Happy birthday to rock demigod David Bowie, who turns 65 today although somehow, we can’t quite believe it. One of the most versatile, innovative performers of the last century, Bowie’s shifting musical personas— from psychedelic spaceman to androgynous Messianic alien to trippy Orwellian antihero to retro-futuristic cabaret act—have put him in a completely different class from most mortals. He hasn’t simply evolved over the years: he practically regenerates. We’re not saying that he’s a secret Time Lord…but if he was, would anyone really be surprised?
Despite this reputation as a chameleon, a few constants have endured through all the ch-ch-changes (sorry—we just had to). From early hits like “Space Oddity” and “Ziggy Stardust” to his starring roles in films like The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Hunger, and Labyrinth, Bowie’s work has always drawn on science fiction and fantasy elements—at every stage of his career, he has pushed the boundaries of pop music and performance with his pursuit of strange fascinations, outlandish characters, and otherworldly sound and vision.
In his own iconoclastic fashion, David Bowie has become a veritable SFF icon over the years, and so all this week we’ll be taking a look at some of our favorite Bowie songs, albums, and movies, and generally celebrating the fact that one of our all-time favorite glitter-loving, gender-bending, alien-impersonating idols has rocked so hard all the way into his Golden Years
We hope you’ll join us as we begin this week with Alex Bledsoe’s thoughts on Bowie’s peculiar brand of humor (and how much we love it), but not before we leave you with the original Bowie SF hit: