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PostHeaderIconDance for the Ivory Madonna

PostHeaderIcon Blinded by the Light

Song number: 
3850
Song Artist: 
Manfred Mann's Earth Band
Album: 
Roaring Silence
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

The line is “revved up like a deuce,” and it is a clear reference to the famous “little deuce coupe.”

I don’t know why people hate this song so much. Not only is it full of enough evocative names and images to inspire a whole shelf of books, but Manfred Mann’s orchestrated version is so superior, dramatically and in every other way, to Springsteen’s sleepy, mumbled variation.

This song, more than any other, influenced Dance for the Ivory Madonna. In fact, this song informs just about every chapter of the book.

PostHeaderIcon We Didn't Start the Fire

Song number: 
3848
Song Artist: 
Billy Joel
Album: 
Storm Front
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

This song, as a reflection of the history of the Baby Boom generation, belonged here. It obviously informed a lot of my thinking about the Boomers as a superogranism.

And, of course, finally deciphering the line “children of thalidomide” was what gave me the idea of having Penylle’s mutation spring from the drug miruvorane….

PostHeaderIcon Cobwebs and Dust

Song number: 
3846
Song Artist: 
Gordon Lightfoot
Album: 
If You Could Read My Mind
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

Originally, I included this song in the hope that it would help me get a handle on WWH, especially in the scene where Damien and Penylle go to ask his help. Well, it didn’t turn out to be very much of a direct inspiration—but I think some of the otherworldly tone crept into what I actually wrote.

Oh, and I do know that this song was the reason that WWH had settled on an island….

PostHeaderIcon Part of the Plan

Song number: 
3844
Song Artist: 
Dan Fogelberg
Album: 
Dan Fogelberg Greatest Hits
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

Miranda’s plans, Marc Hoister’s plans, the plans of the AIs—Damien and Penylle are parts of the plan, but whose?

PostHeaderIcon Blood Makes Noise

Song number: 
3842
Song Artist: 
Suzanne Vega
Album: 
99.9 F•
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

I think Suzanne Vega’s jagged, brutal song perfectly captures the anxiety that gripped a world which had seen plague after cruel plague sweep through defenseless populations. “The thickening of fear” is such a marvelous phrase for a constant doom that hung over the world, just as the threat of thermonuclear war was a constant doom hanging over the world in which Miranda grew up.

PostHeaderIcon Hallelujah Chorus

Song number: 
3840
Song Artist: 
Händel
Album: 
Messiah
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

This played, endlessly repeating, during the hours I was writing the “Dagon’s House” scene. It’s a wonder my housemates didn’t strangle me.

PostHeaderIcon After the Gold Rush

Song number: 
3838
Song Artist: 
Neil Young
Album: 
Decade
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

The first verse inspired InfoPol’s raid on the Institute “I dreamed I saw the knights in armor coming (InfoPol), saying something about a queen (Miranda).”

In the second verse I see Penylle’s reaction to being told about Marc’s treachery. “I was thinking about what a friend had said, hoping it was a lie.”

The third verse, of course, is the source for Jack/Marc’s mercy dream at the end of the book. I think this is probably the root of the entire “migration to Mars” theme.

PostHeaderIcon You Don't Believe

Song number: 
3834
Song Artist: 
The Alan Parsons Project
Album: 
Eye in the Sky
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

Another dimension of the relationship between Penylle and Marc Hoister.

I always mis-hear the fourth line as “Well it’s my need, but always your connection,” which seems to connote a junkie/supplier dynamic. It’s that, I think, that informed Marc’s supplying of prolactin—combined with a synthetic opiate—to Penylle.

PostHeaderIcon Undun

Song number: 
3836
Song Artist: 
Guess Who
Album: 
Best of the Guess Who
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

To me, this song is all about Marc gloating over mistakes that Miranda has made. I picture the tone as gleeful as Marc anticipates Miranda’s fall and ultimate destruction.

PostHeaderIcon The Time Warp (extended)

Song number: 
3832
Song Artist: 
Original Cast
Album: 
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

In Dance for the Ivory Madonna this became the Hyperspace Jig. I still like the original better.

This particular version is an extended and enhanced dance mix from Europe. I like to think that this is the version that played at the Institute on Friday nights….

PostHeaderIcon La Cage aux Folles

Song number: 
3830
Song Artist: 
Original Cast
Album: 
La Cage aux Folles
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

This song captures some of the outrageous feel I wanted for the Maris Institute.

PostHeaderIcon The Piper

Song number: 
3828
Song Artist: 
Abba
Album: 
Super Trouper
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

This is how Marc Hoister’s preaching—enhanced by Penylle—affected the population.

