MY CURRENT FAVOURITE SCIENCE FICTION AUTHOR IS…
As you may have noticed, I’ve been listening to a lot of David Bowie lately, and I’ve been fortunate in not just having the singles-friendly Changes: The Best of… on the turntable, but the more comprehensive Platinum Collection, which means I’ve discovered a lot of tracks I had perhaps heard of, but never actually heard (Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) for example)
I’d always been aware of the Science Fictional influence on much of his early work: anybody who listened to FM radio in the 80s was unable to avoid tracks like Space Oddity, Life on Mars?, and Ashes To Ashes. But what has surprised me (although I really don’t know why it does) is just how damn good Bowie is at playing with Sfnal concepts in terms of pure storytelling. Viewed as a short story collection, the themes and storylines that run through the three disc collection, particularly the 1969-74 stuff, as is a strong as anything I’ve read recently in traditional text-on-dead-wood.
By way of examination/encouragement, a partial list of Bowie songs from the triple album, all Sfnal in nature to a larger or smaller degree.
Oh! You Pretty Things
The Prettiest Star
Life on Mars?
The Man Who Sold the World
Ashes To Ashes
Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
Up the Hill Backwards
Loving The Alien