Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded

Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded

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 scene In 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 stereot A Hugo Award-winner explores the massive influence that science fiction has had on popular music, particularly on Dav...

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Title:Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded
Author:Jason Heller
Rating:
Genres:Music
ISBN:1612196977
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:302 pages pages

Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded Reviews

  • Jay Gabler
    Aug 01, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

    So, full disclosure, I love music (not as much as I love the person who gave me this book, though) and I'm a bit of a David Bowie obsessive. Seeing his face and name on the incredibly pretty cover of this book definitely got me interested The cover and title actually happen to be a ...

    This is a fascinating treatise on the influence of science fiction on popular music from 1968 to the early eighties. David Bowie is the titular focus, although the book ranges from rock, to funk, to disco, to techno, and so forth. Bowie read so much, thought about and occasionally borr...

    STRANGE STARS would have benefited from a sharper focus on fewer artists. Beginning with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and ending in the early '80s, it runs down the 1970s with a chapter on each year, tracing sci-fi imagery in pop music. But for every bit of th...

    3.5 stars. It was so interesting in the beginning, with a decent blend of details and broad brushstrokes. But I feel like Heller got less interested in the scifi music content as the 70s went on, and later chapters became a lot more like laundry lists of bands and scifi singles. Wh...

    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 Jac...

    Fun in small doses, especially for fans of midcentury sci-fi and glam rock, prog rock, and space funk. This is an encyclopedic look at how science fiction influenced musicians in the 1970s, and that is both its strength and weakness. I doubt that a single song, artist, or album was ove...

    Throughout most of my life I have been drawn to sci-fi influenced music. So seeing this book was a dream come true. Heller's book is a well researched document about the influence of science fiction in popular music of the 70s. He discusses at length all the usual suspects like Bowie, ...

    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" whe...

    Books about David Bowie fascinate me. They have to be creative, document a depth of understanding of Bowie and his influences, and allow for some exploration that can take the reader to weird places, and conformity at the same time. This book does all that, plus explored the weirdness ...

    This serves as an excellent survey of the fruitful exchange between pop music and science fiction in the 1970s. Heller's thoughtful and thorough research proved the explicit influence the movements had on each other and was illuminating from cover to cover. I highly recommend this for ...

    Lots of great connections and odd little facts, with the occasional section of squidging in facts about that year before the chapter ends. As someone who's been reading sci-fi and listening to classic rock since I was a child, but a 1990s child, it's interesting to see how these things...

    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 ...

    This was a survey of almost every SF themed song released in the 1970s. The thesis was used to push a lot of songs together. It was not much of a story, the narrative falters, especially trying to tie it all into David Bowie. But it was a valiant effort and it mentions songs and bands ...

    Reading this book is like having an intense and thrilling conversation with my favorite geek friends. Heller ties sci-fi music and literature together in a narrative that celebrates both the well known and almost forgotten. Your listening and reading lists will grow. *Review based on A...

    After a strong introduction, this book turns into a fairly dry recitation of every space or sci-fi inspired album of the 70?s. There is some good stuff about David Bowie and a few other section, but it?s really a slog to get through, and I?m the target audience of a book like thi...

    This book might have been more accessible if the chapters were organized thematically rather than chronologically, but obvs I still loved it. I reviewed Strange Stars for The Current. ...

  • Marc
    Jun 13, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

    So, full disclosure, I love music (not as much as I love the person who gave me this book, though) and I'm a bit of a David Bowie obsessive. Seeing his face and name on the incredibly pretty cover of this book definitely got me interested The cover and title actually happen to be a ...

    This is a fascinating treatise on the influence of science fiction on popular music from 1968 to the early eighties. David Bowie is the titular focus, although the book ranges from rock, to funk, to disco, to techno, and so forth. Bowie read so much, thought about and occasionally borr...

    STRANGE STARS would have benefited from a sharper focus on fewer artists. Beginning with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and ending in the early '80s, it runs down the 1970s with a chapter on each year, tracing sci-fi imagery in pop music. But for every bit of th...

    3.5 stars. It was so interesting in the beginning, with a decent blend of details and broad brushstrokes. But I feel like Heller got less interested in the scifi music content as the 70s went on, and later chapters became a lot more like laundry lists of bands and scifi singles. Wh...

