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A human diplomat from Earth falls in love with an alien who has undergone plastic surgery to make her appear human, in a novel by the author of the acclaimed trilogy, The Starbridge Chronicles.
are reading infringes on the author’s copyright, please notify the publisher at: us.macmillanusa.com/piracy. Contents Title Page Copyright Notice Dedication Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter IV Chapter V Chapter VI Chapter VII Chapter VIII Other books by Paul Park Praise Copyright This book is for Terry Bisson Dennis Boutsikaris Ellen Datlow David Eppel Andrew Failes Deborah Hedwall Judy Jensen Lisa Jose Lynn Latson Roger Lawrence Shelley List Martha
listening to the music. So beautiful, it was. “What’s wrong?” he asked, raising his head. She turned over on her side, sobbing quietly. Her black hair was spread out over the pillow. He reached up to touch her face. “What’s wrong?” he asked again. But she was shaking her head, crying softly into her fists. He sat up on the bed and stared out the window past her shoulder. From somewhere in the park there came a sound like the crack of a stick, a bough torn off a tree. And then another sound
around her small shoulder where it protruded from the blanket. He could feel the fire burning under her skin. He could feel her wound, a gnawing pain deep in his guts where the pellets ran in. With his other hand he made a sudden movement. “Can you say why this happened?” Reverend Martin shrugged, a human gesture, and the demon turned to look. “Man at white house. He gun. Secret gun in cloth. Later we kill him.” “Please, I said why. I mean why.” Then in a little while, “I was there.” Speaking
you don’t. Slaves and masters, it’s the same thing. In a sense the Abos created them, like we created our gods. And it worked; you read McElroy. The Abos lived like animals until the demons raised them up. They were living in caves and eating beetles from the sulfur water. But the demons made a pattern for them and showed them how to think. The real world and the false.” “They were slaves,” said Simon. “You don’t understand. Sure, we read all about it in school, the chapel of bones, the labor
one was fire and force. And one—she lifted up her head and looked toward the horizon, toward where the moon trembled on the rim of the world, and it was rising, and silver light cascaded from it, and the sand around her burst into a diamond fire. Openness was everything, she thought. She lifted up her head. The birds were high shadows now, chasing each other, making patterns underneath the stars. Near her a rivulet of water ran down out of the rocks to lose itself in the sand. She could hear it