Review of Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall’s “Night of the Living Trekkies”
I won Night of the Living Trekkies through a website and held on to it for a couple of months before deciding to take a stab at it. My first recollection of the book, before I received it, was the book trailer I saw on the internet. It struck me more as a movie trailer than one for a book, and I was joking with my friends that I wanted to go see the movie and not bother with the book because it was so well done. But after checking the book out, I have to admit, it was a lot of fun and I’m glad I gave it a chance. For the purposes of full disclosure, I am both a sci-fi and a zombie geek (with leanings toward the zombie side of things), and while I haven’t been to any sci-fi conventions, I’ve been to a few horror conventions over the past year, which has given me an appreciation to the dedication some fans have to their favorite characters, movies, and TV series. So that experience has probably shaped my appreciation for this book, though I think any fan of either Trek or of the zombie genre will enjoy this send up, whether casual or dedicated.
The basic plot centers around Jim, an Afghanistan war vet who comes back home in Houston shattered and unwilling to take on any responsibilities more crucial than that of being a bell hop in a mediocre hotel due to the guilt he feels at watching some of his fellow soldiers die. He is a “reformed” trekkie, or trekker, as it were, and now has to deal with Gulf Con, a Star Trek convention that has landed at his hotel, which is conveniently called the Botany Bay. His sister and over a thousand fans of Trek will be in attendance, but so will a ton of zombies, who crash the party after a alien virus escapes the confines of the Johnson Spaceflight Center bunker where it has been housed since it touched down via some meteors that hitched a ride on a downed NASA space probe.
I wouldn’t call this one a parody, because the characters may be dressed up as different Trek characters for the convention, but they are not the characters themselves. Instead, this is an opportunity for the authors to express a love for Star Trek, zombies, and even Star Wars. I was able to pick up on most of the references, though perhaps I may have missed one here or there in the mix. Regardless, this was a fun and funny book that gave its characters enough depth and realism to make me appreciate them while not disrupting the comedic overtones of the story based on the idea of a convention for one sort of imaginary creation being overrun by another imaginary creation. The adventure is fast paced and Jim is forced to once again embrace his inner nerd, along with embracing the suck of the situation he finds himself in with a small group of surviving convention goers. The zombies have some interesting, alien twists to them, but overall, the book pays reverence to its benefactors: Rodenberry, Romero, and even Lucas, with ample references to what each man created and appreciation for them as well.
For a easy and fun read, this one was hard to beat. There was some high drama on the pages at certain points, and overall, that aspect of the story was well done, but again, none of it distracts from the comedy value of this engaging zombie-Trek send up.
Night of the Living Trekkies can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Night-Living-Trekkies-Quirk-Fiction/dp/1594744637/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1302357196&sr=8-1