Rush album is now a steampunk novel

An upcoming Rush album dubbed “Clockwork Angels” is being transformed into a sci-fi/steampunk novel by none other than Kevin J. Anderson.

”I’m writing the novelization of Rush’s forthcoming album Clockwork Angels, their first new CD in five years. Imagine if someone had written the novel of The Wall, Tommy, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band when those classic albums were released. For Rush fans, Clockwork Angels is that project,” Anderson explained in an official Facebook post. 

“[It is] a young man’s quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy, with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life.”

Now I know Anderson has penned over 100 novels, 47 of which made best sellers lists. He also has over 20 million copies of his books in print in thirty different languages, including the Jedi Academy and The Saga of the Seven Suns.

Frankly, I wasn’t all that impressed with Anderson’s treatment of the Star Wars universe, simply because I knew he was capable of more. Of course, I wasn’t all that impressed with George Lucas and his so-called Star Wars prequels, but still. It just seemed to me, at least at the time, that Anderson was jumping on the Star Wars bandwagon along with everyone else.

Simply put, Anderson didn’t do Star Wars justice, certainly not like sci-fi masters Alan Dean Foster and Timothy Zahn. Indeed, the latter writer could very well be considered the Tom Clancy of the Star Wars universe. 

Now Rush – Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart – are truly an awesome band, with a history of epic albums like A Farewell to Kings (1977) and Hemispheres (1978).

Those albums speak for themselves, as do The Wall (Pink Floyd), Tommy (The Who), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (The Beatles) and Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness (Smashing Pumpkins). Yes, penning a novel alongside a musical album is certainly an interesting idea, no one can deny that. And I’m not saying I necessarily oppose the idea – as long as the book isn’t attempting to supplant the album in any way.

But as a companion or literary supplement to Clockwork Angels? Yes, I think it could work, just so long as Anderson takes the time and effort to do the album justice. Let’s hope he does this time around, because Rush deserves only the best.

Clockwork Angels (the album) is set to hit stores in spring of 2012.