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2113 : Stories Inspired by the Music of Rush

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18 exhilarating journeys into Rush-inspired worlds The music of Rush, one of the most successful bands in history, is filled with fantastic stories, evocative images, and thought-provoking futures and pasts. In this anthology, notable, bestselling, and award-winning writers each chose a Rush song as the spark for a new story, drawing inspiration from the visionary trio 18 exhilarating journeys into Rush-inspired worlds The music of Rush, one of the most successful bands in history, is filled with fantastic stories, evocative images, and thought-provoking futures and pasts. In this anthology, notable, bestselling, and award-winning writers each chose a Rush song as the spark for a new story, drawing inspiration from the visionary trio that is Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart. Enduring stark dystopian struggles or testing the limits of the human spirit, the characters populating 2113 find strength while searching for hope in a world that is repressive, dangerous, or just debilitatingly bland. Most of these tales are science fiction, but some are fantasies, thrillers, even edgy mainstream. Many of Rush’s big hits are represented, as well as deeper cuts . . . with wonderful results. This anthology also includes the seminal stories that inspired the Rush classics “Red Barchetta” and “Roll the Bones,” as well as Kevin J. Anderson’s novella sequel to the groundbreaking Rush album 2112. 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 with imaginations on fire.


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18 exhilarating journeys into Rush-inspired worlds The music of Rush, one of the most successful bands in history, is filled with fantastic stories, evocative images, and thought-provoking futures and pasts. In this anthology, notable, bestselling, and award-winning writers each chose a Rush song as the spark for a new story, drawing inspiration from the visionary trio 18 exhilarating journeys into Rush-inspired worlds The music of Rush, one of the most successful bands in history, is filled with fantastic stories, evocative images, and thought-provoking futures and pasts. In this anthology, notable, bestselling, and award-winning writers each chose a Rush song as the spark for a new story, drawing inspiration from the visionary trio that is Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart. Enduring stark dystopian struggles or testing the limits of the human spirit, the characters populating 2113 find strength while searching for hope in a world that is repressive, dangerous, or just debilitatingly bland. Most of these tales are science fiction, but some are fantasies, thrillers, even edgy mainstream. Many of Rush’s big hits are represented, as well as deeper cuts . . . with wonderful results. This anthology also includes the seminal stories that inspired the Rush classics “Red Barchetta” and “Roll the Bones,” as well as Kevin J. Anderson’s novella sequel to the groundbreaking Rush album 2112. 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 with imaginations on fire.

30 review for 2113 : Stories Inspired by the Music of Rush

  1. 5 out of 5

    Char

    When I discovered that Brian Hodge was going to be contributing to this anthology, I immediately kept my radar going until the book showed up at Net Galley. I was approved for it and I was so happy-I mean how often does a book come out that's based on the music of one of your favorite bands? I'm not as big a fan of Rush as some people, but I recognize the lyrical genius of Neil Peart-the man can write. Turns out, the authors included in this collection can too. There are too many stories here for When I discovered that Brian Hodge was going to be contributing to this anthology, I immediately kept my radar going until the book showed up at Net Galley. I was approved for it and I was so happy-I mean how often does a book come out that's based on the music of one of your favorite bands? I'm not as big a fan of Rush as some people, but I recognize the lyrical genius of Neil Peart-the man can write. Turns out, the authors included in this collection can too. There are too many stories here for me to go into each in detail, so I've picked the ones that knocked my socks off to highlight here. On the Fringes of the Fractal by Greg Van Eekhout (Inspired by "Subdivisions.") At first read this story was weird and I thought it was just okay. However, as I continued reading over the course of a month, I found my mind turning this tale over again and again. I now consider it one of my favorites in the collection. The Burning Times v2.0 by Brian Hodge (Inspired by "Witch Hunt.") This story, (and this song), are both so perfect for the times in which we currently live-it's scary. When I say scary, I don't mean just the story, or the song, but the times in which we live also. I count this as another brilliant tale from the awesome Mr. Hodge. A Nice Morning Drive by Richard S. Foster This one, in a strange and nice twist, is the story that inspired Red Barchetta, instead of the other way around. Now, the author and Neil Peart are friends. Cool, right? A Prayer for 0443 by David Niall Wilson (Inspired by "The Trees.") I really dug this story. All individuality gone, no music or books last longer than a month or a year. My notes say "Big Brother to the Max". That's my story and I'm sticking to it. This tale disturbed me. Gonna Roll the Bones by Fritz Leiber In another twist, THIS is the story that inspired the RUSH song. Lyrics quoted from Roll the Bones: We go out in the world and take our chances Fate is just the weight of circumstances That's the way that Lady Luck Dances Roll the bones Last Light by Steven Savile (Inspired by "The Spirit of Radio.") This was my favorite story of the collection. It really spoke to the power that radio used to have in our lives and how important it could be once again. Bravo, Mr. Savile!! Your story really brought it home and in what I feel was the true "spirit"of the song. Overall, this collection was good-especially if you're already a fan of Rush. Even being just a casual fan, like myself, there's a good chance 2113 will work for you too. My only complaint is that I think it's too long. 18 stories takes a while to get through. However, when the tales are good, the reader sticks with it, just as I did. Highly recommended to fans of Rush and to fans of the short story form. *Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for the e-ARC of 2113 in exchange for my honest review.*

