A postmodern speculative fiction on American contributions to the arts--jazz, comics, abstract expressionism, and literature--embodied by Verity's quest for her origin.
"An unforgettable vision of America transfigured by a new and utterly apocalyptic technology." -- William GIbson
"In the hands of Kathleen Ann Goonan, the science of science fiction becomes something lyrical and vividly human, and the intricately imagined future she presents is thus rendered completely plausible and poignant in the extreme. Queen City Jazz is hands down the best first novel I've read in the genre in the past ten years." --Lucius Shepard
This impressive first novel by an experienced story writer combines hallucinogenic visions, historical personae and an original futuristic dystopia. Young Verity has been raised by a reconstructionist Shaker group that bases its religion on the American cult that banned sex and believed in ``simple'' virtues. The adolescent has strange powers and mysterious compulsions that cause her to seek out and learn things from technologies that her adoptive community has forsaken. After tragedy strikes her ``family,'' Verity packs up several precious burdens and repairs to the technologically superior but dangerously insane ``enlivened'' city of Cincinnati. There she meets the passionate jazz musician Sphere and becomes embroiled in mutating versions of a nanotech plague and overlapping views of the historical facts that led to the destruction of rational civilization. In Cincinnati she learns her true identity and how to affect the city's destiny. Highlights of the book include a scene in which Ernest Hemingway gets kicked off a baseball team because he's not a ``team player'' and a mini-lesson in the communication techniques of bees. Also a pleasure is watching the intelligent heroine grapple with responsibility, passion and artistic creation. Goonan's work is powerful and richly textured. --Publisher's Weekly
About Kathleen Ann Goonan
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Published September 21, 2011
by Kathleen Ann Goonan.
Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure.