Fantasy Melinda Snodgrass The Edge of Reason

ISBN 13: 9780765376084

The Edge of Reason

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9780765376084: The Edge of Reason

Since the dawn of consciousness, a secret war has been fought between the forces of magic and religious fanaticism and the cause of reason, understanding, and technology. On one side are the Old Ones, malign entities that feed on the suffering of mankind. On the other are the Lumina, an ancient order dedicated to the liberation of the human spirit.

Officer Richard Oort of the Albuquerque Police Department is caught in the middle of this primal battle when he rescues a mysterious teenage girl from a trio of inhuman hunters. Recruited by the Lumina to serve as their latest paladin, Richard fights beside a handful of unlikely allies, including an adolescent sorceress, an enigmatic philanthropist, a sexy coroner, and a homeless god with multiple personalities.

But the Old Ones and their mortal pawns are determined to destroy Richard-or else convert him to their cause. And they have all powers of magic and organized religion at their disposal. As the gates between the universes shred apart, it may be up to Richard to save humanity from the endless horror of a new Dark Age.
Melinda M. Snodgrass's The Edge of Reason is a provocative thriller about the eternal battle between science and superstition.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

MELINDA SNODGRASS was a story editor and executive script consultant on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Her acclaimed episode "The Measure of a Man" was nominated for the Writer's Guild Award for outstanding writing in a drama series. With George R. R. Martin, she co-created the popular Wild Cards series of shared-world novels and anthologies. She lives in New Mexico.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

