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Queen city jazz
Kathleen Ann Goonan
Adult Fiction GOONAN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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. While overly dense in detail, Goonan's work is powerful and richly textured. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In a future warped by nanotechnology-gone-mad, a young woman leaves the protected community of Shaker Hill and embarks on a journey to the "enlivened" city of Cincinnati. Hoping to find answers to questions long forbidden by people who learned to reject the technology that betrayed them, Verity discovers the key to the future within herself. Goonan's first novel combines gentle Shaker philosophy with kaleidoscopic images drawn from Cincinnati's Jazz Age. The resulting heady blend deserves a place in most sf collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Verity
Age: 16
Raised in a non-technological community.

Raised in a non-technological community.

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