    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 Jac...

    Fun in small doses, especially for fans of midcentury sci-fi and glam rock, prog rock, and space funk. This is an encyclopedic look at how science fiction influenced musicians in the 1970s, and that is both its strength and weakness. I doubt that a single song, artist, or album was ove...

    Throughout most of my life I have been drawn to sci-fi influenced music. So seeing this book was a dream come true. Heller's book is a well researched document about the influence of science fiction in popular music of the 70s. He discusses at length all the usual suspects like Bowie, ...

    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" whe...

  • Sarah
    Aug 25, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

  • Jen
    Aug 22, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

    So, full disclosure, I love music (not as much as I love the person who gave me this book, though) and I'm a bit of a David Bowie obsessive. Seeing his face and name on the incredibly pretty cover of this book definitely got me interested The cover and title actually happen to be a ...

    This is a fascinating treatise on the influence of science fiction on popular music from 1968 to the early eighties. David Bowie is the titular focus, although the book ranges from rock, to funk, to disco, to techno, and so forth. Bowie read so much, thought about and occasionally borr...

    STRANGE STARS would have benefited from a sharper focus on fewer artists. Beginning with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and ending in the early '80s, it runs down the 1970s with a chapter on each year, tracing sci-fi imagery in pop music. But for every bit of th...

    3.5 stars. It was so interesting in the beginning, with a decent blend of details and broad brushstrokes. But I feel like Heller got less interested in the scifi music content as the 70s went on, and later chapters became a lot more like laundry lists of bands and scifi singles. Wh...

    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 Jac...

    Fun in small doses, especially for fans of midcentury sci-fi and glam rock, prog rock, and space funk. This is an encyclopedic look at how science fiction influenced musicians in the 1970s, and that is both its strength and weakness. I doubt that a single song, artist, or album was ove...

    Throughout most of my life I have been drawn to sci-fi influenced music. So seeing this book was a dream come true. Heller's book is a well researched document about the influence of science fiction in popular music of the 70s. He discusses at length all the usual suspects like Bowie, ...

    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" whe...

    Books about David Bowie fascinate me. They have to be creative, document a depth of understanding of Bowie and his influences, and allow for some exploration that can take the reader to weird places, and conformity at the same time. This book does all that, plus explored the weirdness ...

    This serves as an excellent survey of the fruitful exchange between pop music and science fiction in the 1970s. Heller's thoughtful and thorough research proved the explicit influence the movements had on each other and was illuminating from cover to cover. I highly recommend this for ...

    Lots of great connections and odd little facts, with the occasional section of squidging in facts about that year before the chapter ends. As someone who's been reading sci-fi and listening to classic rock since I was a child, but a 1990s child, it's interesting to see how these things...

  • Jessica
    Apr 07, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

  • Casciato
    Mar 09, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

    So, full disclosure, I love music (not as much as I love the person who gave me this book, though) and I'm a bit of a David Bowie obsessive. Seeing his face and name on the incredibly pretty cover of this book definitely got me interested The cover and title actually happen to be a ...

    This is a fascinating treatise on the influence of science fiction on popular music from 1968 to the early eighties. David Bowie is the titular focus, although the book ranges from rock, to funk, to disco, to techno, and so forth. Bowie read so much, thought about and occasionally borr...

    STRANGE STARS would have benefited from a sharper focus on fewer artists. Beginning with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and ending in the early '80s, it runs down the 1970s with a chapter on each year, tracing sci-fi imagery in pop music. But for every bit of th...

    3.5 stars. It was so interesting in the beginning, with a decent blend of details and broad brushstrokes. But I feel like Heller got less interested in the scifi music content as the 70s went on, and later chapters became a lot more like laundry lists of bands and scifi singles. Wh...

    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 Jac...

    Fun in small doses, especially for fans of midcentury sci-fi and glam rock, prog rock, and space funk. This is an encyclopedic look at how science fiction influenced musicians in the 1970s, and that is both its strength and weakness. I doubt that a single song, artist, or album was ove...

