A Hugo Award-winner explores the massive influence that science fiction has had on popular music, particularly on David Bowie and the heady, experimental 1970s sceneIn the 1960s and 70s old mores and lingering repressions were falling away, replaced with a new kind of hedonistic freedom that included sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. Although it didn't factor into the stereotype, it also included science fiction.Strange Stars tells the story of how incredibly well read artists--David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and many more--brought Sci Fi's cosmic flare to their lyrics, sounds, and styles, and changed pop music forever....
|Title||:||Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded|
|Number of Pages||:||302 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Strange » Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded|
Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded Reviews
Very well researched look at how sci fi influenced and was influenced by pop culture throughout the 1970s. Jason Heller's book reminded me of a wall map of strings, connecting Bowie's Space Oddity to Kubrick's 2001, Sun Ra and afrofuturism, Devo, Kiss, Battlestar Galactica, Michael Jackson, Anne McCaffrey, Insta Funk, Mötörhead, early hip hop, punk, Carl Sagan, Klaus Nomi, JG Ballard, and lots lots more. And it all leads back to Bowie. Lots of pop culture crammed in here. An enjoyable read for s ...more
So... I wanted to like this book more than I did. Thumbs up for being comprehensive, but thumbs down for interest and insight. Long on names of groups, songs, sci-fi books and movies (many of which are repeated several times throughout), but short on broad context and insight. Reads a bit more like a wiki article than a long-form essay.
From 'Stardust' in Shelf Awareness for Readers
"The scarcity of science fiction titles on David Bowie's list of 100 favorite books is notable because, from lyrics to stage personalities and film roles, it's apparent that speculative fiction inspired the musician. That influence, on Bowie as well as on several of his contemporaries, is the subject of Jason Heller's Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded (Melville House).
As Heller looks closer at each of the performe ...more
I'm actually doing a paid review for a local publication so you'll have to wait...
But it's good.
I'll post a link when the review goes live.
Amazing book that not only makes you want to keep reading it, but start diving through old music and breaking out your library card and pick up all those old sci-fi books and settle in for an adventure.
This is exactly what Dean Venture must have felt like in "Perchance to Dean" when he lets his science mind explore the outer reaches of the universe though music.
Great history, great insight, great book!
I enjoyed this book very much, but to me, it was the very definition of a mile wide and an inch deep. Heller tracks down and catalogs what seems to be every one of the hundreds of science fiction themed songs recorded during the 70s and duly notes if they were inspired by any specific book or movie. What's mostly missing is any sort of broader historical context as to exactly why any of this stuff was happening - beyond "Star Wars came out and was really popular," Heller doesn't seem too interes ...more