''Dave stared around the office. He went to the window and stared upwards at the crazy patchwork of the sky. For all he knew, in such a sky there might be cracks. In fact, as he looked, he could make out a rift, and beyond that a ... hole ... a small patch where there was no color, and yet the sky there was not black. There were no stars there, though points of light were clustered around the edges, apparently retreating.''
t be superstitious--hypnotism is silly. Now go to sleep. For me, Dave Hanson. I want you well and true when you awake."
Against his will, his eyes closed, and his lips refused to obey his desire to protest. Fatigue dulled his thoughts. But for a moment, he went on pondering. Somebody from the future--this could never be the past--had somehow pulled him out just ahead of the accident, apparently; or else he'd been deep frozen somehow to wait for medical knowledge beyond that of his own time. He'd heard it might be possible to do that.
It was a cockeyed future, if this were the future. Still, if scientists had to set up some, sort of a religious mumbo-jumbo....
Sickness thickened in him, until he could feel his face wet with perspiration. But with it had come a paralysis that left him unable to move or groan. He screamed inside himself.
"Poor mandrake-man," the girl said softly. "Go back to Lethe. But don't cross over. We need you sorely."
Then he passed out again.
I enjoyed this well written novella, it is really something different. Fantasy, not SF.
Enjoyable -- silly in parts, but good natured. Great way to pass some time in an airport!
An ordinary man called upon to solve an impossible problem in a magical world. This reminds me of David Brin's "The Practice Effect".
this is an interesting book