Appendix I.


There are three usual reasons for a novel to have an Afterword.

The first usual reason is that the author is long-dead, which puts the book in the "classic" category, at which point the Teacher's Unions demand a piece of the action, and the publisher appeases them with an Afterword.

The second usual reason is that a still-living author-- insecure about whether the novel has made its point--tacks on an Author's Afterword to make sure a reader has gotten the message.

The third usual reason is that even though the author is regrettably still alive--and might possibly still embarrass those academics who have staked their reputations on saying that this author is the reincarnation of Thomas Hardy--the book is being taught in high schools or colleges, and the Afterword is supposed to provide the test questions.

I'll admit to the second reason, but I decided I also wanted multiple Afterwords to The Rainbow Cadenza for a fourth reason: I am genuinely passionate about various themes I wrote about in my novel, and there are experts who--given a chance to improvise their own nonfiction "cadenzas" on my fictional themes--might shed some additional light on each of them.

Since I organized my novel around the seven colors in a rainbow plus an invisible ultraviolet, the light that will be shed on these topics will be rainbow-colored as well: there will be eight of them--one for each color, and one for ultraviolet.

If you are reading these words before you've read my novel, please read my novel first. As a matter of style, these "cadenzas" are placed after the novel since there's no point playing riffs until you've seen the theme. If I thought everything I wanted to say could be said in nonfiction, I would have written a textbook, not a novel. But a novelist is likewise wary of losing dramatic pace with technical discussions, so having some nonfiction follow the fiction is my attempt to let you have your cake and eat it, too.

For the record, let me say that while I would not be at all opposed to this edition of The Rainbow Cadenza being used for classroom discussions of these--and other--ideas, I do request that teachers refrain from paying me the compliment of placing my novel on any mandatory reading lists.

When I was in school, having a book assigned to me made sure that either I would avoid reading it or, if I forced myself, that I would hate it. I went so far as, in class, to read books I freely chose from the library hidden behind the covers of the assigned book.

Even though I know it's irrational, I still hate the books I was assigned. Any author with strong opinions will find enough readers to dislike his or her books without being hated for being made compulsory reading.--JNS, 1986

Note: Except where indicated, these afterwords and my introductory comments appear as they were first written for the 1986 Avon paperback edition.--JNS, 1996

Return to Table of Contents.



by Ivan Dryer
Laser Images, Inc.

Joan Darris sees her first lasegraphic performance at the "pyradome" named the "McDanald Media Temple," studies at the "Dryer School of Lasegraphy," and performs zero-gee recitals in "Garmire Cathedral." These names for future lasegraphic institutions harken back to the early history of the LASERIUM® concerts produced by Laser Images, Inc., of which Ivan Dryer was the pivotal founder and is currently Chairman and President.

LASERIUM® and The Rainbow Cadenza converged into a multimedia "READ THE BOOK--SEE THE LASER" event with long-running performances in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston, of "LASERIUM® Presents The Rainbow Cadenza," an all-classical-music LASERIUM® show which allowed readers who enjoyed my depiction of lasegraphy in The Rainbow Cadenza to experience the excitement of a live laser concert for real.

For further information about LASERIUM® performances, including possible replayings of the "Rainbow Cadenza" show, write:

Laser Images, Inc.
6911 Hayvenhurst Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91406

or email LASERIUM® at .

You can also visit the Laserium website at

Here Ivan Dryer gives a brief history of the beginnings of LASERIUM, and lets fly his own imagination about additional forms of entertainment to which we can look forward. Ivan graciously updated his afterword for this new edition.--JNS, 1996

In the summer of 1956 an aspiring young astronomer joined the staff of the Griffith Observatory and Planetarium in Los Angeles. Fourteen years later, I was still aspiring--but to be a filmmaker--and was then introduced to a laser for the first time. I had gone out to Caltech to film the off-hours artwork of laser physicist, Elsa Garmire. When the laser turned on so did I. I immediately knew where and what to do with it.

Within a month, in December, 1970, a simple demonstration was given by the two of us to the Observatory staff. It would be for a one-hour live show with alternately filmy and neon-like laser patterns projected among the stars of the Planetarium sky. It would be called LASERIUM ("House of the Laser"). The staff people liked what they saw ... but not enough. This was entertainment, not science. We were outsiders. The banks felt somewhat the same way. A one-hour show of abstract patterns of light with music? No story, no characters--no track record? No dice.

Three years later, a one-watt Krypton laser was borrowed for another demonstration at Caltech. Over a hundred people were invited. Only two showed--but they were the new Director and Head Lecturer at Griffith Observatory. A permit was issued for a test run, beginning with our world premiere on November 19, 1973.

My new partner, Charles McDanald, and I finished building and installing the Krypton laser projector at 5:00 a.m. the morning of the premiere. At 8:00 a.m. I appeared on a local TV show, and at 11:00 a.m. we held our press preview. It was also our first rehearsal, and it was terrible. Nonetheless, that evening 700 people came to see what this LASERIUM was about.

At the conclusion of our four-week test period we were turning away 500 a show. (So much for the banks.) Since then, approximately eighteen million persons worldwide have experienced one of what now number forty LASERIUM shows, featuring rock, classical, jazz, and synthesized music, alone and in combination.

Because the laser colors (red, yellow, green, and blue) are so pure, the images appear three-dimensional and seem to be almost alive. The essentially abstract nature of LASERIUM allows the audience to participate with their imaginations in helping create their own experiences. That, combined with the element of a live performer responding to audience feedback, makes for a lot of repeat customers--the LASERIUM experience has always been unique.

Arts Magazine proclaimed in 1978 that "within LASERIUM ... lie seeds of what will become the high, universally acclaimed visual art of the future." While The Rainbow Cadenza is certainly an heir to that statement, I have always considered our shows as entertainment, mass entertainment, "environmental" entertainment.

