Friday, January 28, 2011

Night of the Living Trekkies

Let's face it.  There's a glut of zombie and vampire fiction out there, tons of mashups involving (mainly) Jane Austen novels but also other works of classic literature.  They all sound pretty fun, but many of them seem to be gimmicks, amusing ideas with little substance.  I admit I was a little worried that this one would be the same.  But I loved the idea - zombies at a Star Trek convention - so much that I had to give it a try, even if the actual book fell short.  I love Star Trek; I love zombies - dark and funny horror is definitely my thing, but add some science fiction to it? I might actually start drooling.

So when I saw my library had ordered this one, I immediately put it on hold, and I am so glad I did.  This book is actually everything you want it to be.  It is funny, action-packed, well written, with characters who, while they do tend a bit toward various stock types, are still sympathetic and interesting.  The book reads almost like a screenplay - and if they do make a movie out of it, I'd love to see it.

I won't go into too much detail about the plot, mainly because if you like zombies and/or Star Trek, then you simply have to read this book.  It is delightful!  Don't worry if you aren't a die-hard ST fan - you may miss a few jokes, but the authors explain (without being patronizing or condescending) enough as the story rolls along that you will not feel excluded, and if you are a ST fan, there's plenty to enjoy (including the chapter titles - very clever!).  Same goes for zombie fans - and these zombies are not run-of-the-mill brain gobblers.  There is an explanation for the zombies that works, particularly in the context of this story, and the rationale - coupled with their unique characteristics  - makes the zombie threat all the more chilling and dreadful. 

Our hero is Jim Pike, once a soldier who served a couple of tours in Afghanistan, and now he's the assistant manager of a small hotel in Houston.  He likes his job because no one's life is depending on him, and he is content to live day to day without thinking much about the past - or the future, for that matter.  But the annual science fiction convention arrives, bringing something else along with it - a strange virus that makes the infected people act in bizarre and violent ways.  Soon Jim is putting his military skills back to good use - and this time its his sister who needs his help.

I really enjoyed this one - it's funny and intelligent, dark and creepy.  There is a sincere love and respect for SF fandom here (it reminded me a bit of the film Galaxy Quest in that way), but also a recognition of its quirks and foibles.  If you've been hesitant to pick this one up, don't be - it won't disappoint!

Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall (Quirk Books, 2010)

Also reviewed at:
Graeme's Fantasy Book Review:  "Night of the Living Trekkies has a little something for everyone and it all comes together to form something pretty special."
Sci.Fi.Guy.ca:  "If Trek is your thing, and if you even remotely think that zombies are cool, this is one book I would put at the top of your reading list."

2 comments:

  1. I'm DYING to read this one!! I have it on my wishlist. Debi's husband, Rich, read it and he loved it. Sounds really fantastic :)

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  2. Chris - I cannot wait to hear what you think of this one! It is so much fun. I think you'll love it. :-)

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