Original Anthology Title: Legends: Tales from the Eternal Archives
Editor: Margaret Weis
Publisher: New York, NY: DAW Books, January 1999 (paperback)
This first collection of fantasy stories owes its existence, according to Katherine Kurtz, to the anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner who termed them the Akashic Records after a Sanskrit word meaning "the mixing bowl of the Elements." Kurtz further explains the Eternal Archives in this more concrete analogy:
The most usual Western image for such a storehouse of knowledge is a vast library or archival hall, wherein are stored an infinite number of great volumes containing all past, present and future. (Usually, those records having to do with the future are not accessible to the seeker, though there have always been those among us who are gifted--or cursed--with the ability ot see at least portions of what is to come.) In earlier times, these volumes might have been clay tablets or papyrus scrolls. Sometimes they appear as ancient vellums of varying degrees of decrepitude, bound up with colored cords. More often, the information resides in finely tooled leather-bound volumes, stamped with gold--the epitome of every book-lover's dreams. Nonliterate seers often "saw" material in mirrors or windows; and in these days of cyber-information and electronic storage media, "windows" may well prove the medium whereby some seekers will access at least some of these records. (p. 2-3)
Kurtz also notes the importance of "a 'librarian' or other archetypal guardian or guide within the precincts of the Hall of the Archives, usually of a more highly evolved nature than commonly encountered, who will assist the honest seeker, at least to the level that he or she is ready to receive such knowledge." (p. 3)
The anthology's prologue refers to this guide as the Walker of Two Worlds, "also known as the Guardian of the Light and the Master of the Archives ... appointed by the hidden Masters to show Seekers the way to the Eternal Archives." (p. 4)
Having only skimmed through the anthology, at least one of the stories involves actual, not metaphysical, archives. Brian M. Thomsen's " 'Dearest Kitty' " is about Investigator QB7's troubling visit to the confusing 20th century via a five-dimensional archives. QB7 recounts his turmoil at having relived the Jewish Holocaust and its effect on another man to a computerized Counselor.
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The Fictional World of Archives
Suggested by Pennington P. Ahlstrand who donated the book, 1999.05.20; submitted by David Mattison, 1999.11.11. Updated 1999.11.11.