It was written by someone living in a community in San Francisco, named something like Starflower, or Rainbird. I think I read the novel in the 1990s.

In the story the community living in San Francisco is threatened by some kind of overlords from "The City of Angels". The main character travels to this city. On the way there is a chapter involving a cure using bees. At the end San Francisco "wins" through passive resistance.


This is The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk (you almost nailed the author!)


From Wikipedia:-

The novel describes a world set in the year 2048 after a catastrophe which has fractured the United States into several nations. The protagonists live in San Francisco and have evolved in the direction of Ecotopia, reverting to a sustainable economy, using wind power, local agriculture, and the like.

San Francisco is presented as a mostly pagan city where the streets have been torn up for gardens and streams, no one starves or is homeless, and the city's defense council consists primarily of nine elderly women who "listen and dream". The novel describes "a utopia where women are leading societies but are doing so with the consent of men."

To the south, an overtly-theocratic Christian fundamentalist nation has evolved and plans to wage war against the San Franciscans. The novel explores the events before and during the ensuing struggle between the two nations, pitting utopia and dystopia against each other

  • JHart, if this is the right answer, you can accept it by clicking the checkmark on the left. Please do; it will show everyone the mystery was solved and reward both you and Danny with some reputation :)
    – Jenayah
    Feb 6 '19 at 17:14
  • 1
    In future can you provide the link to your source per the help page on referencing?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Feb 6 '19 at 17:14
  • However, it's considered a good idea to wait 24 hours or so before accepting an answer. Who knows? Somebody might produce a better one. Feb 6 '19 at 18:39
  • @WhatRoughBeast on story-ID one could come up with a second answer with quotes etc, but really the hardest part is to find the thing, and as we have so many hit-and-runs on story-ID, I think it's better to try and get an acceptance before OP disappears. Helps when closing dupes, etc (on non-ID, sure, one should rather wait a bit)
    – Jenayah
    Feb 6 '19 at 19:03
  • 1
    Thank you so much Danny. That's it. A long pondered question finally solved.
    – J Hart
    Feb 7 '19 at 18:28

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