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Multi-author anthologies, for me, are a mixed bag in terms of quality, but this being a collection of stories - 16 of which are inspired by Rush songs - proved too tempting to resist. Of the 18 authors included in the book, I've read three prior, including Kevin J. Anderson and Mercedes Lackey (I'd read somewhere she based the character Dirk from the Valdemar novels on Geddy Lee). Most die-hard fans have searched the Internet to read "A Nice Morning Drive" by Richard S. Foster, which inspired Nei Multi-author anthologies, for me, are a mixed bag in terms of quality, but this being a collection of stories - 16 of which are inspired by Rush songs - proved too tempting to resist. Of the 18 authors included in the book, I've read three prior, including Kevin J. Anderson and Mercedes Lackey (I'd read somewhere she based the character Dirk from the Valdemar novels on Geddy Lee). Most die-hard fans have searched the Internet to read "A Nice Morning Drive" by Richard S. Foster, which inspired Neil to write "Dead Barchetta." It is part of this collection, and Fritz Leiber's "Gonna Roll the Bones" is the other reprint. So we have 18 stories, each connected to a specific Rush song. The cover and roster suggest all science fiction, and you'll find everything from hard SF to futuristic drama here, but 2113 also showcases some paranormal mystery and noir. For the most part, Easter eggs of Rush lyrics are scarce - which suits me fine. The stories flow nicely, much like in Rush albums where the individual songs connect to form an all-encompassing concept. Highlights for me in 2113 include: "On the Fringes of the Fractal" by Greg Van Eekhout - Futuristic YA about loyalty and friendship, a willingness to sacrifice social standing for a friend. "A Patch of Blue" by Ron Collins - Another theme of "deviating from the norm," as one Rush song goes, where creators in two different realms take similar paths for what they believe is right. "The Burning Times, V2.0" by Brian Hodge - Like Fahrenheit 451 crossed with Harry Potter; a young fights censorship and as a result has to save himself. "The Digital Kid" by Michael Z. Williamson - A dreamer's journey to overcome disability. "Some Are Born to Save the World" by Mark Leslie - The story of a superhero's mortality. I won't reveal which songs inspired which stories. As noted in the book's introduction, one doesn't need to be familiar with Rush's music to enjoy the book. That the majority of the contributing authors have backgrounds in SFF keep the stories cohesive. A fair number of Rush fans I know enjoyed Clockwork Angels, but I think they will appreciate this book as much, if not more. My only nitpick with this collection: only one female author in the bunch. If the boys sanction this as a franchise, perhaps 2114 could feature a few more women writers. Lady Rush fans do exist. :-) ARC received from publisher via NetGalley.

  3. 4 out of 5

    David

    This anthology is a collection of "short stories inspired by the music of Rush." Having been an avid fan of the band since 1982, I've listened to each studio album in their discography dozens to hundreds of times. As such, I've generated my own imagery about what the lyrics and music are saying, so I went into this book with preconceived expectations. As the subtitle to this book is "stories inspired by the music of Rush", one should pay attention to the "inspired by" part. I didn't. I was expect This anthology is a collection of "short stories inspired by the music of Rush." Having been an avid fan of the band since 1982, I've listened to each studio album in their discography dozens to hundreds of times. As such, I've generated my own imagery about what the lyrics and music are saying, so I went into this book with preconceived expectations. As the subtitle to this book is "stories inspired by the music of Rush", one should pay attention to the "inspired by" part. I didn't. I was expecting literal interpretations of the songs. Most stories head off in a direction I would never have guessed. Plenty of times my reaction was, "Really? That's where you went with this song?" Now when the song is fairly vague on specifics, focusing on a theme of feelings in a situation (like Mercedes Lackey's "Into the Night", inspired by "Freeze"), there's far more leeway to generate a story. But sometimes the stories are built from just one line in a song. These are typically the stories that take the most liberties, riding a tangent off into the fifth dimension. Yeah, creative license; I totally get that. But it wasn't what I was looking for. It worked in "Random Access Memory" by John McFetridge, but too often these stories were just so different that they would've worked better for me without the Rush reference. Two of the eighteen stories in this anthology were actually the inspiration for Rush songs: "A Nice Morning Drive" by Richard S. Foster inspired "Red Barchetta" and "Gonna Roll the Bones" by Fritz Leiber inspired "Roll the Bones." While Neil's lyrics were faithful to Foster's story, he seems to have just used Leiber's story title as its content couldn't be much further removed the song. Now that's not to say that the stories are bad. There are plenty of good stories here, and some of them, like "Day to Day" by Dayton Ward (inspired by "Red Sector A"), are faithful to the lyrics. If one doesn't go into this collection expecting every story to be a literal interpretation of the selected songs, one will appreciate this collection all the more.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ricky

    Rush is a great, great band, with a story in every song. And this collection of short stories is only a hint of the inspiration they give. For a band that made its name with such fantasy and/or sci-fi concepts as 2112 and Clockwork Angels (hint, hint: Kevin J. Anderson suggests that both take place in the same universe), it's no surprise that most of the stories inspired by their songs take fantasy and/or sci-fi and/or dystopian turns too. Turning "Subdivisions" into a creepy corporate prison wor Rush is a great, great band, with a story in every song. And this collection of short stories is only a hint of the inspiration they give. For a band that made its name with such fantasy and/or sci-fi concepts as 2112 and Clockwork Angels (hint, hint: Kevin J. Anderson suggests that both take place in the same universe), it's no surprise that most of the stories inspired by their songs take fantasy and/or sci-fi and/or dystopian turns too. Turning "Subdivisions" into a creepy corporate prison world, "Mission" into a surprisingly sweet sci-fi tale of the dream of Martian exploration that gives The Martian a bad name, "The Spirit Of Radio" into a mashup of shipwreck and survival horror...these are some seriously inspired short stories. About the only one I didn't like was the one inspired by "Tom Sawyer," because of its reliance on problematic stereotypes - sleazy Jewish film producer, racist Arabs spitting on everything the Jewish guy touches, that sort of thing. But then there are those great stories I already mentioned, and also the original inspirations behind "Red Barchetta" and "Roll The Bones" for proof that even Rush themselves take significant literary inspiration. (Though they'll no longer admit to at least one of those - Ayn Rand's inspiration for 2112.) For all Rush fans, this collection is required reading for sure.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erin Burns

    I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review. Dang, just dang, this is a ton of stories. I picked this up because I am fond of Rush, and because of the Mercedes Lackey story. Anthologies are difficult to review, especially when there are this many stories, so I’ll try to leave brief comments on them individually as I go along. But overall this anthology is filled with gems and you don’t need to have any I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review. Dang, just dang, this is a ton of stories. I picked this up because I am fond of Rush, and because of the Mercedes Lackey story. Anthologies are difficult to review, especially when there are this many stories, so I’ll try to leave brief comments on them individually as I go along. But overall this anthology is filled with gems and you don’t need to have any familiarity with rush at all. I’ve underlined my favorites for ease of reference. On the Fringes of the Fractal by Greg Van Eekhout inspired by “Subdivisions” This is a kind of crazy future world where everything in your life depends on stats and classes names are ripped from click bait articles. When one friend’s family lost all stat, his other friend decides to save him and they travel to the ends of their civilization. It is frankly kind of a trip and rather short. Well worth the read. A Patch of Blue by Ron Collins inspired by “Natural Science” Weird. I think it is inspiration about inspiration. I can’t quite explain it, but it is easily and compulsively readable. The Burning Times by Brian Hodge inspired by “Witch Hunt” Oh this one was sad, a cross between Fahrenheit 451 and urban fantasy, full of witches and glamour. It was also lyrical and beautifully written, and probably my second favorite story out of the bunch. The Digital Kid by Michael Z Williamson inspired by “The Analog Kid” and “Digital Man” This one is a coming of age story steeped in tragedy and set in a not so faraway future. A Nice Morning Drive by Richard S. Foster inspired “Red Barchetta” This one is different because it inspired a Rush song instead of being inspired by one. It is a story of unintended consequences and change. Players by David Farland inspired by “Tom Sawyer” Hmmm, this one just made me sad. It is set in current times and plays up religious and political divides. Some are Born to Save the World by ark Leslie inspired by “Losing It” This one teared me up, but in a good way. A superhero and the passing of the torch. Random Access Memory by John McFetridge inspired by “Lakeside Park” Set in a futuristic time it describes a novel “punishment” for abhorrent crimes and a shadowy conspiracy just out of sight and sound. Race Human by Larry Dixon inspired by “Marathon” This story is also set in a futuristic time where people don’t have to age due to advancements in medical science, and our main protagonist is one of the few who looks old. It made me think of something else I’d read recently with a similar theme, only this one had a more hopeful theme for the greater technological advances and for how humans can persevere and thrive. Probably this is my favorite out of the bunch. Hollywood Dreams of Death by Tim Lasiuta inspired by “I Think I’m Going Bald” This one was just meh for me. A Prayer for 0443 by David Niall Wilson inspired by “The Trees” Another futuristic dystopian, this one where everyone and everything is forced into a drab and horrible sort of equality. But secrets remain and are passed on subversively. This one ties for my favorite. Gonna Roll the Bone by Fritz Lieber inspired “Roll the Bones” This one is another that inspired rather than being inspired by, and I’ll admit, I don’t see the how, though I did appreciate the explanation that went along with it. And I did enjoy the story, which was a rather bizarre hodge podge of past and future and voodoo. It was written long ago so I can only imagine the reception at the time. Spirits with Visions by Brad R. Torgersen inspired by “Mission” This one was another real emotional story about the intersections in two people’s lives. It uses this odd switching perspective between the two main protagonists to great effect. This one also ties for favorite. Into the Night by Mercedes Lackey inspired by “Freeze” This one was…interesting. It indicates that it is a prequel storry. If it is a prequel to something already published, I don’t know what. It appears to be a contemporary urban fantasy story featuring a teen protagonist. I would read more of this. Day to Day by Dayton Ward inspired by “Red Sector A” This is an alien invasion story with grim promise and not much hope. Our Possible Pasts by David Mack inspired by “Show Don’t Tell” Dude…just, dude. I can’t even with this one. Just read it and ponder. Last Light by Steven Savile inspired by “The Spirit of Radio” Post apocalyptic dystopian that starts with a death but ends on a hopeful note. Who’s the savior, who’s the saved, and does it really even matter. This one didn’t really hook me till the end, but now I really want to find out how the story ends. 2113 by Kevin J. Anderson inspired by “” (That’s how it was listed in the ARC so I don’t know what inspired it, maybe just rush as a whole.) This is an homage to the terror of conformity and the joy of creation. And while well written it is almost utterly depressing. https://burnsthroughherbookshelf.word...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Williams

