A World Where
The Good Guys Won!

Description of PhotoPhoto of J. Neil Schulman in 1979

The politically correct have remade the earth in their image, and it's an earthly paradise.

War, hunger, racism, nationalism, random crime and violence, and most diseases have been conquered.

Humanity is joined together under a single, democratic world government.



If you even want to find a gun anywhere on earth, you'd probably have to look in a museum.

Technology is tamed to the needs of humankind, rather than despoiling the earth.

Gay men and lesbians are not only just tolerated at the fringes of society, but are among its most powerful and respected members. Gay marriage is an institution as unremarkable as any other marriage.

Women are more politically powerful than at any time in human history. Abortion is freely available to any woman who wants it.

The First Lady is Head of State.

Christianity has been driven underground as a marginal cult, and Wiccen holidays are officially observed. The names of cities and streets have been changed to reflect the new world order.

Unhealthy tobacco and hard-liquor are forbidden, but marijuana, beer, and wine are legal.

Everyone--everyone--who wants to can get real, safe sex.

Even conservatives and libertarians can't find a lot to complain about. The conservatives can escape what they see as decadence to the Mere Christian space habitat, St. Clive, and libertarians who object can emigrate to the fully-privatized space habitat, Ad Astra.

So why isn't everything perfect for everyone? Who are the new underclass called Touchables, and why are they hunted for sport? Why do men outnumber women seven-to-one? And why are teenaged women being drafted into government service for three years?

This 1984 Prometheus-award-winning novel is fiction not about the future of machines, but about the future of the human soul.

It's the story of Joan Darris, a brilliant young artist in the medium of laser concerts, who swears that she will tell the colors how to make a rainbow.

Is it her destiny to play music for men's eyes, or to make herself a plaything for their desires? Why does her love for her mother threaten to subject her to three years of legalized rape, and why does her family--the very politics on Earth in her time--tell her it's her duty to comply? How does the murder she witnessed at five years old make legalized rape seem the lesser of evils twelve years later--and how does the lingering horror of that murder threaten not only to rob her of her artistic triumph but threaten the life of a man she loves but who can't give himself to her without betraying everything he believes in?

Structured as carefully as one of the visual fugues it describes--beginning slowly and accelerating faster with each movement--The Rainbow Cadenza conducts unforgettable characters through a complex drama of human motive and variation from Joan's mother, Eleanor, who learns the tragedy of trying to live through a daughter--to Joan's older sister Vera, the twin daughter of Eleanor, whose struggle to find herself threatens to destroy both her mother and sister--to the elderly maestro, Wolfgang Jaeger, who doesn't know whether Joan is a worthy artistic heir or a cheap sensationalizer--to the politician who uses his power to make Joan his private love slave, and subject her to his darkest desires--to the secret Christian missionary sent to Earth to teach the meaning of love, but who must learn from Joan the ultimate meaning of his sermons.

Joan Darris's world is an Earth with Marnies who hunt Touchables, with Gaylords and Ladies, with televised trials that sentence resisters to death in microwave ovens--an Earth that has eliminated war, but which has found new outlets for violence.

Like the cautionary tales of Orwell and Huxley, the philosophical novels of Ayn Rand, the realistic speculation of Heinlein, the satiric fiction of Anthony Burgess, The Rainbow Cadenza uses the device of futuristic fiction to ask fundamental questions about the personal, political, and religious values to which we dedicate our lives, and to shed light on the problems we face today.

This new Pulpless.Comtm edition includes eight afterwords exploring various themes used in the novel--including an updated afterword by Ivan Dryer, CEO of Laser Images, Inc.--as well as a fully hypertexted encyclopedic glossary of the new and invented language used in the novel, and a gallery of laser images provided by LASERIUM® specially for this edition!

Praise for
THE RAINBOW CADENZA:

"Every libertarian should read it. It should win the Prometheus Award."
--Robert A. Heinlein, at the 1983 L-5 Society Conference, to Libertarian Futurist Society Chairman Michael Grossberg

"I found it absolutely fascinating ... A splendid book."
--Colin Wilson

"A thoughtful, unusually well-written book that raises the most important questions about life and art."
--Michael Medved, host of PBS's Sneak Previews

"Particular praise is due to Schulman for the detailed working out of the heroine's profession of laser-graphics composer. Future art forms are seldom handled wih the intelligence and vividness seen here."
--Booklist

"Engrossingly suspenseful ... wickedly funny and chilling at the same time."
--Publishers Weekly

"A sonata of rational discourse ... A highly recommended feast of invention and serious speculation."
--Library Journal

"It is that rare thing, a genuinely intellectual thriller."
--Jeff Riggenbach, San Jose Mercury News

"The book left me feeling for three days that I wished I'd been born without a penis."
--Larry Niven, to the author

"The damn book haunted me."
--Poul Anderson, Reason Magazine

"An original and thoughtful book which raises questions that have not appeared in fiction before."
--Gregory Benford

"An intensively interesting evocation of complex psychological realities. Imaginative and original. Mr. Schulman is a remarkably gifted writer."
--Nathaniel Branden, author of The Psychology of Self Esteem and Judgment Day: My Life With Ayn Rand

About the Author

Return to Table of Contents.