When I applied for a position as the sci-fi columnist with LitReactor last month, I had to pitch a whole slew of ideas for articles and top-ten lists. Sadly, I did not get the job, but some of the ideas I came up with were too good to pass up, hence the recent top-ten-list kick I've been on here on my blog. Not that this is really a top-ten list. It's more a list of notable albums for science-fiction and fantasy geeks, and hell, there's not even 20 albums like I said in the title above. It turned out that coming up with the idea for the list was a lot easier than actually compiling the list itself, so I recruited the help of a bunch of other speculative fiction authors and musicians. Here's what we came up with:
Piper at the Gates of Dawn – Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd got pegged as a sci-fi trip-out band early in their career, largely because of their psychedelic live shows and their first album, Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Original singer and songwriter Syd Barrett had a penchant for fantasy and sci-fi lyrics, and Piper features a healthy mix of both. “Astronomy Domine” and “Interstellar Overdrive” are acid-driven space voyages while “Lucifer Sam,” “The Gnome,” and “Scarecrow” are pure fairy-tale fantasy. Pink Floyd continued to explore some vaguely sci-fi and dystopian themes on subsequent albums without Barrett—notably on Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall—but none of their albums were so thoroughly speculative-fiction themed start to finish as Piper.