Johnny Cash: Science Fiction Author

As I’ve said here before, the connections between science fiction and 20th-century popular music run very deep. If you’re a fan of both, you find yourself becoming the jelly in a giant nostalgia sandwich.  Want an example?

This week, Cracked.com had an article called 6 Books that Destroy Your Image of the People Who Wrote Them. They include some of the back story behind Johnny Cash’s foray into SF writing.

He wrote the short story, “The Holografik Danser” in the 50s, but didn’t publish it until his daughter, Rosanne, edited a book of fiction (not exclusively SF) written by musicians in 2001.  That suggests even he didn’t take it 100% seriously and was simply adding some novelty factor to the collection.

Cracked makes the story sound horrible, but that’s their schtick. As a guy who has spent nearly a decade trying to look seriously at speculative fiction that even SF fans write off as trashy (i.e., Doc Savage, dime novel SF), I won’t mock it.

Hell, saying that Johnny Cash was a better songwriter than SF writer is like saying Michael Jordon played basketball better than he played golf.  Being great at one thing should be enough for anyone; it makes the rest of us feel less pathetic.

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