i write. i make up stuff. i adventure hard, so you don’t have to.



"Grace Under Pressure" and RESURRECTION, INC.

Published August 20, 2012 in Writing - 5 Comments

This interview appeared in the special edition of Classic Rock Presents: RUSH magazine. Reprinted with permission.

The sci-fi author on the album that helped inspire his debut novel Resurrection, Inc., and changed his entire life.


Grace Under Pressure changed my lfie. I’d wanted to be a writer since I was a kid. I’d discovered Rush early on, thanks to the obvious science fiction connections, and their music had always given me ideas, inspiring scenes in things I was writing.

In 1984, when Grace Under Pressure came out, I was in college dabbling at writing novels, toying with an idea called Resurrection, Inc., where dead people were being brought back to act as servants. The main character had been murdered, but couldn’t remember who murdered him.

As I listened to Grace Under Pressure, it seemed it was the soundtrack to the book. The lyrics had so much relevance to this thing that was only in my imagination. “Someone to talk to and someone to sweep the floors” from Distant Early Warningseemed to chime with this stratified society with zombie robot servants who weren’t supposed to be anything but tools.

Afterimage is this defiant song which seemed to go with the idea of this guy getting his memories back, and Red Sector A fitted with the Servants starting to remember who they were. “Are we the last ones left alive?” It turns out the main character wasn’t a good person, which is why he got murdered—that’s The Enemy Within.  And The Body Electric, “android on the run.” When I listen to Beneath the Wheels, the movie of the book’s grand finale plays in my head, because it’s so intertwined with the song and the album.

Grace Under Pressure gave me a focus for the story, so I wrote it and it became my first published novel. I thanked the band inside, and I signed copies of the book and mailed them to Mercury Records, assuming they’d vanish into this vast warehouse. A year later, I received a seven-page letter from Neil Peart. That started a close friendship that’s lasted more than twenty years.

I played Grace Under Pressure just the other day, and it’s as good as I remember. It’s like looking through the eyepiece of a telescope and seeing all kinds of different things, but if you turn the knob just right, everything comes into focus. It hit me at the right moment, and it helped me launch my career. It truly changed my life.

NOTE: you can get autographed copies, as well as an autographed bundle with CLOCKWORK ANGELS, from AnderZoneShop.


Rob - August 21, 2012

Been a Rush fan since ’82. I traded Styx’s Cornerstone for Signals in the 7th grade and was hooked. Subdivisions was such a timely, affirming message for a 12 year old. I remember my dad bringing home the cassette of GUP for me on the day it came out. I have gotten every album since – on the day it came out. Those guys have inspired lots of us, and they still do. I have told my parents on several occasions that they had help in bringing me up from Geddy, Alex and Neil. That sounds like nonsense to someone who is not a big Rush fan, but not to those of us who have experienced the inspiration and positive direction of their music. Hearing Clockwork Angels on the day it came out still gave me the same jolt as GUP did then. My dad, my son, and I are going to see them together in November. Three generations and counting.

I had previously been unfamiliar with your work, but since hearing about your CA collaboration, I read Resurrection, Inc. It was excellent, and even more impressive for being your first novel. I am glad you were inspired enough by the boys to get that book out, and I am sure that your resulting work has inspired others in like manner. I am looking forward to reading CA in a couple of weeks.

Tony Miller - August 21, 2012

Rush truely is an inspiration. I have taken life lessons fom many of thier songs. I have seen them in concert 15 times with tickets to show 16 in October. Wish i could meet them to say thank you for the many years of music.

Rubin - August 22, 2012

Just heard the filmmaker who helped save the Tesla lab talking about how Rush inspired him on the radio and he mentioned the Clockwork Angels book! Are there any movie plans for Clockwork?

    Kevin J. Anderson - August 22, 2012

    we’ll have to wait and see if any movie people express interest. Fingers crossed.

Dave Lancaster - September 22, 2012

I’m currently reading the two books back-to-back. Right now, I’m half way through ‘Resurrection Inc’. This should be a movie! Great book Mr. Anderson! Danal’s got me wondering “what next?” Owen and ‘Clockwork Angels’ after that.
Got my tickets for ‘Clockwork Angels’ on Nov 23rd. As stated by many over the years, the three guys that makeup Rush are a big inspiration to me in a well-rounded way. The lyrics, the music, and their general way about them. Thanks Rush for the many years of great music! And thanks to Kevin J. Anderson, for letting me discover a ‘new’ author. Your writing is outstanding. Keeps me riveted to say the least!
Thank You!

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