Book of Stories Inspired by Grateful Dead Shows Band’s Widespread Influence

Famous jam band inspired science fiction, time travel and even zombie stories.

Written by Cory Chandler

Talk about your long, strange trips. A new collection of short stories published by Kearney Street Books shows the extent to which the Grateful Dead influenced American pop culture and literature.

“The Storyteller Speaks: Rare and Different Fictions of the Grateful Dead” contains original fiction from Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, an original Merry Prankster and a host of other authors.

“It turns out that it wasn’t only the musicians who were inspired by the phenomenon of the Grateful Dead,” wrote Dennis McNally, author of “A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead.” “In this incredible pile of stories are flesh-eating zombie Jerrys, the brilliantly resurrected ghost of Neal Cassady, skeletons, drugs, life on tour, initiations, archetypal Grateful Dead folk tales, the supernatural, the science-fictional, time travel and magic, lots of magic. Not to be missed.”

The book is edited by pop-culture author and Texas Tech University subject librarian Rob Weiner and Gary McKinney, author of Grateful Dead-themed novel “Slipknot.”

In addition to Hunter, authors include Ed McClanahan (“O the Clear Moment”), Philip Baruth (“The Millennium Shows”), George Walker (original Merry Prankster in his debut as a fiction writer), Stephen Graham Jones (“The Ones that Almost Got Away”), and Mitch Myers (“The Boy Who Cried Freebird).

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CONTACT: Rob Weiner, associate librarian, Texas Tech University Library, (806) 742-2238 ext. 282 or