I was quite excited to find a book of short stories inspired by the music of one of my favourite rock bands, Rush. They have been around for forty-plus years, so this 18-story anthology covers songs from their vast catalogue of intelligent songs. The collection also includes the stories that inspired such Neal Peart-penned Rush classics as “Red Barchetta” and “Roll the Bones”. Included as well is Kevin J. Anderson’s novella sequel to Rush’s seminal prog-rock album 2112. Kevin J. Anderson had previously collaborated with Neal Peart on Clockwork Angels (2012 ECW Press) the book based on the band’s album of the same name.
While most of the stories are science fiction, some could be considered fantasies, even thrillers. 2113 contains stories by New York Times bestselling authors Kevin J. Anderson, Michael Z. Williamson, David Mack, David Farland, Dayton Ward, and Mercedes Lackey; award winners Fritz Leiber, Steven Savile, Brad R. Torgersen, Ron Collins, David Niall Wilson, and Brian Hodge, as well as many other authors.
Some of the stories bear little resemblance to the songs they are based on, others will have some hidden or thinly veiled Rush references. For example, this bit of dialogue from the story “Random Access Memory” inspired by the Rush song “Lakeside Park” from the 1975 album “Caress of Steel”:
“So,” Beecham said, “though it’s just a memory, some memories last forever.”
“That sounds familiar.”
Beecham laughed and said, “It’s from a song. A good one, you probably know it.”
I enjoyed reading the variety of stories in 2113, but even if you are not a serious Rush fan, and if you like science fiction that is not too ‘out there’, then this collection will not disappoint.
2113 was published in April 2016 by ECW Press and is 400 pages.
James M. Fisher is the owner and editor-in-chief of The Miramichi Reader. He began TMR in 2015, realizing that there was a genuine need for more book reviews of Canadian literature. It has since become Canada’s best-regarded source for the finest in new literary releases. James has been interviewed about TMR on CBC Radio and other media sites. James works as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist and lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick with his wife Diane and their tabby cat Eddie.