    Throughout most of my life I have been drawn to sci-fi influenced music. So seeing this book was a dream come true. Heller's book is a well researched document about the influence of science fiction in popular music of the 70s. He discusses at length all the usual suspects like Bowie, ...

    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" whe...

    Books about David Bowie fascinate me. They have to be creative, document a depth of understanding of Bowie and his influences, and allow for some exploration that can take the reader to weird places, and conformity at the same time. This book does all that, plus explored the weirdness ...

    This serves as an excellent survey of the fruitful exchange between pop music and science fiction in the 1970s. Heller's thoughtful and thorough research proved the explicit influence the movements had on each other and was illuminating from cover to cover. I highly recommend this for ...

    Lots of great connections and odd little facts, with the occasional section of squidging in facts about that year before the chapter ends. As someone who's been reading sci-fi and listening to classic rock since I was a child, but a 1990s child, it's interesting to see how these things...

    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 ...

    This was a survey of almost every SF themed song released in the 1970s. The thesis was used to push a lot of songs together. It was not much of a story, the narrative falters, especially trying to tie it all into David Bowie. But it was a valiant effort and it mentions songs and bands ...

    Reading this book is like having an intense and thrilling conversation with my favorite geek friends. Heller ties sci-fi music and literature together in a narrative that celebrates both the well known and almost forgotten. Your listening and reading lists will grow. *Review based on A...

    After a strong introduction, this book turns into a fairly dry recitation of every space or sci-fi inspired album of the 70?s. There is some good stuff about David Bowie and a few other section, but it?s really a slog to get through, and I?m the target audience of a book like thi...

    This book might have been more accessible if the chapters were organized thematically rather than chronologically, but obvs I still loved it. I reviewed Strange Stars for The Current. ...

    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. ...

  • Allison Thurman
    Aug 11, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

  • David Macpherson
    Aug 31, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

    So, full disclosure, I love music (not as much as I love the person who gave me this book, though) and I'm a bit of a David Bowie obsessive. Seeing his face and name on the incredibly pretty cover of this book definitely got me interested The cover and title actually happen to be a ...

    This is a fascinating treatise on the influence of science fiction on popular music from 1968 to the early eighties. David Bowie is the titular focus, although the book ranges from rock, to funk, to disco, to techno, and so forth. Bowie read so much, thought about and occasionally borr...

    STRANGE STARS would have benefited from a sharper focus on fewer artists. Beginning with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and ending in the early '80s, it runs down the 1970s with a chapter on each year, tracing sci-fi imagery in pop music. But for every bit of th...

    3.5 stars. It was so interesting in the beginning, with a decent blend of details and broad brushstrokes. But I feel like Heller got less interested in the scifi music content as the 70s went on, and later chapters became a lot more like laundry lists of bands and scifi singles. Wh...

    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 Jac...

    Fun in small doses, especially for fans of midcentury sci-fi and glam rock, prog rock, and space funk. This is an encyclopedic look at how science fiction influenced musicians in the 1970s, and that is both its strength and weakness. I doubt that a single song, artist, or album was ove...

    Throughout most of my life I have been drawn to sci-fi influenced music. So seeing this book was a dream come true. Heller's book is a well researched document about the influence of science fiction in popular music of the 70s. He discusses at length all the usual suspects like Bowie, ...

    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" whe...

    Books about David Bowie fascinate me. They have to be creative, document a depth of understanding of Bowie and his influences, and allow for some exploration that can take the reader to weird places, and conformity at the same time. This book does all that, plus explored the weirdness ...

    This serves as an excellent survey of the fruitful exchange between pop music and science fiction in the 1970s. Heller's thoughtful and thorough research proved the explicit influence the movements had on each other and was illuminating from cover to cover. I highly recommend this for ...

    Lots of great connections and odd little facts, with the occasional section of squidging in facts about that year before the chapter ends. As someone who's been reading sci-fi and listening to classic rock since I was a child, but a 1990s child, it's interesting to see how these things...

    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 ...

    This was a survey of almost every SF themed song released in the 1970s. The thesis was used to push a lot of songs together. It was not much of a story, the narrative falters, especially trying to tie it all into David Bowie. But it was a valiant effort and it mentions songs and bands ...

  • Billie
    Mar 05, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

  • Jason Diamond
    Apr 18, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

  • Collin
    Oct 17, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

    So, full disclosure, I love music (not as much as I love the person who gave me this book, though) and I'm a bit of a David Bowie obsessive. Seeing his face and name on the incredibly pretty cover of this book definitely got me interested The cover and title actually happen to be a ...

    This is a fascinating treatise on the influence of science fiction on popular music from 1968 to the early eighties. David Bowie is the titular focus, although the book ranges from rock, to funk, to disco, to techno, and so forth. Bowie read so much, thought about and occasionally borr...

    STRANGE STARS would have benefited from a sharper focus on fewer artists. Beginning with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and ending in the early '80s, it runs down the 1970s with a chapter on each year, tracing sci-fi imagery in pop music. But for every bit of th...

    3.5 stars. It was so interesting in the beginning, with a decent blend of details and broad brushstrokes. But I feel like Heller got less interested in the scifi music content as the 70s went on, and later chapters became a lot more like laundry lists of bands and scifi singles. Wh...

  • Du
    Sep 19, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

    So, full disclosure, I love music (not as much as I love the person who gave me this book, though) and I'm a bit of a David Bowie obsessive. Seeing his face and name on the incredibly pretty cover of this book definitely got me interested The cover and title actually happen to be a ...

    This is a fascinating treatise on the influence of science fiction on popular music from 1968 to the early eighties. David Bowie is the titular focus, although the book ranges from rock, to funk, to disco, to techno, and so forth. Bowie read so much, thought about and occasionally borr...

    STRANGE STARS would have benefited from a sharper focus on fewer artists. Beginning with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and ending in the early '80s, it runs down the 1970s with a chapter on each year, tracing sci-fi imagery in pop music. But for every bit of th...

    3.5 stars. It was so interesting in the beginning, with a decent blend of details and broad brushstrokes. But I feel like Heller got less interested in the scifi music content as the 70s went on, and later chapters became a lot more like laundry lists of bands and scifi singles. Wh...

    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 Jac...

    Fun in small doses, especially for fans of midcentury sci-fi and glam rock, prog rock, and space funk. This is an encyclopedic look at how science fiction influenced musicians in the 1970s, and that is both its strength and weakness. I doubt that a single song, artist, or album was ove...

    Throughout most of my life I have been drawn to sci-fi influenced music. So seeing this book was a dream come true. Heller's book is a well researched document about the influence of science fiction in popular music of the 70s. He discusses at length all the usual suspects like Bowie, ...

    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" whe...

    Books about David Bowie fascinate me. They have to be creative, document a depth of understanding of Bowie and his influences, and allow for some exploration that can take the reader to weird places, and conformity at the same time. This book does all that, plus explored the weirdness ...

  • Sarah Baker
    Jan 13, 2019

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

  • Steve Erickson
    Dec 30, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

    So, full disclosure, I love music (not as much as I love the person who gave me this book, though) and I'm a bit of a David Bowie obsessive. Seeing his face and name on the incredibly pretty cover of this book definitely got me interested The cover and title actually happen to be a ...

    This is a fascinating treatise on the influence of science fiction on popular music from 1968 to the early eighties. David Bowie is the titular focus, although the book ranges from rock, to funk, to disco, to techno, and so forth. Bowie read so much, thought about and occasionally borr...

    STRANGE STARS would have benefited from a sharper focus on fewer artists. Beginning with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and ending in the early '80s, it runs down the 1970s with a chapter on each year, tracing sci-fi imagery in pop music. But for every bit of th...

  • Amanda Mae
    Mar 30, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

  • Stacey
    Jun 20, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

    So, full disclosure, I love music (not as much as I love the person who gave me this book, though) and I'm a bit of a David Bowie obsessive. Seeing his face and name on the incredibly pretty cover of this book definitely got me interested The cover and title actually happen to be a ...

    This is a fascinating treatise on the influence of science fiction on popular music from 1968 to the early eighties. David Bowie is the titular focus, although the book ranges from rock, to funk, to disco, to techno, and so forth. Bowie read so much, thought about and occasionally borr...

