow Speculative Fiction, which appeared in October 1993. The story has never been reprinted. Tomorrow ran for 24 print issues through 1997. From 1997 until 2000, the magazine was published online only, one of the first online magazines. Unfortunately, much of the magazine’s electronic record has been lost.
There are many stories of libraries which contain unwritten or lost books, and “The Library of Lost Art” is one. It focuses on John Cosgrove, who as an eleven year old boy was sent to spend the summer with his Uncle Dan, one of the only times he met him. Dan and Cosgrove immediately found themselves sympatico and Dan showed his nephew his library. It was filled with books that had never been published, just as the rest of the house was filled with art which had never been realized.
Although it is clear that an adult Cosgrove is reflecting back on his visit to his uncle’s house, there is little of an eleven year old in his portrayal. The child version of Cosgrove not only thinks like an older person, but shows interests in literature which seem wrong for even the most precocious eleven year old.