SFF Song of the Week: Stephen Hunt

At the SFX Summer of Reading event at Waterstone’s Piccaddilly on Monday I was able to catch up with the utterly delightful and multi-talented Stephen Hunt.  Stephen’s series of steampunk novels set in and around the Kingdom of the Jackals are going from strength to strength – for more on those, see here. He’s also of course founder and presiding genius of the splendid SF Crowsnest.

Stephen Hunt writes:

As a child of the 1970s (and the 80s), the quote ‘The past is a
foreign country: they do things differently there’ was, I venture,
never so appropriate. It was pre-internet, pre-video recorder, pre-PC,
pre-mobile phone, heck, it was just about pre-everything. Teens and
tweens didn’t spend seven hours solid with their eyes locked on the
screen of a DS or playing MMOGs, or texting, or happy slapping, or,
for that matter, scoring free music tracks using P2P software.

We did have hoodies, but they were called parkas and made you look
like Kenny from South Park, never a good look at the best of times,
even then.

But we had other consolations.

Hot summers and jumpers for goal posts, perhaps? No. Dungeons and
Dragons had just crept into the UK’s model shops alongside all the
Airfix kits and Hornby railway sets, disco was sweeping the country,
and the Vietnam war was just winding down, as, regularly, was the
electricity, when rolling strikes turned the country’s lights out.

Ah, indeed, the bookshops had maybe half a shelf of fantasy & science
fiction books (Poul Anderson, Robert Silverberg, James Blish, E. Doc
Smith, Philip Jose Farmer, Isaac Asimov, Brian Aldiss, Gordon Dickson,
Tolkien, Clifford D. Simak, Arthur C. Clarke and a few other
stalwarts), and for a decent selection of comic-books you could only
go to ‘Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed’ in London’s Soho. Yes, slap
bang alongside all the sex shops – scoring SFF was a lot like scoring
porn in those halcyon days, and equally sniffed at.

Them were the days. And alongside Thunderbirds, Space 1999 and Doctor
Who (some things never change), we also had the consolations of a
bunch of lycra-wearing leotard-clad lovelies prancing about our newly
colour TV set with its three solitary channels. Yes, Hot Gossip. A
dance group that appeared on The Kenny Everett Television Show and Top
of the Pops, along with some strange new concept called the music
video.

As a burgeoning fan of the female form (we lived in the world of Gene
Hunt, so being politically correct was de rigueur), Sarah Brightman –
before Andrew Lloyd Webber sunk his supine claws into her soul –
cleverly managed to combine two of my favourite interests: girls
poured into their skin suits and science fiction. A feat not repeated
until Erin Gray slinked into the TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th
Century.

Beautiful raven-locked Sarah Brightman, who thumped out a 1978 single
written by Jeff Calvert and Max West of ‘Typically Tropical’ fame (who
also wrote Barbados, covered by the Vengaboys in 1999 as We’re Going
to Ibiza.).

So, pop fans, tone up, prepare for a blast of static electricity as
you slip into your cat suit, because you are now clear to go
hyperspace on the disco dance floor with…

Sarah Brightman and Hot Gossip: I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper.

(Editor’s note: The best version of this is on YouTube and can’t be embedded, so copy this link into your browser….Lyrics are below. Phil.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE6YR9QbrqI

Or try this Star Trek version which is hilarious:

Speaker 1:

Arcaida
X-ray X-ray delta niner niner zero
This is Starfleet Control
You are clear to go hyperspace
Acknowledge

Speaker 2:

Affirmative, Star Comm
We have situation gold

Speaker 1:

Niner niner zero, roger
You’re looking good for trans-light

Sarah singing:

I lost my heart to a starship trooper
I lost my heart to a starship trooper
Oh…

Hey, Captain Strange, won’t you be my lover
You’re the best thing that I’ve ever discovered
Flash Gordon’s left me, he’s gone to the stars
An evil Darth Vader has me banished to Mars

Tell me, Captain Strange, do you feel my devotion
Or are you like a droid, devoid of emotion
Encounters one and two are not enough for me
What my body needs is close encounter three

I lost my heart to a starship trooper
Flashing lights in hyperspace
Fighting for the Federation
Hand in hand we’ll conquer space

Listen, Captain Strange, what’s our destination
The scanners seem to indicate a small deviation
Static on the comm – it’s Starfleet Command
Requesting your position, it’s their final demand

You’re intentions are known, they’ve found out at last
So if you’re gonna take me, please make it fast
Touch me, feel me, do what you will
I want to feel that galactic thrill

I lost my heart to a starship trooper
Flashing lights in hyperspace
Fighting for the Federation
Hand in hand we’ll conquer space

Speaker 1:

Niner niner zero
This is Star Comm
We got a problem
On your vector
Request status check
Over

Sarah singing:

Oh, baby…

Speaker 3:

Arcadia
This is Strategy Control
You have course deviation
At five mark six
Acknowledge

Sarah singing:

I love you…

Speaker 1:
Arcadia
We show condition red
Confirm

Sarah singing:

Love me…

Speaker 3:

What’s going on out there

Sarah singing:

Oh…
I lost my heart to a starship trooper
Flashing lights in hyperspace
Fighting for the Federation
Hand in hand we’ll conquer space
I lost my heart to a starship trooper
Oh…

Space suit is lying on control room floor
Pulse rate increasing as the heat factor soars
Take me, make me feel the force
Ignore the computers, we’re locked on course

I lost my heart to a starship trooper
Flashing lights in hyperspace
Fighting for the Federation
Hand in hand we’ll conquer space

I lost my heart to a starship trooper
Flashing lights in hyperspace
Fighting for the Federation
Hand in hand we’ll conquer space

Speaker 1, while Sarah sings the previous lines repeatedly:

Niner niner zero
This is Star Comm
Be advised
You have serious vector deviation
I repeat: serious vector deviation

Arcadia
Niner niner zero
Do you copy

This is Starfleet Control
To all ships in sector five
Be advised
Arcadia
Niner niner zero
Is off course
All ships squawk ident

Starship Arcadia
This is Starfleet Control
Squawk ident
I repeat: squawk ident.

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