Back in fall of 2015, the early days of Spark & Fizz, our first long-form column was written by Eric Loucks. He began “Attention Scum!” with a loving study of nineteen fifties fanzines and quality sci-fi rags. He thought we should try our hand at it, and two years later with the indispensable help of writer Sean Clancy, Planet Scumm is a real thing. Our science fiction quarterly comes to you seasonally as an audiobook and magazine, available both in paper and pixels. Now our patron slime monster is back to convince us Earthbags he knows how to rock.
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Thomas Dolby – “She Blinded Me With Science”
First problem with human eyes? They can be blinded–with SCIENCE.
Second problem? They can also be burned with science, extracted with science, blended with science, zapped with science, and jellied with science.
Um, did I mention that Scummy is a benevolent ruler?
Bobby Pickett – “Monster Mash”
Now this one’s crazy problematic, but there’s no denying it’s catchy. There’s an argument to be made that Bob Pickett helped introduce ghoul culture to the mainstream, and that little kids dancing to this hit grew up to be more accepting of the vampire musicians, zombie businessmen, and mummified ice cream salesmen in their neighborhoods. ‘Course, Pickett blew all that goodwill with the stunningly bigoted “Werewolf Watusi.”
Monsterkind has come a long way since 1962.
Deltron 3030 – “City Rising from the Ashes
Due to the way my species experiences language (violent exchange of fluids), I can’t tell if this is music or an actual rebel transmission from a reborn rap-god scavenger. AND I DON’T WANT TO KNOW.
AND YES, I DO EXPERIENCE SHOUTING AS AN EVEN MORE VIOLENT AND VISCOUS EXCHANGE OF FLUIDS.
Queen – “39’”
Special relativity’s a stone cold bitch, my fellow astroneers. Immortality helps but, still, ol’ Scummy here gets a little ectoplasm in his photosenses whenever he revisits a cool planet from a couple eons back only to find its inhabitants have evolved into a bunch of downers.
Come on Xilpharia! Suddenly you’re too “ascended” to drain a couple red dwarfs over the weekend? Get over yourselves.
Kirsten Dunst – “Turning Japanese” (cover of The Vapors)
Scummy’s going to be honest with you–I don’t know why these keeps showing up on the playlist. I keep deleting it but it never stays gone. At first I thought it was one of the editors playing a joke from their Grammar Cages, but even after I put them on lockdown this unsettling series of images reappears.
I’m beginning to think this is the only thing that truly frightens me.
(Also: this is racist, right? Like, I’m a goo-based alien hive mind, and even I get that this is in poor taste.)