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The Folk of the Fringe

Written By:Orson Scott Card - 1989

  • The Folk of the Fringe  - Orson Scott Card cover


After the worst happens, who will rebuild civilization?

The disaster predicted for so long has finally happened. And although only a few nuclear bombs actually fell in America, there are other, more insidious weapons—both biological and cultural—which have brought civilization crashing down.

Yet even as mob rule claims the lives of many, and deprivation and disease take an equally heavy toll, there are those who will not give up the struggle to survive. For these people, living on the fringe, there is still one last sanctuary: Deseret, a have created and run by Mormons, who are slowly reclaiming Utah, Colorado and Idaho, building a new, hopefully saner society.

Now, in a series of fascinating tales as only Orson Scott Card could conceive them, you'll meet Jamie Teague, a scavenger who rescues a group of Mormons fleeing a terrifying massacre in Carolina, and agrees to help them on their journey to Deseret... Deaver, an orphan who can't stop searching for the life he believes should have been his... Carpenter, a teacher whose wheelchair and computer-synthesized voice reflect the bitter lessons he has learned... and Sam Monson, father of the child who will one day rule a new America. They are the people of Deseret—hard-working pioneers, true survivors—determined to build a new and better society out of the ruins of what was once the United States.


"What have you got here, Jamie?"

It wasn't Jamie who answered Tina. It was Pete. "He's got everything. Safety. Good land. Enough to eat. Good neighbors. And no reason to move on, ever."

"That's this year," Tina replied.

"You make trips down into the Carolina. You go into abandoned houses, you visit places and tell stories and they give you gifts. Needles and pins, tools and all the things that make life halfway livable. Do you think those things will last forever? Someday the scavenging will run out. Jamie, don't you see that folks around here are just holding on? But it's all fading. And whoever stays here is going to fade, too. But out west-"

"Out west they might all be dead!"