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Pangaea Book II: Imperium Afire Mass Market Paperback – May 2, 2000

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (May 2, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055358166X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553581669
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #923,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In a world on the brink of destruction, there is no safe place to run.

Book Two in an epic of astonishing originality by one of the most imaginative voices in science fiction.

The once stable world of Pangaea is coming apart....Mysterious earthshocks convulse the land, and even the Imperium's caste system begins to crack. The dreams that have pacified millions are changing, contaminated by portents of doom.

For Pangaea's once benevolent tyranny has turned to torture to preserve its authority. Now the Imperium targets its gravest enemies: the daring erotician whose talent as an orbcaster empowers her to keep a wealth of secrets; the "impure" outlaw who finds herself undergoing an inexplicable transformation; and the gifted aetherist who finally sees the truth after years shackled by the Imperium sharemind. To succeed in finding a new life beyond the grip of the Imperium, they must know when to fight and when to run. But even if they throw off their oppressors, the destruction of Pangaea has already begun....

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Only after she'd returned from the village of Al-Muud did Salit Zehar discover the answer. And the question? It was the question that had vexed all Pangaea since the world began to change last summer.

Salit gripped a devil star. Her last. The six-pointed semisentient knife vibrated in her fist--or maybe it was her own trembling. She ran her tongue tip over her lip and tasted salt and grit and fear.

Rumor said the rocks had bled since the eruption in the Hercynian Sea. Magma surged from the ocean floor over wreckage of the famous Floating Towers. From the sea rose a cineritious caldera. Isle of Pyrber, the High Council called the forsaken place: Emerged from Fire.

In Atlan to the south and Blackblood Cavern below the streets, the smell of sulfur and a haze of ashes choked the air. Winter was approaching, the breadfruit leaves turning gold, and Our Sacred Imperium of Pangaea pondered ever-present death, emerging life, and ineluctable change.

Salit crouched behind a tumble of boulders. The earthshock that had devastated the world last summer--some said the Big Shock prophesied by the Apocalyptists--had dislodged chunks of the granite walls. Rockfalls littered West Ingress, forming crawl spaces like the one where she hid. Scattered torches cast pools of fitful amber light.

A squad of walkabout vigiles marched past her no more than a handbreadth away. Tall, golden-haired magister pures, the vigiles swung golden-skinned faces back and forth, surveilling the ingress with penetrating blue eyes. Imperial weapons dangled from their belts--crossbows, daggers, firebolts. Fine uniforms of indigo-blue flattered bulging muscles in their formidable arms and thighs.

Sweat poured down Salit's neck, sliding in ticklish trails beneath her chameleon cloak. The cloak obeyed her for a change, wrapping its draperies around her. She glanced down at herself and saw a ripple of rock and shadows. A decent camouflaging for once.

Cursed vigiles, what are you doing in impure territory? Raiding my people for Atlan Prefecture? Rounding up hostages for Vigilance torturers?

A vigile swung his head around and cocked it, and Salit realized she'd been whispering aloud. So alone. Alone too long since Horan Zehar had died beneath the knife of Lieutenant Captain Regim Deuceman. Too long the journey from Al-Muud to Atlan. Too many days of evading Vigilance, hiding on the cliffs, sleeping on Sausal Beach, before she dared return to Blackblood Cavern, searching for Asif.

A pretty vigile not much older than Salit's seventeen years unfurled a scroll and proceeded to post it. Bang bang bang bang, four efficient hammer strikes on four iron spikes. A dozen scrolls were tucked beneath her brawny arm. The smallest of the squad, the pretty vigile stood twice as tall as Salit and easily tipped the scales at three stone more.

Salit had always had trouble keeping enough meat on her frail bones. Way too many days since she'd enjoyed a square meal. Yesterday she had dined on three tiny speckled eggs she'd found in a seabird's nest. She had crunched eggshells in her teeth, swallowed raw yolks, and wished there had been more.

The most regal vigile of the squad wrinkled her slope of a nose and yawned, bored and disdainful. "Hai, my officers," announced this fine specimen of the magister purity, "I cannot bear this vile place another moment. Let's begone. Our young Assayev will post the rest, won't you, officer?"

The vigiles glanced among themselves in the peculiar way people of the purities often did: dreamy-eyed and withdrawn.

When the pures look as if they're gone into a trance, they have entered sharemind,Horan had taught her. We of the impure possess no sharemind. We invoke no Imperial sharemind. We do not dream in the Mind of the World. We possess no sharemind among the purities or among the impure, not even between our bonded ones. We possess no security numbers, no protocol chips, no sharelock chips. But don't despair, my daughter. We may be all alone, each within our own minds, but we are free.

And the question vexing all Pangaea loomed before Salit: If I am impure, and I cannot dream in the Mind of the World, then how could I have appeared in the dream of a famous angel? The eminent Milord Lucyd, whom I've never even met before?