It is my opinion, and my dream, that future entertainment forms will build on LASERIUM's environmental approach. With the advent of the scale, diversity, and technological quality that home entertainment, especially virtual reality, will offer in the next decades, the public will be coaxed to leave their personal media centers primarily for communal multimedia spectacles that are unreproducible at home.

Our first multimedia production was an all-classical show with a story narrative called "Crystal Odyssey" in 1980. Now we are preparing our second such outing in Cyberquest: An Internet Odyssey, which will fill the entire planetarium sky with far more complex laser animation than heretofore possible. It will also feature ChromaDepth 3D, video, a taste of interactivity and a major celebrity.

The next wave of this "new entertainment" may be manifest in interactive multimedia environments using dome or IMAX-size screens, 3D lasers and large-frame film or laser video projection, indoor pyrotechnics, smoke, fog, the kitchen sink! Via joysticks or other individual controls, the audience members will finally get to have their own say about the size, shape, color and motion of the images. The results will be fascinating studies in chaotic dynamics and group mind.

Someday may come the "Media Temples," state-of-the-art domed multi-media theatres such as our Pyradome design, featuring all of the above and more. But even these will fall short of the promise of Holography: laser-generated, true 3-D images.

Sometime in the next 30 years (and 300 years before Star Trek's Holodeck) someone is likely going to come up with the technology to produce the "Holos": three-dimensional objects projected in mid-air, with such apparent solidity and resolution of detail that they seem to be "The Real Thing." Hooking their Hologenerators to their then vastly powerful desk-top (or vest-pocket) computers, people would be able to synthesize any person, and re-create any event at any place they desire.

What we're talking about now is the creation of new realities, indistinguishable from the old one we now share, at least in their verisimilitude. We can only surmise what would be the impact on our social structure and institutions.

In my view, the ultimate environmental entertainment would be the Holosphere, a huge experience sphere in Space at near-zero G. You jump away from the slowly rotating perimeter toward the weightless center. You fly, unfettered (an ancient dream in itself). The Hologenerators are activated, each responding to telemetered feedback from you and your fellow Holonauts.

As your thoughts go, so do the images forming around you: you soar among the mountains of the moon, into the clouds of Jupiter, and through the rings of Saturn. You journey beyond the edge of the galaxy to view its immense pinwheel filling the sky. You venture into its central black hole, into another universe? If you so will it--it is anything you want it to be. (As real as the chair you're sitting in now.) How do you get back?

Do you want to?!!

Return to Table of Contents.



by Wendy McElroy (

Wendy McElroy is author of the book XXX: A Woman's Right to Pornography, editor of the book Freedom, Feminism and the State--an anthology of feminist writings--editor of the magazine The Voluntaryist, a former Reichian clinical therapist, an activist in the Anti-AntiPornography movement, a popular libertarian lecturer, and an author who has published prose in The Journal of Libertarian Studies and Reason as well as poetry in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her latest book is Sexual Correctness: The Gender-Feminist Attack on Women.

Here she contrasts the feminist struggle for women's freedom and self-realization with the continuing paternalism which is marketed to women in the guise of "women's power."--JNS, 1996

In the war between the sexes, the bodies of women are the battleground. When feminists of the '60's cried "the personal is the political," they pointed to the control of biology as the key means of politically repressing women. Through birth control and abortion laws, the restriction of pornography, the licensing of marriage and divorce, the government declares a woman's body to be state property. Be sexual, it agrees, but on our terms. Be a woman, but follow our blueprint.

The women in J. Neil Schulman's The Rainbow Cadenza know what it is to be state property, for this book carries the war over biology to its ultimate, hideous conclusion ... the drafting of women for sexual service--three years of what Joan Darris, the heroine, calls "continuous rape."

"Is that such a bad deal?" asks Burke Filcher, the novel's main villain a/k/a main politician. After all, in this rainbow world, men vastly outnumber women, and uncontrolled rape could easily shred the tender web of social harmony. Surely it is more civilized to issue quotas of sex to men who need it and, thus, take rape out of the street and into the political process where it belongs.

To draftees unable to follow this logic, Burke expands: "[L]ook at the bargain ... immediately after the service, you are one of the prime beneficiaries of that peace and prosperity--one of the privileged ruling class." And Burke is telling the truth.

Through serving the state, women gain status and access to powerful positions through which they too can enforce laws institutionalizing rape. Vera Delaney, for example, uses the position of judge to prematurely conscript her sister, Joan, into the Corps. Is this such a bad deal?

For better or worse, it is merely new wine in an old bottle. The state has always regaled women with the advantages of being controlled. Marriage laws protect purity. Abortion laws protect the family. Women need protection from falling into sin through weakness. This is one expression of the madonna/whore approach to women. Women are pure, but only so long as the sexual animal pacing within is tightly chained.

Of course, The Rainbow Cadenza chains this beast on a different leash. Instead of passing laws to hold women back from the steaming sexual abyss, Schulman's society commands--jump or be pushed! Instead of using a woman's innocence to measure her worth, it merely flips through her service record. Schulman's ideal woman is a state whore who pledges allegiance to the state by placing her left hand over her ovaries. The measurement changes but the standard lingers on. Sex.

This standard is cemented into society by those old fellow travellers, church and state. The Rainbow Cadenza unveils a state-sanctioned religion (Wicce) which worships a goddess and ritually welcomes corpswomen back from the service and into "the world of men." It unfolds a state which introduces draftees to be raped with the chilling words: "Greetings from the First Lady of Earth. You are hereby ordered to report to a physical examination to determine your fitness to serve..."

Consider the paradox. Both church and state ostensibly enshrine women, yet Joan Darris is being systematically, officially raped every day. How can this be? Let's add one more fact to the equation: the women with power are those enmeshed in the church or state institutions; the women enshrined are those who obey. They may indeed have power. They do not have freedom.

Joan Darris will not obey. She does not want to be enshrined or privileged. "I think if there were a button here," Joan tells Filcher, "and by pushing it I could blow up this planet to avoid subjecting myself to the next three years [of service], I wouldn't delay pushing it for a second."

