Misinformation, PR, disinformation, rumors, spinning, lies--in the near future, the art of untruth has evolved into the jazz: virtual-reality Internet theatre, an entertainment for the cognoscenti and a source of pain and scandal for those who believe what they see, read, or experience. Tin Lizzy has escaped her troubled criminal adolescence to become one of the premiere design programmers of the jazz. But when she agrees to design the back-tech for a teenage boy's brilliant jazz scenario, she discovers too late that Keyz created his jazz with a sophisticated program stolen from a Hollywood studio. Now Lizzy is a criminal again, a desperate fugitive on the run with Keyz through the dangerous underground of the 21st century, fleeing cops, bounty hunters, studio detectives, and a powerful, ruthless CEO who has a secret to preserve, and boundless resources and vindictiveness.
Quietly, outside the hot, critical spotlight turned upon the original cyberpunks and second-generation cyberwunderkind Neil Stephenson, Melissa Scott has become one of the strongest, most productive, and least street-glamour-blinded cyberpunks writing at the turn of the millennium. This is not entirely a surprise; in 1986, she won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She is also a two-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award for best science fiction novel. If you haven't read Melissa Scott, The Jazz is a fine place to start. --Cynthia Ward