Beasts Author:John Crowley Against the charged and anarchic atmosphere of a fragmented America in the not-too-distant future, two events unfold, seemingly unrelated but inexorably marking the fall of man...and the rise of the animal kingdom. — The twentieth century's idle genetic experiments have created a hostile second race - a half-human, half-lion laboratory creation c... more »alled "leos." And in the wake of civil wars, the American government has collapsed, leaving as its successor the Union for Social Engineering - a fanctical, quasi-religious group struggling to bring together the splintered shards of government and bring the leos back under man's dominion.
As their opposing destinies move back and forth over the face of a much-altered twenty-first-century America, the leos attract an odd lot, whose motives and hostilities both divide and join them.....Sten and his sister Mika, the outlawed children of an assassinated ruler, and their ethologist tutor Loren. The servant Caddie, once in bondage to a human and now the only human to be part of a leo's pride. Also drawn to the group is Sweets, an experimental dog with a human IQ. And then there is Meric Landseer, a documentary film maker, who is lured out of this sky-scaper commune to join the followers of the outlaw leo, Painter, King of the Beasts.
Manipulating them all is Reynard, half-man, half-fox - the only one of his kind. He and the others do not fit into USE's grand scheme. Can they survive it? And can they fight USE while fighting themselves?
This stunning tale of terror and suspense is a different kind of thriller - a bizarre odyssey into the far reaches of the human and the non-human.« less