Meet Me in the Strange
Publication date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
From the author of Beautiful City of the Dead and Stonecutter comes a dreamy, atmospheric coming of age story that will appeal to readers of all ages.
Davi tries to help a new friend, Anna Z, escape a cruel and controlling brother, and the teens end up running away to follow the tour of their rock idol, the otherworldly Django Conn. The story is set in a weird and wonderful retro-futuristic city of glam-girls and glister-boys and a strange phenomenon that Anna Z calls the “Alien Drift.”
It’s all in the grooves. The pulse of drums and bass that gets us up and moving our bodies, the spiraling micro-slot on a vinyl lp record, the fresh neural pathways carved into our brain tissue. Music takes us deep, into the realms of the irrational, the ancient and postmodern, dissolving the cellular selves and making us new (and strange) again.
So my novels keep coming from music. Shock Totem bores deep into the mother lode of James Brown’s funk. Drowning in Fire is about forgotten tri-racial isolate history and a girl-drummer in a sleazy Atlantic City lounge act. Beautiful City of the Dead is steeped in ‘80s era heavy metal. The lost-and-found loud and raucous hymns of backcountry hill folk are where the Leander Watts novels began: a capella singing (or shouting about God), holy fire, barbecue pork, and gravestone poetry.
Then Meet Me in the Strange happened - a novel set in the retrofuturist world of glam rock. The past becomes the future. What was comes around and is again. I loved the music of David Bowie when I was a teenager (and still do.) The first concert I ever attended was the first date of Bowie’s Diamond Dogs tour. Glam rock was a huge influence on me, and still is.
I circled back and the story began unfolding. Davi and Anna Z and Django Conn appeared and they came alive for me. I hope they come alive for others too.
An avid musician, Leander Watts has played and sung for decades in a wide variety of bands. His interests range from garage rock to skronky jazz, from baroque organ to Appalachian gospel. The first rock concert he attended was David Bowie on the Diamond Dogs tour in 1974. He teaches writing and literature at the State University of New York at Geneseo (his alma mater). Leander Watts is the author of Stonecutter, Wild Ride to Heaven, Ten Thousand Charms, and Beautiful City of the Dead.
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