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Alright, I think I read these back in the 80s or early 90s. Every search I've tried keeps bringing up newer books that aren't even close to what I'm looking for, so I'm hoping crowd sourcing it here might work better.

The series starts with the main character being part of an order of psychic monks who raise telepathic moose in what once was Canada. The setting is post nuclear apocalypse, with America only recently reaching levels of nuclear radiation low enough to travel through, and even then only if you know what areas to avoid; while not explicitly stated, it seems that even in a nuclear apocalypse, the Canadians are too nice for people to attack.

The main character encounters an enemy psychic who had come up from America, prompting him to begin a journey to find out more about what life continued to survive to the South. Along the way, he runs into an order who refer to themselves as Eleventhers. This order formed from scientists who survived the nuclear armageddon in bunkers and swore to add an eleventh amendment to the biblical ten: Harm not the Earth nor any of the creatures who walk thereon. They(and their descendants) have been doing everything they can to help the Earth recover from all of the damage humanity had dealt it.

The series, as I recall, contains relatively normal humans who were still in the mindset of 'whoever has the biggest/best weapons win,' who are trying to gain control of some of the unlaunched nuclear warheads; twisted and deformed critters roaming a corrupt desolation; and a giant monstrosity aware that it gained sentience through the agency of nuclear induced mutations and which wants to set off more warheads in the belief that doing so will make it stronger.

23

It's definitely Sterling E. Lanier's Hiero's Journey.

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Here's the "telepathic moose" (called a "morse", it's a cross between a horse and a moose) ch.1:

Hiero tried a mind probe on Klootz, to see if he was getting a fix on the herd’s position. The greatest danger lay in being trapped in front of a wide-ranging herd, with the concomitant inability to get away to either side. The buffer were not particularly mean, but they weren’t especially bright either, and they slowed down for almost nothing except fire. The morse’s mind conveyed uneasiness. He felt that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hiero decided not to delay any longer and turned south off the trail, allowing Klootz to pick a way, and hopefully letting them get off at an angle to the oncoming buffer.

The OP's synopsis is essentially correct. The book (and it's sequel, The Unforsaken Hiero) is about the conflict between the last (mostly) normal humans against the evil mutants, human-ish and otherwise. It takes place in a post-nuclear war Earth. There are many mutated giant animals, most of them hungry. A few mutated animals are intelligent, some friendly or at least neutral, some evil. Most humans have gained telepathy to some degree, as well as many of the mutated animals.

It's still an entertaining read, if you can suspend your disbelief enough.

  • That sounds right. I remember it as being an entertaining read. Not exactly a great book, but entertaining. The way what I recall ended seemed to be leading to another book, but series like this have failed to be finished far too often. – user62707 Sep 11 '14 at 22:33
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I vaguely remember that Hiero's Journey is post apocalyptic and has him riding a moose, but I don't remember if it is telepathic.

Here's a link I googled up: http://www.amazon.com/Hieros-Journey-Sterling-E-Lanier/dp/0345308417

I remember enjoying reading it, but it's been a long time.

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