|Ice Nine Kills - Good Things Festival, Australia, 2019|
I came across a reference to a band called Ice Nine Kills (abbreviated to INK, and formerly known as Ice Nine) that is an American heavy metal band from Boston known for its horror-inspired lyrics. Formed in 2000 by high school friends Spencer Charnas and Jeremy Schwartz, they started as ska-punk but later became a form of heavy metal.
I don't know much about their music but I do know where they got their name. Their band name is derived from the fictional substance ice-nine from the science fiction novel Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.
Cat's Cradle is a satirical novel that I had taught to high school students and that I really enjoy. It was Vonnegut's fourth novel, published in 1963. It is a satire of science, technology, religion, and the nuclear arms race. It is black humor and if funny and scary.
In the novel, the co-creator of the atomic bomb and Nobel laureate physicist who creates for the military ice-nine. It is an alternative structure of water that is solid at room temperature and acts as a seed crystal upon contact with ordinary liquid water, causing that liquid water to instantly transform into more ice-nine. If put into a swimming pool, all the water instantly transforms. If you touched it to your tongue, you become ice-nine.
Things don't end well for the Earth with ice-nine. Read (or listen to) the book.
Besides ice-nine being a fictional solid form of water from Vonnegut, I found via Wikipedia that it shows up in other places besides the novel and the band.
The most interesting of those is Ice IX which is an actual form of solid water. On the technical side, it turns out there is also ice II, and ice III. In fact, ordinary water ice is known as ice Ih in the Bridgman nomenclature and there are different types of ice, from ice II to ice XVIII that have been created in the laboratory at different temperatures and pressures. Who knew? I hope none of them work like Vonnegut's version!
Ice-nine may also refer to:
- Ice Nine (game), a first-person shooter video game for Game Boy Advance
- Kerach 9 (Hebrew: Ice 9 ( קרח 9 )), an Israeli rock band
- ICE-9 (album), an instrumental album by Susumu Hirasawa
- "Ice 9", a song by Joe Satriani from Surfing with the Alien
- Лёд-9 (Liod-9) or Ice-9, an album by Smyslovye Gallyutsinatsii
- Ice Nine Publishing Company, Inc., licensor of musical compositions by the Grateful Dead
- "Ice-Nine," a Grammy-nominated musical composition by Steve Wiest, recorded by the One O'Clock Lab Band on Lab 2009
- Ice-9 is a fictional computer virus in the Person of Interest (TV series)