SFF Song of the Week: Peter F. Hamilton

This week’s blogjay is Peter F. Hamilton, who in my view is one of the greatest writers of space opera around – master of widescreen storytelling but able to create brilliant vivid characters. And many of ‘em! Peter and I shared a panel at the recent Illustrious con, and I’m delighted he has this song to play for us.

Peter Hamilton writes:

One song? Really? Just one? You do know I’m somebody who can’t even pin down a top ten? Now give me a hundred favourites and we’re getting closer to it. And those would only be favourites, actually numbering the list is impossible.

Still only one?

Oh, all right then. I have to admit some ire that Starship Troopers has already been taken. My claim to that one was very legitimate, I actually saw Yes live back in the seventies and they played it. Ah well, I also saw Bowie, and Starman is definitely in the SF top ten faves. But, is that a cliche? I have to admit I nearly played my joker, and nominated Angels and Demons by Toya Wilcox, but one line “Ten thousand spaceships filled the sky” doesn’t really qualify it as true SF. Though it does mean I can dig it out again soon to check. Of course there is the easy option, and just yell out: 2112 by Rush. Nahh. Best not. It’s like original Star Trek, I don’t want to spoil the memories by revisiting it again, so let’s leave that well alone. What about something modern, a song that’ll prove I’m up there getting down with the youth of today. Humm, not a very convincing sight at the best of times, though Exogenesis part I by Muse is also high up there on that impossible list. Only, it doesn’t actually have words, even if it is the best late-night driving crank the volume to 11 song there’s ever been. This is getting quite hard now, can I have music that was played in an SF film? If so, the moody and magnificent Love Theme from Blade Runner would be the one. Again, no lyrics. Is this a theme developing here? No, I will chose one that’s evocative and yet still quite moody at the same time. In which case there really is no question: After The Gold Rush. Which then produces a whole new problem. Which version? No no, not the Dolly Parton one (you don’t believe me? Go ahead, try calling my bluff on that, I dare you). But I’ve got to say the k d lang cover is really very good. But no, I will be true to myself, and the quiet teenage dreamer and reader who first heard Neil Young singing about silver spaceships and mother nature on the run and carrying seeds to a new sun, and was hopelessly lost in the romance of the music in those far off days of youth when everything meant so much more than it does today.


Well, I dreamed I saw the knights
In armor coming,
Saying something about a queen.
There were peasants singing and
Drummers drumming
And the archer split the tree.
There was a fanfare blowing
To the sun
That was floating on the breeze.
Look at Mother Nature on the run
In the nineteen seventies.
Look at Mother Nature on the run
In the nineteen seventies.

I was lying in a burned out basement
With the full moon in my eyes.
I was hoping for replacement
When the sun burst thru the sky.
There was a band playing in my head
And I felt like getting high.
I was thinking about what a
Friend had said
I was hoping it was a lie.
Thinking about what a
Friend had said
I was hoping it was a lie.

Well, I dreamed I saw the silver
Space ships flying
In the yellow haze of the sun,
There were children crying
And colors flying
All around the chosen ones.
All in a dream, all in a dream
The loading had begun.
They were flying Mother Nature’s
Silver seed to a new home in the sun.
Flying Mother Nature’s
Silver seed to a new home.

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