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The Rainbow Cadenza Paperback – July 1, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A thoughtful, unusually well-written book that raises the most important questions about life and art." -- Michael Medved

"Engrossingly suspenseful ... the updated Brave New World ...wickedly funny and chilling at the same time." -- Publishers Weekly

"Every libertarian should read it. It should win the Prometheus Award." -- Robert A. Heinlein

"Future art forms are seldom handled wih the intelligence and vividness seen here." -- Booklist

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

  • Paperback: 396 pages
  • Publisher: Pulpless.Com, Inc. (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584451238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584451235
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,566,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J. Neil Schulman is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, whom the Wall Street Journal called a pioneer of electronic publishing His 1979 Prometheus-Hall-of-Fame novel Alongside Night -- endorsed by Milton Friedman, Anthony Burgess, and Ron Paul -- projected the economic meltdown and was Freedom Book of the Month for May, 2009. It's completed and will be released in 2014 as his second feature film, following his award-winning comic thriller, Lady Magdalene's, starring Nichelle Nichols, which Schulman wrote, produced, directed, and acted in. His 1983 novel, The Rainbow Cadenza, won the Prometheus Award, was adapted into a Laserium show, and Robert A. Heinlein told the 1983 L-5 Society, "Every libertarian should read it!" Schulman scripted the CBS revived Twilight Zone episode, "Profile in Silver." He taught a graduate course on electronic publishing for The New School, has written for popular magazines and newspapers including National Review, Reason, the Los Angeles Times, and Reader's Digest, and monographs ranging from animal rights, informational property rights, and medicalization of criminology have been widely anthologized by academic presses. His 12 books include Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns, endorsed by Charlton Heston and Dennis Prager, Self Control Not Gun Control endorsed by Walter Williams, and The Robert Heinlein Interview and Other Heinleiniana, which Virginia Heinlein said "should be on the shelves of everyone interested in science fiction." His latest is Unchaining the Human Heart--A Revolutionary Manifesto. He's recipient of the James Madison Award from the Second Amendment Foundation, and on March 16, 2009 Schulman was awarded the Samuel Edward Konkin III Memorial Chauntecleer by the Karl Hess Club, the only previous recipients being Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Wally Conger. Full bio at http://www.pulpless.com/jneil/jnsbio.html

Customer Reviews

I forced myself to finish this book despite frustrating propagandizing.
Kelly Hawkins
The synopsis mentions that they can be hunted...but the book is very specific.
Lydia Nickerson
An exciting look into a dystopian future that both shocks and enlightens.
John Dechancie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
I do not understand why this book is out of print! I read A Rainbow Cadenza (a winner if the Prometheus Award) about 10 years ago and have always remembered it and recommend it as one of the best science fiction books I have encountered. I am also scared that many of the trends Schulman warns about in the book are coming true. The book is centered on Joan Darris, a lasergraphic composer and performer - holographic laser art has replaced music as the pre-eminent form of entertainment on Earth - and her struggles for freedom and artistic expression. Partially due to the ability of parents to select the sex of their children, males outnumber females 7 to 1 on Earth, and tax breaks for male children have not eased the problem any. The adage "Make Love, Not War" has been taken to its ultimately logical, but ridiculous conclusion: females are drafted into sexual service. Despite her budding talent, Joan is drafted. Schulman combines the concepts of the draft, lynchings, sexual slavery, sex selection of babies, the moral implications of cloning with holographic laser art in an intelligent, entertaining, thought-provoking and well-written book. Even though he is criticizing such aspects of our society, some of his sci-fi examples are becoming all too real. Scientists just announced parents can choose the sex of their baby and cloning is well underway. If you can find this book anywhere, read it and you will not be disappointed.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Carl Edward Mullin on October 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
I want to add few points because some people here are letting their emotions get better of their brains. One, a young witch was angry at the portrait of Wicca saying that's not how Wicca is supposed to be practiced. That is exactly J. Neil Schulman's point.
In most religions throughout history, the common people who practiced their faith tends to be nice, well-behaved people who just want to live in peace. That includes a lot of Christians. But when the state's power structure decided to adopt such a religion because so many people have high opinion of it it begins to corrupt it. The Wicca in the novel is not the Wicca as is today. First of all, the novel Wicca's is the majority relgion and the one the state use as its mask of violence. When a state decided to support a religion, most people will join it for social status, not out or deep beliefs. That's the case with Christianity 300AD. When that happened Wicca become corrupted and independence are stamped out, much like the Gnostics of Church. Most of evil in Christian history happened when it was the state religion. Same thing will happen to any other religion regardless of its origins. That's was one major theme of this book: how the power to stoap on an individual's life and person can corrupt society as a whole.
People who don't get it are just not really reading it. They're just nitpicking. Now, I think that the author should has bring up some history to make his theme a bit stronger. But that's a small weakness in one incredilbe emotional work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steve Reed on February 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
Joan Darris, the musician using laser light who is Neil Schulman's protagonist in this novel, is one of the most richly limned and fascinating female leads in any novel. Her quest for individuality and resistance to oppressions - societal and personal - are the backbone of the story.

That it takes place about 200 years in the future is almost beside the point, for we need people like Darris now ... and we have them now, in and out of literature. (She compares to Dagny Taggart in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged.")

Yet Schulman's extrapolation of trends in technology, religion, sociology, and State control ends up being extremely helpful to his characterizations. Darris and her friends and enemies wouldn't be nearly so compelling if they were contrasted to a more or less contemporary background.

No, this is not "libertarian propaganda," as other reviewers have insisted. Politics, both tolerable and twisted (and wickedly and constantly satirized), is only a small portion of the story. Most of it involves the heroic Darris challenging, dealing with, and ultimately defeating the base impulses of the leaders of her society, and with most of that being in artistic, not political, terms.

It is, however, anti-authoritarian to its core, and makes a host of issues that impinge on politics - from conscription to the judiciary to sound money to sexual freedom - affect its story line and the efforts of the characters to build a working life for themselves.

Schulman adds potent and provocative afterwords about some of the topics of the novel, but they're just that, and are not relied upon by the novel itself. Certainly not in any sense comparable to Orwell's afterword about Newspeak in "Nineteen Eighty-four.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K GLADSTONE on May 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
J. Neil Schulman has done a masterful job of extrapolating from trends (good, bad, and just plain strange) in our current cultures. If you want to know what the future might feel like - from the inside - THE RAINBOW CADENZA will take you there. Warning: you may never see the present in the same way again!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lydia Nickerson on January 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
It's been a long time since I read this novel, and it stands out vividly in my mind. The mandatory servitude of women as prostitutes is a bit ugly, but didn't really arouse my ire. It's icky, but quite honestly, I've always thought of prostitution as an undervalued profession. Difficult, sometimes unpleasant, sometimes lucrative, and unreasonably dangerous. However...what nobody seems to mention specifically is the construct of the "Touchables." The synopsis mentions that they can be hunted...but the book is very specific. These are raping parties. They hunt these touchables to rape them. And I just... just... really, honestly, out of words, here.

The two facts together, the mandatory prostitution of women and the legal rape of people who fall outside of the law, makes this a book so incredibly unpleasant in a very male privileged sort of way that I cannot contemplate it without becoming upset. That so much of personal interaction should be reduced to whether or not guys can get laid, I just don't...

A good science fiction novel might have done something interesting with the problem of a vast disparity of the sexes, and the need of people, men and women, to have satisfying sexual lives. This book is not it.
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