    Fantastic! That is all.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Don

    As with a lot of these short story collections (depending on the volume's editor as they are the one who gathers them into a readable form), the stories they contain are either a hit or miss with rarely the whole volume being good. This collection is no different with some good and some bad (hence the mere three stars given). I will not state which of them lean one way or the other and leave that to the curious who is interested in reading this... As with a lot of these short story collections (depending on the volume's editor as they are the one who gathers them into a readable form), the stories they contain are either a hit or miss with rarely the whole volume being good. This collection is no different with some good and some bad (hence the mere three stars given). I will not state which of them lean one way or the other and leave that to the curious who is interested in reading this...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    "Listen to my music and hear what it can do. There's something here as strong as life. I know that it will reach you." These lyrics from 'IV - Presentation' in 2112 keep ringing through my mind after gently placing the book down. So I thought they'd be fitting to open up this review. But in this review, I should now admit to two things. First, I've been a Rush fan since the mid 1980's, and I adore the music, the lyrics and the essence of the band Rush. So I'm coming at this content with a complet "Listen to my music and hear what it can do. There's something here as strong as life. I know that it will reach you." These lyrics from 'IV - Presentation' in 2112 keep ringing through my mind after gently placing the book down. So I thought they'd be fitting to open up this review. But in this review, I should now admit to two things. First, I've been a Rush fan since the mid 1980's, and I adore the music, the lyrics and the essence of the band Rush. So I'm coming at this content with a complete and positive bias. This is the type of book I've long dreamed of since first discovering the wonder of the band. Second, I'm one of the contributors to this anthology - I'm, thus likely also positively biased towards it -- and for that reason, I'll avoid talking about my own story. Instead, I'll focus on the rest of the tales, which are the basis for this review. But I should acknowledge that I'm honored to appear in the same pages as these wonderful writers. There's an interesting mix of stories here, and I'm quite pleased to see both stories inspired by the music of Rush as well as a couple of tales behind the inspiration for songs like "Red Barchetta" and "Roll the Bones." I'm quite pleased to see the different way that each contributor approached the inspired tale. For the most part, the stories followed the subtle path, or essence of a song, rather than create a prose pastiche for the music and lyrics. For example... . . . the survivors in an apocalyptic land struggling to stay alive and one step ahead of the alien invaders and trying to find the source of DM and Freddy, the two radio hosts who are broadcasting messages of hope in Steven Saville's "Last Light" which was inspired by the song "The Spirit of Radio" -- (I particularly like the way the author so effectively "paints" a few scenes from a few album covers very subtly into the story) . . . . . . the misadventures of the wheeling and dealing movie executive Solomon Isaac, a decidedly "Today's Tom Sawyer" in David Farland's "Players" . . . . . . the court-drama sci-fi story by David Mack of a woman on trial for the creation of a "psychotemporal transmitter" which effectively debates the concepts of hope, despair, life and death involving a kind of quantum consciousness time-travel in "Our Possible Pasts" which is inspired by "Show Don't Tell" . . . . . . a haunting (and quite 2112-ish) look at what might happen if everyone and everything were made equal in "A Prayer for 0443" by David Niall Wilson, which is inspired by "The Trees" . . . . . . the parallel struggles to break out from the "tide pools" in alternate realms that Ron Collins explores in his "Natural Science" inspired story "A Patch of Blue" . . . . . . the exploration of those dreamers who never give-up and are, as the lyrics state, slaves to the drive of obsession as they remain focused on soaring ambitions in the beautiful "Spirits with Visions" by "Brad R. Torgersen" which was inspired by "Mission" . . . Of course, given that the album GRACE UNDER PRESSURE was my seminal introduction to the band, I'm quite partial to Dayton Ward's "Day to Day" which quite effectively paints the story alluded to in the song "Red Sector A" in a wonderfully crafted, dark and foreboding, yet touching and moving tale. And, like Ward's story mentioned above, some of the stories take a more direct approach where the song-to-story connection is straight forward and presented quite clearly, such as Mercedes Lackey's "Into the Night" (inspired by "Freeze") and the title story by Kevin J. Anderson, which brilliantly both returns to the original story-line from "2112" but then picks up from where that story left off, leading the reader craftily forward into a decidedly brilliant pay-off for die-hard Rush fans. There's a lot going on within the text and sub-text of this book for those who are familiar with the band's music. But I do like the fact that you need not be familiar with the music or the lyrics in order to enjoy the themes and conflicts and stories that the author's in this collection explore. One thing I perhaps like best might be the fact that any one of these stories might inspire the reader who isn't familiar with the band to give them a listen (or another listen) with the perspective from the stories they've read, in mind. And let that help set their imaginations on fire. Our world could use this beauty. Just think what they might do. ;)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Time for a short story collection. This particular anthology is a bit different from the norm. All the stories in 2113 are related to or inspired by the works of the Canadian rock band Rush. If you’re a fan of the band, I certainly am, then I rather suspect you may want to give this a try. Now a little about my favourite stories… On The Fringes of The Fractal by Greg Van Eekhout – Inspired by Subdivisions – In a society where you are defined by your status, you need to fit in or you will be forced Time for a short story collection. This particular anthology is a bit different from the norm. All the stories in 2113 are related to or inspired by the works of the Canadian rock band Rush. If you’re a fan of the band, I certainly am, then I rather suspect you may want to give this a try. Now a little about my favourite stories… On The Fringes of The Fractal by Greg Van Eekhout – Inspired by Subdivisions – In a society where you are defined by your status, you need to fit in or you will be forced to live in poverty. Herman, Deni and Miss Spotty Pants have had enough, so they head towards the city. There has to be something better. I love that this story perfectly encapsulates the tone from the song it is based on. The Digital Kid by Michael Z Williamson – Inspired by The Analog Kid and Digital Man – Kent has a serious accident. That won’t stop him from achieving his dream. Nothing is going to stop him, he will get to space. A Nice Morning Drive by Richard S Foster – Inspired Red Barchetta – In a slight deviation from almost all of the other stories featured, this tale inspired the song rather than the other way round. Buzz hits the road, and if he gets caught then there is a good chance that the road is going to hit back. Some Are Born to Save the World by Mark Leslie – Inspired by Losing It – This was one of my favourites. The life, death and rebirth of the superhero White Vector. This perfect little gem captures exactly what being a superhero means. I wouldn’t change a thing. You just can’t beat a well-executed origin story. Hollywood Dreams of Death by Tim Lasiuta – Inspired by I Think I’m Going Bald – Lazlo Delorean (top name) is a Hollywood star and a dastardly murder. Just what possesses a man who has everything to commit multiple murders? Darkly comic crime-noir. Into the Night by Mercedes Lackey – Inspired by Freeze – Vickie, a teenage technomage and geomancer, is searching for missing people on the streets of Chicago with her super-powered family. Werewolves, magic and mayhem can’t ever be a bad thing. This story serves as a prequel to a larger work, and after reading it I can completely understand why. I’d love to learn more about the characters and the world that is featured. This is great stuff. Last Light by Steve Saville – Inspired by Spirit of the Radio – A group of survivors try to exist in an apocalyptic event. Strange beings known as The Lights are destroying humanity one person at a time. The only thing that keeps the survivors going is the voices on the radio. I do love a good apocalypse, and this story has it all. There is a subtle downbeat with just a glimmer of hope towards the end. I love fiction like this. As with Into the Night, this is a story I could quite happily see expanding into something larger. The good news is that I’ve only mentioned half of the stories in the book so there are plenty more for you to discover yourself. One thing I did notice that was mildly disappointing, was that there was only one female author included in the entire collection. I’d have hoped for something a bit more balanced if I’m honest. I may be hopelessly naïve, but I’d imagine there must be a few more female writers who appreciate the works of Rush? Overall, I think this collection is a bit of a mixed bag. There are a couple of stories I really enjoyed, some that were entertaining and a few others that I just couldn’t connect with in any way. There is certainly something in this book to cater for all tastes. I think the thing I like most about this book is the concept itself. Regular readers of The Eloquent Page will have spotted that I often drop musical recommendations into my reviews of books. I firmly believe that good music enhances good fiction. I love the thought of taking this to the next level and creating fiction based on music. Give me ten minutes and I could easily list a dozen albums that would perfectly suit this treatment. Seriously, someone needs to write a book based on Songs from the Wood by Jethro Tull. You would have my undying gratitude always.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    As a huge Rush fan I really wanted to like this collection. The quality of Rush’s songwriting is unfortunately not maintained throughout this collection. Through reading these stories I've come to appreciate Peart's ability to write lyrics. He can condense a poem into a progressive rock song and showcase his storytelling skill and philosophical points while doing so. Songs like Dreamline, Red Barchetta, and Especially 2112 illustrate this point. However, these stories felt like the shed skin of As a huge Rush fan I really wanted to like this collection. The quality of Rush’s songwriting is unfortunately not maintained throughout this collection. Through reading these stories I've come to appreciate Peart's ability to write lyrics. He can condense a poem into a progressive rock song and showcase his storytelling skill and philosophical points while doing so. Songs like Dreamline, Red Barchetta, and Especially 2112 illustrate this point. However, these stories felt like the shed skin of a much more impressive storytelling beast. Sometimes it was because the stories wanted to illustrate interesting technologies or ideas without blending them with plot and characters. Stories like A Prayer for 0443 and Race Human felt like they were comprised of massive information chunks leading to a heavy handed message that you already got from the songs which inspired them. I cringed reading parts of On the Fringes of the Fractal for the message of 'different is good, I'm not like society man.' Like come on. Other times the stories just felt kinda out of place, such as Players and Hollywood Dreams of Death, although I felt that Players was much more interesting for its sociopolitical plot. They weren't terrible stories but it just felt like the punchline of the story takes forever to get to. Often times the stories leading up to someone ending up bald or questioning their memories were a slog. I think there were a couple of sci-fi stories that definitely hit the right marks and effectively. The Digital Kid and Day to Day showed the fear/hope for the future featured in their respective Rush songs while coming up with some entertaining stories at the very least. The cyborg sight and the alien invasion were the most vivid and well imagined concepts in this collection. Especially after reading stories like Into the Night, which under-explained its high urban fantasy so much that I felt like I could barely envision what I was reading. Even the stories from giants like Anderson, Lieber and Foster felt drab in comparison with other sci-fi stories from their respective eras. 2113 fleshed out 2112's world only marginally, and essentially felt like an epilogue to the concept album. I would have enjoyed Anderson's contribution so much more if he would have explained why the Priests want to control every aspect of everyone's life. A Nice Morning Drive showed society's obsession with safety and control that remains prescient today, but it felt dry of the sentimentality and passion of the song that it inspired. Gonna Roll the Bones was definitely the weirdest thing I've read this year, not only for its strange turn of phrases, but because I never expected to get lost in a story full of gambling jargon only to find out it was supposed to be a space western? Still not super clear on what I was supposed to glean from the weird dice rolling villains and discussions about bread in that story. It felt very dated and nowhere near as telling or interesting as the song Roll the Bones. And the other stories in the collection didn't catch my attention enough for me to note them honestly. I would only recommend this collection to the most hardcore of Rush fans and those interested in reading the featured authors in this collection.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Paul Franco

