Jason Heller is the author of the nonfiction book Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded (Melville House). He’s also a former nonfiction editor of Clarkesworld; as part of the magazine’s 2012 editorial team, he received a Hugo Award. He wrote the alt-history novel Taft 2012 (Quirk Books), and his fiction has appeared in Apex Magazine, Farrago’s Wainscot, Swords v. Cthulhu, and others; his nonfiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Entertainment Weekly, Weird Tales, Tor.com, and Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s The Time Traveler’s Almanac. He regularly reviews science fiction and fantasy novels for NPR.org, and he’s the co-editor of the fiction anthologies Cyber World (with Josh Viola) and Mechanical Animals (with Selena Chambers), both for Hex Publishers. Jason lives in Denver with his wife Angie and plays in the post-punk band Weathered Statues, and he can be found on Twitter: @jason_m_heller.


Jason Heller has the following works available at Clarkesworld:

Another Word: In the Home of Anthony Burgess' Harpsichord

NON-FICTION by Jason Heller in Issue 147 – December 2018

I stood on stage at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester, England. It was October of this year, and I was finishing a five-month (yes, you read that right, five-month) tour supporting my latest book, Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decades Sci-Fi Exploded. This was the biggest audience I’d had so […]

Another Word: The Depth of Sci-Fi Funk in the '70s

NON-FICTION by Jason Heller in Issue 129 – June 2017

At the start of the 1970s, two forms of popular culture were on the rise: science fiction and funk. Sci-fi had a huge breakthrough in 1968 with Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey; at the same time, funk architects like James Brown and Sly Stone were forcing the music to progress at an exhilarating rate. […]

Space Is the Place: The Science Fiction Pulse of '80s Electro Music

NON-FICTION by Jason Heller in Issue 120 – September 2016

“I am a computer,” says the voice. It isn’t human. Robotic and coldly electronic, it sounds like something conjured by the eeriest science fiction nightmare. Underneath it hovers a mechanical hum that might be the ambient noise of a spaceship, or an android brain, or even cyberspace. “I have been programmed to dance,” the voice […]

Another Word: Strange Stars

NON-FICTION by Jason Heller in Issue 116 – May 2016

Science fiction and fantasy took up residence in me at an early age, and so did music. I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s, when pop culture had yet to divide itself into the billion tiny boxes you see today. It was a free-for-all, a game of mix-and-match, or at least it felt that […]

Silver Machine: Hawkwind's Space Rock Journey throughout Science Fiction and Fantasy

NON-FICTION by Jason Heller in Issue 115 – April 2016

From Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of the War of the Worlds to Blind Guardian’s Nightfall in Middle-Earth, a handful of music albums have adapted entire works of science fiction/fantasy. This month, the long-running British space-rock band Hawkwind will do the same with the release of The Machine Stops—an album that musically interprets E. M. Forster’s […]

A Dance with Futuristic Dragons: The Science-Fantasy Glamour of Marc Bolan and T. Rex

NON-FICTION by Jason Heller in Issue 111 – December 2015

“Get it on. Bang a gong. Get it on.” These simple lyrics are Marc Bolan’s calling card—at least in the United States, where the 1971 song “Get It On (Bang a Gong)” became the lone hit by Marc Bolan’s band T. Rex. A staple of classic-rock radio, “Get It On” is not the type of […]

Another Word: On Sunshine and Shadows

NON-FICTION by Jason Heller in Issue 108 – September 2015

For someone who was born in Connecticut and now lives in Colorado, I sure do wonder a lot about Florida. As it turns out, so does science fiction/fantasy. My excuse? I lived in the Sunshine State between the formative ages of four and thirteen. SFF’s excuse? Well, that’s a bit more complicated. My first memory […]

The Day-Glo Dystopia of Poly Styrene: Punk Prophet and Science Fiction Priestess

NON-FICTION by Jason Heller in Issue 105 – June 2015

Her cheeks round and her teeth gleaming with braces, Poly Styrene sits in front of a television set, staring raptly at the flickering screen. At the age of twenty-one, she easily looks five years younger. If they didn’t already know, no one guess that this is one of the most exciting young rock stars in […]

Music, Magic, and Memory: A Conversation with Randy Henderson and Silvia Morena-Garcia

INTERVIEW by Jason Heller in Issue 102 – March 2015

There aren’t that many similarities between Randy Henderson’s Finn Fancy Necromancy and Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Signal to Noise. But the elements they share are intriguing. Both are debut novels; both were published on February 10th (by Tor and Solaris, respectively); and both are urban fantasies in which music mingles with magic. In Finn Fancy Necromancy, a […]

Song for a City-Universe: Lucius Shepard's Abandoned Vermillion

NON-FICTION by Jason Heller in Issue 100 – January 2015

It takes a long time to read an issue of Vermillion. Relatively speaking, anyway; each of the twelve issues of the brilliant, overlooked science-fantasy comic book series—written by the late SFF master Lucius Shepard and published in 1996 and ’97—is composed of as many pages as your average comic. Within that basic framework, though, Shepard […]

Another Word: The Words We Carry

NON-FICTION by Jason Heller in Issue 90 – March 2014

When I was a kid, I carried around universes in a cardboard box. My universes were heavy. But I was lucky. They all fit inside that box, even if their numbers kept expanding. My universes were small. Like a certain famous British police box, they were bigger on the inside than on the outside. Way […]

Beyond the Tracks: The Locomotive in Science Fiction Literature

NON-FICTION by Jason Heller in Issue 81 – June 2013

The capsule of metal begins to hum. Forces accumulate. Seated inside, the passengers feel the propulsion system lurch to life. Their bones thrum in synchronous frequency. Thus harmonized, man and machine move as one. The vehicle is launched along a predestined trajectory, arcing outward, soon to bisect a barren frontier. It accelerates hesitantly at first, […]

Moonage Daydream: The Rock Album as Science Fiction

NON-FICTION by Jason Heller in Issue 45 – June 2010

Rock ’n’ roll was never intended to have a future. Hot, fast, loud, bright: the genre was made to be as disposable as the chemically-fueled rockets that had started putting objects into orbit just as rock was getting off the ground in the ’50s. It’s perhaps more than coincidence that the song generally considered to […]
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