After lighting his pipe and pronouncing Joan a "pretty prosecutrix," Filcher takes a puff and comments on how small a price is the sexual draft compared to a military one. "You are completely free from this price," Joan observes. "Is that fair?"

"Life is rarely fair, my dear," Schulman's villain responds, "especially when the needs of a world are involved."

Here is the hunger of feminism: women must be the legal equal of individual men; and all individuals must be respected.

But The Rainbow Cadenza is not essentially a political novel and to paint it as such is to lose much subtlety. It is a novel abou individuals--primarily Joan Darris--who refuse to obey. The state is merely one and perhaps not the greatest enemy of the individual.

Joan must say "no" to much more than a state committee. To preserve the spark which defines her, Joan must say "no" to both family and culture. What could possibly be worth this struggle?

She loved the lights ... When the dance was over, she did not understand what, or how, or why, but she knew the lights were telling her something, if only she could understand them. She knew she had to find out what the lights were telling her, and more: though she was not yet five years old, Joan Seymour Darris made a promise to herself that someday she also would tell the colors how to make a rainbow.

Someday Joan will be a lasegrapher and the lights will dance from her fingertips. Now, she must fight for the rainbow against a woman who loves and hates it ... Vera Delaney.

Vera can never forgive Joan for conquering the lights which she herself can neither conquer nor abandon, but must hunger after. Joan is the mirror of Vera's failure.

Eleanor is the reason for it.

Vera is Eleanor's parthenogenic daughter, with all forty-six chromosomes taken from the mother. She is such a true genetic duplicate, and Eleanor has aged so little, that they are often mistaken for each other. This pleases one of them.

The relationship between Eleanor and Vera is easily the most intriguing one in the book. In this nightmare version of My Mother/My Self, Vera does not even possess her own genetic pattern. When Eleanor advises her to expand horizons and find herself, Vera spits back:

You tried them all. Dance, music, painting, sculpture ... if you couldn't find yourself that way, neither can I. Besides, I'm not looking to find myself. I know what I'd find. You.

To become herself, Vera must destroy her mother. To live with herself, she must destroy Joan. She is a fascinating failure at both. Even after shelving Eleanor in cryonic suspension, Vera is not free. There is no Vera for her to grow into. There is only Eleanor, in whose bed Vera sleeps, in whose identity Vera settles like a cat.

Through a sharp plot twist, Vera, in turn, is stripped of her stolen persona and destroyed, allowing Eleanor to live again, her brain within Vera's body. One must die if the other will live for there is only one identity.

But Joan possesses the inestimable benefit of a unique genetic pattern and does not have to destroy others to be herself. She eliminates Vera as a matter of self defense and justice to her mother. Although much could be made of the Joan/Vera conflict being symbolically a daughter/mother one, this dilutes the sharp purity of the battle between Vera and Eleanor. Even Freud admitted, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

Sometimes Vera is just Vera. How ironic that the only person by whom she may have been perceived as throughly herself destroyed her. Vera is a tragedy. And The Rainbow Cadenza is a triumph in at least this area ... it understands women.

Return to Table of Contents.



by Ronald J. Ericsson, Ph.D.
Gametrics Limited
Colony (Wyoming) Route
Alzada, Montana 59311

The Dr. Ronald Ericsson referred to in The Rainbow Cadenza as a pioneer of sex-selection technology is real: his patented process, made available in clinics by his company Gametrics Limited, has permitted thousands of families around the world to select the sex of a child.

Dr. Ericsson makes here a powerful case for the human right of absolute freedom in reproductive options, and demonstrates that only such free choice can avoid the disastrous gender imbalance which I show politics causing in The Rainbow Cadenza.--JNS, 1986

Gametrics Limited has the only biotechnology to preselect for males with a high degree of accuracy. Couples that have used this method number into the thousands, and 80% of those who conceived had boys.

This method isolates Y sperm (which produce boys) by allowing sperm to swim downwards into a vertical column of human serum albumin. It has proven to be effective when used by gynecologists throughout the world. A somewhat similar, but more complex, method to preselect for girls (preselected sperm artificially inseminated in conjunction with the hormonal induction of ovulation) has provided positive, but as yet limited, results.

The above methods to preselect sex of children, which I researched and invented, have received worldwide recognition. The scientific and medical communities accept this research to be reliable and repeatable. Gynecologists in clinical practice now acknowledge sex preselection as a reproductive choice available to their patients.

The reality of sex selection on a clinical basis has brought out concern over the possible imbalance in the sex ratio. Sociological research of two decades ago clearly showed a preference for a first-born male. Present-day sociologists, demographers, bioethicists, and reporters voice concern over the "impending" male preference, now that a methodology can change a desired choice into reality.

But, is the desire for a first-born male going to be fulfilled?

It would seem not, for several reasons.

First, the attitudes about male preference have changed a lot in the past twenty-five years. Second, couples who use our method to produce a son almost always choose to do so only after having had one or more daughters. Less than one out of every 100 couples seek a sex-selected, first-born son. When the furor dies down--or the smoke clears, or call it what you will--over sex selection, then rational thoughts will prevail. The majority of couples, in developed countries, wish to restrict the number of children and would, given the opportunity, like to have at least one child of each sex.

It comes as a jolt to the image makers and keepers of statistics that 52 percent of the requests we receive for a sex- selected child are for girls. This percentage runs contrary to their dogma and personal bias. They do not like to believe that such a high percent of couples would seek a daughter. This high desire for girls runs counter to their predictions of biological disaster due to an imbalance of the sexes.

My granddaughter, Marie, is aged three. When she reaches the age when most women bear children, sex selection will be no more controversial than microwave ovens are now.

I have been accused of opening Pandora's box. Instead of opening Pandora's box, we have stimulated many scientists and institutions to initiate research in the field of male reproductive biology. The success-is-contagious syndrome is definitely at work here. None of the critics, however, go so far as to criticize anything that improves the quality of life. The preselection of X and Y sperm is only one of many facets of this field of research. Nobel prizes are awarded to discoverers of antibiotics and other breakthroughs that enhance people's lives. The field of male reproduction has now been primed, and the public will soon be the recipients of this research.

We of the modern world frequently get caught up in our own hype. Particularly, the successes in the fields of electronics and computers have given us the impression that comparable results should be forthcoming in medicine. Organ transplants, artificial hearts, test-tube babies, and the like get considerable media attention. It should be remembered that even though the media hypes these as breakthroughs, the numbers and successes are few. To work out a system whereby the human female can conceive from a sex-preselected sperm with a reasonable degree of efficiency is no small task indeed.

All countries, except the People's Republic of China, allow couples Free Choice in parenthood and number of children. It should remain the right of couples to have a sex-selected child. World population increase has been a major concern of governments for a number of decades. A lot of children born are the direct result of their parents seeking a child of one sex. To eliminate unwanted children would be effective family planning and, in part, sex selection serves this end.

I do not forsee a large imbalance between the sexes due to the widespread use of sex-selection technology. Nor do I forsee that a high percentage of couples will use such technology, particularly for the first born. I do forsee more clinical use of technology whereby sperm are preselected to reduce the incidence of conceiving a genetically handicapped child. Finally, I am certain that this field of male reproductive biology will expand rapidly within the next two decades, and yield positive results beyond our present knowledge.

Return to Table of Contents.



by Brad Linaweaver

Brad Linaweaver is a libertarian writer whose science fiction novella, "Moon of Ice," was praised by Robert A. Heinlein and a final nominee for the 1983 Nebula Award; the novel version of Moon of Ice received endorsements from Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and William F. Buckley, and won the Prometheus Award for Best Libertarian Novel in 1989. He has also published nonfiction on political topics in The New Guard.

Since he wrote this afterword, Brad has hit the best seller lists as co-author of the Doom series of novels, is author of Sliders: The Novel, based on the popular TV show, and is co-editor of the libertarian science-fiction anthology Free Space, coming in hardcover from Tor books in June, 1997.

His young-adult novel The Land Beyond Summer was released through Pulpless.Comtm in 1996.--JNS, 1996

Some things just don't go together: such as Count Dracula and communion wafers, or Turkish coffee in an Armenian restaurant. Another culinary unlikelihood, certainly indigestible as the foregoing, would be the philosophical alignment of Ayn Rand and C. S. Lewis. In what conceivable manner could a fire-and-brimstone Atheist and a High Church Christian find common ground? It takes a novel as unusual as The Rainbow Cadenza to provide an answer, and a tasty one it is.

At this point, it is appropriate to congratulate Schulman on his presentation of an intellectual issue in a novel, thereby violating one of the sacred rules of modern-formula-crap-fiction. He dares interrupt the narrative flow for the expression of mere ideas! The dialogue between Hill Bromley and Joan Darris, in which the Rand/Lewis matter comes into focus, is the sort of exchange one might expect from intelligent people, but the High Priests of the modern novel decree that all must be copied from real life--except interesting conversation which, apparently, they've never heard.

The differences between Rand and Lewis are many and obvious; the similarities, however, are essential: as Schulman has Bromley say, "There were two main exponents of rationalism in the twentieth century..." and then, having identified our heroes, goes on to praise their mastery of deductive logic and admirable talent for "creating metaphors to explain abstract philosophy."

Here let Rand and Lewis speak for themselves. In her book, Philosophy: Who Needs It, Rand makes this point: "Now ask yourself: If you are not interested in abstract ideas, why do you (and all men) feel compelled to use them?" Words from the same universe belong to C. S. Lewis, writing in his book, God in the Dock: "Human intellect is incurably abstract." Neither had much use for the anti-intellectualism so in fashion in this, the most timid of all ages. Both realized that pragmatism is only useful for dealing with means, but provides no guide whatsoever for ends.

Whatever their differences, neither would appreciate the minds that have taken over much of science fiction--supposedly a literature of ideas--with one guiding principle directing their every move: "Whatever you do, DON'T PREACH, DON'T HAVE A MESSAGE, DON'T TELL YOUR READERS ANYTHING--ONLY SHOW THEM." Anyone acquainted with abstract reasoning knows that some things cannot be "shown," but only "told." And nobody, but nobody, could weave a tapestry of fiction that performed both tasks better than the feisty lady from Russia and the patient gentleman from Ireland.

Schulman identifies the epistemological distinction that led Rand and Lewis to different metaphysical country. Rand denied that emotions could be tools of cognition; Lewis insisted that they were legitimate guides. Surely thinkers inhabiting such different premises would not enjoy the same view from their picture windows, except that they often did! As Bromley tries to explain to Darris, morality was an area where this Atheist and this Christian shared, at the very least, an emotional affinity.

They saw the same Evil. Look at the villainous bureaucrats of N.I.C.E. in Lewis's That Hideous Strength, or their counterparts in charge of Project X in Rand's Atlas Shrugged. These writers frequently observed that evil is an emptiness that can only be temporarily filled by draining the good. Compare the views of Ellsworth Toohey in Rand's The Fountainhead to those of the Demons in Lewis's The Screwtape Letters, or the description of Hell as "smaller than one pebble of your earthly world" in Lewis's The Great Divorce. From the same book we have this statement about the good: "But it will not, at the cunning tears of Hell, impose on good the tyranny of evil." Sounds like Rand's sanction of the victim in Atlas Shrugged, doesn't it? And Lewis: "Every disease that submits to a cure shall be cured: but we will not call blue yellow to please those who insist on still having jaundice ...." Aristotle would be pleased.

Yet their art was hardly limited to morbid dissections of wickedness. In portraying the good, there were surprising convergences as well. Compare the description of John Galt in Atlas Shrugged, his face without pain or fear or guilt (remember?), to the suggestion of what salvation really means in Lewis's Till We Have Faces.