  Chapter ONEIn her misery Rhiana Davinovitch decided she wanted to die. She had been running for three hours now. Her hunters were slow, which meant she kept well ahead, but unlike her human muscles and tendons, they never tired. Eventually they would wear her down and she would die. That time had just about arrived.Rhiana drew in a shuddering breath across a throat made tight and sore from exhaustion and raked the hair out of her eyes. Despite the chill of the mid-November night, her hair was moist and slick against fingertips aching with cold.For the first time in an hour she looked up from the sidewalk, where her gaze had been desperately focused, as she tried to place each foot carefully in front of the other without tripping or falling, or without losing the steady rhythm of her half-walk half-run.She was surprised to find herself in the uptown business plaza set between Albuquerque’s two main shopping malls. She stood in the median of Uptown Boulevard, which ran between the Morgan Stanley office on the north and the City Center and Uptown Center buildings on the south.She had escaped from the trailer in the South Valley in the early evening. They had been keeping her, hoping she’d finish the work, but after her escape they seemed to have decided that silencing her was more important. So they’d summoned the hunters. She’d tried hitchhiking, but no one would stop. Once she reached the populated areas of Albuquerque she had hammered on doors, but no one had answered. She realized that the creatures who hunted her had trapped her in a field of darkness and fear that no human would enter. No one could help her.She reckoned she had covered somewhere between fifteen and seventeen miles. She could go no further. Without volition her hand went into the pocket of her coat. The metal of the pennies was sharply cold against her skin. If she could feed she might be able to fight, but there were no people nearby for her to use. A wave of cold brushed against the exposed skin of her face and hands. She glanced up at the bare branches of the trees. They stretched motionless toward the cloud-filled sky. Rhiana looked to the west and watched as one streetlight after another blinked out. The exterior lights on the Uptown City building faded and died.They were coming.
Officer Richard Oort had been following the winding trail of darkness from Rio Bravo in Albuquerque’s South Valley. He kept checking with PNM, New Mexico’s electric and gas company, who kept assuring him the power was on and running even as he sat in darkness. He was doing that now from his position in the parking lot of the Morgan Stanley building.“I’m telling you there’s a power outage.” The plastic of the handheld mike smelled faintly of hamburgers. Richard wrinkled his nose against the stale odor and pulled the mike away from his face.The voice of the dispatcher came crackling back over the car’s radio. “Our computers don’t show a problem.”“Well, I’ve got a news flash for your computers. I’m now up on Louisiana and it’s black as sin. No streetlights, no traffic lights, no lights in any of the buildings ... .” He broke off and peered through the breath-frosted front window of his parked car. It didn’t seem possible, but he said it anyway.“Even my headlights are fading.”“You never ...” Static obliterated the word. “ ... that before,” said the dispatcher.“It hasn’t happened before,” Richard replied.“Having ... say ... again.”The headlights failed, the engine coughed and the car shuddered as it died. Richard tried the key and nothing happened.The hinges on the car door creaked as he pushed it open. He stepped out and took a three-sixty look. His breath puffed in white streamers. It seemed that every streetlight within a five-block radius was out.He picked up his mobile radio from the car seat and keyed APD dispatch. “Hi, Dolores, I’m leaving the vehicle and taking a look around.”A burst of static made him jerk the radio away from his ear. Faintly he heard Dolores ask, “What ... there?”He made a guess at what she’d said. “I don’t know. Right now there’s nothing here but dark. Look, if I don’t check back within ten minutes send some backup.”There was another sharp burst of static obliterating her first words. He barely heard her “Be careful.”He slipped the radio into its Velcro holder on his vest. The microphone crackled on his left shoulder. Thrusting his nightstick through the loop on his belt, he grabbed the flashlight and headed off down the sidewalk. The weight of the belt festooned with cuffs, stick and pistol left him feeling awkward.He flashed the beam from the flashlight from side to side. Spindly trees encased in concrete seemed to jump toward him as the light caught them. The landscaping was professional modern, sand grass and chamisa thrusting through the gravel-filled verges between the sidewalks and the tree coffins.As he walked a carpet of dry leaves whispered around his shoes and crackled underfoot, releasing a rich musty smell that raised childhood memories of lit fireplaces and warm cider. The light of his flashlight danced and glittered in the windows. Everything seemed fine at the Morgan Stanley building and at the small strip mall which held the bank, offices and a couple of low-end restaurants. They were cheap and convenient which meant he’d eaten in both of them.He stopped so the crunch of the leaves wouldn’t be the predominant sound. To the south he heard the occasional whine of tires and rumble of the motor of a car traveling on I-40. Otherwise there was the leaden quiet that precedes a snowstorm. He crossed the street toward the twin buildings which housed the APS Service Center.An icy wind came sighing down from Tijeras Canyon. He pulled his coat closer around his body and crossed the street. The beam from his heavy black cop’s flashlight washed across the empty parking lot. He walked toward the buildings. The click of his metal toe taps echoed off the glass, steel and concrete looming in front of him. He blinked, trying to focus, and realized that the light from the flashlight was dying.“Well, drat.” A sharp slap of the body of the light against his gloved palm produced no result. The light continued to fade with each step he took toward the building. A few moments later it died.It was inexplicable, a feeling more than a conscious thought, but Richard found himself thumbing up the holster guard and loosening the Browning high-power pistol where it rested at his side. Immediately he felt like a fool. He had only fired the weapon at the range. Never drawn it in the three years he had served on the force. His rational mind argued with primal fear, but he couldn’t quite lift his hand from the pistol’s grip.A sharp cry of pain came from deep between the buildings. Richard jerked upright and keyed the radio. It was as dead as the flashlight. He drew his gun as he ran down the incline between the two buildings.Now he could hear harsh breaths, and the sound of blows connecting with flesh. His eyes adjusted to the gloom, and he saw three hulking figures surrounding a smaller figure who was fighting hard, throwing kicks and punches that seemed to have no effect on the attackers.He dropped into the approved two-handed-grip horse stance and drew down on the assailants. “Police! Back off!” There was no reaction from the three attackers. For an instant he dithered. Nothing in the manual or his experience had prepared him for this.He raised the pistol over his head and snapped off a shot into the air. The report, trapped between the two tall buildings, was deafening, and the muzzle flash allowed him to get a look at the focus of the attack.It was a girl. Late