I remember bits and pieces of this plot, but am not sure when I read it. Seems like it was in the last five years. It felt like an older story, like from the 1960s or 1970s, though.

The main character, a male pilot (let's call him Jim), crash lands on an asteroid or small planet. There is nothing notable here except an older man (let's call him Bob). Bob says he came from Asteroid X and Jim is shocked. Asteroid X is famous for its great riches or fountain of youth or something, and no one has ever been there. Everyone who ever looked for it disappeared. Jim's ship is useless and Bob's is not. Eventually Bob dies, although not before telling Jim where Asteroid X is (he has to be convinced or coerced? or there's a bet/deal? not sure), and maybe where his ship is.

The next part involves Jim going to Asteroid X. There's a giant castle straight out of generic medieval fantasy. Jim goes in and meets two people, I think it's a man and a woman (let's call them Sylvia and Igor). They seem surprised when he mentions Bob. Jim has an uncomfortable dinner with Sylvia and Igor. I think there's magic stuff similar to the dinner in Beauty and the Beast (invisible servants or the like). At some point Igor is alone with Jim and says something about the great treasure/power that was on this asteroid: It is now all used up, and that's a problem. But he doesn't get a chance to say much.

This is only about halfway through the story, but my memory of the rest is fuzzy. I know there is a giant tapestry or painting on the wall that Jim was looking at. I know that Sylvia is planning to kill or harm Jim. I know that there was at least one other person on the asteroid besides everyone mentioned so far, and they went into the painting/tapestry. Somehow, this person's entering the painting, combined with making the medieval palace and its contents, "sucked up" the power of the asteroid (which turns out to be a power, and not a physical treasure, although it lets you create physical treasure). Whatever it is Sylvia wants to do to Jim will help them get a little more power, although it is ultimately not going to fix the problem. Sylvia is the boss and Igor has to do what she says (maybe just because he has a wimpy personality). Bob got kicked off the asteroid, maybe as a punishment.

I think the ending involves Jim killing Sylvia, and also Igor (by mistake?). He does figure out how to fix the problem, which involves doing something with the painting/tapestry (maybe entering it himself), and now he is the master of unlimited power. So it's a happy ending. This is a short story up to novella length, and was in a book with other stories (I think), but not sure if it was an anthology by different authors, or just a collection by the same author. All of these names are completely made up and not from the story, just a convenient way to identify characters.


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