Published by Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: June 14th 2016
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In Orpheus Chanson's world, geniuses and prodigies are no longer born or honed through hard work. Instead, procedures to induce Acquired Savant Abilities (ASAs) are now purchased by the privileged. And Orpheus's father holds the copyright to the ASA procedure.
Zimri Robinson, a natural musical prodigy, is a "plebe"--a worker at the enormous warehouse that supplies an on-line marketplace that has supplanted all commerce. Her grueling schedule and her grandmother's illness can't keep her from making music--even if it is illegal.
Orpheus and Zimri are not supposed to meet. He is meant for greatness; she is not. But sometimes, rules are meant to be broken. Here is a thriller, love story, and social experiment that readers will find gripping--and terrifying.
Pictures that Relate to Gifted
Zimri Robinson works in the last human-operated fulfillment warehouse in the country.
Most warehouses are now run with ANTs (Automated Nanobot Technology) so she’s always afraid she’ll lose her job.
She lives in a POD (Personal Occupancy Domicile) with her ailing grandmother. I “borrowed” the idea for the POD from the work of Kent Larson at MIT. It’s a hyper-efficient, 200-square-foot apartment with moveable walls and retractable furniture.
At night, after work, Zimri puts on secret concerts at Nowhere—a place her mother carved out a riverbank twenty years ago then abandoned when she ran off to avoid jail time for selling illegal music.
In my mind, Zimri looks a bit like a young Esperanza Spalding–the prodigious bass player with the most awesome hair in the universe!
But, when she makes illegal music, Zimri wears a mask to hide her identity. I got this idea from the Russian band Pussy Riot.
Orpheus Chanson is uber-wealthy. He lives in a modern replica of the Parthenon.
And drives a flying car called a Cicada.
Orpheus’s father is pushing him to have an Acquired Savant Ability (ASA) surgery like all his friends so he’ll be a musical genius and can continue the family fortune.
But Orpheus doesn’t want to be a Celebutante. He’s tired of being chased by dragonfly drone paparazzi and having his every move in life on public display.
After a big fight with his dad, Orpheus runs away from home and crashes his Cicada. Zimri and Orpheus are not supposed to meet. He is meant for greatness. She is not. So when they fall in love, Orpheus’s father will stop at nothing to keep them apart. You know, sort of like a futuristic Romeo and Juliet—if Juliet were a bad-ass musician who doesn’t take any crap, cars could fly, and surgeons can scrub your brain!
About the Author
Heather Swain lives in a crooked house in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, two children, a barkless dog, and two rescue cats. She is the author of four novels for young adults, two kids craft books, two novels for grown ups, and numerous short stories, personal essays, and non-fiction articles.