teens at the most. Long hair swirled darkly about her face. Sweat glistened on her skin, and her features were twisted with pain and terror. A pocket on her leather coat was torn loose. All he could tell about her attackers was that they were enormous and dressed in something dark and formfitting. They were as unimpressed with the gunshot as they had been with his shrill command.The girl ducked under a ponderous roundhouse blow from one of her attackers. There was no more time for warnings. Richard’s palms were wet with sweat and he was grateful he had the gloves to help steady his hold on the Browning. He was breathing in sharp, shallow pants. He forced himself to hold his breath, took careful aim at the back of one of the muggers and double-tapped two rounds. The first bullet fired but the muzzle flash was substantially reduced and the kick against his palm much gentler than it should have been.Richard’s attention was distracted from his target to his pistol because the second round wasn’t firing. Richard had a sense it was lodged in the chamber of the pistol, and he tossed the gun away before it could explode in his face. He looked down the alley to see the results of his one shot and felt the breath stop in the back of his throat because the man was continuing the attack as if he hadn’t been hit.There was a hollow sense in his gut warning him that this was eerie and scary and he ought to run the other way, but he couldn’t abandon her. It was like twisting ice-covered rope to force the muscles in his legs to move. He managed to break into a staggering run and headed toward the girl.“Hang on, I’m coming,” Richard yelled. His voice sounded stretched and thin and more soprano than tenor.“HELP!” She screamed. “Help me! Help ... me ... .” She gasped down a breath, and ducked beneath the encircling arms.Richard felt something under the soles of his shoes, and he realized the ground was littered with pennies.The eye finds patterns and the mind supplies the expected description. Since he couldn’t see the bulk of clothes his mind had provided the explanation of a formfitting jumpsuit. It wasn’t until Richard launched himself onto the back of one of the attackers that his brain finally accepted the reality ... they weren’t wearing clothes. But now he was on the guy’s back, and his brain had a whole new series of sensations to process.There were odd bumps under Richard’s knees, and he found himself sliding as if the man were greased. He gripped tighter with his right hand, and punched hard at the man’s temple with his left. His fist sunk three inches into the man’s head, and something oozed between his fingers.He yelled in disgust, his legs lost the battle to hang on, and he slid to the ground. Lightning shot up his spine as his tailbone connected hard with the pavement.One of the other attackers came lumbering around to face Richard. “Oh, God!” he whimpered, because what faced him wasn’t a man. It was a monster.It was constructed of mud and sticks with a featureless blank where its face should have been. It leaned over, slow and ponderous, and reached for Richard. Ice had again encased his muscles and his mind. The only thing filling his head was a little voice frantically yammering the Lord’s Prayer, except he couldn’t remember any of the words past “Our Father, who art in Heaven.” Another voice replaced the panicked, stammered prayer.“When you’re down you gotta roll clear so you gotta chance to get to your feet. Now roll, you motherfuckers.”The gravel voice of Sergeant Jerry Hernandez echoed through his head. Richard rolled frantically away, as a fist the size of a coal scuttle smashed into the asphalt next to his head. The monster got a grip on the back of Richard’s coat. There was intense pressure in his armpits before the fabric gave way. He was left wearing the arms while the creature threw aside the body of the coat.Change went skipping and dancing on the asphalt. The girl flung herself across Richard. Her knee hit him in the diaphragm, and he gulped like a fish as the air went out of him. At first he thought she was trying to shield him, then he realized she was scrambling after the coins.She grabbed up a penny and balanced it on her outstretched palm. Richard had the sudden and very unpleasant sensation that something cold and wet had just been dragged across the inside of his skull. The girl stared at him with an expression that included confusion, dismay and anger. She shook her head, sucked in a deep breath, and called out in a strange language. The penny began to spin and glow, throwing out copper-colored sparks. The girl tossed the penny into the air. It hung spinning like a tiny firework.She batted the penny toward one of their attackers. The coin struck the monster in the chest, and there was suddenly a wall of flame. Richard threw an arm over his face as the blast of heat singed his eyebrows. The other monsters reeled away from their companion. The flames died away. The creature didn’t move. The girl jumped to her feet, and kicked it hard. The creature shattered.Richard staggered to his feet. A thread of air was beginning to trickle into his chest. He spotted the roundhouse sweeping toward the girl’s head. She didn’t.He wrapped his arms around her waist, and dove sideways. He barked an elbow on the pavement. His shirt tore and his skin with it. The cut on his elbow stung like crazy and blood began trickling down his arm. The girl was on top of him. Her hair, damp with perspiration and smelling of sweat and sandalwood, snaked across his face and mouth. He noticed, distantly, that one ear held a number of earrings stretching from lobe to tip.Richard got one knee underneath him, shoved himself upright, lifting the girl with him. It wasn’t easy because she was taller than he was.“Come on, let’s get out of here!” Richard said.“They’ll just keep coming,” she sobbed.Suddenly the girl jammed her hands into his chest and shoved, hard. Richard went tottering backwards as an enormous fist cut the air in front of him. Goblets of mud spattered against his face. He came up against the side of a building; there was a window to his left. He raised his uninjured elbow, smashed it against the glass, and howled. It always looked easy in the movies. The glass broke, the hero leaped through. In fact the glass remained firmly in place and the hero’s elbow hurt like hell. Richard yanked out his nightstick and swung hard. This time the glass shattered.“Come on!”He felt the words ripping along his throat, and he beckoned frantically to her. She darted between the monsters and ran to him. He was going to boost her through, but she braced a foot high on his thigh, the heel grinding into the muscle, grabbed his shoulder, and climbed him like a stepladder. Her heard her land inside. Which left him outside. With the monsters.Richard grabbed the windowsill. The edges of the broken glass cut through his gloves and into his palms. He gritted his teeth against the pain, planted a toe of his heavy shoe against the wall and boosted into a handstand flip. He landed on his feet in the office and felt the jar from his shins to the top of his head. It had been a long time since he’d done any serious gymnastics.“Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow,” he groaned as he surveyed their surroundings.It was some kind of nondescript office space. Computers on metal desks, chairs on casters, and office cubicles formed from carpeted panels. Briefly he wondered why the alarms weren’t working, decided it was all part of the lack of light and firepower, then forgot it all as sausage-sized fingers gripped the windowsill, dripping mud fro...

