Bunch Of Fives: Psy Of The Dead | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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North-East singer-songwriter Psy Of The Dead, aka Simon Chester, releases Forgotten Memories, his mini-album written and recorded during his time in lockdown.  The release explores themes of love and loss, as well as the effects of dementia, as it flows from thunderous guitar driven tracks to ponderous acoustic numbers to quiet piano moments, all of which are brought together by Simon’s dark and distinctive vocal.

Here, Simon gives us his top five books to read whilst listening to Psy of the Dead.

1. Autumn by David Moody – I love this book (I love the whole Autumn series truth be told).  Zombies, zombies & more zombies.  After a viral outbreak kills 99% of the world’s population a disparate group of survivors in the UK come together to find refuge from an ever-increasing undead threat: https://www.davidmoody.net/

2. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey – A dystopian future where most of humanity is wiped out by a fungal infection.  This is not the story of horrid, discoloured toenails but rather a pathogenic-fungus that controls the poor saps that find themselves infected with it.  Excellent variation on the zombie theme: https://www.littlebrown.co.uk/contributor/m-r-carey-2/

3. The Martian by Andy Weir – The story of a lone astronaut stranded on Mars with limited resources and the challenge of getting home.  Largely presented as journal entries, you really get the sense that you’re right there with astronaut Mark Watney as he struggles against time & with the isolation of being 240 billion miles from home: https://www.andyweirauthor.com/

4. The Electric State by Simon Stålenhag – The story of a teenage girl & her robot companion traveling across a bleak dystopian near-future United Stated is captivating & heart-breaking, but the artwork… now that is something else.  Beautifully detailed oil painting style images really suck you into the familiar, yet surreal world the protagonists journey through: https://www.simonstalenhag.se/

5. Blame! by Tsutomu Nihei – This post-apocalyptic, cyberpunk graphic novel follows a quiet loner as he traverses a vast technological world, known only as ‘The City’, full of killer robots.  The monochrome pen & ink style really helps show off the enormity of the metallic landscape: https://toahi.net/

They didn’t quite make the final list, as I was sticking to fiction, but notable mentions go to The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks & The Knowledge: How To Rebuild Our World After An Apocalypse by Lewis Dartnell.

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