SFF Song of the Week: Alastair Reynolds

Here’s this week’s song choice from Alastair Reynolds. Alastair – author of Revelation Space, Chasm City, House of Suns and many more wonderful books – is,  in the view of many of us,  pretty much the definitive modern science fiction writer, brimming with ideas and also with humanity.  He’s also Welsh. (‘ray!)

Alastair’s SFF Song of the Week is Wings by the Fall, a tale of time travel and time paradoxes.

Alastair Reynolds writes:

I’ve loved The Fall for about twenty years. I don’t think there’s any one particular period of their music that I like more than another but “Wings” is undoubtedly one of my all-time favorites. It’s from the early Brix era, when the group’s music was starting to becone slightly more poppy, or as poppy as it’s ever going to get given Smith’s unique vocal approach, the relentlessly lo-fi production and the ever present emphasis on repetition. “Wings” pretty much encapsulates everything that’s great about the group, though. It’s got a fantastically catchy riff, mind-bending sci-fi time-travel lyrics, and as always there’s some great dead-pan humour. “I paid them off with stuffing from my wings”, indeed. And the video is superb.

Day by day.
The moon gains on me.
Day by day.
The moon gains on me.

Purchased pair of flabby wings.
I took to doing some hovering.
Here is a list of incorrect things.

Hovered mid-air outside a study.
An academic needed his chin,
Sent in the dust of some cheap magazines.
His academic rust, could not burn them up.

Recruited some gremlins.
To get me clear of the airline routes.
I paid them off with stuffing from my wings.
They had some fun with those cheapo airline snobs.

The stuffing loss made me hit a timelock.
I ended up in the eighteen sixties.
I’ve been there for one hundred and twenty five years.
A small alteration of the past. can turn time into space.

Ended up under ardwick bridge.
With some veterans from the u.s. civil war.
They were under irish patronage.
We shot dead a stupid sergeant,
But I got hit in the crossfire.
The lucky hit made me hit a time lock.

But, when I got back.
The place I made the purchase, no longer exists
I’d erased it under the bridge.

Day by day.
The moon came towards me
By such things.
The moon came towards me.

So now I sleep in ditches.
And hide away from nosey kids.
The wings rot and feather under me.
The wings rot and curl right under me.
A small alteration of the past.
Can turn time into space.
Small touches can alter more than a mere decade.

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