    STRANGE STARS would have benefited from a sharper focus on fewer artists. Beginning with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and ending in the early '80s, it runs down the 1970s with a chapter on each year, tracing sci-fi imagery in pop music. But for every bit of th...

    3.5 stars. It was so interesting in the beginning, with a decent blend of details and broad brushstrokes. But I feel like Heller got less interested in the scifi music content as the 70s went on, and later chapters became a lot more like laundry lists of bands and scifi singles. Wh...

    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 Jac...

    Fun in small doses, especially for fans of midcentury sci-fi and glam rock, prog rock, and space funk. This is an encyclopedic look at how science fiction influenced musicians in the 1970s, and that is both its strength and weakness. I doubt that a single song, artist, or album was ove...

    Throughout most of my life I have been drawn to sci-fi influenced music. So seeing this book was a dream come true. Heller's book is a well researched document about the influence of science fiction in popular music of the 70s. He discusses at length all the usual suspects like Bowie, ...

    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" whe...

    Books about David Bowie fascinate me. They have to be creative, document a depth of understanding of Bowie and his influences, and allow for some exploration that can take the reader to weird places, and conformity at the same time. This book does all that, plus explored the weirdness ...

    This serves as an excellent survey of the fruitful exchange between pop music and science fiction in the 1970s. Heller's thoughtful and thorough research proved the explicit influence the movements had on each other and was illuminating from cover to cover. I highly recommend this for ...

    Lots of great connections and odd little facts, with the occasional section of squidging in facts about that year before the chapter ends. As someone who's been reading sci-fi and listening to classic rock since I was a child, but a 1990s child, it's interesting to see how these things...

    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 ...

    This was a survey of almost every SF themed song released in the 1970s. The thesis was used to push a lot of songs together. It was not much of a story, the narrative falters, especially trying to tie it all into David Bowie. But it was a valiant effort and it mentions songs and bands ...

    Reading this book is like having an intense and thrilling conversation with my favorite geek friends. Heller ties sci-fi music and literature together in a narrative that celebrates both the well known and almost forgotten. Your listening and reading lists will grow. *Review based on A...

  • Eric Oden
    Dec 09, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

    So, full disclosure, I love music (not as much as I love the person who gave me this book, though) and I'm a bit of a David Bowie obsessive. Seeing his face and name on the incredibly pretty cover of this book definitely got me interested The cover and title actually happen to be a ...

    This is a fascinating treatise on the influence of science fiction on popular music from 1968 to the early eighties. David Bowie is the titular focus, although the book ranges from rock, to funk, to disco, to techno, and so forth. Bowie read so much, thought about and occasionally borr...

    STRANGE STARS would have benefited from a sharper focus on fewer artists. Beginning with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and ending in the early '80s, it runs down the 1970s with a chapter on each year, tracing sci-fi imagery in pop music. But for every bit of th...

    3.5 stars. It was so interesting in the beginning, with a decent blend of details and broad brushstrokes. But I feel like Heller got less interested in the scifi music content as the 70s went on, and later chapters became a lot more like laundry lists of bands and scifi singles. Wh...

    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 Jac...

    Fun in small doses, especially for fans of midcentury sci-fi and glam rock, prog rock, and space funk. This is an encyclopedic look at how science fiction influenced musicians in the 1970s, and that is both its strength and weakness. I doubt that a single song, artist, or album was ove...

    Throughout most of my life I have been drawn to sci-fi influenced music. So seeing this book was a dream come true. Heller's book is a well researched document about the influence of science fiction in popular music of the 70s. He discusses at length all the usual suspects like Bowie, ...

    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" whe...

    Books about David Bowie fascinate me. They have to be creative, document a depth of understanding of Bowie and his influences, and allow for some exploration that can take the reader to weird places, and conformity at the same time. This book does all that, plus explored the weirdness ...

    This serves as an excellent survey of the fruitful exchange between pop music and science fiction in the 1970s. Heller's thoughtful and thorough research proved the explicit influence the movements had on each other and was illuminating from cover to cover. I highly recommend this for ...

