Tomorrow's Songs Today

Cover for Tomorrow's Songs Today

What's this thing called "filk music" that's sung at science fiction conventions? It's a culture with a rich history, a community that transcends national borders. It's dreams of space and science. It's laughter and sadness. It's the people who create and sing the songs, who publish them, who organize conventions.

This is its history in a free e-book by Gary McGath: Tomorrow's Songs Today: The History of Filk Music.

It was funded by the generosity of contributors to my IndieGoGo campaign, which paid for editing and cover art. Matt Leger provided the cover art, and Terri Wells edited the book.

The book is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license. Copy and repost it all you want for noncommercial purposes; please make sure to credit me.

You can download the book in PDF or EPub format. PDF is best for desktop computers and Kindles; EPub is good for most other ebook readers. A limited print edition exists. Look for me at a convention or MASSFILC meeting if you're interested.

Note for Apple iBooks users: By default, iBooks right-justifies ebooks, even when (like this one) they specify flush left alignment. This results in bad auto-hyphenation and other ugliness. To turn this off, go to Settings, scroll down to iBooks, and turn off "full justification" and "auto-hyphenation."

Posts on my blog about this book are found under the tag "TST". Tweets about it can be found with the hashtag #tst2500.

The version currently available for download is version 1.01, January 29, 2015. This corrects a font problem in the first PDF and has a small number of factual corrections.

For errata, additional information, and alternate accounts, please see the Notes page. This will be updated occasionally.

Thanks to everyone who supported the nomination of Tomorrow's Songs Today for Best Related Work in the Hugo Awards, even though it didn't make the finalist ballot.


"Tomorrow’s Songs Today is rich in anecdote, the product of many interviews with longtime filkers." — File 770

"It is a very readable, and deeply researched history of filk around the world. Highly Recommended." — Dorsai Irregulars


Copyright 2015 by Gary McGath.

Last updated April 26, 2016.

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