The cleverness of what Schulman has done is to realize that "Saint Clive" Lewis's approach to Christianity was original enough (or old enough, if you prefer) to merit its own sect in the future. The modest Lewis would be put out by this, no doubt, but Saints don't decide their own Sainthood ... outside of Rand's Objectivism.

Lewis proved that a belief in the supernatural does not have to violate the Law of Identity. A is A, even among ghosts. Rand's assertion that the universe is not a haunted house is beside the point. Kant's irrationalism derives no comfort from either proposition.

J. Neil Schulman is not playing a game in semantics by raising this topic. Lovers of liberty sometimes forget that where a person begins (in his head) is less important than where he ends (as your neighbor). Rand and Lewis would have made good neighbors.

Rand's egoism may have been strident, but it was always high-minded, never simple self-centeredness. She worshipped integrity. It was not her fault that manipulators twisted her ideas from The Virtue of Selfishness into an odious formula for Winning Through Intimidation. Can you imagine a face without guilt intimidating its way through life? Rand deserved better than this.

As for C. S. Lewis, he was the Christian who, in one of his most powerful works of fantasy, has a demon describe the underside of modern democracy as, "... slavery is restored, and the individual is told that he has really willed (though he didn't know it) whatever the Government tells him to do." This is also the Christian who wrote, "... it is better to love the self than to love nothing."

Ayn Rand and C. S. Lewis were honest individualists in a despicable period of rampant collectivism. The Rainbow Cadenza tells us, and shows us, that if there is any hope left in the future, these two will have helped provide it.

Return to Table of Contents.



by Sharon Presley, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Resources for Independent Thinking

Sharon Presley received her doctorate in social psychology from the City University of New York, where her mentor was the late Stanley Milgram, author of the classic Obedience to Authority that documented the famous experiments in which the majority of ordinary people were willing--on the authority of only a lab-coated "researcher"--to give supposedly painful electrical shocks to an experimental subject (actually another researcher faking being shocked). Dr. Presley later conducted her own research on the other side of the coin: resistance to authority, particularly among women.

A libertarian activist for many years, Presley is former National Coordinator of the Association of Libertarian Feminists, and this afterword is a revised version of a discussion paper she wrote for the ALF.--JNS, 1996

"The right to vote, or equal civil rights, may be good demands, but true emancipation begins neither in the polls nor in courts. It begins in woman's soul."

--Emma Goldman in "The Tragedy of Women's Emancipation"

If a woman said to you, "I want to be free from the domination of men," but turned to a tyrannical husband not only for financial support but for decisions about her own personal and social life, you would undoubtedly consider her inconsistent. Yet that is what many feminists are doing on a political level. They say they want to be free of the domination of men, but ask for favors and handouts (for example, government day-care centers) from a government of men. They say they reject the authoritarian ways of thinking and acting that have characterized men throughout history, but turn around and advocate the same old authoritarian methods that men have always used--compulsory taxation and more government controls.

But there is a non-authoritarian alternative--a philosophy that not only has goals compatible with the psychological goals of feminism but methods more compatible with these goals than the alternatives usually touted by feminists. That philosophy is libertarianism.

Some libertarians advocate a strictly limited non-coercive government; others are anarchists. Some advocate voluntary communism (communal ownership of the means of production), others are individualists and advocate a totally free market (as distinguished from the corrupt State corporate capitalism that we now have). But what unites them all is the belief that all social interactions should be voluntary, that no one has the right to rule another, that individuals have the right to live their lives as they see fit so long as they don't initiate force against others.

Feminists want women to be free psychologically--free of the domination of men, free to control their bodies and psyches as they see fit. Libertarians want all individuals to be free-- politically as well as psychologically--free to make their own decisions about their own lives independently of the coercive domination of others.

Libertarians believe that we can't achieve a non- authoritarian society by authoritarian methods. If our goals are personal autonomy and individual freedom, we can't achieve these goals by taking away individuals' rights to choose for themselves. A feminist advocating anti-obscenity laws is no better than a conservative advocating anti-abortion laws. If we pass laws that force our values on others, we are no better than men who have forced their values on us through legislation. We merely substitute our tyranny for the tyranny of men.

Libertarians refuse to play political power games. They want to get rid of laws, not to pass them. They are not interested in stopping people from smoking pot, from having abortions or having babies, or from spending their money as they see fit. Libertarians just want to leave people alone.

Libertarians would remind conservatives who wish to deny a woman's self-ownership of her own body by restricting abortion that, as Schulman portrays, a State powerful enough to prevent abortions is also powerful enough to force abortions. Once the right of self-ownership is denied, the State is the new owner of a woman's body. Likewise, libertarians would remind liberals that a State powerful enough to tax for domestic programs is also powerful enough to tax for foreign adventures.

Feminists are fond of saying, "the personal is the political," but have often failed to see some of the levels on which that is true. They have not carried feminist philosophical premises to the logical political conclusions. They have not been willing to recognize that power over others is as destructive on a political level as it is on a personal level-- nor is it in any way necessary.

Feminist psychiatrist Jean Baker Miller, M.D., in her insightful book, Toward a New Psychology of Women, declares that women who have power over themselves do not need power over others. "In a basic sense," she writes, "the greater the development of each individual the more able, more effective and less needy of limiting or restricting others she or he will be."

But the alternatives that many feminists advocate-- Liberalism or Socialism or Marxism--are just variations on the same familiar theme: power over others. Taking decision-making out of the hands of individuals and putting it into the hand of a centralized, bureaucratic State. Liberals may let a woman have an abortion (government-regulated, of course), but think they know better than she does how to spend her money and will take it by force. What they are advocating is the worst sort of paternalism. Some even want to equalize the oppression by having a Compulsory National Service for women as well as men. As The Rainbow Cadenza demonstrates with a reductio ad absurdum, this isn't gaining equal rights but perpetuating slavery--equal or not.

Socialists think they'll make us free by doing away with the power of business monopolies by substituting one big monopoly instead--the government. As Lenny Bruce once said, that would be one Big Telephone Company--and even the government finally had to admit that this didn't work very well.

