Space Heroes and Other Fools
About This Album
This album was released in 1982 by Off-Centaur Publications, and was intended to be my introduction to the recorded filk world. To facilitate my entrance into this scene, OCP made the album a collaboration between Leslie Fish, Julia Ecklar and me.
The editors at OCP originally thought the title "Space Heroes and Other Fools" was too long, but they soon discovered that people remembered it. And so the album was named.
With its swashbuckling themes, its tales of bravery and pain and its--yes--ose flavor, the album is a filk classic. I hope to bring it back someday.
About The Songs
The original album contained songs by Anne Prather, Julia Ecklar, Cindy McQuillin, Jordin Kare, and Leslie Fish. I am presenting only The Prather songs here, not because I don't like the other songs, but because I don't have a license to put them up here. As soon as that little formality is met, I'll post the rest of the songs here as well.
When I wrote this song I was still recovering from the death of my grandmother, to whom I was very close. In addition, I was just learning to write songs–so this song has a rather awkwardly ose characteristic.
If you were someone who had grown up in a mercenary culture, you'd probably be more sanguine about your husband's, father's, brother's and son's profession than the narrator of this song appears to be. On the other hand, the Dorsai were Celts (theoretically) and we all know how bright and happy much of Celtic music is!
The Science Fiction genre is rich with retelling of fairy tales. Sometimes these ret el lings are deliberate, sometimes they seem to be almost accidental, and sometimes they are inspired by the fairy tale but do not stay strictly within its structure. The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge is an example of the third type, in which the Anderson fairy tale provides that backbone for a much larger story. This tale, which won a Hugo award, is one of the best clone stories ever written. But it's much more–a tale of cultural upheaval, a confrontation between good and evil, and a deeply moving love story. In the song, Moon Dawntreader Summer is telling about her duty as a sibyl and her need to go home and rescue her people.
Having been trained in a music conservatory, Anne McCaffrey has no doubt seen the student who tries but fails to make it. When the student is imperious and brash, the comedown can be very lonely–as the book clearly portrays. The character and brashness of this song come straight out of my own version of that experience. The middle section, with its reflective conversation with the mountain, represents the beginning of Killashandra's resolution to her conflict.