Failing fringe electro band Cosmic String have got a strange new gig, writes winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award Adrian Tchaikovsky in his new short story Difficult Times


16 December 2020

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“There’s a gig,” says Clawhammer Dougie Jones, or at least his little homunculus trapped in its window on my laptop.

“What gig?” In the window next door, our vocalist Alana Domingo mirrors my utter disbelief. “There aren’t any gigs, Doug. The gig economy left the building.”

Doug blinks at us, that beatific way he has. Like he’s some guru of wisdom about to change your life with a handful of words; like the colossal hit of mescaline he took on that US tour 20 years ago never wore off.

“My people,” he tells us, an opening that has never, in the history of music, …