A World Where
The Good Guys Won!
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
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
Unhealthy tobacco and hard-liquor are forbidden, but
marijuana, beer, and wine are legal.
Everyone--everyone--who wants to can get real,
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
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
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
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!
THE RAINBOW CADENZA:
"Every libertarian should read it. It should win the
--Robert A. Heinlein, at the 1983 L-5 Society Conference, to
Libertarian Futurist Society Chairman Michael Grossberg
"I found it absolutely fascinating ... A splendid
"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."
"Engrossingly suspenseful ... wickedly funny and chilling at
the same time."
"A sonata of rational discourse ... A highly recommended
feast of invention and serious speculation."
"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."
"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