I love music. I’m a consumer not a creator, with eclectic tastes (as I write this I’m listening to an internet radio station devoted to electro-swing), but music matters to me, in every aspect of my life – including my fiction. So, I was pleased to be asked to play a small part in the initial issue of the new periodic chapbook Adventure Rocketship! which aims to close the gap between SFF and the music that has inspired, and been inspired by, the genre.
The book mixes fact and fiction with essays on, amongst other things, Canadian rockers Rush, the much derided soundtrack to LadyHawke, and electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire along with new stories from both established names and up-and-coming writers.
I have to confess confess that some of the essays went over my head, as my love of music is emotional and not intellectual; I am not a true muso. But others, like the interview with the crazy geniuses behind The Orb, had me nodding in agreement, or in the case of the aforementioned bio of Delia Derbyshire, smiling in delight. And Christopher Kirkley’s vivid account of Africa’s biggest MP3 marketplace was a disconcerting reality-check for someone who read far too much cyberpunk at an impressionable age.
The fiction riffs (sorry) off music, and our responses to it. Some of it, like Liz Williams’ ‘Starmen’ is only tangentially SF, but somehow feels spot on; Lavie Tidhar’s ‘Between the Notes’ takes a classic idea and gives it a new, musical, twist while Tim Maughan brings us bang up to date in ‘Flight Path Estate’, a savvy story of fame, rebellion and flash parties.
My own small part was to contribute a few hundred words on two albums I love which have an SFF connection. Anyone care to guess what they are? Or at least the bands in question? If I had copies of the book to give away I’d offer them as prizes, but as I only have the one – which I intend to hang onto – you’ll have to be content with a traditional Marvel-patented ‘no prize’, and maybe go buy your own copy of Adventure Rocketship!