Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You, Scotto Moore (Tor.com Publishing 978-1-250-31489-5, $3.99, eb) February 2019.
Imagine if Ziggy Stardust really did have some Martian Spiders that were very, very hungry – and you would get close to the idea that drives Scotto Moore’s novella Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You. The idea of music as a force for violent behavior isn’t new, of course, but Moore’s voice and his modern twists make it feel fresh.
Moore’s music blogger hero wakes up one morning and realizes he hasn’t left his computer in hours. He’s been listening to a song, one that rubs all of his brain’s pleasure centers in exactly the right way. So begins his quest to uncover all he can about Beautiful Remorse, a band that came from obscurity but is now taking the music blogger sphere by storm. Next thing he knows, he’s on the road with the band, whose tour is leaving a wake of mayhem behind. And the mayhem is only growing weirder as each new song is uploaded by our blogger to infect the world at large.
Moore writes with a playful jauntiness that buoys the growing darkness rather than undercutting it. His details about a certain subset of music nerds give the story some great texture. While the story could have been a few hundred words longer, just to fully flesh out the ending, the ride is a fun one and the soundtrack is killer.
Adrienne Martini has been reading or writing about science fiction for decades and has had two non-fiction, non-genre books published by Simon and Schuster. She lives in Upstate New York with one husband, two kids, and one corgi. She also runs a lot.
This review and more like it in the April 2019 issue of Locus.
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