Kathleen Ann Goonan Books In Order

Nanotech Cycle Books In Order

  1. Queen City Jazz (1994)
  2. Mississippi Blues (1997)
  3. Crescent City Rhapsody (2000)
  4. Light Music (2002)

Dance Family Books In Order

  1. In War Times (2007)
  2. This Shared Dream (2011)


  1. The Bones of Time (1996)
  2. One/Zero (2019)


  1. Angels and You Dogs (2012)


  1. A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon a Star (2014)

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Kathleen Ann Goonan Books Overview

Queen City Jazz

In Verity’s world, nanotech plagues decimated the population after an initial renaissance of utopian nanotech cities. Growing up on an isolated farm, she finds her happy life changing course when Blaze, the only young man in the community and Verity’s best friend, is shot. With Blaze’s body wrapped in a nanotech cocoon, Verity sets off on a quest to the Enlivened City of Cincinnati. It is a place of legend, where huge bio engineered bees carry information through the streets and enormous nanotech flowers burst from the tops of strange buildings. It is the place where Blaze might be brought back from the brink of death. But Cincinnati is a city of dreams turned into nightmares, endlessly reliving the fantasies of its creator, a city that Verity must rule or die.

Mississippi Blues

The journey of Verity across the wonderfully altered landscape of mid America began in Queen City Jazz: ‘A dizzying novel that takes full advantage of the creative potential of nanotech,’ said The New York Times. Now it continues down the river in Mississippi Blues. Verity takes the wildest cast of characters since Philip Jos Farmer’s Riverworld, both living and resurrected, down the river to possible salvation in New Orleans and beyond in a great SF epic.

Crescent City Rhapsody

This is how it begins…

with the Silence, born of mysterious, space originated phenomena that render Earth’s dominant technologies useless inspiring paranoia and alien invasion fears within secret government agencies, which, in turn, inspire repressive actions against a perceived enemy populace…
. and with murder, as New Orleans mob boss and voudoun queen, Marie Laveau, dies in a hail of gunfire and is remade through the wonders of nanotechnology. In a new world that necessity has transfigured an exhilarating, seething stew of microscopic machinery and genetic engineering; of totalinarianism, eco terrorism and violence Marie Laveau’s hunger for vengance is giving way to something greater. For Destiny has named her savior of the outcasts, the opressed, the crazies, the hunted and the Silence’s mutant children, who all flock to her dream of a future as sweet as an Ellington riff…
and a safe haven called Crescent City.

Light Music

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.

In War Times

Sam Dance is a young enlisted soldier in 1941 when his older brother Keenan is killed at Pearl Harbor. Afterwards, Sam promises that he will do anything he can to stop the war. During his training, Sam begins to show that he has a knack for science and engineering, and he is plucked from the daily grunt work of twenty mile marches by his superiors to study subjects like code breaking, electronics, and physics in particular, a science that is growing more important to the war effort. While studying, Sam is seduced by a mysterious female physicist that is teaching one of his courses, and given her plans for a device that will end the war, perhaps even end the human predilection for war forever. But the device does something less, and more, than that. After his training, Sam is sent throughout Europe to solve both theoretical and practical problems for the Allies. He spends his free time playing jazz, and trying to construct the strange device. It’s only much later that he discovers that it worked, but in a way that he could have never imagined.

This Shared Dream

Kathleen Ann Goonan introduced Sam Dance and his wife, Bette, and their quest to alter our present reality for the better in her novel In War Times winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Novel and ALA’s Best Science Fiction Novel of 2008. Now, in This Shared Dream, she tells the story of the next generation. The three Dance kids, seemingly abandoned by both parents when they were younger, are now adults and are all disturbed by memories of a reality that existed in place of their world. The older girl, Jill, even remembers the disappearance of their mother while preventing the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Goonan has created a new kind of utopian SF novel, in which the changes in history have created a present world that is in many ways superior to our own, while in other worlds people strive to prevent their own erasure by restoring the ills to ours. This Shared Dream is certainly the most provocative SF speculation of the year, and perhaps the decade.

The Bones of Time

The preserved bones of the great Hawaiian king, Kamehameha, have survived in hiding into the twenty first century and are the key to many secrets. For the young mathematician, Cen, they are the key to travel in time and between alternate universes. For the native Hawaiian Resistance movement, they are a symbol of independence but also the source of genetic material from which the great king may be cloned and rise again. Cen’s mathematics and Akamu, the boy who might be king, become hidden treasures in the most amazing plot in contemporary SF.

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