Marxists are no better: they have party structures that are every bit as centralized and authoritarian as the ideologies they criticize.

All are based on the same authoritarian model as the patriarchal family. Decision-making is centralized in an authority figure--in one case, the father; in the others, the politicians, or President, or central committee. Involuntary means are used to induce obedience--either psychological or cultural pressures or the threat of physical force. The rationale for the role-behaviors is essentially the same--that it serves "the good of the whole," whether it be the family or society.

When someone else controls the power and the money, there are always strings attached. What the government finances it controls. There is no historical basis for assuming that government is suddenly going to be any different with a new crop of politicians. The system is inherently authoritarian and no Liberal palliatives or Socialist edict can change it in any basic way.

Feminists, because of their acute awareness of the destructiveness of authoritarianism, should be eager to join with libertarians in exploring non-authoritarian, non-coercive alternatives to government. We are learning to break free of patriarchy politically as well as psychologically. We don't need it either way.

Return to Table of Contents.



by Michael Grossberg

Michael Grossberg is the theater critic for the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. In 1981, he founded the Libertarian Futurist Society which still sponsors the Prometheus Awards and publishes the newsletter Prometheus. Grossberg also founded the Free Press Association, a national network of journalists, and has reviewed fiction for Science Fiction Review, Reason magazine, and other publications.--JNS, 1996

"If anything is sacred the human body is sacred."

--Walt Whitman, "Children of Adam"

Much of the sexuality in The Rainbow Cadenza deeply disturbs, shocking readers with its graphic intensity. Yet this unusually adult coming-of-age novel, boasting some of the most scatological material to be found this side of Krafft-Ebing, arguably has no gratuitous sex scenes. Instead, J. Neil Schulman integrates his disquieting eroticism into a complex narrative about a future Earth where birth control advances have had a radical and damaging effect on human relationships, sexual equality, and personal rights.

Given the development of such an unbalanced society, the novel's often perverse sexuality should not surprise us. After all, the sexual act is a mirror. In reflecting consciousness and character, it offers a highly revealing glimpse of its participants' humanity (or inhumanity). At its best, of course, the sexual act can be a deeply satisfying expression of romantic love and spiritual intimacy, or at least a mutually enjoyable experience between consenting adults. At its worst, the sexual act can be perverted into a neurotic and symbolic act, communicating hostility instead of affection, revenge instead of respect, dominance and submission instead of acceptance, anger and rage instead of bona fide sexual passion. All this, and more, can be found in the diverse sexuality of The Rainbow Cadenza, a morality play in which those who allow themselves to be corrupted by power lust soon find their sexual lusts corrupted as well in the inevitable workings of karmic justice.

If, as the historian Lord Acton observed, "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely," then, as Schulman shows, power also perverts, and absolute power perverts not only sexuality, but every other dimension of family relationships and community life. Joan Darris's heroic quest to free herself from authoritarian patriarchy is no more and no less than an act of self-assertion and self-defense against legalized rape--and rape, the ultimate obscenity, is shocking and must continue to be so in any civilized society.

According to the conventional Judeo-Christian morality that unfortunately still casts its bleak anti-sexual and anti-rational shadow over our age, what is shocking is not the violence which objectively defines the so-called sexual act of rape, but such socially defined perversions as heterosexual or homosexual sodomy, which are stigmatized as "unnatural" in part because of their presumed statistical infrequency. Schulman, on the other hand, is wise enough and tolerant enough to understand that true perversion has little to do with the type of sexual act engaged in, but everything to do with the consciousness and intent of those who engage in it--and especially with whether their acts are voluntary or coerced.

The Rainbow Cadenza dramatically conveys the anguish and needless suffering caused by authoritarian personalities and authoritarian politics, ranging from illicit or socially sanctioned isolated acts of sadistic sex to the impersonal institutionalized violence of a future military draft that forces women to "make love, not war." In so doing, the author brilliantly communicates one of his major themes: that rape is not the only form of "rape" worth opposing. Any infringement of individual liberty constitutes a kind of rape, no less vivid and violent for being non-sexual. With "the emperor's new clothes" stripped away by Schulman's insight, every coercive intervention, private or public, is revealed to be an aggressive act of dehumanization and humiliation by one individual, or group of individuals, against other individuals--most often, predictably, the weak, the poor, and the powerless. Such violations of the human spirit can and do warp an individual, a family or an entire society. And the destructive results may take generations to abate, as the neuroses and sins of mothers and fathers are visited upon their daughters and sons.

Vera's abusive and exploitative relationship with her younger sister may be "far more brutal, and far more hideous" than some readers may wish to see, but it remains a chillingly accurate portrayal of the devious lengths to which some people will go to inflict on others the buried primal pain that they can not permit themselves to feel. By writing with such white-hot radiance that he overcomes the reluctance of even the most squeamish reader to empathize with Joan's persecution and humiliation, Schulman illuminates the repressed childhood traumas and complex subconscious motivations that warp human rationality and may provide the neurophysiological underpinnings of authoritarianism.

In The True Believer, Eric Hoffer described the authoritarian personality as one which emerges out of profound frustration: the inability to live one's own life creatively finds some small compensation in the struggle to control, or sabotage, the lives of others. Vera's lifelong struggle against Eleanor and Joan (and against herself) is a compelling re- creation of the authoritarian personality. Schulman's portrait of evil is filled with tragic understanding, but imbued with a righteous justice rather than a false mercy. There is no excuse for the kind of hidden cruelty in child rearing--exemplified in Vera's treatment of Joan--that appears to be a major antecedent of our society's widespread violence and child abuse.

None of this is to claim, simplistically, that sadistic sex and poor toilet-training, alone, lead to the kind of coercive political systems in which, as Ringo Starr once observed, "everything the government touches turns to shit." No need to go that far to acknowledge the implicit truth in Schulman's multigenerational family saga: that there are intimate ties between the psychological traumas of childhood and the petty (and not so petty) tyrannies of adulthood.

