Here's my review for 4Columns of Jason Heller's book about the interface between pop music and science fiction in the 1970s - Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded.
Along with the many cross-contaminations between rock-etc and s.f., one thing that Heller's book reminded me of was that many of the very earliest rock criticism publications were started by people who had previously done science fiction fanzines. Crawdaddy’s
Paul Williams had earlier published Within; Greg Shaw, founder of Who Put the
Bomp, attended s.f. conventions and made mimeographed zines; Lenny Kaye
self-published periodicals like Sadistic Sphinx long before he became a rock
critic and Patti Smith guitarist.
Intensely self-reflexive fields, rock
criticism and science fiction share a strange mix of inferiority and superiority
complexes. Painfully aware of their
marginal position vis-à-vis “proper” journalism and “respectable” literature, they
nonetheless believe that they are doing
the Most Crucial Writing of Our Time. I can remember from my own days as an adolescent s.f. fanatic being struck by the s.f. writer's culture of workshops and conventions - by how the writers loved to write essays defining s.f. as a genre, proclaiming its unique contribution to literature. There were even a few volumes of essays by s.f. writers debating s.f. that I remember reading.
S.f. was what I was into immediately before getting into music; writing s.f. and in particular alternative history, a special passion of mine, was what I imagined I might do in life, until I discovered the music press. During this mid-teens enthusiasm for s.f., I thought that I would never ever be one of those who grew out of the genre. But sure enough, the zeal for s.f. got displaced abruptly and entirely by a different fanatical focus, once I heard Sex Pistols and Ian Dury. Aged sixteen, I swapped one New Wave (the Sixties-onward school of experimental and inner-spacey s.f.) for another New Wave.
But then I came back to the genre in middle age - did some catch-up with cyberpunk, which I'd missed as it was happening in the Eighties... reread old favorites... caught up with a few that I'd somehow missed (like Lem) even during the days of taking four paperbacks a week out of Berkhamsted Library as well as buying as many as I could on my slender means... But I never got round to any of the post-1990 giants (if giants there be). To me, it's still Pohl and Bester and Brunner who loom largest in my mind.