Published by ECW Press on 4.12.16
Genres: Cosmic Horror, Crime, Dark Fiction, Dystopian, Horror, Law & Crime, Noir, Psychological Horror, Sci-Fi
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The music of Rush, one of the most successful bands in history, is filled with fantastic stories, evocative images, and thought-provoking futures and pasts. In this anthology, notable, bestselling, and award-winning writers each chose a Rush song as the spark for a new story, drawing inspiration from the visionary trio that is Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart.
Enduring stark dystopian struggles or testing the limits of the human spirit, the characters populating 2113 find strength while searching for hope in a world that is repressive, dangerous, or just debilitatingly bland. Most of these tales are science fiction, but some are fantasies, thrillers, even edgy mainstream. Many of Rush’s big hits are represented, as well as deeper cuts . . . with wonderful results. This anthology also includes the seminal stories that inspired the Rush classics “Red Barchetta” and “Roll the Bones,” as well as Kevin J. Anderson’s novella sequel to the groundbreaking Rush album 2112.
2113 contains stories by New York Times bestselling authors Kevin J. Anderson, Michael Z. Williamson, David Mack, David Farland, Dayton Ward, and Mercedes Lackey; award winners Fritz Leiber, Steven Savile, Brad R. Torgersen, Ron Collins, David Niall Wilson, and more.
When I discovered that Brian Hodge was going to be contributing to this anthology, I immediately kept my radar going until the book showed up at Net Galley. I was approved for it and I was so happy-I mean how often does a book come out that’s based on the music of one of your favorite bands? I’m not as big a fan of Rush as some people, but I recognize the lyrical genius of Neil Peart-the man can write. Turns out, the authors included in this collection can too.
There are too many stories here for me to go into each in detail, so I’ve picked the ones that knocked my socks off to highlight here.
On the Fringes of the Fractal by Greg Van Eekhout (Inspired by “Subdivisions.”) At first read this story was weird and I thought it was just okay. However, as I continued reading over the course of a month, I found my mind turning this tale over again and again. I now consider it one of my favorites in the collection.
The Burning Times v2.0 by Brian Hodge (Inspired by “Witch Hunt.”) This story, (and this song), are both so perfect for the times in which we currently live-it’s scary. When I say scary, I don’t mean just the story, or the song, but the times in which we live also. I count this as another brilliant tale from the awesome Mr. Hodge.
A Nice Morning Drive by Richard S. Foster This one, in a strange and nice twist, is the story that inspired Red Barchetta, instead of the other way around. Now, the author and Neil Peart are friends. Cool, right?
A Prayer for 0443 by David Niall Wilson (Inspired by “The Trees.”) I really dug this story. All individuality gone, no music or books last longer than a month or a year. My notes say “Big Brother to the Max”. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. This tale disturbed me.
Gonna Roll the Bones by Fritz Leiber In another twist, THIS is the story that inspired the RUSH song. Lyrics quoted from Roll the Bones:
We go out in the world and take our chances
Fate is just the weight of circumstances
That’s the way that Lady Luck Dances
Roll the bones
Last Light by Steven Savile (Inspired by “The Spirit of Radio.”) This was my favorite story of the collection. It really spoke to the power that radio used to have in our lives and how important it could be once again. Bravo, Mr. Savile!! Your story really brought it home and in what I feel was the true “spirit”of the song.
Overall, this collection was good-especially if you’re already a fan of Rush. Even being just a casual fan, like myself, there’s a good chance 2113 will work for you too. My only complaint is that I think it’s too long. 18 stories takes a while to get through. However, when the tales are good, the reader sticks with it, just as I did.
Highly recommended to fans of Rush and to fans of the short story form.
*Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for the e-ARC of 2113 in exchange for my honest review.*