The Rainbow Cadenza is a psychosexual thriller that breaks new ground in unveiling the hidden roots of oppression within the maturation process. By projecting a future in which parents can generate virtually identical genetic copies of themselves through parthenogenesis or cloning, Schulman throws into stark dramatic relief the ongoing struggle of children to separate and individuate from their parents, as well as the less natural struggle of some parents to live through their children, pressuring them to live selflessly--without a Self. Joan's successful quest to find herself, and Vera's similar but aborted quest to escape the fate of becoming Eleanor's "carbon copy," serve as a symbolic future microcosm of the two basic alternatives facing humans today as in every generation: to grow from dependent childhood to independent adulthood, or to fail to grow up at all, never experiencing full individuality.

Why do most people submit to unjust authority, following orders all the way to the concentration camp, or worse, following orders to send others to one in their place? And why do other people resist authority? What are the connections between psychological repression and political repression? Even in the late twentieth century--by no accident, the century of both total war and the totalitarian State--these very much remain open questions, despite the intriguing non-fiction speculations of Wilhelm Reich, Stanley Milgram, Arthur Janov, Stanislav Grof, Nathaniel Branden, Peter Breggin, and Thomas Szasz. By tying together the personal and the political in his fiction, Schulman communicates fascinating pre-scientific insights that shed light on this dark phenomenon. By linking Joan Darris's struggle for political freedom to her struggle for personal liberation, Schulman hints that the shortest distance between authoritarianism and a fully free future may not be a straight line but a spiral--a fusion of the political and the personal based on the recognition that any successful revolution for freedom must be accompanied, if not preceded, by a revolution in consciousness.

Schulman's projected 22nd century world may be more prosperous and peaceful--and, even, in some ways, "freer"--than our own, but, Schulman asks, at what psychic cost? He answers that question by balancing his exploration of sexuality with an exploration of the creativity involved in developing the art form that gives his novel its name. Like sex, art is an arena in which one's deepest values--and deepest value-conflicts--can be spotlighted. Focusing on both sexuality and creativity, Schulman succeeds in exposing the devastating consequences of authoritarianism in that most personal of all realms: the human body/spirit. The result is a startlingly original novel of ideas in the best tradition of romanticism that goes beyond traditional romantic subject matter to embrace a rainbow of diversity, from the depths of sexual perversion and blocked artistic accomplishment to the heights of romantic ecstacy and creative self-expression.

Like Whitman, Poe, Dos Passos, Rand, Kesey, and Delaney, Schulman's passionate commitment is to self-expression, self- discovery, and self-fulfillment, no matter what the authoritarian obstacles. His novel thus lies squarely within the mainstream of the often misconceived and minimized American literary tradition, which in its dazzling variations has always embraced the struggle for individuality as its central theme. If America is uniquely the culture of the "self-made man"--a popular colloquialism quite properly born on these shores--then American literature is the story of individuals creating and re-creating themselves. That is one reason, I suspect, why so much popular American literature is science fiction--preeminently the modern genre of secular transcendence and unchained human potential--and why so much of that fiction of the future explores themes of individualism and libertarianism, the ethics of the future and the politics of full-fledged adulthood.

Many libertarian novels have dramatized the more visible social consequences of authoritarianism, showing how coercive government intervention destroys prosperity, sabotages peace, and sacrifices civil liberties. Schulman's novel dramatized authoritarianism's less visible consequences for the individual, showing how the State's institutionalized aggression warps sexuality, saps creativity, perverts relationships, weakens families, and replaced the benevolence and sympathy that healthy human beings naturally feel for each other with an insidious "every man for himself" attitude that is the inversion of true individualism. Such harmful personal crises may be less obvious than the war, mass murder, monopoly privileges, recurrent depressions, and runaway inflations brought about by the State throughout history, but they are no less significant, for such psychic wounds eventually dissolve the voluntary social bonds which sustain civilization itself.

The Rainbow Cadenza is a passionate testament to the sacred importance and irreplaceable value of every human being--the ultimate foundation of individualism and individual rights. Schulman's genius as a novelist lies in the way his story makes us feel the scars on the soul that result when individual rights are violated and human dignity is raped.

In recognition of Schulman's talent and insight, the Libertarian Futurist Society chose The Rainbow Cadenza from a field of 25 nominated novels as the winner of its 1984 Prometheus Award, a privately minted "Hayek Half" gold coin. Novelist James Hogan, 1983 Prometheus winner for his own Voyage From Yesteryear, presented Schulman with the award before an audience of more than 2,000 people at the 42nd World Science Fiction Convention in Anaheim, California. Appropriately enough, considering its similar focus on the fight for civil liberties in an authoritarian society, The Rainbow Cadenza won its award in the same year that Ray Bradbury's civil libertarian masterpiece Fahrenheit 451 and George Orwell's anti-authoritarian classic Nineteen-eighty-four were inducted into the Prometheus Hall of Fame honoring outstanding pro-freedom fiction of the past.

Winning the Prometheus Award was a well-deserved honor for The Rainbow Cadenza, which not only powerfully portrays the evils of authoritarianism, but also offers its readers an inspiring example--through the character of one of literature's most memorable heroines--of the vast potential that freedom, and the thirst for freedom, can unleash in the human spirit.

Joan Darris loved the lights so much that she created a rainbow. Schulman loved liberty so much that he created The Rainbow Cadenza, a cautionary tale with a timeless message we ignore at our peril: "Warning: Coercive Government May Be Hazardous to your Health."

Return to Table of Contents.



by Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is a young man uniquely qualified to write about the draft: several years ago he refused to register for the draft, made his refusal public knowledge, and went underground to remain free to deliver anti-draft speeches. After two years on the run, he was arrested by Federal authorities who were laying in wait when he returned home briefly to see his wife and, for the first time, their newborn baby.