    Lots of great connections and odd little facts, with the occasional section of squidging in facts about that year before the chapter ends. As someone who's been reading sci-fi and listening to classic rock since I was a child, but a 1990s child, it's interesting to see how these things...

    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 ...

    This was a survey of almost every SF themed song released in the 1970s. The thesis was used to push a lot of songs together. It was not much of a story, the narrative falters, especially trying to tie it all into David Bowie. But it was a valiant effort and it mentions songs and bands ...

    Reading this book is like having an intense and thrilling conversation with my favorite geek friends. Heller ties sci-fi music and literature together in a narrative that celebrates both the well known and almost forgotten. Your listening and reading lists will grow. *Review based on A...

    After a strong introduction, this book turns into a fairly dry recitation of every space or sci-fi inspired album of the 70?s. There is some good stuff about David Bowie and a few other section, but it?s really a slog to get through, and I?m the target audience of a book like thi...

  • Brad
    Jun 22, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

  • Deke
    Jul 16, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

    So, full disclosure, I love music (not as much as I love the person who gave me this book, though) and I'm a bit of a David Bowie obsessive. Seeing his face and name on the incredibly pretty cover of this book definitely got me interested The cover and title actually happen to be a ...

    This is a fascinating treatise on the influence of science fiction on popular music from 1968 to the early eighties. David Bowie is the titular focus, although the book ranges from rock, to funk, to disco, to techno, and so forth. Bowie read so much, thought about and occasionally borr...

    STRANGE STARS would have benefited from a sharper focus on fewer artists. Beginning with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and ending in the early '80s, it runs down the 1970s with a chapter on each year, tracing sci-fi imagery in pop music. But for every bit of th...

    3.5 stars. It was so interesting in the beginning, with a decent blend of details and broad brushstrokes. But I feel like Heller got less interested in the scifi music content as the 70s went on, and later chapters became a lot more like laundry lists of bands and scifi singles. Wh...

    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 Jac...

    Fun in small doses, especially for fans of midcentury sci-fi and glam rock, prog rock, and space funk. This is an encyclopedic look at how science fiction influenced musicians in the 1970s, and that is both its strength and weakness. I doubt that a single song, artist, or album was ove...

    Throughout most of my life I have been drawn to sci-fi influenced music. So seeing this book was a dream come true. Heller's book is a well researched document about the influence of science fiction in popular music of the 70s. He discusses at length all the usual suspects like Bowie, ...

    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" whe...

    Books about David Bowie fascinate me. They have to be creative, document a depth of understanding of Bowie and his influences, and allow for some exploration that can take the reader to weird places, and conformity at the same time. This book does all that, plus explored the weirdness ...

    This serves as an excellent survey of the fruitful exchange between pop music and science fiction in the 1970s. Heller's thoughtful and thorough research proved the explicit influence the movements had on each other and was illuminating from cover to cover. I highly recommend this for ...

    Lots of great connections and odd little facts, with the occasional section of squidging in facts about that year before the chapter ends. As someone who's been reading sci-fi and listening to classic rock since I was a child, but a 1990s child, it's interesting to see how these things...

    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 ...

  • Jason
    Apr 03, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

  • Elizabeth Judd Taylor
    Nov 09, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

  • Todd Glaeser
    Jul 26, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

  • Barry Martin Vass
    Jan 13, 2019

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

    So, full disclosure, I love music (not as much as I love the person who gave me this book, though) and I'm a bit of a David Bowie obsessive. Seeing his face and name on the incredibly pretty cover of this book definitely got me interested The cover and title actually happen to be a ...

    This is a fascinating treatise on the influence of science fiction on popular music from 1968 to the early eighties. David Bowie is the titular focus, although the book ranges from rock, to funk, to disco, to techno, and so forth. Bowie read so much, thought about and occasionally borr...

  • Woody Chichester
    Jun 29, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

    So, full disclosure, I love music (not as much as I love the person who gave me this book, though) and I'm a bit of a David Bowie obsessive. Seeing his face and name on the incredibly pretty cover of this book definitely got me interested The cover and title actually happen to be a ...

    This is a fascinating treatise on the influence of science fiction on popular music from 1968 to the early eighties. David Bowie is the titular focus, although the book ranges from rock, to funk, to disco, to techno, and so forth. Bowie read so much, thought about and occasionally borr...

