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The city of Astreiant has gone crazy with enthusiasm for a new play, The Drowned Island, a lurid farrago of melodrama and innuendo. Pointsman Nicolas Rathe is not amused, however, at a real dead body on stage and must investigate. A string of murders follow, perhaps related to the politically important masque that is to play on that same stage. Rathe must once again recruit the help of his soldier lover, Philip Eslingen, whose knowledge of actors and the stage, and of the depths of human perversity and violence, blends well with Rathe’s own hard-won experience with human greed and magical mayhem.
Their task is complicated by the season, for it is the time of year when the spirits of the dead haunt the city and influence everyone, and also by the change in their relationship when the loss of Philip’s job forces him to move in with Nicolas. Mystery, political intrigue, floral magic, astrology, and romance—both theatrical and personal— combine to make this a compelling read.
Melissa Scott, winner of the John W. Campbell Award, twice winner of the Lambda Award for best novel, and author of the cyberpunk classic, Trouble and Her Friends, returns with a hip novel of the media-dominated future, when the internet is filled with Jazz: intentional misinformation and bewildering disinformation that are both an artform and a business.
Tin Lizzy, a respected Jazz artist with a checkered past, is a theatrical Web site designer who does backgrounds for Jazz productions. When a nifty new script shows up on the web, Lizzy is surprised to learn it came from a teenage boy named Keyz. It turns out Keyz used his parents’ access codes to borrow a Hollywood studio’s editing program- the true, hidden source of the studio’s success. Now the studio head wants to lock him in jail and throw away the key.
So Lizzy rescues him and takes him on the road, across the altered landscape of twenty-first century USA, trying to stay one step ahead of the police . . . . and the vengeance of a megalomaniac CEO.
The Jazz is a road chase novel of the future, filled with shady characters, close calls, and colorful neat ideas.