I smell serious memetic potential – you can blame Jeff VanderMeer*.
So – you can assemble a rock band out of science fiction authors living or dead. Who do you pick, what do they call themselves, and what’s their signature cover version? [image by flashbacks.com]
Shaper and the Mechanists
Drums: M. John Harrison. The guy’s got rhythm – rock climbing’s all about timing. Plus drummers are often way more poetic and thoughtful than the cliches would suggest.
Bass: Charlie Stross. I suspect very strongly that, given half a chance, Charlie could get his groove on in a fearsome way. Rock-star facial hair a bonus.
Keys: William Gibson. He wouldn’t do riffs and melodies so much as pads and atmospheres; a kind of post-rock approach. Will gradually accumulate a vast bank of interconnected effects and found-sound devices by poking around in Cash Converters in each town the band plays.
Rhythm guitar: Rudy Rucker. Already has experience with the instrument, and knows a good riff when he writes one. Could probably out-Townsend Pete Townsend with his power chords.
Lead guitar: Neal Stephenson. Aloof, idiosyncratic, a unique style often imitated but never duplicated. Like Charlie Stross, not averse to rock-star facial hair. Also a fan of Soundgarden, so must know what good guitar lines sound like.
Backing vox/posturing/inexplicable extra stage presence (aka “Bez“): Cory Doctorow. Give him a megaphone and a silly hat, feed him up with … er, sugary foods and caffeine? … and just let him do his thing. Guaranteed to PWN hecklers and get the crowd moving.
Lead vox/songwriter: Bruce Sterling**. He may not have the perfect voice, but every single song would be about something important, and you’d find new meaning with every listen. Inter-song banter would be awesome.
Tour manager: Hunter S Thompson. OK, so not a science fiction writer, but I figure I can have one genre-breaker. No one is going to stiff the band on a deal with HST handling the biz. Plus the band will stay largely drug-free, because all illicit substances will be “headed off at the pass”, so to speak.
A&R guy: Harlan Ellison. Typecasting, I guess.
Cover version: “We’re In This Together” – Nine Inch Nails. Simply because it’s an awesome tune.
Damn; I really want to see this band now. Maybe the band I joined recently could be the support act!
[ * Not just for this post, either – you could try to pin the decline of postmodern culture and the sub-prime crisis on him too. It wouldn’t be very fair, though, let alone true. ]
[ ** This was a foregone conclusion, of course. Fanboy is as fanboy does. ]