    STRANGE STARS would have benefited from a sharper focus on fewer artists. Beginning with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and ending in the early '80s, it runs down the 1970s with a chapter on each year, tracing sci-fi imagery in pop music. But for every bit of th...

    3.5 stars. It was so interesting in the beginning, with a decent blend of details and broad brushstrokes. But I feel like Heller got less interested in the scifi music content as the 70s went on, and later chapters became a lot more like laundry lists of bands and scifi singles. Wh...

    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 Jac...

  • Fahad Ahmed
    Sep 10, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

    So, full disclosure, I love music (not as much as I love the person who gave me this book, though) and I'm a bit of a David Bowie obsessive. Seeing his face and name on the incredibly pretty cover of this book definitely got me interested The cover and title actually happen to be a ...

  • Nick Spacek
    Jul 23, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

  • Jeremy Hunter
    Aug 05, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

    So, full disclosure, I love music (not as much as I love the person who gave me this book, though) and I'm a bit of a David Bowie obsessive. Seeing his face and name on the incredibly pretty cover of this book definitely got me interested The cover and title actually happen to be a ...

    This is a fascinating treatise on the influence of science fiction on popular music from 1968 to the early eighties. David Bowie is the titular focus, although the book ranges from rock, to funk, to disco, to techno, and so forth. Bowie read so much, thought about and occasionally borr...

    STRANGE STARS would have benefited from a sharper focus on fewer artists. Beginning with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and ending in the early '80s, it runs down the 1970s with a chapter on each year, tracing sci-fi imagery in pop music. But for every bit of th...

    3.5 stars. It was so interesting in the beginning, with a decent blend of details and broad brushstrokes. But I feel like Heller got less interested in the scifi music content as the 70s went on, and later chapters became a lot more like laundry lists of bands and scifi singles. Wh...

    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 Jac...

    Fun in small doses, especially for fans of midcentury sci-fi and glam rock, prog rock, and space funk. This is an encyclopedic look at how science fiction influenced musicians in the 1970s, and that is both its strength and weakness. I doubt that a single song, artist, or album was ove...

    Throughout most of my life I have been drawn to sci-fi influenced music. So seeing this book was a dream come true. Heller's book is a well researched document about the influence of science fiction in popular music of the 70s. He discusses at length all the usual suspects like Bowie, ...

  • Trace Reddell
    Aug 06, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

  • Ginny Kaczmarek
    Aug 28, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

    So, full disclosure, I love music (not as much as I love the person who gave me this book, though) and I'm a bit of a David Bowie obsessive. Seeing his face and name on the incredibly pretty cover of this book definitely got me interested The cover and title actually happen to be a ...

    This is a fascinating treatise on the influence of science fiction on popular music from 1968 to the early eighties. David Bowie is the titular focus, although the book ranges from rock, to funk, to disco, to techno, and so forth. Bowie read so much, thought about and occasionally borr...

    STRANGE STARS would have benefited from a sharper focus on fewer artists. Beginning with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and ending in the early '80s, it runs down the 1970s with a chapter on each year, tracing sci-fi imagery in pop music. But for every bit of th...

    3.5 stars. It was so interesting in the beginning, with a decent blend of details and broad brushstrokes. But I feel like Heller got less interested in the scifi music content as the 70s went on, and later chapters became a lot more like laundry lists of bands and scifi singles. Wh...

    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 Jac...

    Fun in small doses, especially for fans of midcentury sci-fi and glam rock, prog rock, and space funk. This is an encyclopedic look at how science fiction influenced musicians in the 1970s, and that is both its strength and weakness. I doubt that a single song, artist, or album was ove...

  • Max
    Jul 31, 2018

    Great title, great cover, great concept, "meh" content. By the end, I really felt like Heller had had to dig to find artists and songs to support his thesis, relying heavily on the obscure and only vaguely sci-fi-ish. There was also a lack of first-hand research and/or personal intervi...

    This is fantastic. I was a child in the '70s and I am familiar with much of the music and books Heller discusses (not so much on movies although I do know Star Wars and Star Trek which was more than enough to get me through) so I figured this would be a fun "trip down memory lane,"...

