Johnny Cash Science Fiction Writer

“The Holografik Danser,” a science fiction tale about a future where America has been conquered by the Soviets and English has been replaced with the language of YouTube commenters:

Not everything sucks in the commie-ruled world imagined by the Man in Black, though. After spending the first half letting readers know that being conquered by an enemy power would be a total bummer, all that is dropped so that the story can become about how protagonist Phil Graver decides to buy a holographic projection of a flamenco dancer that comes into his room through his phone lines. When he tries to enter the holographic world bodily, he loses his life energy and dies.

So, this was basically a Twilight Zone episode, only The Twilight Zone didn’t exist yet. Cash wrote “The Holografik Danser” in 1953, before he’d started his music career. At the time, he was a radio intercept operator with the U.S. Air Force, and thus his private Red Dawn is more understandable. The story then sat in a drawer until 2001, when it was included in the book Songs Without Rhyme alongside writings by David Byrne of the Talking Heads, Paula Cole, and Steven Page of Barenaked Ladies.


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