    In a nutshell, this is a collection of short stories supposedly based on songs by the rock group Rush. My original thought was to base this review on two criteria: the usual “how good a book was it?” and “Do I recognize the song this story is based on?” But that took a big hit when I saw in the preface: “If you had read the stories in another publication, you probably wouldn’t even notice the Rush connection.” Sadly true, and I don’t understand it. Isn’t the connection with the songs the whole p In a nutshell, this is a collection of short stories supposedly based on songs by the rock group Rush. My original thought was to base this review on two criteria: the usual “how good a book was it?” and “Do I recognize the song this story is based on?” But that took a big hit when I saw in the preface: “If you had read the stories in another publication, you probably wouldn’t even notice the Rush connection.” Sadly true, and I don’t understand it. Isn’t the connection with the songs the whole point of this book? Who are they expecting will buy this other than Rush fans? So that part was a bust; on to the other part. A few stories in and I’m already feeling the dread. Not only does the first story bear little resemblance to the song, it has no payoff, no real ending. Huh? The second one wasn’t any better. Then the third. . . I have to admit I almost gave up at this point. I remembered what the preface said about appearing in other publications, but at this point I didn’t think there was much possibility of that. For instance, with Rush’s most famous song, Tom Sawyer, there were so many places they could have gone, done honor to the original; instead we get a quasi-comical story about a Jewish filmmaker going to the Arab world to get funding for his next film. I’d like to think Tom Sawyer was smarter than that. . . It wasn’t till we arrive at the story based on Losing It that there’s one that matches the song; not that the story was that great, but it actually made sense. On the other hand, there’s a fantastic story about a racing legend at a gathering of racers and cars in the future, though I have no idea how it pertains to Marathon. Another great story involves a serial killer in 1940s Hollywood obsessed with his hair; I’ll let you figure out which song that comes from. Then there’s a story with shades of Harrison Bergeron, 1984, Fahrenheit 451. . . but not The Trees. To my shock, the Fritz Leiber story that inspired Roll The Bones proves that I can dislike something written by such a master. The one entry that made this entire book worthwhile for me was the story that came out of Mission, though at first I thought Countdown would be more appropriate. The tale of an injured astronaut and a kid with a dream was heartwarming, and even though I love the song this might have improved on it; it’s that good. Mercedes Lackey has a nice story about magic in Chicago, inspired by Freeze. One of the highlights was the Red Sector A entry, given a sci-fi twist with lines directly from the song. The last story, a novella by Kevin Anderson, is billed as a sequel to 2112, but it’s actually much more than that, going back to fill in a lot of the stuff that was left unsaid during the song. I can see why this was placed at the end, because it has a final twist that breaks your mind so hard you couldn’t read anything after it. All I can say about it is. . . damn you, you magnificent bastard! Okay, the final tally. There’s too much here that’s not worthwhile to give it a good score, but the few gems still make it worth it. 2.5 pushed up to 3/5