And it’s a “dancing” tie-in. I don’t know, perhaps this song gave me the notion of “dancing” for the Ivory Madonna.

PostHeaderIcon The Logical Song

Song number: 
3826
Song Artist: 
Supertramp
Album: 
Breakfast in America
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

Here I see Damien’s dilemma…and the solution. As the book begins, Damien (like the singer) is waiting for someone to tell him “who he is.” And (as Miranda knows full well) any true answer to that question can only come from Damien himself.

PostHeaderIcon Games Without Frontiers

Song number: 
3824
Song Artist: 
Peter Gabriel
Album: 
Peyer Gabriel
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

In this song I see the Nexus watching the U.N. and other governmental bodies, and becoming increasingly disgusted with the way nations play pointless, meaningless games with one another.

Games Without Frontiers got me looking into Medecins sans Frontieres, and so was at least a partial inspiration for Jamiar Heavitree.

PostHeaderIcon I've Seen All Good People

Song number: 
3822
Song Artist: 
Yes
Album: 
Yes Album
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

This song helped me to get a handle on the relationship between a Nexus operative and his/her boss—in this case, I see Miranda as the White Queen and Damien saying “Move me onto any black square.”

Of course, such a relationship can become damaging—unless the boss is wise enough to force her operative to fly on his own.

In a way, this shows how the Miranda/Damien relationship contrasts with the Jack/Penylle one.

PostHeaderIcon Rubenesque

Song number: 
3820
Song Artist: 
The Duras Sisters
Album: 
Rubenesque
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

Miranda Maris, the Ivory Madonna. Larger than life. What more can I say?

PostHeaderIcon Wrapped Around Your Finger

Song number: 
3818
Song Artist: 
The Police
Album: 
Synchronicity
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

Another version of the Marc-Penylle relationship.

PostHeaderIcon Master Jack

Song number: 
3816
Song Artist: 
Four Jacks and a Jill
Album: 
Master Jack
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

​This song was an obvious precursor of Penylle’s relationship with the mysterious hacker who sometimes called himself "Jack.".

Four Jacks and a Jill were a South African folk/pop group of the 1960s. Looking back on it, this song is a pretty courageous attack on apartheid and a social system that used the educational system and restrictions on travel to keep citizens—particularly young people—ignorant of the rest of the world.

PostHeaderIcon Boxed Sets

 

The published Scattered Worlds books are now available in two ebook sets in Kindle format.

Beyond Our Stars: a Scattered Worlds omnibus ($8.99) contains Weaving the Web of Days, A Voice in Every Wind, All Roads Lead to Terra, A Rose From Old Terra, and The Leaves of October.

Worlds Afire: a scattered Worlds omnibus ($6.99) contains three novels of the Hoister Family: Dance for the Ivory Madonna, The Eighth Succession, and Children of the Eighth Day.

These ebook sets are the most inexpensive way to get up to date on the Scattered Worlds Mosaic.

PostHeaderIcon Worlds Afire

Worlds Afire
Author/Editor: 
Don Sakers
A Scattered Worlds Omnibus
Genre(s): 
Science Fiction
Series: 
Scattered Worlds
Series Order: 
99
Reading order: 
99
Three Scattered Worlds novels in one ebook.
One-Paragraph Description: 

Contains three Scattered Worlds novels featuring the Hoister Family. DANCE FOR THE IVORY MADONNA is a near-future cyberthriller; THE EIGHTH SUCCESSION and CHILDREN OF THE EIGHTH DAY are space opera that pits a family of paranormal clone geniuses against the Galactic Empire.

Have you read?
The Book That Predicted Google Glass
The final battle of the Empress
Clone paranormal geniuses against the galactic empire
Two Tales of the Scattered Worlds
Visit a world in which scent and taste are as important as vision and hearing
Opening a new chapter in the Scattered Worlds Mosaic
How would intelligent, long-lived trees judge the Human race?
Classic gay teenage romance
The Fey vs the Galactic Empire
A Datebook Like No Other
Carmen Miranda's Ghost is Haunting Space Station Three
Lucky's Life is Turning Around
An anthology in celebration of queer speculative fiction.
An anthology celebrating queer speculative fiction.
The PsiScouts: X-Men meet Buck Rogers
collection of sf & fantasy stories, essay, and poetry by Maryland-area writers
A Scattered Worlds Omnibus
a Scattered Worlds omnibus
Psi-gifted teens tackle theocracy & a threat to history itself
A collection of sf/fantasy diversions
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