In a semi-tropical London, surrounded by paddy-fields, the people feed off the sun like plants, the young are raised in Child Gardens and educated by viruses, and the Consensus oversees the country, 'treating' n-conformism. Information, culture, law and politics are biological functions. But Milena is different: she is resistant to viruses and an incredible musician, one of the most extraordinary women of her age. This is her story and that of her friends, like Lucy the immortal tumour and Joseph the Postman whose mind is an information storehouse for others, and Rolfa, genetically engineered as a Polar Bear, whose beautiful singing voice first awakens Milena to the power of music.
Geoff Ryman was born in Canada in 1952 but moved to America when he was eleven. He moved to London in 1973. He began writing science fiction in 1976. His other novels include Was and 253. He currently lives and works in London and Oxfordshire.
Winner of Arthur C. Clarke Award 1990 and John W Campbell Award 1990. Shortlisted for British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel 1990.