When Neil Peart took over lyric duties on Rush’s Fly By Night album, he began a body of work that continues to inspire fans and creatives alike. 2113 is a collection of Rush-influenced short stories curated by his Clockwork Angels collaborator, science fiction writer Kevin J. Anderson.
Naturally, sci‑fi provides the backdrop to these contributions from authors such as Star Trek novelist David Mack, fantasy doyenne Mercedes Lackey and Whovian Steven Savile. Many take their lead from Peart’s pet concerns with dystopian futures, overbearing authorities and self-determinism/freedom of expression, most famously captured in the 2112 concept, whose themes proliferate through this anthology.
There are Easter eggs aplenty for the Rush acolyte as familiar phrases abound, unobtrusive companions that will trigger many an earworm. The quality varies but when the stories are most successful, the author’s words flow with passion and precision, such as Race Human (based on Marathon) and A Patch Of Blue (after Natural Science), echoing Peart’s own style. Also included are Fritz Leiber’s 1967 short Gonna Roll The Bones and A Nice Morning Drive by Richard S Foster, the spark behind Red Barchetta. An intriguing text for any Rush fan.