My next novel, Saturn Returns, the one with the great cover, will feature the uniquely dystopian and very SFnal lyrics of legendary electro-goth, Gary Numan.
I'm not talking about a quote here and there, wedged into the white space at the topic of each chapter (author Robert Charles Maturin is filling that particular role). Nor am I talking about cheesy post-modern flashbacks reflecting on the good old days of synthpop, or as background ambience for the stock-standard cantina scene.
I'm talking about a major character who speaks solely in Gary Numan lyrics.
Every word, without exception--from common, everyday interjections to long, introspective rants.
Why? Well, I've been a fan of Gary Numan for, like, ever, and not just because of the music. His lyrics have always been a source of fascination for me, inspired as they clearly were by science fiction, and it's nice to wear that fascination on my sleeve. It's also nice to join two ends of a creative arc: books inspired the musician, who in turn inspired the author. Symmetry is good.
There are artistic reasons, too. (Here's where I tell you that this is not a stunt, and you believe me because it's true.) Saturn Returns is my twenty-third novel. What's more, it's my thirteenth space opera--if you count Star Wars as space opera, which I do. The numbers may be stacking up quite healthily, but that doesn't mean I can even think about coasting. In order to remain interested in my own work, I need to shake things up periodically--to experiment, to take risks, even if they're not always obvious to the reader. Hence writing a character who speaks only in the words of another man, because that will force me to examine and flex my perception of the way I usually write--and, in the same vein, seeking inspiration in the pages of gothic novels rather than SF, employing long first person narratives, making forays into the complicated world of gender-bending sex...all new territory for me as a writer and all to be found in the pages of this novel.
Once my editors and I were satisfied that I could make it work artistically as well as financially, I went for it. So, thanks to Gary Numan's generosity, plus the patience of various other copyright holders around the world, I am very excited about doing something I never thought would actually come to fruition, until now.