Good sci-fi stories can easily be found in movies, TV, books and video games, but what about music? Not just theme songs for the above, but songs that create a new futuristic or alien world in three-to-five minutes and let the narrative unfold? We searched the galaxies – OK, we mostly just asked you on Facebook and Twitter – for the very best sci-fi songs musicdom has to offer. The following 23 songs tell tales of woe, wonder and alien love. And there will be robots.
23. Daft Punk – “We Will Robot Rock You”
Starring: Those who will robot rock you
Synopsis: You’re going to be robot rocked. It’s fairly inevitable. You’re loud and you’re turning into a young man, albeit an unwashed, disgraceful young man. But you will be robot rocked. No, really. You will. Be robot rocked. Seriously.
22. Elton John – “Rocket Man”
Album: Honky Château
Starring: The rocket man
Synopsis: An unnamed astronaut with low self-esteem prepares for a trip to Mars, where he’ll have ample time to ponder the misconceptions other people have of him along with his failings as a father.
21. Flight of the Conchords – “The Humans Are Dead/Robots”
Album: Flight of the Conchords
Synopsis: In the distant future of the year 2000, robots have killed off their violent human oppressors via poisonous gasses, and in doing so becomes like them. But their captain also kills off the one robot who points out the inherent irony. The robots are sure all humans are dead because they’ve poked one. And he was dead.
20. The Vandals – “If the Government Could Read My Mind”
Album: Hitler Bad, Vandals Good
Starring: Unnamed narrator
Synopsis: Secret agencies may or may not have secured a stockpile of alien craft and the ability to create earthquakes. But if they are to use mind-probing devices on our hero, they will only find thoughts of his loved one.
19. Blondie – “Rapture”
Synopsis: After a night of dancing, you’re attacked by a Martian who eats your head, at which point you’re inside the Martian who likes to follow his head consumption with a light snack of both imported and domestic cars (and nightclubs) until he encounters a TV. He (and you) then return to space for a dessert of guitars.
18. The Killers – “Spaceman”
Album: Day & Age
Starring: An abductee
Synopsis: The narrator is taken from his bed one night by an alien spacecraft. He’s hoping for a chance to travel the stars, but is disappointed to find he’s merely a specimen for study and is returned home where no one believes his claims.
17. Angie Aparo – “Spaceship”
Album: The American
Synopsis: Alien ships land near a local indoor shopping center and also on an unnamed body of water. The residents celebrate with a parade, lots of sex, book burnings, riots. Also, inexplicably, haircuts and lemonade.