  12. 4 out of 5

    Randy Pursley

    There were a few really good short stories in here, but most were only OK. I did like that they included the stories that inspired the song "Red Barchetta" and also the song "Roll The Bones" (although that story was a little too strange). My favorites were "Race Human" and "Spirits with Visions" There were a few really good short stories in here, but most were only OK. I did like that they included the stories that inspired the song "Red Barchetta" and also the song "Roll The Bones" (although that story was a little too strange). My favorites were "Race Human" and "Spirits with Visions"

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    I have conflicting feelings about this collection. On one hand, there are some really well crafted short stories that are loosely based on Rush songs so people not as familiar with their music won't feel disconnected. On the other hand, some of the fun of this collection is catching all the references. I especially enjoyed the end of Kevin Anderson's "2113," but that is because it is a huge nod to Rush in a way that deep cut fans will understand. I would recommend this collection to people looki I have conflicting feelings about this collection. On one hand, there are some really well crafted short stories that are loosely based on Rush songs so people not as familiar with their music won't feel disconnected. On the other hand, some of the fun of this collection is catching all the references. I especially enjoyed the end of Kevin Anderson's "2113," but that is because it is a huge nod to Rush in a way that deep cut fans will understand. I would recommend this collection to people looking for a short story collection that has "genre" fiction. I thought they had a diverse collection of characters, but not a diverse set of writers. Stand out stories for me: "Random Access Memory," "Race Human," "Last Light," and "Spirits with Vision". This does not mean that the other stories were inferior, but these were the ones that I most enjoyed, and the fun element about a collection is that there are going to be people with differing opinions. Can't wait until it is released and have a discussion on differing of opinions. Until then, I'm going to go relive R40.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Dale

