Edited by Kim Newman and Paul J. McAuley.
With an Introduction by Charles Shaar Murray.
The 45 record–the cultural milestone that marked the birth of musical mass markets and rock stars–is celebrated in this collection of original science fiction and horror stories gathered by McAuley and Newman.
Don Webb depicts an antique dealer who discovers a mirror that shows the true love of whoever looks into it. The dealer is crushed when a song on the phonograph starts to play–and the face of an old boyfriend appears to his wife. Unrequited passion is traced in another story by Lewis Shiner. Stan, a talented young drummer, falls in love with beautiful rock idol Keven Stacey and eventually must decide between permanent unemployment and chasing her. Greg Egan’s tale involves brain implants that download people’s musical desires into computers, which generate the appropriate rock music, along with videos and “bios” of the musicians. Although the narrator’s favourite band rises up the charts, its depressing lyrics force the record company to “kill off” the synthetic lead singer; the singer’s death from a drug overdose is just another ghoulish touch in a collection that unnerves and provokes while it entertains.
Steve Antczak, Barrington Bayley, Stephen Baxter, Scott Bradfield, Jonathan Carroll, Ray Davis, Greg Egan, Christopher Fowler, Colin Greenland, Peter F. Hamilton, Gwyneth Jones, Cliff burns, Graham Joyce, Marc Laidlaw, Jonathan Lethem & Lukas Jaeger, Ian R MacLeod, Ian McDonald, Alastair Reynolds, Nicholas Royle, Lewis Shiner, Steve Rasnic Tem, Mark Timlin, Lisa Tuttle, Ian Watson, Don Webb, Andrew Weiner, and F. Paul Wilson.