The author of our latest book, Edge of Remembrance: Gods and Dragons, told us about some of his favorite quotes from the novel. We thought they gave some unique insights into the story without revealing too much.
Merla Velzna had earned the right not to kill. No one else born into the Military Class had ever gained her advantage—the freedom to choose her own destiny. For eight years, digging for artifacts had given her peace. Now, for the first time in more than a decade, her military training was once again active in mind and body. Someone was following her.
Everything in his life seemed to have prepared him for this trophy, yet he felt insignificant next to it. Until now, his life’s work had been supported by known history. The culture of five thousand years had always cushioned him from the unknown’s abyss. Within the stone box, time dropped away as a chasm. Now, he saw the six thousand years between the bottom of history and this object—this end to someone else’s history. He felt naked above it. Nothing lay between him and the ancient of ancients.
As an imperial archaeologist, Merla’s only concern should have been the safe retrieval of ancient technology, but she could not help being curious about the ancestors behind these artifacts. She wondered what their lives must have been like before their civilization suddenly ended. Long before history began, a powerful force of nature had caused that abrupt ending, and had laid these remains to rest. No one yet knew that the same force would soon return.
Lessons came back to her from one of her military instructors when she was still a teenager. He had drilled into her the need to commit to an action or not to do that action at all. How did he talk about it? “A lack of commitment is the corrupter of the mind, turning reason into reasonableness. Half-measures are the vacation of the confused.”
Merla unfolded the bulletin, looked at it again, then turned her attention to gaze out at the small stretch of circular canal, warmed by late-afternoon sun. The familiar beauty of it now seemed unreal, like a picture projected onto thin gauze.
“Damn them!” Merla crushed the bulletin into a wad and threw it across her desk, widely missing the wastebasket. “Damn their secrets!”
So much needed to be done to save lives, and if possible, to save civilization. What an impossible task! It loomed in her mind as if it were a mountain on her path. But Merla would do everything in her power to attempt that task. Again, she looked at the bulletin and then glanced at the clock on her desk.
Ker Balkonen straightened in his chair and blinked several times. Like a faint whiff of something familiar, he had sensed the presence of someone who had eluded him for nearly two months. It was as if the mysterious woman old Kotornen had talked to had suddenly come back from a great distance.
The emblem [imperial fasces] dominated the room, stretching nearly five meters across the center of the broad, front wall. By design, though, it did not dwarf the slender old woman. Quite the contrary, its forced perspective made her appear to be the source of its power. Her simple hand motion to the young senator carried the weight of the entire Empire, and even the most senior senators responded with reverence.
With the Chief Arbiter’s gesture, the whispers gave way to silence, and young Arkonen let the burden of that quiet linger a moment before he spoke.
Professor Ganni Morzna
Her old professor raised a cautionary finger. “The edge of history is fragile. It is a time following myth and legend where the seeds of memory are planted. Such memory does more than prove a people existed. It proves they thought about more than mere survival. But that memory is itself fragile. One discovery could push the edge of history back hundreds of years, while one massive disaster could move it forward, in limbo, until a new history might start.”
Her gaze drifted upward, taking in the broad expanse of sky, decorated with only a handful of clouds. In her mind, she could see the black of space, beyond the blue sky, and the candle-like stars flickering amongst all that emptiness.
A part of her did not want to be here now. She felt smothered by the hidden shroud of blackness—the truth behind the pleasant façade of blue sky. The blackness of the inevitable was larger than she could fathom. Her heart could not ache enough to hold the enormity of what was about to happen—to her friends, to all the little things that made life bearable, to all the pieces of art and literature, and to the memories of these things. All the candles might be going out at once, leaving darkness and forgotten dreams.
Gunter returned with two more beers and two baskets. He sat down and continued, “In southern Spain, there’s a city called ‘Cádiz.’ Earlier it was called ‘Gadir’ by the Phoenicians who supposedly founded the community. Later, ‘Gades,’ by the Romans. The region was also known by the names ‘Gadirus’ or ‘Gadira.’ The reference in Plato’s ‘Critias’ was quite clear. Atlantis faced Gadira.”