    If you were to look at how long it took me to read this book, one would probably assume that I hated it. I actually loved it. But because it was a book of short stories, I used it as a "filler" book. Read a story here, read a story there. The great thing about anthologies is that if you don't like one story the next one will be completely different. Did I think that every story in this book was terrific? No. But I was a lot more forgiving because I knew that I only had to read a few pages. I wil If you were to look at how long it took me to read this book, one would probably assume that I hated it. I actually loved it. But because it was a book of short stories, I used it as a "filler" book. Read a story here, read a story there. The great thing about anthologies is that if you don't like one story the next one will be completely different. Did I think that every story in this book was terrific? No. But I was a lot more forgiving because I knew that I only had to read a few pages. I will say that the stories get better later in the book. The last six are outstanding. Without them I would have rated the book a 4. I love this concept; stories based on songs. Music is always so personal and we all hear it differently. The way that I approached this book was to listen to the song and then read the story. Sometimes there is an obvious connection, sometimes it was more subtle. I recommend this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    I won't go over each story, there are many other reviews that do that. Basically, it's a science fiction short story anthology. You don't need to be a Rush fan to understand any of it, the stories stand on their own. As a Rush fan, knowing the meanings behind the songs gave the stories a little more meaning to me (except the Tom Sawyer one, no idea about that one). I like most of the stories. A few were excellent, some were good and only a few that I didn't like. I even skipped over a couple tha I won't go over each story, there are many other reviews that do that. Basically, it's a science fiction short story anthology. You don't need to be a Rush fan to understand any of it, the stories stand on their own. As a Rush fan, knowing the meanings behind the songs gave the stories a little more meaning to me (except the Tom Sawyer one, no idea about that one). I like most of the stories. A few were excellent, some were good and only a few that I didn't like. I even skipped over a couple that started out slow only to revisit them later and enjoy them. Having a couple stories that eventually inspired Rush songs was a neat addition. And the last story....fantastic ending to those in the know.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    I'll start this review by saying that I was a bit skeptical. Almost every collection that I have seen with this type of prescribed muse has been spotty at best. That said, each story in this collection was a treat. There is not a dud in he bunch - contributors are varied, there is a sci-fi theme that ties the whole thing together, and the Rush references are clever. Fantastic! I'll start this review by saying that I was a bit skeptical. Almost every collection that I have seen with this type of prescribed muse has been spotty at best. That said, each story in this collection was a treat. There is not a dud in he bunch - contributors are varied, there is a sci-fi theme that ties the whole thing together, and the Rush references are clever. Fantastic!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Wil Mitter

    As a fan of Rush since the beginning I really enjoyed these authors' reinterpretation of Neil Peart's lyrics. Many of the stories went in a different direction than I would have imagined but that was a good thing. If you enjoy Rush and science fiction this is a must read. As a fan of Rush since the beginning I really enjoyed these authors' reinterpretation of Neil Peart's lyrics. Many of the stories went in a different direction than I would have imagined but that was a good thing. If you enjoy Rush and science fiction this is a must read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    I wouldn't say I'm a fan of Rush, but I do appreciate their lyrics and often find myself singing along to some of their songs. This short story collection caught my eye and I was intrigued. Rush? Science Fiction short stories? What could go wrong? Not much, it turns out. As with most short story collections, some are better than others, and not every story is going to be a hit. I had not heard of most of these authors, but I was pleasantly surprised by most of them. My favorite stories were A Pr I wouldn't say I'm a fan of Rush, but I do appreciate their lyrics and often find myself singing along to some of their songs. This short story collection caught my eye and I was intrigued. Rush? Science Fiction short stories? What could go wrong? Not much, it turns out. As with most short story collections, some are better than others, and not every story is going to be a hit. I had not heard of most of these authors, but I was pleasantly surprised by most of them. My favorite stories were A Prayer for 0443, On the Fringes of the Fractal, Our Possible Pasts, Last Light, and 2113. These stories dealt with time travel, breaking out of dystopian futures, and the fracturing of society. My least favorite were Race Human, Some are Born to Save the World, Players, and Into the Night. These dealt with car races, superheroes, deal-makers and paranormal cops. The rest were enjoyable enough that I would recommend this collection to anyone who enjoys a bit of sci-fi, rather like a peek into another world, instead of a whole novel about it. It helps if you read the lyrics to the song that inspired the short story, so you can see where the author was coming from, but it's definitely not necessary and the stories stand on their own. I had a good time with this, and I think, for the most part, the stories do Rush's lyrics justice.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Munroe

    What could be better than a book of short, speculative fiction where every story was in some way inspired by the music of Canadian Prog-rock Legends Rush? A book of short, speculative fiction inspired by Rush where the stories actually work on their own merits, above and beyond their source material. You do not need to be a fan of Rush, or even particularly familiar with their material, to appreciate these stories for what they are, interestingly thought out science fiction/fantasy tales from a n What could be better than a book of short, speculative fiction where every story was in some way inspired by the music of Canadian Prog-rock Legends Rush? A book of short, speculative fiction inspired by Rush where the stories actually work on their own merits, above and beyond their source material. You do not need to be a fan of Rush, or even particularly familiar with their material, to appreciate these stories for what they are, interestingly thought out science fiction/fantasy tales from a number of interesting authors, it's just a fun collection to read. THAT SAID, I did listen to Rush while reading this, and that did prove to be an enjoyable experience, and one that I'd highly recommend. So I suppose my position is: If you don't like Rush, you'll probably enjoy this book anyway, but if you do it's fantastic. Check it out if you want to!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Billie Jo

    This book is a collection of short stories inspired by the music of RUSH. I loved most of these stories and those I didn't, were still well written, but just not my style. Usually in a collection of stories you get a few that you wonder why they are there and if you should finish them, but that question never crossed my mind. I will say that this is not a book to sit down and read in a marathon reading session. You do really need to pause between stories to process before moving on to really app This book is a collection of short stories inspired by the music of RUSH. I loved most of these stories and those I didn't, were still well written, but just not my style. Usually in a collection of stories you get a few that you wonder why they are there and if you should finish them, but that question never crossed my mind. I will say that this is not a book to sit down and read in a marathon reading session. You do really need to pause between stories to process before moving on to really appreciate them and switch focus to a new story world. And if you are a RUSH fan, these stories are a glaring reminder that different people take away different things from the same song, so don't expect a novella-lized versions of the songs. The stories are vastly creative and descriptive that no matter how different a view is from your vision of the same song, they are worth the read