The regal vigile said, "Look lively, Officer Assayev, and watch your back. The impure are nasty little beasts, even those not of the terrorist clans." She made the sign of the Imperial star. "They're the Fallen of Inim, servants of the Supreme Adversary. We should pray for them but we should also be wary."

"Yes, my sergeant," barked the pretty vigile, nearly toppling when she clicked her bootheels.

The vigiles chuckled at their puppy of a colleague. Awareness left their eyes as they entered sharemind again.

Salit frowned, and sorrow coiled around her heart. She had no notion what the pures communicated in their shared consciousness. Or how, exactly. Or what it felt like.

She only knew she was excluded.

"Report to me at Vigilance when you're done, As-sayev," the sergeant vigile said. "I've got a batch of new protocol regulations I need you to post in Allpure Square."

"Yes, my sergeant."

The squad turned and marched up West Ingress toward Marketplace, leaving the pretty vigile to her task.

The vigile glanced imperiously at the rough-hewn walls, searching for a place to post another scroll. She withdrew one from beneath her arm and a handful of spikes from a pouch at her belt. She lazily nailed the scroll to the wall, obeying her orders as if nothing could possibly harm her.

Here, in impure territory.

More About the Author

New! My Charlotte: Patty's Story is a short, sweet memoir about writing and inspiration. The book includes my first story, "Arachne," which was published worldwide by Omni Magazine, in Japan by Hayakawa, and by Replik in Sweden.

New! Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is a collection of short fantasy and science fiction published in top magazines and anthologies worldwide.

Also new! Passionate historical romantic suspense. CELESTIAL GIRL (A LILY MODJESKA MYSTERY) is available in three affordable installments--Book 1: The Heartland, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West, and Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom plus Book 4: Terminus--or as the Omnibus Edition, which includes all four books in the Lily Modjeska miniseries.

I'm delighted to announce that THE GARDEN OF ABRACADABRA, the Omnibus Edition, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is now available on Kindle. Bast Books is also offering three affordable installments, The Garden of Abracadabra Trilogy, Book 1: Life's Journey, Book 2: In Dark Woods, and Book 3: The Right Road. If you enjoy urban fantasy, I hope you will give this a try!

I'm also happy to announce acclaimed books on Kindle: SUMMER OF LOVE, A TIME TRAVEL (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) and the sequel, THE GILDED AGE, A TIME TRAVEL (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book), both from previously published works by Bantam; and TESLA, A WORTHY OF HIS TIME, A SCREENPLAY, which is presently being read by L.A. producers.

New! Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) is offered in seven Installments, the Summer of Love Serials, 1 through 7.

Other Kindle titles include "TOMORROW'S CHILD," published in OMNI magazine and in development at Universal Pictures, with a fantastic cover by acclaimed San Francisco artist, Tom Robinson, together with my blog, "The Story Behind the Story that Sold to the Movies." Also on Kindle are "THE SIXTY-THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF HYSTERIA," published in the anthology Full Spectrum 5 (Bantam), "EVERY MYSTERY UNEXPLAINED," published in the anthology David Copperfield's Tales of the Impossible (HarperPrism), "DAUGHTER OF THE TAO," published in Peter Beagle's Immortal Unicorn (HarperPrism), "SHAKEN," published in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine and worldwide, and "U F uh-O, A SCI FI COMEDY," a novella adapted from a screenplay for a producer looking for the next "Galaxy Quest" or "Men in Black."

I'm the author of nine novels, two dozen stories, and two screenplays, including SUMMER OF LOVE (Bantam), a San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book and Philip K. Dick Award finalist, and THE GOLDEN NINETIES (Bantam), a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book.

I published my first story, "ARACHNE," in Omni and have since published short fiction in magazines and anthologies worldwide.

I live in the San Francisco Bay area with my husband, the acclaimed artist and jeweler, Tom Robinson, and am a huge fan of cats and hummingbirds.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By blue on May 15, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I waited a long time for this book to finally hit the shelves. The first book in the series left you staving for more. I can not stress the grandeur of that book. I truly thought that this was the beginning of a stellar series. As soon as I began reading the book I noticed something different in the writing style of the writer. It was much less elegant than the first book. I felt as if it were rushed somehow, as if the writer was grasping in the air for ideas. I am truly baffled at the noticeable differences of both books. The thing that bothered me most was that there was no build to the climax. I feel Mason misused one of her key characters by having her die in childbirth after creating her great sense of purpose. The plot should have been one of intrigue keeping you on your toes and having you turn the page as fast as your fingers could manage. When all is "revealed" is simply fizzles. I am saddened at giving Mason a less than perfect review, but I can only compare her to her previous work and this book falls short of what I have seen her to write.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Martin on May 25, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm sorry to say that this book was a major disappointment. Volume 1 of this series, while somewhat fantastical, was ultimately engaging and left me hanging for this volume. Unfortunately, the character's actions seemed without motivation and destroyed the skillful set-up of the first book. By the end, you are left simply not caring any longer.
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