As you may all know, I am a huge geek. I love every aspect of science fiction. One of the cornerstones of good science fiction is the first contact story, From Arthur Clarke, to Carl Sagan the story has been played around in every media format of science fiction. It opens the door to the most challenging questions; How do we reconcile with being neighbors? How do we present ourselves? Are these others friendly or coercive? Do they want to be friends? Are they even aware of us at all? More importantly the first contact story stands as a ready critique of our ways of dealing with the ‘other’. Do we adopt a colonial attitude? Are we welcoming? Are we the enemy? So many great questions and the beautiful answer is that since we have yet to encounter this moment, we have no clue. We have a body of speculative literature and media to help us explore this question. And that is a beautiful thing!

So here we are, at the corners of progressive rock and science fiction once again perusing what makes our genre of music so damned intriguing. We have gathered together a number of songs that will help us explore what our music has to say about this most important of topics. Check it out:

We Are Not Alone

We begin with a rather simple premise. We are listening for contact. The inclusion of a more political piece from Marillion here is meant to indicate the state of our world. The mess we find ourselves in. This is also true of the Neal Morse piece. The idea was to help identify that these are the reasons we might look to the skies. Perhaps some new wisdom could be brought down to earth and we would learn that all of this trauma and terror we inflict upon one another is unnecessary. Or at the very least, we might learn that there are bigger problems for us to manage, and perhaps what we need is a good ole invasion to bring our sorry asses together because our little ego bound attitudes are in fact tearing this world apart.

  • Seti- Listening to the Sky
  • Marillion- El Dorado Suite
  • The Neal Morse Band- Welcome to the World
  • Magenta- Man and Machine Suite
  • Adrian Belew- Looking for a UFO
  • Man or Astro-man?- Alien Visitors
  • Bigelf- Alien Frequency
  • Billy Thorpe- Children of the Sun
  • Amplifier- UFOs
  • Zebra- Who’s Behind the Door?
  • Visitors- Flatwoods Story
  • Flaming Lips- UFO Story
  • Tool- Rosetta Stoned
  • Simon Collins- Keep it Dark
  • Pallas- The Alien Messiah
  • John Williams- The Conversation
  • Styx- Come Sail Away
  • Manning- Antares
  • Radiohead- Subterranean Homesick Alien
  • A Perfect Circle- So Long and Thanks for All the Fish
  • RPWL- A New World
  • Sound of Contact- Mobius Slip
  • Steve Hackett- Watcher of the Skies
  • In Continuum- Crash Landing
  • Porcupine Tree- Last Chance to Evacuate Planet Earth Before it is Recycled
  • Ben Craven- Spy in the Sky Pt 3
  • Neil Young- After the Gold Rush
  • David Bowie- Starman
  • William Shatner- War of the Worlds