The Library of Babel
A nearly endless library in which every book that could ever exist lies within.
The Library of Babel: A mysterious pocket realm.
There exists a mythical place somewhere in between realms in which every book ever written and will ever be written exists in a nearly endless library. A pocket realm whos contents are ever so mysterious and indecipherable. It is known as the Library of Babel.
Not much in known about this pocket realm except what the ancient texts say about it. According to legend, this realm is 'composed of an indefinite, perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries. The arrangement of the galleries is always the same: Twenty bookshelves, five to each side, line four of the hexagon's six sides. Each bookshelf holds thirty-two books identical in format; each book contains four hundred ten pages; each page, forty lines; each line, approximately eighty black letters.' With 95 characters on a possible keyboard this means there is total of 95^1,312,000 books.
Most of the books contain meaningless jibberish. Random sequences of letters, punctuations, and spaces. However, no two books are the same. It is said that even the titles of these books are seemingly random nonsense. None of these books can be destroyed. All attempts to destroy any of them result in them shortly returning to their original positions in the library. The holds true for the structure of the library itself. Despite being made seemingly of wood, all attempts to damage the structure have failed.
People who manage to enter this realm seeking its hidden knowledge are eventually driven mad by the endless series of books containing just pure nonsense. Not only that, but just as finding the way into the Library of Babel is difficult unless you know how, finding the way out is said to be nearly impossible. Everyone who enters is trapped until they figure out how to leave. Statistically there is a book in this nearly endless realm that describes the way out and how to access it. However countless people have entered it and never returned. Once inside you cannot teleport or in anyway warp your way out of the Library of Babel. However, you can teleport between different locations inside the library.
Within this mysterious realm, people who find themselves trapped inside have no need to eat, drink, or even sleep. However aging is possible. Should you find a book whos contents actually make some kind of sense, you should be considered extremely lucky as most people only find complete gibberish. In fact a vast majority of all the books in the Library of Babel is just gibberish.
Despite the descriptions of library being infinite, this is not actually true. The Library of Babel is indeed finite but the sheer size of it gives the impression of infinity. It is estimated that the realm is 7.16^1,297,369 cubic light years in size. It is so large thar not even a significantly small fraction of the Library of Babel has been fully explored yet. You could explore a space 1 trillion times the size of the known universe and still have barely explored a statistically insignificant fraction of the library.
Time flows much slower in the Library of Babel. 17 hours on Earth = 2 years in the Library of Babel.
This submission is located in The Library of Babel in:
Wall No. 2
Shelf No. 2
Volume No. 25
On Page No. 235
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? Responses (5)
It's too similar to the library of dreams reign of Gaiman's comics
It was derived from the following sources:
You can explore a 3d model of this realm with the program here:
So much to say about this one, from voice to vocabulary the prose was rough. Yet an idea was communicated clearly enough to get me interested.
First, this idea works as a methaphor or at least could be used by characters as such. Because as you say 'Everyone who enters is trapped until they figure out how to leave.' The same could be said for a paper bag, a bad relationship, stupid theology or personal delusions of talent. Take a character with one of these challenges, toss him into the abyss-Lee-of-tech-ah and see if he gets the message.
But a plot idea for this item would be what if the books aren't random, but the pattern is too big to see. Could a mathematician not solve the problem? What is we use magic as a substitute for computing? I have imagined mages casting a spell to carry out complex models to predict the future or recreate the past based on current events described numerically. They could then use those spells to find the books of interest. Maybe even spells to read the books? Then spells to write new spells based on that knowledge. This library could be the seed for the mystical singularity!
Another proposition, obviously people get out, otherwise how can we have all the legends and stuff you allude to? What if people are using it for a clandestine meeting place. Hard to get to, athestically cool and time efficient: this is a great place to get some time to plan a coup, work on your novel (of which there is already s better version somewhere in the library-ironic) have an affair, store your extra loot or just lay low.
Anyway, I don't see why this would drive anyone made. A healthy creative and well adjusted person can have a perfectly good time in a realm of endless gibberish.
That's rather interesting. Well, there is a pattern to the arrangement of the books, that is described partially here: https://libraryofbabel.info/referencehex.html . It is indeed quite complex as it uses a complicated encoding scheme to determine the location of each book. But there is a indeed a logical sequence.
As for doing a search for the contents of a specific book, that would be extremely time consuming since in order to locate a specific book by its contents, you would have to know the exact contents of the book itself that you seek from beginning to end, since any keyword search would only reveal every book with those key words as described here: https://www.fimfiction.net/story/145056/4/the-library-of-discord/chapter-3
An algorithm has already been created to generate the books on demand here: https://github.com/librarianofbabel/libraryofbabel.info-algo So I suppose if you can understand the algorithm then you might be able to locate the large pattern of how books are arranged by their contents. The math is quite complex though as it involves a PRNG routine.
Though I don't think that would help locate a specific book since a PRNG will only output its contents based on the seed it is given. So that would involve trying every possible seed until you find the one that leads to the book you seek. Again though, this would require knowing the exact desired book already since otherwise there is nothing to compare it too.
I suppose you could, through the process of elimination, reduce the possible number of books to 95 provided you know every single character in the book you seek except the last.