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Disco Space Opera Playlist!

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devil's gun by cat rambo

Cat Rambo’s Disco Space Opera series kicked off with 2021’s You Sexy Thing, a novel we’d pitch as Farscape meets The Great British Bake Off. It’s got grizzled old soldiers and other vagrants who have grown tired of the campaigns and tumult of central space opera life, and have elected to open a restaurant at the edge of the known universe where they can eke out a more fulfilling existence. This distance from chaos is, of course, an illusion—albeit a comforting one. There’s no accounting for the propensity of sentient spaceships and sadistic pirate kings to just show up!

Anywho, that was the first book, and now we’re talking Devil’s Gun, the continuation of their adventure. We’re also talking the far future, and disco jams. Cat Rambo has shared with us their grand Disco Space Opera playlist.

Check it out!

video soruce

by Cat Rambo

“You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate

Why did I decide to name the ship what I did? I’m not sure, but early on in the writing the password exchange between Arpat Takraven and Niko appeared, and it led to the ship’s name. Like a lot of the songs on this list, it’s a big earworm and I’ve always loved it. Written by Errol Brown and Tony Wilson, this song was released in 1975 and became the group’s most popular single, and was the only song to achieve Top Ten status in the United Kingdom in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.

“Devil’s Gun” by C.J. and Company

In naming the second book, I wanted something that conveyed the nature of the dangerous artifact the crew is seeking in the book. When I listened to the song, it was the perfect mood. The song, written by Barry Green, Ron Roker, and Gerry Shury, was the first song played at Broadway’s Studio 54.

“Rumor Has It” by Donna Summer

In the third book, which has been handed over to the publisher, the power of gossip and rumor becomes important as several aspects of Niko’s past come to confront her. You can’t invoke disco without invoking Donna Summer, in my opinion, and this was my choice to represent her. The song was written by Summer with co-writers Pete Bellotte and Giorgbio Moroder and released in 1978.

I have more adventures of Niko and her crew planned out – seven volumes worth, in fact. The main thread is a particular romantic plotline and by book ten, I’m hoping readers will be on the edge of their seats waiting to find out how it’s resolved. Without saying much more than that and not presenting any spoilers, I hope, here’s the names of the other seven books.

“We Are Family” by Sister Sledge

Dabry’s family history is revealed as the crew is forced to rescue his daughter – against her will. This song has always been one of my favorites, and for a book dealing with family issues, this seemed like a perfect pick. The song came out in 1979 and was written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers.

“Heart of Glass” by Blondie

What happens when You Sexy Thing turns its attention to the most mystifying emotion of all: love? Another favorite song, this matches what I want to explore in this particular volume. Written by Deborah Harry and Chris Stein, the song appeared on the band’s third album in 1978 and was released as a single the following year.

“Shadow Dancing” by Andy Gibb

Skidoo must return to her home planet. But will both she and her planet survive the visit? I felt this song reflected the complicated personal dynamics of her homecoming. Written by Andy, Barry, Maurice, and Robin Gibb, the song appeared in 1978 and was that year’s Billboard Magazine top single.

“Take Me Home” by Cher

Petalia may have found a way to revive the almost-extinct Florian bloodline – but is Niko willing to pay the price that’s asked of them all? This song, written by Michele Aller and Bob Esty, appeared in 1979.

“You Can’t Lose What You Never Had” by Fantasy

Rebbe strikes off on his own, but You Sexy Thing and its crew must find him before he destroys a world. This song appeared in 1981 and was written by Tony Valor.

“Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” by McFadden and Whitehead

The crew thinks they’ve finally caught a break, until finally the mystery of Atlanta’s past resurfaces and is on a direct collision course with her current role. The song was written by McFadden and Whitehead along with Jerry Cohen and appeared in 1979.

“Never Can Say Goodbye” by Gloria Gaynor

All good things come to an end, but I hope to end the series in a way that will keep the crew in people’s hearts. When the crew finds out what Arpat Takraven truly wants of them, they’ve got a very hard choice to make. Written by Clifton Davs, the song appeared in 1979.

Cat Rambo (they/them) is an American fantasy and science fiction writer whose work has appeared in, among others, Asimov’s, Weird Tales, Chiaroscuro, Talebones, and Strange Horizons. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, where they studied with John Barth and Steve Dixon, they also attended the Clarion West Writers’ Workshop. They are currently the managing editor of Fantasy Magazine. They published a collection of stories, Eyes Like Sky And Coal And Moonlight, and their collaboration with Jeff VanderMeer, The Surgeon’s Tale and Other Stories, appeared in 2007. They live and write in Washington State, and “Cat Rambo” is their real name. 

Order Devil’s Gun Here!

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