Dave's Corner of the Universe

Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide

Songs that Inspire my Writing: Science Fiction.


I love music. I love writing with music in the background. If you have read anything by me you probably read something I wrote with music in the background (Either that or an old episodes of Forensic Files). In fact I am listening to music as I type this. I call it method writing. I use the music to get me in the mood, to help come up with words or feel the emotions I want to portray. Once when I wrote a piece about a young man making a tough decision, I had Social D’s Cold Feelings running in the back ground on a continues loop.

Background music can be pretty powerful. I seldom consciously pay attention to the background music of a movie, but I know if it wasn’t there I would notice it. Think of all the things we do with music in the background, we shop to it, we drive to it, we exercise to it, we relax to it, we cry to it, we make love to it.

My all-time favorite music to get me in the mood for writing is Greg Khind’s The Break Up Song (AKA They Don’t Write Them Like that Anymore.) That song can pretty much get me into the mood to write even when I feel completely blah.

This is a list of music I used when I want to write science fiction. They aren’t necessarily sci fi songs. They are just songs that inspire me when I am writing something sci fi. They are not the only ones just some I thought I would share. These aren’t the songs that I listen to if I am writing a blog post, or a mythos story, those are separate lists. Obviously I like the songs put they are not necessarily on my chilling or working on the farm paly list.

If you use music to inspire your writing let me know what you listen to when you write. Maybe I will add it to one of my lists.

Future Crimes by Wild Flag. It has been statistically proven that 10x’s as many people watch a first run episode of Portlandia, that ever bought a Sleater-Kinney album. So more people know Carrie Brownstien from her sketch comedy than her music. But she was once listed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 25 most underrated bassists. She rocks as well as she acts. Her current band is Wild Flag, and while Future Crime is about an emerging romance it gets me in the mood for cyber-punk and time travel tales.

Lithium Flowers. English version by Scott Mathew this song is best known as the theme for Ghost in the Shell: SAC. I have a love hate relationship with this song look at its lyrics “It’s something humans do she stays so golden solo. She is so number nine, she’s incredible math.” Or, “so matador, so calm, so oil on fire, she’s so good, she’s so goddess lithium flower.” It depends on how I feel sometimes I think, wow that’s amazing and sometimes I am like…Uh it didn’t quite translate into English too well. Depends on my mood.

Science Fiction Double Feature, by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. OK, yes I know the original was in the Rocky Horror Picture show, it’s just I love this song as a punk rock jam. It also reminds me to keep the audience of anything I write in mind and that sci-fi should be fun.

Star Wars Theme, John Williams. Who is the most living influential living writer of music? Paul Mccarney? Bob Dylan? Paul Anka? No to me it is John Williams form Jaws, to Superman to Close Encounters of the Third Kind to Gilligan’s Island (Credited as Johnny Williams) he is the man. His music really makes a difference in the movies. They also inspire me. When I listen to the SW theme I am not only transported into a universe a long, long time ago in a galaxy far away, I am transported back to my childhood, when anything was possible.

Under the Milky Way Tonight. By Kill Hannah. I like the original by The Church and I like all real music lovers am not suppose to love covers (Except for Johnny Cash’s Hurt that song is the bomb) but I like songs originally done by men covered by women. Tori Amos sinning Angie instead of the Rolling Stones completely changes the underlying story line for me. I also get this song is not really about space, but for me it captures the expanse of space and sense of awe the universe is supposed to inspire.

South Side by Moby. Moby said he was inspired to write this song after reading cyberpunk novels. I have read Nueromancer seven times and Gibbson to this day influences my writing even though I think I have moved on beyond nut and bolt sci-fi. It is a sunny poppy song about driving out to fight other gangs with guns. It captures the comradery of a dystopic dark future.

In the Year 2525 by Zager and Evans. They say that the crowd broke out in to an impromptu chorus of this song before the Apollo 11 lifted off. I am not sure if that is true it may have been an urban legend. But it captures the spirit of the new frontier. This is another warning about the future in a cheerful ballad. The intro always get my creative juices flowing. This is both 60’s and futuristic all wrapped up in one rocking package.

14 comments on “Songs that Inspire my Writing: Science Fiction.

  1. arcade1775
    July 23, 2015

    just so happens that I started watching the second season of ghost in the shell. Lithium flower reminds me of when I was deployed to Iraq… 🙂 thanks for sharing. Might make a post of my own about musical influences too!

  2. Charles Dada
    July 24, 2015

    Brilliant clips; thanks for sharing. I listen to a lot of music, but not when I’m writing or reading, it’s just too distracting as I try to follow the music or words. I have this theory about it: I don’t search it out; it searches me out, and there’s always something new, or a glimpse of the past that I have never seen before. Your post is one example of that.

    • davekheath
      July 24, 2015

      I think a lot of people are different. I was amazed how many people told me that they wrote with background music. I thought I was the only one. But for some people it is a distraction. It is all about finding what works for you.

  3. WooLongTalks
    July 24, 2015

    It’s amazing how music can provide inspiration to so many parts of our lives..I don’t think I could carry out any chores without something playing in the background. I like a bit of ‘coffee table’ jazz when I’m writing, seems to help me focus for some reason!

    • davekheath
      July 25, 2015

      I live on a goat farm and help my sister and her husband with the goats. If I didn’t charge my phone and have no music the chores seem like twice as long. when in reality they are the same time.

  4. Brian Bixby
    July 25, 2015

    I don’t often write TO music, but sometimes a song and a story line will get tangled up together. This song got connected to TWO stories I’ve worked on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKGRijV8U3s

    • davekheath
      July 26, 2015

      LOL Way back when I played Cyberpunk 2020 that was the theme for people with cybernetic eyes.

  5. crazyknitterscreations
    August 4, 2015

    I will have to try writing with music in the background. I have normally been writing in silence and it has not been working out for me 😉

    • davekheath
      August 4, 2015

      Funny thing even when I typed papers i n high school it was easier for me with something in the background, not for everyone but give it a try.

  6. wizriga
    August 26, 2015

    I’m not even sure I COULD write without music in the background. While working on ‘Boosted Vision’ I have a playlist going with pretty much anything I feel is ambient to the cyberpunk genre. Sometimes when I’m having a hard time getting into the writing I’ll stop and find the song that best suits the mood for what I’m going for and just listen to it a couple of times. It usually helps 🙂

    Anyway, great suggestions, I’ll have to add a few to my mix! (I actually have the original version of ‘Under the Milky Way Tonight on my list already.) Here’s one for all you cyberpunk lovers, from the Goth/EBM genre:

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