JP On Gaming

Friday, October 14, 2022

[Kinda Book Review] 2113 Anthology

Earlier this year, my childhood friend Francois-M came to visit us for what turned out to be whirlwind trip with his daughter Florentine. It was great to meet her for the first time.

I had not seen him since around 1994-95 (when we attended a Musical Box concert in Sherbrooke). So we caught up. He was always a music afficionado, knowing and keeping an ear out on what was hip at the time. Oh and classic rock too. Well now it is classic rock. It was just "rock" at the time...

But that's not why you are here. You want to know about the book.

I'm getting there. I'm getting there!

One day I went to his house with a cassette (which was forever to be known a #9) for him to put on some of the music he has me listen to when I went to his place. Those were NOT the bands that you'd hear at my house.

#9 included many different bands like Queen, Heart, and most commonly, Rush. Songs like Xanadu, Limelight, Tom Sawyer, Big Money, Subdivisions, Circumstances. Good stuff. Real good stuff. Almost all of these songs are still on my playlist today. But JP aren't a big Genesis fan? Yes. But that was #23. I got into it MUCH later... This was around 1986 (I know because Hold your fire was not out yet and Power Windows was the latest album).

So Francois brought me a book (he knows I'm a geek like that): 2113, an anthology of stories inspired by the music of Rush.

I had the relatively bland Ancient Japan on my reading desk. And man did I want to ditch that to move to 2113.

So if you are not a Rush fan, they have music that deal with a variety of topics, many of which have a clear science-fiction theme, the reality of life, and other questioning one asks himself during his life. I mean it is a match made in heaven.

I won't spoil the stories. But the idea was well executed, with some stories being more litteral with their story than others. One or two, I must say the inspiration was... distant at best. I was pleased to find that Fritz Lieber wrote a story in there (from where Neil Peart got inspired) and the story that inspired Red Barchetta.

One story I did not particularly like but it has some very clever writer's artifices was the story based on "Mission". I love how they presented the point-of-view transitions by having the sentence run on, put a divider, and continuing the sentence but as a different character. What? You don't really care? I thought that was a really cool thing and it enhanced the story.

Some stories had some clever endings that made me smile, some left me wanting more, some had an interesting twists. None were bad, just less interesting.

Perhaps my personal favorite is the final story of the book, the eponymous 2113. This is one of the most literal ones, a story that where the classic 2112 ends with the ominous and domineering Attention all planets of the Solar Federation, we have assumed control. And the story takes us to that mad vision of an Elder Race and of the Temple of Syrinx, in an almost Hemisphere-ian dichotomy. Loved it. The ending? Very well done. I put the book down on a high.

So a score... It's an anthology, so the stories ranged from 2/5 to 4/5. However, I think a better score would be 3.5/5, which according to my rules make me give it a 4/5, a score I can easily live with. I plan on going back and re-visiting these stories later, after I let the kids read it.

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