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Sean Williams
my fascination 
12.49 pm 13.01.07
gary numan ticket
Okay, I've hinted at it in the past, and I've certainly mentioned it to a few people off the record, but now the cheques have cleared and the licenses have changed hands, I feel it's time to make an official announcement.

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.

Countdown to Astropolis: 101 days.
03.10 am 13.01.07 (UTC)
Sounds like an excellent challenge you've got for yourself. Good luck with it.
03.43 am 13.01.07 (UTC)
03.44 am 13.01.07 (UTC)
07.59 am 13.01.07 (UTC)
I'm really glad this is now definitely happening. Saturn Returns is definitely very hotly anticipated round these parts, and it would have been a tragedy if copyright concerns had forced you to dull this particularly brilliant facet of what sounds a fascinating book.
02.54 am 20.01.07 (UTC)
Yes indeed. Thankfully the forces of good triumphed in this case, although I will think twice before taking on major US music companies again...

After the trilogy is over, anyway. Got a whole new raft of lyrics lined up for the future volumes. It's going to be fun.
11.34 pm 16.01.07 (UTC) - Gary Numan's influence?
At 16, the first present my husband ever bought me was ‘Replicas.’ We’d listen to it entwined alone in the dark. A few weeks later a tiny heart started to beat deep in my body.
My husband went on to write and be consumed by electronic music. I became the strangest girl in the world, and my son embraced his aspergers syndrome.

Thanks uncle Gary for being there when it all started.
Now it’s up to you Sean, to do him proud.


12.53 am 17.01.07 (UTC) - Re: Gary Numan's influence?
Sounds like you are leading a (strange) charmed life!

Now it’s up to you Sean, to do him proud.

Believe me, I feel the pressure. :-)
07.46 pm 19.01.07 (UTC) - Numan.
I noted with curiosity that the ticket stub you show here is from the House of Blues in Anaheim. I attended that brilliant show.

Was that just a random ticket stub- or were you also in attendance?

As a Numan fan since 1979 I am thrilled to read about this fascinating project- and will certainly purchase the novel as soon as it is released.

02.52 am 20.01.07 (UTC) - Re: Numan.
I was indeed at Anaheim that night (seeing Gary for the first time, despite being a fan since 1981) and it was brilliant. Sometimes it's a disappointment to see your heroes in the flesh. Not this time. He rocks!

I also met him afterwards in the bar, and Gemma too. They're nice people, and have been very generous to me wrt to the rights to his lyrics. I hope I've done him proud.
04.38 pm 22.02.07 (UTC) - SFnal?
Science Fictio?
09.54 pm 22.02.07 (UTC) - Re: SFnal?
01.53 am 23.02.07 (UTC) - Lyrics, books
Hot dang! I've been wanting to do that since forever with Robert Smith's lyrics, but use every single one! Of course I don't have every b-side and variation ever written / performed but would still be up to the challenge

Anyway, hope it's all gone well, can't wait to read it.

/ A.
12.52 pm 23.02.07 (UTC) - Re: Lyrics, books
that is seriously cool... i want to read this very much. Gary Numan is a God.

10.53 pm 23.02.07 (UTC) - Re: Lyrics, books
I agree! And thanks. I hope you enjoy it.
09.53 am 01.03.07 (UTC) - Re: Lyrics, books

"its the only way to live.. in cars "
10.52 pm 01.03.07 (UTC) - Re: Lyrics, books
You wouldn't believe how much Universal charges to use that lyric!
11.17 am 23.03.07 (UTC) - Good Info Site Thanks
Nice design on ladnews.livejournal.com, good info, thank you.
11.54 pm 23.03.07 (UTC) - Re: Good Info Site Thanks
Hey, thanks! Much appreciated. :-)
01.06 pm 30.05.07 (UTC)
Awesome idea! I bought Saturn Returns a few weeks ago but I just got to it last night and read the appendix. I can think of no-one more deserving of such a compliment.
I liked his early stuff but lost interest after "Replicas" until this century. "Pure" and "Jagged" are two of the best albums I have heard in a long time. They are object lessons to the likes of Reznor and Manson. His lyrics on these albums are nothing short of superb. They have inspired me in my song writing more than anything else I can remember.
I'm really itching to get into the novel but I have something of a dilemma - my business trip has been extended and I need it to last at least a week, until I reach English-speaking civilisation once more. I'm sure Gary has a lyric somewhere to help me deal with my torture.
10.55 pm 01.06.07 (UTC)
"Tell me of your pain."

A lot of Gary's lyrics deal with time. One of my favourites is: "Time heals nothing. It merely rearranges our memories."

I did trawl through the list in search of a line that might fit your situation, but nothing leaped out me. Sorry. :-)

I hope you enjoy the book!
04.39 am 02.06.07 (UTC)
There is little doubt of that. I read Metal Fatigue a long time ago [10 years?] and it's all been fantastic since then. I particularly enjoyed The Resurrected Man, although I had that book for a couple of years before I got around to reading it [I have no idea why]. I think the Orphans Trilogy and Geodesica are also top-notch space opera, right up there with the best of 'em.
12.50 pm 27.08.08 (UTC)
Fan since seeing Numan on TV in `79,you certainly have your work cut out as there is probably a line in every song that you could use........!!
Look forward to this,best of luck!.
12.52 am 28.08.08 (UTC)
Thanks, Blair. There were, indeed, many to chose from!
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