|“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 ...”
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
& Just to reiterate:
Remembrance Of Things Future
THE PLANET EARTH ROCK &
by Paul Kantner
Little Dragon Press
Reviewed by Zoroaster Turner
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
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
Prescient, that’s all I can
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
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.
A family of misfits
The Planet Earth Rock & Roll Orchestra
by Paul Kantner
Little Dragon Publishing
reviewed by Ronald Petrovich
Moments into this novel tome,
the snappy prose descends into a very
perplexing journey into the author’s somewhat
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-
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
experiencing the music being related on the pages before
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
shelf ’. The results are, in this reviewer’s
Please be so advised and
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
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
who confronts this undisciplined assault on the senses.
I might but
suggest that copies be placed on the shelves in each of
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.
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.