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joe Colistro

    Definitely not the best collection of short stories I've read recently, but there are some gems in here. Plenty of little easter eggs in there for Rush fans, and the authors are great about slipping in references to song lyrics, etc. Some of the imagery and themes get a bit redundant across stories, to the point where one or two almost feel a bit like the same thing despite being based on different songs. The book is almost worth the price of admission alone for Fritz Leiber's "Gonna Roll the Bon Definitely not the best collection of short stories I've read recently, but there are some gems in here. Plenty of little easter eggs in there for Rush fans, and the authors are great about slipping in references to song lyrics, etc. Some of the imagery and themes get a bit redundant across stories, to the point where one or two almost feel a bit like the same thing despite being based on different songs. The book is almost worth the price of admission alone for Fritz Leiber's "Gonna Roll the Bones" and the other short story that inspired the song "Red Barchetta." Worth a read if you love Rush or really need a new short story anthology, but otherwise not too noteworthy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Johnny

    An enjoyable read, while I think it is stretching to call all the stories as inspired by Rush, I will admit several do make a good attempt (especially when they incorporate lyrics into the story). Each story is listed with the song that was the inspiration. The only two that are not are the original stories that inspired the songs. But I found most of the 18 stories good, engaging and not hard to follow. I would recommend this to any reader of good science fiction where they are a Rush fan or no An enjoyable read, while I think it is stretching to call all the stories as inspired by Rush, I will admit several do make a good attempt (especially when they incorporate lyrics into the story). Each story is listed with the song that was the inspiration. The only two that are not are the original stories that inspired the songs. But I found most of the 18 stories good, engaging and not hard to follow. I would recommend this to any reader of good science fiction where they are a Rush fan or not.

  23. 4 out of 5

    David Wilson

    Enjoyed the sheer variety of stories in this volume. Fair notice, one of the stories is my own. I listened to the audio version because I find that is the only way I can re-read things I've written without a virtual red pen in hand. I was not taken with the choice of narrator. Very slow, a little overly dramatic, and very little variety from story to story ... would probably not listen to another with the same voice chosen, but I realize this is a very subjective thing. If you like Rush, you'll Enjoyed the sheer variety of stories in this volume. Fair notice, one of the stories is my own. I listened to the audio version because I find that is the only way I can re-read things I've written without a virtual red pen in hand. I was not taken with the choice of narrator. Very slow, a little overly dramatic, and very little variety from story to story ... would probably not listen to another with the same voice chosen, but I realize this is a very subjective thing. If you like Rush, you'll find a lot of very different takes and reactions to their songs in 2113.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Scott Alexander Clark

    I can't remember the last time I read a short story collection. As with any, there were some big hits and some lesser hits, but I wouldn't say there was a true miss among the bunch. Some of my favorites were "Spirits With Visions," by Brad R. Torgerson, and "On the Fringes of the Fractal," by Greg Van Eekhout. I would recommend this not only to Rush fans, but overall to science fiction fans with not a lot of time on their hands. The stories are short enough to be engaging, but without a huge inv I can't remember the last time I read a short story collection. As with any, there were some big hits and some lesser hits, but I wouldn't say there was a true miss among the bunch. Some of my favorites were "Spirits With Visions," by Brad R. Torgerson, and "On the Fringes of the Fractal," by Greg Van Eekhout. I would recommend this not only to Rush fans, but overall to science fiction fans with not a lot of time on their hands. The stories are short enough to be engaging, but without a huge investment.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alex Denby

    I had this book sitting in my Kobo library for a long time, and was motivated to finally read it upon hearing of Neil Peart's passing. I didn't really know what to expect, though I had previously read Clockwork Angels and Clockwork Lives, and I've listened to all of Rush's songs. What I found was a wide variety of different stories, mostly science fiction, in some ways reminding me of the series Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams. I had this book sitting in my Kobo library for a long time, and was motivated to finally read it upon hearing of Neil Peart's passing. I didn't really know what to expect, though I had previously read Clockwork Angels and Clockwork Lives, and I've listened to all of Rush's songs. What I found was a wide variety of different stories, mostly science fiction, in some ways reminding me of the series Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Beatrice Hogg

    I really wanted to like this book, but I only enjoyed a few stories. Where were the writers of color? Why was Mercedes Lackey the only female author included? I never thought that I would ever see a connection to Rush and the "N" word, but here we are. Now a song has been ruined for me. Most of the stories were too dark and dystopian for me. And too full of white male protagonists. And that is not the only thing that Rush is about, in my opinion. To each his own... I really wanted to like this book, but I only enjoyed a few stories. Where were the writers of color? Why was Mercedes Lackey the only female author included? I never thought that I would ever see a connection to Rush and the "N" word, but here we are. Now a song has been ruined for me. Most of the stories were too dark and dystopian for me. And too full of white male protagonists. And that is not the only thing that Rush is about, in my opinion. To each his own...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Matevž

    As is usual with collections of short stories - a mixed bag. Several of the stories make you wish for them to be stand-alone book while other make you skip them over or hardly wait to be finished. All in all I liked most of them, so in the end a positive outcome. Most likely knowing the music which inspired these stories (which I don't unfortunately) would result in a higher rating. As is usual with collections of short stories - a mixed bag. Several of the stories make you wish for them to be stand-alone book while other make you skip them over or hardly wait to be finished. All in all I liked most of them, so in the end a positive outcome. Most likely knowing the music which inspired these stories (which I don't unfortunately) would result in a higher rating.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Garrett Carroll

    I think as a Rush fan, I see myself inspired creatively by the band. So to read short stories inspired directly by the songs themselves is really a special treat. And these stories, like Rush, touch on all aspects of life.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Phillip

    If your a Rush fan you must read this.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Scott Kovatch

    Fan tastic!

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