BOOKS

BOOK REVIEW

BOOKS


“NOT MUSIC ABOUT THE FUTURE, BUT MUSIC FROM THE FUTURE.”
     Lorayne Werner, Music Reviewer, Humboldt Star Review


“An envelope well-pushed. Four Stars ****”
     Dr. Kim Curry, Ph.S.F., Pacific Institute of Technology
     
“Scintillating pop junk ...”
     Friedrich Willehaussen, homeless wino, reader, 6th & Howard, S.F.

“Twenty years in the making, A cast of thousands. A script to die for!!!”
     Daniel James Bickford, LA Times-Review.


& Just to reiterate:

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BOOK  REVIEW
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Remembrance  Of  Things  Future



THE  PLANET  EARTH  ROCK  &  ROLL  ORCHESTRA
by Paul Kantner

Little Dragon Press         500+  pages

Reviewed  by  Zoroaster Turner
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     Out of San Francisco, at the speed of light, comes this mighty masked rider of the plains, and his faithful science fiction odyssey, “The Planet earth Rock & Roll Orchestra” (PERRO). This fledgling novelist does have one of the most spaced intellects of anyone I have ever met. “Was that composed on the bad or good (acid)?,” one fan wants to know. “You do have the power in more ways than one.”

     The novel, I am told , is conceived as an alternate quantum universe to the one only alluded to in Mr. Kantner’s esteemed previous science fiction venture, “Blows Against The Empire.” “Blows,” I believe, was nominated for the prestigious science fiction accolade, The Hugo Award, for the best science fiction recording of the year. PERRO is a worthy successor to that particular crown! And particular it certainly is!

     Originally written in the early nineteen-eighties, PERRO is still light years ahead of any earthbound science in the promulgation of FTL (faster than light) speeds as a daily occurrence, telepathy, telemetry, teleportation and tell-your-sister/mother/wife as a kind of advanced, high speed communication.

     And it  is a strikingly original and unusual adventure into the mind both of science-fiction and of rock and roll. The combination of the two in this work is nonpareil for its probing of the physics and the metaphysics of both subjects. It is akin to a forging of iron and brass into a superior sword in the Age of Iron.

     This is a work of startling clarity, though subtle in its introduction of incisive viewpoints on the finer arts of physics. As well, it bespeaks a Jubal Harshaw kind of wisdom in a throwback to an earlier era of page-turning, mind challenging sci-fi.

     Prescient, that’s all I can say.  

     PRESCIENT!!!

     Read this book and watch your mind become engaged.  This is, indeed, ‘food for the souls of humans in the twenty-first century. I would eagerly give it to my five-year-old daughter, as well as to my eighty-three year old grandfather. It presents that broad of a palette.
     
     It is so visual that it absolutely must be made into a movie. . . ”I can't wait to continue re-reading. . . you have outdone yourself!” writes one enthusiastic reviewer, after a first reading of the original galleys.  This book begs for a film treatment.  Indeed!  It IS a film treatment. In an interview earlier this year, Mr. Kantner has said, “I originally wrote this novel viewing it as a film as I wrote. Additionally, I was under the influence of Bernard Hermann (the prolific film music writer of a bygone age, responsible for such atmospheric soundtracks, in truth, such varied filmic/musical masterpieces as ‘The Day The Earth Stood Still,’ ‘Citizen Kane,’ ‘Mysterious Island,’ ‘Jason And The Argonauts’ and ‘Psycho,’ to name a few.” Mr. Kantner wrote as Hermann’s scores danced through his head.

     Speed of light formulae, science/mind experiments; it all leads one to wonder, to dare, as does the author frequently: “Who says I can’t go faster than the speed of light? ... Fuck ‘em!” And, in the authors own musical lyrica: FYWDW3 (“Fuck You! We do what we want.” ___ ‘Stairway to Cleveland’, from the album ‘Modern Times,’ circa 1980-something)

     Very good writing for a west coast boy. I like it!! I enjoyed this experience to the fullest extent of the law...



Zoroaster Turner is the author of several books, including the recently published, “My Mind Has Infiltrated My Body”, and has been a featured speaker at innumerable science and science fiction symposiums and is a leading light in the neo-feminist/non-feminist movement of recent years. She writes a regular column, as well as nationally syndicated book reviews for the Upper Hartford Times Democrat. She currently resides in West Stonington, Connecticut.

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BOOKS              BOOK REVIEW            BOOKS                        
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A family of misfits
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The Planet Earth Rock & Roll Orchestra
by  Paul  Kantner
Little  Dragon  Publishing
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reviewed by Ronald Petrovich
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     Moments into this novel tome, the snappy prose descends into a very
perplexing journey into the author’s somewhat uncontrolled cosmology.
This is a work of very juvenile science fiction, interspersed with the
musical adventures of a science-oriented rock and roll band, and is
suited only to dewy-eyed adolescents and people with their heads in the
clouds. One does not so much read a Kantner novel as visit it. There is
an ability to conduct several different conversations at once, as well
as to visit various levels of consciousness and near- consciousness,
seemingly at will.
     Interestingly, the book is accompanied by a ‘soundtrack’, comprised of
the music that the fictional rock and roll band makes, both on-stage and
off, in the course of the story. It should be remarked that this is
perhaps the first ever novel with it’s own soundtrack. While other books
have offered CDs of related materials (I am brought to mind of the PBS
Jazz series and the accompanying book and recorded works). The unique
moment here is that you can read the work, while simultaneously
experiencing the music being related on the pages before you. Whether
this is a plus or not is a question that this writer will long ponder.
     But the anarchic nature of the writing style confused this reviewer and
led him into unintended, and unplanned for, flights of fancy not suited
to true literary pursuit. I was distracted from the natural flow of the
story by a number of such unexpected ‘sidebars’, elements that seemingly
had no connection to the actual story line.
     The book is structured sometimes as a novel, sometimes as a film script
and sometimes, like nothing I have ever encountered on the ‘literary
shelf ’.  The results are, in this reviewer’s opinion, unintelligible.
     Please be so advised and appropriately forewarned.
     As well, I couldn’t make up my mind whether this self-styled ‘opus’
should be in the Science Fiction section, the Musical section, or on the
Novel shelves, or in the Adventure section of the bookstore. This
unsettled me greatly (as a reader). On which  shelves of the bookstore
should this volume reside? How will people find it?  This is a puzzle
for me, as I imagine it will be to any publisher or book shop manager
who confronts this undisciplined assault on the senses. I might but
suggest that copies be placed on the shelves in each of the sections,
thereby sparing the uninitiated from needless confusion.
       I am much reminded of the author’s oft-related, bookstore-prankster
activities (particularly in airport bookstores, to pass the time while
waiting for his oft-delayed and/or canceled flights): the habit of
re-arranging books on the shelves and placing them in seemingly incongruent sections. Rush Limbaugh and Martha Stewart books in the Horror section, George Bush and William J. Bennett books on the Comedy shelves or in the
Abnormal Psychology section, and The Bible, the Koran and the Talmud on
the Children’s Fiction shelves...
     I see only the direst fate among the literati for this book. Mr.
Kantner’s concerns become his reader’s obsessions, living in the moment
while keeping an eye on eternity.
     God help us all.
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Mr. Petrovich is a literary reviewer for  the New Jersey Press-Republican  and is the author of the book “Emergency War Surgery”. He currently resides in Passaic, New Jersey.