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Speaker Series: Jason Heller

July 26, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Charleston Library Society hosts Jason Heller for a night of funkadelic music and literary discussion about his new book Strange Stars unlike anything seen before in the Lowcountry. Come for the music, stay for the stories and the Strange Stars cocktail. For tickets, call 843-723-9912 or click here. $5 members/$10 nonmembers

Spearheaded by Hugo Award winning author and music journalist Jason Heller (The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and more) in support of his latest book, Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded, the night will feature music, conversation, and a specialty Strange Stars cocktail.

Strange Stars is a unique story, featuring an exciting decade of music and one of its biggest icons: David Bowie. As the 1960s drew to a close, Bowie slipped into the empty balcony of a London cinema to see 2001: A Space Odyssey. He emerged a changed man. As the 1970s progressed and mankind trained its telescopes on distant worlds, Bowie would lead other rock stars to see the world of science fiction as the catalyst needed to continue the revolution begun in the sixties.

Strange Stars explains how science fiction and music came to depend on each other throughout the decade. With Bowie as their leader, Heller ties some of pop music’s most influential names into a single narrative including:  Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Sun Ra, Parliament-Funkadelic, Kraftwerk, Rush, Devo, and X-Ray Spex, while also including the more obscure musicians of the decade who nonetheless helped influence the scene.

At the Charleston Library Society, Jason Heller will be joined in conversation with local journalist/Charleston Library Society’s own Leah Rhyne as the two muse about writing, research, rock, pop, disco, and all the music popular in the 70s. If you love music, too, this night’s for you.

Copies of Strange Stars will be available for purchase as Jason Heller’s own carefully curated playlist of the music in his book is played through the evening.

Praise for Strange Stars:

“There’s never been anything like this before— a fantastic voyage through rock ‘n’ roll history, decoding the sci-fi inspiration that’s always lurked at the heart of it. This brilliant book makes you hear whole new strains of weirdness in music you thought you already knew.” – Rob Sheffield, author of On Bowie

“Full of cosmic wisdom that will open your mind to alien melodies, and also make you hear your favorite classic rock and funk in a whole new way… a totally indispensable guide.”  — Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky

“Fans of popular music and sf alike will thoroughly enjoy this journey through the center of the 1970s.” –Library Journal, starred review

“Entertaining and instructive…Sci-fi geeks with a penchant for rock ‘n’ stomp, prog excess, and other flavors of pop will enjoy this one.” – Kirkus

“An adventurous guide through 1970s music zeitgeists, Heller’s work will pique the interests of those in search of something a little more cosmic.”  – Publishers Weekly

“Heller explores the music of the 1970s and uncovers sf influences and themes in surprising places… sci-fi buffs and music aficionados will find much to enjoy in this meticulously researched, entertaining book.” – Booklist

About Jason Heller:

Jason Heller is a Hugo Award-winning writer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, The Atlantic, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, and others. His latest novel is Taft 2012. Jason currently plays in the internationally touring post-punk band Weathered Statues and is a resident DJ at various events including 45s Against 45: An Anti-Trump Dance Party. He lives in Denver.


July 26, 2018
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm