An internationally renowned scientist who fears she's taken one scientific risk too many; a distinguished archaeologist who's haunted by taking too few; a world famous financier who's lost everything except his money; an art gallery owner with a heartbreaking burden; a fugitive filmmaker; the head of a battered women's shelter-these are some of the people who find themselves at the end of the Old Santa Fe Trail at the end of the 20th century. Chance has brought them from all over to beautiful, legendary Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they shape, illuminate, and even deform each other's lives unexpectedly, as if on the very edge of chaos. This edge of chaos, a scientific term for that slender territory between frozen predictability and hopeless disorder, is a dangerously unstable place. Learning and change can only happen there, but always under threat of sliding back to frozen order-or over into the chaotic abyss. And Santa Fe's sons and daughters, even now, keep a precarious foothold on "The Edge of Chaos," bringing their own pasts and their city's rich history into an uncertain but exhilarating future. PAMELA McCORDUCK has published eight other books, translated into most of the major European and Asian languages. She has written for magazines ranging from "Redbook" and "Cosmopolitan" to "Daedalus," and was a contributing editor to "Wired." She was a board member and officer of the American PEN Center in New York, the authors' organization, and an officer of the New Mexico Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She has appeared on many television shows, including PBS's News Hour and the CBS Evening News. CNN based a two-part documentary on her book, "The Futures of Women."