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Author Spotlight

Music on the Moon: Karen Bao’s DOVE ARISING Playlist

DOVE ARISING is now out in paperback, so naturally we’re listening to its official playlist on repeat. Read on for why author Karen Bao picked these songs to accompany our favorite dystopian sci-fi set on the moon!

“Called Out in the Dark”—Snow Patrol

How would it feel to live in a cold, dark, fragile Lunar habitat under the Committee’s stranglehold? This song not only put me in the writing mood—it also sounds really, really cool.

“The Listening”—Lights

Feels like Phaet’s speaking to us—if speaking were her “thing.” She tends toward passivity, and must overcome that tendency in Dove Arising to save her family. Whenever I had trouble forgetting my own life as I sat down to write, I’d listen to this song and step into Phaet’s voice.


Behind the pounding, danceable beat, this song’s about the rudderless experience of growing up without a father figure.

“Aerodynamic”—Daft Punk

Militia recruits are careening around in spaceships and exploring craters in pressure suits—what could be more appropriate than a Daft Punk track?

“Dangerous”—Big Data, feat. Joywave

Plenty of things in Militia training are dangerous: Lunar weaponry; sabotage plots; that quiet, martial-artist boy who could be either friend or foe …

“Chemical Reaction”—Sucré

Distilled gorgeousness.

“Guiding Light”—Muse

In the first few seconds, a jet whooshes by and time devastatingly stops. Then the desolation only grows from there.

“The Lion the Beast the Beat”—Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

I put this on repeat while writing the book’s climax, when everything happens at once and the dove figuratively bursts out of her cage.


This song’s about meeting setback after setback but never accepting defeat. I can’t say much more without spoilers!

Start reading DOVE ARISING and its sequel DOVE EXILED here!

Penguin Teen