The Rainbow Cadenza

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The Rainbow Cadenza
Rainbow cadenza-newer.png
Author J. Neil Schulman
Country United States
Language English
Genre Science fiction
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Publication date
Pages ~400
ISBN 0-671-42003-8
OCLC 48610159

The Rainbow Cadenza is a science fiction novel by J. Neil Schulman which won the 1984 Prometheus Award for libertarian science fiction. It tells the story of Joan Darris, a laser art composer and performer, and her interactions with her society.

The novel portrays a future nominally-libertarian world government, in which many social taboos of the middle-twentieth century have been eliminated—for instance, gay marriage, drug use, sex work, and Wicca are all deemed socially acceptable. However, women, greatly outnumbered by men, are required to perform a three-year term of sexual servitude, and the "Touchables" underclass can be hunted for sport.

The main themes of the novel are social libertarianism vs. societal control, freedom of self, and what is permissible for the greater good.