Paul Jacob was convicted of violating the Selective Service Act, which is a federal felony, and sentenced to six months' imprisonment (now completed) and four-and-a-half years' forced "community service"--precisely the involuntarily servitude to which he morally objects.

At the time I requested this afterword, Jacob was in solitary confinement at a federal prison in Dallas. --JNS, 1986

Not so many years ago, young men were drafted to kill and be killed in the swamps and jungles of Vietnam. In a fit of refreshing sanity, many Americans kicked and screamed, rebelled and resisted, and worked very, very hard to end this brutality.

Yet in the angry furor over the stupid, useless, and horrible war in Vietnam, few people stopped to consider the principles on which conscription--for any war or any reason--must rest. The draft was fought and ended largely because it enhanced that particularly unjust war effort. Today, the justice of conscription is often judged by the military policy that calls for it rather than on its own.

Even beyond the fatally uncomfortable fact that a draftee in the military may be forced to murder or may be murdered for a cause he or she does not believe in, conscription is, in its essence, a mighty wrong. Regardless of the reason, the draft is slavery. It is slavery in the very same way that dragging Africans across the ocean and forcing them to work in the cotton fields of the South was slavery. It is forced labor.

Indeed, rarely is any argument made that the draft is anything but slavery; however, the draft has been camouflaged for so long in talk of patriotism and paranoia that the issue of slavery is usually merely avoided. The definition of slavery is not altered by whether it is used for war or agriculture, by politician or plantation owner.

A favorite defense for the draft is that the individual has a duty to serve the government when called. This service is what the citizen "owes" the state. Implied is both that the individual incurs a debt to the government simply by being alive and, further, that the amount of indebtedness is ultimately the individual's entire being: his body, his labor, and his life.

If government has a right to conscript the people, then the government, in fact, "owns" the people. Such an idea must constitute a cold, hard slap in the face to those whose history books contain the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, proclaiming individual freedom by birthright and limiting government to the protection of that right.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that all men have "unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." More simply, individuals own themselves. And their lives are their own, thus they should be free to live as they choose. The individual is the sovereign power that creates government; government is not a sovereign "owner" or master, but the servant of the people. To argue otherwise is like maintaining that cars and refrigerators have a claim on the life and labor of the people who made them. For in like manner, people made government.

Even without the clear message in the Declaration of Independence and the freedom proclaimed in great political writing throughout history, it seems self-evident that for a man to force his neighbor to work for him is gravely unjust. The injustice of this act is not removed if instead of one man enslaving his neighbor it becomes many men and women behind the cloak of government enslaving their neighbors.

Government is nothing more than an instrument of men and has no claim on any individual save that he not injure his fellow man. The individual certainly does not owe any person or any government his life. No matter how loud the cry of "necessity," no matter how cleverly conscription is disguised, no matter how equally applied, the draft is nonetheless slavery. It is wrong.

It is no coincidence that all totalitarian states--from communist to fascist military dictatorships--use conscription. In fact, many of these governments are ushering in a new age of conscription where not only are soldiers drafted but also other workers. Truly, if the state owns the people (as totalitarian governments invariably believe), thus drafting them for war, then nothing prevents the draft for other purposes.

Unfortunately, the very reasoning found in these "evil empires" has emerged countless times in the U.S. Congress in bills calling for a mandatory "national service." Enslaving people into the military has engendered great opposition, so certain draft adherents are proposing not an end to slavery but slavery toward new ends.

Yet, whatever the purpose of a draft or the nature of the work draftees will perform, it will inevitably lead to serious harm. The work they are to do--soldiering, teaching, bridge- building or hospital work--will be despised for the obvious reason that it is not of their choosing. The goal of their labor is historically shown to be more likely for evil than for good because, once enslaved, they have lost control over both their government and themselves.

Napoleon used the draft to scatter death and destruction across Europe, and a century-and-a-half later, conscription was indispensable to Adolf Hitler in doing similarly in even more gruesome fashion. Perhaps less horrible, but only in comparison, are two modern, "peaceful" examples. Vietnam has drafted thousands and sent them to labor in the Soviet Union to pay war debts, and Poland, during periods of worker unrest, has drafted those workers into the army and ordered them to perform their factory work.

Army General John A. Wickham, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in praise of American soldiers, "They follow orders and they die." Whether drafted for war or for any other purpose, this statement sums up the distressing fate of the conscript. When human beings lose the power to decide the destiny of their own lives, when they are relegated from pursuing their own happiness to merely following orders, then they do die. If the death is not a permanent physical one, it is certainly a death of the human spirit--a death of the soul.

Return to Table of Contents.



by J. Neil Schulman

The following is the text of my remarks following my acceptance of the Prometheus Award on August 31st, 1984 at the 42nd World Science Fiction Convention, LACon, in Anaheim, California.--JNS, 1986

Science fiction stories are about ideas--and the ideas that people have determine what sort of world they will live in.

I wrote The Rainbow Cadenza to destroy an idea by reducing it to absurdity. The idea is: the rights of the individual should be sacrificed when the greatest good for the greatest number demands it. This idea is the justification for every violation of human rights on this planet today.

What I did in The Rainbow Cadenza was to take the sixties' slogan, "Make Love, Not War," at face value. I show what sort of lousy world we'd have if--in the name of "the greatest good for the greatest number"--people stopped demanding that young men be drafted to Make War, and instead demanded that for three years young women be drafted to Make Love.

I hope this logical absurdity horrifies you even while you smile. If it doesn't horrify you, I wrote The Rainbow Cadenza to show why it should: my young draftee is a woman whose artistry with lasers can make rainbows of hope. If it does horrify you, I wrote The Rainbow Cadenza to show why drafting anyone to Make War should horrify you even more.

Above all, I wrote The Rainbow Cadenza because each artist-- in whatever medium--has a powerful weapon to fight what Thomas Jefferson called "every form of tyranny over the mind of man," and nobody had to draft me for that. I volunteered. Thank you.

Go to A Glossary of The Rainbow Cadenza.

Return to Table of Contents.