"Songshifting occupies a unique place in modern fiction: a simple, elegiac story, fierce and uncompromising, it is at once a love letter to a forgotten era, a richly evoked dystopia, and an examination of memory, longing, and music itself. Speculative fiction needs more writers like Chris Bell, ready and able to interrogate our world on their own terms, and probe the darker recesses of our minds. Songshifting demands to be read" ROBERT DINSDALE, GINGERBREAD
"Part rock memoir, part densely-textured journey into a dystopian world as rich as [Terry Gilliam's] Brazil, Songshifting is wise, elegiac and compelling. It speaks deeply to what music means to us - not just as an art form but as part of our emotional landscape. Wonderful stuff." DAVE HUTCHINSON, EUROPE IN AUTUMN (shortlisted for the John W. Campbell, Arthur C. Clarke and BSFA Awards); EUROPE AT MIDNIGHT, Solaris Books
"Bell writes excellently. It's particularly rewarding to see that done around the subject of music because it's such a hard thing to write about well"
"Songshifting has the authenticity so many attempts at capturing rock music in a novel lack"
"The music scene that provides the backdrop to most of what happens is beautifully fleshed out. I love the slang Bell invented as well as the sense of history he invokes. The setting is excellent"
"A day with no soundtrack is a wasted day." Can music journalist Rarity Dean prevail against the impresario's mind-control drug and ban on recorded music?
Dean writes for music paper the Grid but her familiar world of bands, promo photos, recording and gigs is being systematically erased by powerful forces: a shadowy body called the impresario that has prohibited recordings and decreed home entertainment to be treasonous. Instead, its Affable DJ Hologram provides the 'punters' with a sense of freedom through a stylised form of entertainment. Meanwhile, the 'musos' have developed what seem to be supernatural abilities. An ability to songshift - a benign but elusive form of time travel that enables listeners to slip into the relative safety of their pasts with the help of their chosen music - is prized and jealously guarded by punters and musos alike.
"Music has been central to my existence for longer than I can remember. It's not just music; songs are magnets that over the years attract particles from our history, creating a pattern unique to every listener. Music makes you feel happy and sad and a roaring cascade of emotions all at once - and you're never really sure why. A day with no soundtrack is a wasted day."
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