Fiction by Paolo Bacigalupi

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Posted on Oct 15, 2008 in Blog, The Windup Girl, Writing | 9 comments

writing music

Okay, everyone made fun of me when they heard that I was listening to Nickelback. I make no claims of having good taste. As I was finishing up THE WINDUP GIRL my soundtrack largely consisted of:

Sean Paul
Avril Lavigne
Daddy Yankee
Paul Wall
The Blackeyed Peas
David Guetta

What do you listen to when you write? Any suggestions for me?


  1. LOL!!! Are you my 14 year old niece?

    Ahem. I listen to a wide variety of stuff. Basically what iTunes puts in front of me on random. A quick look says a lot of Fela Kuti, Dub, and electronic satuff like Autechre, Monolake, Scorn, and Deadbeat.

    Glad your writing is better than your taste in music, Drama. ;)

  2. OMG, you crack me up. I listen to a little bit of Black Eyed Peas and Fergie, but I have an excuse. My spin instructor got me hooked.

    You have no excuse. And now I have the giggles :)

  3. Well, at least now we have a good idea why your fiction tends towards bleak themes and depictions of humanity’s decline… ;)

  4. Sade is my favorite when I’m writing. Smooth, relaxing and unobtrusive.

  5. HA! I knew you had to have a flaw somewhere!

    So, my favorite bands (which I feel work as a soundtrack for most of your stories fairly well):

    Nine Inch Nails – Trent Reznor has some really heavy industrial to very unique “instrumental” ambience. You can get some of his instrumental album “Ghosts” at nin.com for free, and the album “The Fragile” is probably the best cross-section of his music.

    A Perfect Circle – a side project of various bands (now ended, after 2 albums and 1 cover album), that spawned some of the best music of the decade, imho. They covered Lennon’s “Imagine” in a way that brought a completely different tone to the song.

    Tool – shares an amazing lead singer with APC, “progressive rock”, and some of the best drumwork you’ll run across. Album “10,000 Days” is excellent.

    Smashing Pumpkins – lead Billy Corgan is a strange character who writes amazing songs. They’re hard to classify, but easy to identify. Find “The Beginning is the End is the Beginning” – coincidentally, the song from the “Watchmen” trailer.

    VAST – the most acoustic on this list, Jon Crosby is very much an experimentalist. Personally, I think his earlier albums are his best: V.A.S.T. and Nude.

    Deftones – the most classic “metal” band on the list, can range from screaming to really interesting trancish songs. They also have a great cover of Duran Duran’s “The Chauffer.” “The White Pony” is widely regarded their best album. (Oh, and they also cover Sade’s “No Ordinary Love”, as I see she’s mentioned in these comments.)

    They all fit under an umbrella perhaps defined as “dark alternative.”

    If you like strange, but awesome music, I might also suggest:

    Firewater – modern rock sensibilities brought to exotic or older instruments – they do everything from sea chantyish rock to bellydancing middleasternish rock. Their myspace page features most of their music.

    Also, Bear McCreary’s Battlestar soundtracks – season 2 and 3 are especially amazing, and are great for something ambient while writing.

    So, there’s a list. And here’s to hoping you find something you like.

  6. Misinterprotato
    The Knife

  7. A very late addition, but no-one should write without Tom Waits :-)

  8. Peter Gabriel’s, Last Temptation of Christ.


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