    Heller uses sci-fi to tie together everything from Sun Ra to Bowie to X-Ray Spex and even some New Romantic stuff from the 80s. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. ...

    This took a while to finish because I kept having to look up songs. I knew most of the Bowie stuff, but not a lot of the other stuff. Would've liked a little more anecdote/humanizing, but the connections themselves were enough in the end. Clever to structure it around the decade, more ...

    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 ...

    I'm disappointed in a way I have criticized others before in other reviews, in so much as I'm wishing this book covered things it doesn't. I did enjoy what is there. It puts forth an interesting premise. But I think it misses things that should have been included: Chariot of the Gods,...

    My teenage musical interests tended to be deep and specific. As I read more about 1970s pop music the more I realize that I'm ignorant of so much of it even now. This book filled in some very serious gaps. This book isn't just about songs that literally reference sci fi (though ther...

    it's fun and all, but i can't help but feel that it's just another in a series of books which follow such a particular pattern that certain aspects of it can't help but feel shoehorned in. i really wanted heller to tie bowie in more often to the other things he was discussing, but it s...

    Actually a 4.5, because I appreciated the amount of genres taken into consideration. As the subtitle suggests, David Bowie fans will enjoy this book; and indeed his music is the anchor that holds the theme together. However, non-fans will enjoy it too, if they are music and/or sci-fi ...

    A mind-exploding collection of albums inform this fascinating exploration of the intersection of music and science fiction. Science fiction and music or sound is a woefully under-developed area of written analysis and history, and while a few existing essays, articles, or books (Esh...

    An intriguing premise that lead down many rabbit holes. Wish there had been more Bowie but I?ll take what I can get. Deeper review to follow ...

    Thanks to Melville House for an advance reading copy of this book. In the acknowledgements to this book the author writes that if not for his editor he would have written an encyclopedia. He nearly did anyway, having created here a comprehensive, sometimes dizzying account of scienc...

    This was a heck of a lot of fun to read. My interest in sci-fi is fairly minimal, but it was delightful to read about how different sci-fi authors and stories and franchises influenced rock music, especially David Bowie - who is the main thread through the book. You better have YouTube...

    So, full disclosure, I love music (not as much as I love the person who gave me this book, though) and I'm a bit of a David Bowie obsessive. Seeing his face and name on the incredibly pretty cover of this book definitely got me interested The cover and title actually happen to be a ...

    This is a fascinating treatise on the influence of science fiction on popular music from 1968 to the early eighties. David Bowie is the titular focus, although the book ranges from rock, to funk, to disco, to techno, and so forth. Bowie read so much, thought about and occasionally borr...

    STRANGE STARS would have benefited from a sharper focus on fewer artists. Beginning with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and ending in the early '80s, it runs down the 1970s with a chapter on each year, tracing sci-fi imagery in pop music. But for every bit of th...

    3.5 stars. It was so interesting in the beginning, with a decent blend of details and broad brushstrokes. But I feel like Heller got less interested in the scifi music content as the 70s went on, and later chapters became a lot more like laundry lists of bands and scifi singles. Wh...

    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 Jac...

    Fun in small doses, especially for fans of midcentury sci-fi and glam rock, prog rock, and space funk. This is an encyclopedic look at how science fiction influenced musicians in the 1970s, and that is both its strength and weakness. I doubt that a single song, artist, or album was ove...

    Throughout most of my life I have been drawn to sci-fi influenced music. So seeing this book was a dream come true. Heller's book is a well researched document about the influence of science fiction in popular music of the 70s. He discusses at length all the usual suspects like Bowie, ...

    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" whe...

    Books about David Bowie fascinate me. They have to be creative, document a depth of understanding of Bowie and his influences, and allow for some exploration that can take the reader to weird places, and conformity at the same time. This book does all that, plus explored the weirdness ...

    This serves as an excellent survey of the fruitful exchange between pop music and science fiction in the 1970s. Heller's thoughtful and thorough research proved the explicit influence the movements had on each other and was illuminating from cover to cover. I highly recommend this for ...