Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Kevin J. Anderson's novelization of Rush's Clockwork Angels album due out this Fall from ECW Press
10:22AM EST | comments (37) |

Clockwork AngelsLast week we learned that sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson would be writing a novelization of Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album. Anderson posted the news to his Facebook page last Thursday:

... I worked together with Neil to flesh out the epic story told over the course of the music, as well as the artist Hugh Syme whose paintings fill the CD booklet. In a young man's quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy, with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life. To whet your appetite, Rush released the first two tracks, "Caravan" and "BU2B"-listen to those songs to get an idea of the story's beginning.

I'm writing the chapters now, incorporating the lyrics into the narrative, and having a fantastic time. More details to come, but for now-to quote a line from Caravan: "I can't stop thinking big."

We now also have some more details regarding the book's release. Neil Peart's current publisher ECW Press will be releasing the book sometime this coming Fall as revealed by this tweet from yesterday (thanks Rush92):

Exciting news: This fall, we'll be publishing a collaboration between Neil Peart of Rush and @thekja!

So it looks like the book will be released long after the album's release this Spring, and should more closely coincide with the band's tour this Fall. Anderson is a huge Rush fan and has drawn inspiration from Rush for a number of his writings. His 1988 Rush-inspired novel Ressurection, Inc. drew the attention of Neil Peart and the 2 have been friends ever since, even collaborating on the 1994 short story Drumbeats. Neil also wrote the introduction to Anderson's 2006 short story compilation Landscapes. So what's your opinion of the novelization idea? Take the poll and let us know.

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#37 - Posted 3/9/12 @1:42PM by RushFanForever [contact]


Books on Tape: The Top 10 Collabs Between Authors and Musicians

Can you imagine a world where, instead of fossil fuels, modern machinery runs on the power of steam and everyone's favourite band is Rush?

If so, you've glimpsed into the alternate reality that unfolds in the forthcoming steampunk novel from sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson. The best-selling scribe of over 100 genre books, including titles for the 'Star Wars,' 'Dune,' and 'X-Files' franchises, is writing a companion novel to 'Clockwork Angels,' the upcoming studio album from Canadian prog-rock giants Rush.

"I take my inspiration from many sources, but music has always been a key to my literary imagination, more than just a soundtrack but a trigger for images, scenes, and strange worlds," Anderson tells Spinner.

In fact, he dedicated his first novel, 'Resurrection, Inc,' to the Rush album 'Grace Under Pressure,' a nod that spawned a friendship with Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart which eventually led to the 'Clockwork Angels' collaboration.

Anderson is not the only author for whom music is a muse. Over the years, beat poets, stuffy literature types, best-selling novelist and gonzo journalists have traded the lamplight for the limelight and emerged from the study long enough to align themselves with musicians.
#36 - Posted 2/15/12 @10:19PM by John E. [contact]

#35: I know that every new release brings a new generation of hardcore fans. Its just hard to believe that's all. I guess they still have that special mojo to accomplish it.

We're probably about the same age. I became a hardcore fan about the same time you did. I listened to their catalog over and over again. I used to draw Rush on my notebooks in the different fonts from the albums. I could tell you what all the songs were and what order they appeared on the records. I would listen to all the radio premiers for the new releases, would analyze the liner notes and became familiar with the names of the guitar techs and truck drivers.

I still consider myself a huge fan but the magic is gone for me. When I say I'm jealous of others that like the newer stuff, I sincerely mean it. I hope CA is better than I think it will be. I'm going to buy it, that's for sure.
#35 - Posted 2/15/12 @6:11PM by snowdog2113 [contact]

#32 - Agree with you about Spindrift, it turned out better because of what they did with the "A little closer" part.

And #25, I'm not sure why the shift in styles in The Way the Wind Blows confuses you, that's the very point of it! It's a purposeful contrast reflecting the East and the West. To say it should have picked one style and stuck with it completely misses the point.

People are always going to have their own favorite albums or eras and that's perfectly natural and fine but I got my first brief introduction to Rush in 1980 but then became a hardcore fan in 1984 when I was 16 when I bought GUP and I can tell you completely honestly that I considered the two new songs on the Time Machine tour far more of a highlight than hearing all of Moving Pictures.

Trust me, for every fan that annoys you for thinking Rush can do no wrong (and I'm not one of those) there are even more stubborn old fans who simply do not even allow for the possibility that fans might really enjoy the newer music. S&A to me is one of their top 5 albums and BU2B and Caravan have me more excited about an upcoming album than I've been probably since I was waiting for Power Windows which was my first "new" one to look forward to. Sorry not everyone's not liking it but it's been that way ever since the beginning. Every single album since Fly By Night has had some portion of the fan base say "They just aren't the same anymore."
#34 - Posted 2/15/12 @5:59PM by John E. [contact]

Thanks # 32: I'll go back and take another listen while reading the lyrics.

# 33: I'm jealous you like the songs.
#33 - Posted 2/15/12 @4:36PM by rush1977 [contact]

#25 and #28 you guys are so smart you must work in the music business .
Now back to listening to the two new great rush songs(caravan and bu2b) at least to someone that knows nothing about music. JUST MY OPINION
#32 - Posted 2/15/12 @4:29PM by musicofthespheres [contact]

#25 -- respect your opinions. As Neil himself said, "who wants to be around people who agree with you all the time?" Many folks on this site though have a habit of writing their opinions as if they were fact, despite ending with the disclaimer "this is my opinion".

