POSTPONED! The Collision of Music and Literature: A Conversation with Jason Heller, Peter Bebergal and Paul Tremblay

NOTE: Due to an unexpected emergency, this event is rescheduled until further notice! We apologize for any inconvenience and the authors will be back when schedules allow!


A conversation between Jason Heller, Peter Bebergal and Paul Tremblay about the crossover of popular and underground music into the world of literature, and how this dynamic has informed their work.

About the Book

As the 1960s drew to a close, and mankind trained its telescopes on other worlds, old conventions gave way to a new kind of hedonistic freedom that celebrated sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll. Derided as nerdy or dismissed as fluff, science fiction rarely gets credit for its catalyzing effect on this revolution.

In Strange Stars, Jason Heller recasts sci-fi and pop music as parallel cultural forces that depended on one another to expand the horizons of books, music, and out-of-this-world imagery.

In doing so, he presents a whole generation of revered musicians as the sci-fi-obsessed conjurers they really were: from Sun Ra lecturing on the black man in the cosmos, to Pink Floyd jamming live over the broadcast of the Apollo 11 moon landing; from a wave of Star Wars disco chart toppers and synthesizer-wielding post-punks, to Jimi Hendrix distilling the “purplish haze” he discovered in a pulp novel into psychedelic song. Of course, the whole scene was led by David Bowie, who hid in the balcony of a movie theater to watch 2001: A Space Odyssey, and came out a changed man…

If today’s culture of Comic Con fanatics, superhero blockbusters, and classic sci-fi reboots has us thinking that the nerds have won at last, Strange Stars brings to life an era of unparalleled and unearthly creativity—in magazines, novels, films, records, and concerts—to point out that the nerds have been winning all along.

About the authors

Jason Heller is a Hugo Award-winning editor and has written for publications including The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, NPR, and The Atlantic. His latest novel was Taft 2012

Peter Bebergal is the author of several books, including Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural and Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, Times Literary Supplement,, Slate, The Believer, and The LA Review of Books.

Paul Tremblay is the author of the novels The Cabin at the End of the World, Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, and A Head Full of Ghosts. His fiction and essays have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Supernatural Noir, and numerous Year’s Best anthologies. He is the author of the short speculative fiction collections Growing Things, In the Mean Time, and Compositions for the Young and Old. Paul is currently on the board of directors for the Shirley Jackson Awards as well. He lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts.

Event date: 
Monday, August 5, 2019 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
338 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02115
Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded Cover Image
ISBN: 9781612197760
Availability: Not Currently in Store. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Melville House - June 4th, 2019

Growing Things and Other Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062679130
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - July 2nd, 2019

Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143111825
Availability: Not Currently in Store. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: TarcherPerigee - October 23rd, 2018