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Descripción Tor Books, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Since the dawn of consciousness, a secret war has been fought between the forces of magic and religious fanaticism and the cause of reason, understanding, and technology. On one side are the Old Ones, malign entities that feed on the suffering of mankind. On the other are the Lumina, an ancient order dedicated to the liberation of the human spirit. Officer Richard Oort of the Albuquerque Police Department is caught in the middle of this primal battle when he rescues a mysterious teenage girl from a trio of inhuman hunters. Recruited by the Lumina to serve as their latest paladin, Richard fights beside a handful of unlikely allies, including an adolescent sorceress, an enigmatic philanthropist, a sexy coroner, and a homeless god with multiple personalities. But the Old Ones and their mortal pawns are determined to destroy Richard-or else convert him to their cause. And they have all powers of magic and organized religion at their disposal. As the gates between the universes shred apart, it may be up to Richard to save humanity from the endless horror of a new Dark Age. Melinda M. Snodgrass s The Edge of Reason is a provocative thriller about the eternal battle between science and superstition. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780765376084

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Descripción Tor Books, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Since the dawn of consciousness, a secret war has been fought between the forces of magic and religious fanaticism and the cause of reason, understanding, and technology. On one side are the Old Ones, malign entities that feed on the suffering of mankind. On the other are the Lumina, an ancient order dedicated to the liberation of the human spirit. Officer Richard Oort of the Albuquerque Police Department is caught in the middle of this primal battle when he rescues a mysterious teenage girl from a trio of inhuman hunters. Recruited by the Lumina to serve as their latest paladin, Richard fights beside a handful of unlikely allies, including an adolescent sorceress, an enigmatic philanthropist, a sexy coroner, and a homeless god with multiple personalities. But the Old Ones and their mortal pawns are determined to destroy Richard-or else convert him to their cause. And they have all powers of magic and organized religion at their disposal. As the gates between the universes shred apart, it may be up to Richard to save humanity from the endless horror of a new Dark Age. Melinda M. Snodgrass s The Edge of Reason is a provocative thriller about the eternal battle between science and superstition. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9780765376084

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Descripción Tor Books, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Since the dawn of consciousness, a secret war has been fought between the forces of magic and religious fanaticism and the cause of reason, understanding, and technology. On one side are the Old Ones, malign entities that feed on the suffering of mankind. On the other are the Lumina, an ancient order dedicated to the liberation of the human spirit. Officer Richard Oort of the Albuquerque Police Department is caught in the middle of this primal battle when he rescues a mysterious teenage girl from a trio of inhuman hunters. Recruited by the Lumina to serve as their latest paladin, Richard fights beside a handful of unlikely allies, including an adolescent sorceress, an enigmatic philanthropist, a sexy coroner, and a homeless god with multiple personalities. But the Old Ones and their mortal pawns are determined to destroy Richard-or else convert him to their cause. And they have all powers of magic and organized religion at their disposal. As the gates between the universes shred apart, it may be up to Richard to save humanity from the endless horror of a new Dark Age. Melinda M. Snodgrass s The Edge of Reason is a provocative thriller about the eternal battle between science and superstition. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9780765376084

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