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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

A Song for a New Day

Copyright 2018 by Sarah Pinsker

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Very good (4/5)

I first read this on the 12th January 2021.

The US governement imposed the lockdown because of the terrorist attacks and the lethal pandemic.

The congregation laws kept the lockdown in place, year after year, by limiting the size of groups that could gather together. Furthermore the tech companies want more people to spend more time in virtual space. Thes two factors have changed the US society dramatically. Now it is a nation of hikikomori, isolated people who know that the outside world is dangerous, that the terrorists attack crowds and that it is safest to avoid attention, just to stay at home, alone.

The pandemic and the bombings are many years in the past but the anti-congregation laws remain, freezing society into a country where the joy of communal appreciation of performances is lost. People no longer know how good it feels when you and the whole audience clap or cry or roar as one.

In Sarah Pinsker's world activities such as live music concerts are illegal. But of course what is illegal goes underground.

  • Luce Cannon is a singer, songwriter and guitarist. She is passionate about her songs and her music and she lives to compose and perform, anytime anywhere. Her band was the last major band to play before the anti-congregation laws banned live events. She is famous for that but more so for her classic hit "Blood and Diamons".
  • Rosemary Laws is a farm girl, bored and isolated but certain there is more to live than being the smallest cog in the massive SuperWally consortium. She quits her job to become a talent scout for StageHoloLive. Her job is to find new bands for StageHoloLive to record in their studios and publish online. She loves music. She listens to it at home while she's working remotely for SuperWally. She's no idea how to scout out new talent. She's never seen a band perform live. It hasn't sunk in that she'll need to socialize, meet people in the flesh, in crowded sweaty halls and rooms. However, once she attends her first live concert she'll begin to understand how strongly music can affect and change you.

Luce and Rosemary in their separate ways struggle to keep live music surviving underground. Maybe they'll have to work together to succeed.

Wow, there's nothing like writing about a pandemic and its consequences one year before it happens! In the real world so much of the live music industry has been destroyed by the various lockdowns and can't be resurrected even in one year. So maybe Sarah has hit it on the nail and foretold the future.

This is a lyrical, lovely novel about how precious are live music and other live performances. That sense of importance is driven home to us from both Luce the performer and Rosemary in the audience. Live music is a shared, brilliant, uplifting group experience. And of course, guitar rock lifts that another level up, up to 11 one might say.

There's an interview with Sarah Pinsker by her hometown Baltimore Fishbowl. Well worth a read.

If you love live music, read these and be amazed that Sarah can put into words what you feel about the music.

Loaded on the 20th January 2021.
Cover of A Song for a New Day