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Jason Heller

Author of Taft 2012

11+ Works 397 Members 56 Reviews

Works by Jason Heller

Associated Works

The Time Traveller's Almanac (2013) — Contributor — 569 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 100 (January 2015) (2015) — Contributor — 38 copies
Swords v. Cthulhu (1852) — Contributor — 30 copies
Nightmares Unhinged: Twenty Tales of Terror (2015) — Contributor — 30 copies
Descended From Darkness: Apex Magazine Vol. I (2009) — Contributor — 17 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 073 (October 2012) (2012) — Non-fiction editor — 16 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 071 (August 2012) (2012) — Non-fiction editor — 14 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 111 (December 2015) (2015) — Author, some editions — 14 copies
Let's All Go to the Science Fiction Disco (2013) — Contributor — 10 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 074 (November 2012) (2012) — Non-fiction editor — 9 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 064 (January 2012) (2012) — Non-fiction editor — 6 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 072 (September 2012) (2012) — Non-fiction editor — 6 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 069 (June 2012) (2012) — Non-fiction editor — 6 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 065 (February 2012) (2012) — Non-fiction editor — 5 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 070 (July 2012) (2012) — Non-fiction editor — 4 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 067 (April 2012) (2012) — Non-fiction editor — 4 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 066 (March 2012) (2012) — Non-fiction editor — 4 copies
Clarkesworld: Issue 068 (May 2012) (2012) — Non-fiction editor — 3 copies


Common Knowledge



I love the idea of this book as I understood it before reading it, but don't much care for the execution. If only I had read the acknowledgements page first, in which the author thanks his editor for giving him this idea, and mentions that this first time novelist is the previous author of The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook. Oh. That would have seriously adjusted my expectations of what kind of book this was; less serious yet playful examination of American politics by an inspired novelist, and more... hired out playful silliness. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But indeed, the worst parts of this book are when the author tries to get somewhat serious and forces Taft to speak awful political platitudes. Thankfully, those moments occur less often than the silliness: Taft learning to Wii, Taft learning to use Twitter, Taft getting drunk in a bar and listening to a bad punk band and going home with the barmaid, Taft having a digestive problem, Taft encountering modern talk show hosts. Those are somewhat amusing, so fair play to the author for that.

Now, could someone please try to convince an accomplished novelist to imagine Theodore Roosevelt returning to campaign for President in 2016? Ah well.
… (more)
lelandleslie | 48 other reviews | Feb 24, 2024 |
Hugo Award–winner Jason Heller traverses the realm of 1970s science fiction in his thorough cultural history that examines how the genre influenced music and musicians, from David Bowie’s 1969 “Space Oddity” to the “tipping point” in 1977, when Star Wars, Alan Parsons Project’s I, Robot, and Styx’s “Come Sail Away” were all released. Never before has anyone written a book on how sci-fi paved the way for major musical and pop culture innovations. David Bowie’s career is a constant thread throughout, from his “Space Oddity” song (inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey and the Apollo 11 moon landing), which Heller establishes as the catalyst for sci-fi infiltrating 1970s music, to its sequel “Ashes to Ashes” in 1980, demonstrating the Bowie was at the forefront of musical innovation within this decade that often gets ridiculed for disco. Heller excavates sci-fi influences across genres including the influences that shapes Rush's classic album 2112; the robotic aesthetic of electronic duo Kraftwerk and their cold, mechanical, synthesizer-driven music; the dystopian lyrics of postpunk bands such as Joy Division; and the extraterrestrial liberation baked into the identity of seminal funk band Parliament. Heller concludes that, while countless bands wrote songs about science fiction, Bowie stood apart because he “was science fiction.” Heller concludes the book with a brief discussion on Bowie's last album and his elusive death. It's really all I could ever ask for in a book and possibly the most interesting music book of 2018. My only critique is that I wished he wrote an epilogue that briefly discussed the late 80s and 90s.… (more)
ryantlaferney87 | 3 other reviews | Dec 8, 2023 |
Good idea, fun read, but could have been so much better.
minkscat | 48 other reviews | Jan 29, 2022 |
Nice little book. Could have been longer, I would've liked to have stayed with the characters a bit longer.
austinburns | 48 other reviews | Dec 16, 2021 |



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Chinelo Onwualu Contributor
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Darin Bradley Contributor
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Nisi Shawl Contributor
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Keith Ferrell Contributor
Alyssa Wong Contributor
Paolo Bacigalupi Contributor
Isabel Yap Contributor
Minister Faust Contributor
Angie Hodapp Contributor
E. Lily Yu Contributor
Carrie Vaughn Contributor
Molly Tanzer Contributor
Mike Libby Introduction
Sarah Hans Contributor
Adrian Van Young Contributor
Robert T. Toombs Contributor
Kat Howard Contributor
Lauren Beukes Contributor
Maurice Broaddus Contributor
Tessa Kum Contributor
Jules Verne Contributor
Alistair Rennie Contributor
An Owomoyela Contributor
Aliette de Bodard Contributor
Michael Cisco Contributor
Nick Mamatas Contributor
Delia Sherman Contributor
Jess Nevins Contributor
Aaron Lovett Cover artist


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½ 3.6

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