STECKENPFERD Mike Shannon on science fiction novels

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Previously published in Groove 135 (March/April 2012) in a translated version.

German speakers use the expression „Steckenpferd“ to describe a hobby that involves a certain degree of specialized knowledge. For each printed edition of Groove we invite an artist to introduce our readers to his personal „Steckenpferd“.

„It probably sounds like such a cliché coming from a guy who produces techno, but it’s true: I’ve always been drawn towards science fiction as a genre. Ok, maybe my big brother had a big part in it, bombarding me with Star Wars and Battlestar Galactic when I was a kid.  I love futuristic settings full of tech stuff, but I’m not really into what you typically would classify as science fiction, like Star Trek or books by Issac Asimov. I’m not so much into reading a book for which I have to learn the Klingon language to understand the final chapter or (in Asimov’s case) into reading a chapter about the author’s take on the theory of relativity. I prefer realistic sci-fi stories, full of twisted ideas and humor that bend your perception of how you think about your reality. The three books that I’ve chosen all have those exact characteristics.“


Robert Shea and Robert Anton WilsonThe Illuminatus! Trilogy

„This is the story of a writer who discovers a secret that an organization really didn’t want anyone to find out about. This discovery leads to a psychedelic journey full of paranoid conspiracy theories and acid-fueled sex. An enormous amount of research went into this book: Shea and Wilson used true facts about the actual Illuminati, the Freemason’s societies and other organizations for their free-wheeling fiction. After reading the trilogy you might not look at the world the same again.“ 


Philip K. DickDo Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?

„Dick was truly was ahead of his time and has to be considered as one of science fiction’s greatest visionaries. This book takes place in the wasteland of a post-nuclear earth which a majority of the surviving human population has left in search of a better life on Mars. It also involves androids who are considered as a threat to humanity and are chased by bounty hunters like the protagonist, Rick Deckard. While reading this story, you start doubting if Deckard really is human at all or just an advanced android himself.  The screenplay for Blade Runner was based on this plot.“


Haruki Murakami1Q84

„I have just finished reading the third part of this book, but it has already become one of my all time favorites. The story takes place in a fictional version of Tokyo during the year 1984 and unfolds around a male writer and school teacher who is asked to rewrite a story originally written by a 17-year old girl. A second storyline features a female martial arts instructor and professional killer who, from one day to the next, realizes that she’s no longer linving in the world as she knows it. Full of twisted Japanese humor and surprises, this is really a slow paced read at first, but Murakami proves that he is a master at building a climax.“


Mike Shannon has released Ghost Story, the first album of his collaborative project Blue Fields on Haunt Music earlier this year.

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