"LIGHT MUSIC is a brilliant novel, a wild ride through a world transformed
but somehow archetypal. Seldom have I been given a stronger sense of just
how surrealistic and strange humanity's future might become-it's
frightening in a way, but also inspiring and beautiful."

-Kim Stanley Robinson

Kathleen Goonan is one of the very few writers of science fiction, today, willing to work with the unfettered vistas of abject weirdness presented by the apocalyptic potential of *really* new technologies.

-William Gibson, author of ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES

I thought LIGHT MUSIC was an impressive book. Wonderfully imaginative and beautifully written, this novel describes a future that stretches the limits of the imagination.

-Pat Murphy

Goonan is one of the most imaginative authors in the literature of the imagination. Each chapter of LIGHT MUSIC is a voyage of discovery. The book is a whole odyssey.

-David Brin

Starred Review from Booklist

Review in New York Times

LIGHT MUSIC, which concludes Kathleen Ann Goonan's Quartet, was released from HarperCollins Eos June 2002.


Read an excerpt at Infinite Matrix


Kathleen Ann Goonan’s acclaimed epic of a much-transformed near-future reaches a glorious crescendo and conclusion with her breathtaking final vision of a nanotechnological tomorrow…and the ultimate brilliant transcendence of humankind.


Once the world worked differently-before “the Silence” from space quieted the airwaves and rendered electronics useless.

Once there was a haven called Crescent City, built through the wonders of nanotechnology to transport its enlightened inhabitants into the cosmos, far away from the chaos and terrors of a world gone mad. But humanity has failed the city.

And carelessness has left it vulnerable to attack from those who covet the health and prosperity it offers.

One of the original “pioneers”-a recipient of the DNA-altering virus affecting a remarkable few who were born at the Silence’s onset-Jason Peabody must now flee in the wake of an unanticipated assault on Crescent City by pirates. In the city-imposed persona of musical six-gun-toting Radio Cowboy, entrusted with the recovery of lost technology needed to heal the sentient metropolis and rocket it upward, he embarks on a bizarre odyssey across a perilous, unrecognizable outside-through a landscape of Western round-ups and tragically “youngening” children; of plague-ravaged humans in foreboding “flower cities;” of conscious machines, talking animals, and toys that long to be real. With him is Dania, a brilliant scientist and resilient survivor whose hidden, troubled past is now painfully remembered beyond the walls of her urban sanctuary.

But even as Dania and her Cowboy journey westward, others are being relentlessly drawn to Crescent City from all parts of the globe-and two from the moon, the last humans remaining from the inexplicably vanished Unity colony.

For an existence that is not as it was is on the brink of yet another astonishing transformation-either by grand design or random cosmic accident. And the appearance on Earth of strange unearthly illuminations is causing widespread fear and panic-as pilgrims from everywhere gather in Crescent City seeking answers to the Silence’s long-concealed mysteries, responding to the hypnotic light music that’s calling them toward a remarkable destiny in the stars.

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Last Update 8/23/01 
Copyright 2001 Kathleen Ann Goonan All Rights Reserved.