The one point of yours I wanted to comment on was about Spindrift. You say they blew it and blame Nick R., whereas I think they nailed it and thank Nick R. (We at least know he was the one who thought to reprise the intro)

I agree with your description of "such a dark song spiral(ing) in to a mood altering...'A little closer to you'". I believe that was EXACTLY THEIR INTENTION. And I love it. I'm not baffled by it.

The song is near the midpoint of the record, with overall tension still building, so a dark sound is fitting. Spiraling (like Spindrift...) into the "a little closer to you" parts represents to me a desire to resolve the tension, to get beyond people's differences... And yet, with the reprise of the intro, and the song being followed by MMB and TWTWB, overall tension continues to build, ultimately released only with Hope, putting on your Bravest Face, and Hold(ing) On.

That's my interpretation anyway. The trio of songs from Spindrift through TWTWB rivals any combination off MP or any other record, imo.
#31 - Posted 2/15/12 @2:59PM by John E. [contact]

Well said, Random-Sample. It does sound like 3 different pieces instead of one cohesive sound. --> Which is a trait that made them so unique. Like I mentioned in a previous post, you could always pick out a Rush song even without hearing the vocals. It was how they all played together and off each other so well.

I guess their tastes have changed and they are not out to make their mark anymore. They obviously did that already and don't feel the need to do something truly spectacular.

Rush has earned enough credit with me that I will purchase and listen to anything they put out. I won't always like it, but I'll buy it. The track record alone warrants it. I think Counterparts and Vapor Trails had some very good tracks but they haven't done anything truly great since 1985. You can actually say 1976-1985 (for me) was their peak.
#30 - Posted 2/15/12 @2:19PM by KeishaMcLee [contact]

Ha! Great pic Hermy! I personally think Kevin will do a great job on the book. I haven't read his Dune or Star Wars stuff, but I love his solo Saga of the Seven Suns series as well as the new Terra Ingocgnita series. He is a huge fan and I think a lot of you will be surprised!
#29 - Posted 2/15/12 @1:31PM by cpb [contact]

random_sample, I agree. And I was KIDDING.
#28 - Posted 2/15/12 @12:41PM by random_sample [contact]

Im going to comment on the last 2 posts (#25 & #26):

First, #26--- You are wrong. I am also a FAN of Rush (since I was around 13-14 years old, which was around when Grace Under Pressure came out). I completely disagree with your (and some others I have seen attack people for stating their constructive and polite criticisms of Rush) attitude.
We are ALL entitled to our feelings or opinions on Rush's music and the idea that anyone would just automatically like everything Rush does ,agree with every move they make ,JUST because they are a "FAN" of the band, is just ridiculous. I know enough about the band ,Rush, to say that even the guys in the band would find that ridiculous. I am sure Rush (as fans of other band's music) would have criticisms of some of their favourite band's music or likes and dislikes.
#25---I agree with what you had to say (obviously) about some of the Rush fans ,who belong to the "they can do no wrong" crowd and attack (flame) others for being critical of Rush ,for any reason.
As far as how I feel about Rush ,in the last 5-10 years or so. Here's my thoughts. When it comes to their "response" to what's happened in the "music business" (since downloading/file sharing started) is that they are capitalizing on where they can make money. I always thought they had alot of integrity and I still do, but let's face it, the band is also a "business". They need to make money (not only for themselves, but all of their employees). Things changed (and they spoke about this in some interviews around the time they were going to release Caravan and BU2B) and they were aware of it and I'm sure this is why there may be a delay in finishing and releasing Clockwork Angels. They don't SELL alot of albums anymore. It's a fraction of what it was. Touring makes them more money now and album sales is hardly anything compared to the days when they sold in excess of a million per album ,automatically (all through the 80's). Now, to make up for the loss of revenue from album sales, they do take advantage of what they can, to make money.
As far as their music goes...Since watching the documentary and hearing Alex talk about his feelings on the period where keyboards were being used more, and he made statements like "these aren't even real instruments" (the keyboards)....and listening to the music of Snakes and arrows and the last 2 new songs, Caravan and BU2B , my personal opinion is that Alex (as likeable, nice of a guy as he is..and talented as he is) has gone way too far the OTHER way, with his guitar playing. If he felt his guitar playing was not in the forefront enough in the so-called "keyboard era" , now it is TOO much in the forefront and too BUSY. I've thought about what is is that irritates me about the newer songs and I hate to say it, but I've come to the conclusion it is mostly Alex's guitar playing. It's way too busy, to the point it irritates me. Listen to Caravan....then listen to some older stuff, from say ...Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Signals, Grace under pressure and even Power Windows and Hold your fire...Caravan is way too busy and it's mostly ALEX ,overcompensating for how he felt his guitar was too much in the background for a while. I happen to completely disagree, because when I listen to the stuff from ...pre- Test for echo....and especially the period of 1979-1991....I think it was some of Alex's best ,most creative guitar playing and Rush was at it's most COHESIVE.
What did Neil say in the documentary? He said that he felt they really BECAME a band, with Moving Pictures. Im not saying I think nothing before Moving Pictures was great , but I do agree Moving Pictures...they NAILED it. Put any song from Moving Pictures beside the song Caravan and listen to the differences. There were spaces in between and they left some room, in the songs...on Moving Pictures. There is no room in the song Caravan. Every second of time is filled with something and alot of it, is Alex. There is such a thing as TOO MUCH guitar in a song.
None of this means I am not a fan of Rush. I am still a fan, but I can also have criticisms of what they do or don't do.

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