Is Prog Rock the Music of Science Fiction?

Scifi mega-author Kevin J. Anderson's new novel, The Edge of the World, has been released with a companion CD by prog rock band Roswell Six. Anderson thinks prog is the sound of scifi - what do you think?

Anderson grew up listening to bands like Pink Floyd and Rush (he's now pals with Rush drummer Neil Peart), and when we cornered him at Comic-Con he said that he thinks there's a lot of overlap between the themes in prog rock and those in science fiction. "These are songs about dragons and crystal cities," he said with a grin. "You probably couldn't make music like that now, but science fiction movies still use prog rock-like music for their soundtracks. You need music for alien civilizations and this is what works."

When he set out to make a prog rock album to go with his novel, Anderson worked with record label owner Shawn Gordon and the band right from the beginning. He came up with a proposal for the novel and used that to develop the final book and lyrics for the music. Gordon said that some of the original story for the novel had to go in order to make a good album. "Some of the legend backstory would have worked well in a novel, but would have been an absolute cheesefest in music." Each song on the album captures a scene from the novel, and taken together gives us a sense of the emotional tenor of the book. Sometimes, songs became scenes or vice-versa.

Some scenes from the book, however, didn't work as lyrics due to the cheese factor. "We couldn't write a song about a sea monster attacking a ship," Anderson confessed. "So we just made it instrumental."

Anderson came away from the experience completely excited. "I had a fanboy blast," he said.

What do you think the music of science fiction is?