Zombies and Trekkies and Leia, Oh my! –“Night of the Living Trekkies” by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall
Trust me. Other than a few obvious facts (like William Shatner played Captain Kirk and that Tribbles are fuzzy creatures that look vagugely like guinea pics) I’m a Star Trek novice, and I was able to totally dig this book.
“Night of the Living Trekkies” is the latest release from Quirk Books, a publishing company most notorious for combining Jane Austen and zombies in “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. ” This time, instead of adding zombies into a literary classic, they’ve done something different – and added zombies into a modern novel about a place and time that should, by all rights, not have zombies in it. It’s a wise publishing move – Zombies are all the rage.
Authors Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall, per their biographies, are life-long science fiction nerds, and it shows. Pop-culture references and lines of dialogue are so easily inserted into this book, they never distract from the book as a whole. Star Trek, Star Wars, this book is like manna for sci-fi fans.
The short version of the plot is this – Jim Pike is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. Now, he’s an assistant manager of a hotel in Houston, Texas, and resigned to a pretty boring life. During a Star Trek convention at his hotel, things start to get weird. People are being bitten and disappearing. Yep, zombies are attacking, and it’s up to Jim and his strong survival instincts to save himself, his sister, a hot chick in a Princess Leia costume (you’ll see), and a few other remaining souls from unpleasant zombie-dom.
Christopher Moore is my favorite living author, and “Night of the Living Trekkies” reminded me of something he could have written. (Consider that a huge compliment.) The absurdity, the witty and quick dialogue, and the cinematic pace are all trademarks of Moore’s works, and Anderson and Stall have used them wisely to keep this book moving. Also, the strong and interesting characters are essential to the books success. Jim himself is a pretty fantastic hero to spend 253 pages with. He’s an everyman, but with skills. From the second Rayna (Jim’s sister) arrives for the convention in an RV decked out to look like the USS Enterprise, you know you’re going to love her. And I can’t even explain the leading lady known simply as “Leia” without giving spoilers away. Just by mentioning her name and existence, I’ve probably spoiled something. (My bad.)
“Night of the Living Trekkies” would make a fantastic movie. I imagine it’d be like a cross between “Shaun of the Dead” and the Star Wars buddy movie “Fanboys.”
I read this book while sitting by the pool in Hawaii, enjoying a fruity beverage. It’s not a heavy read, and it’s nothing you have to work too hard to process. Simply, it’s an enjoyable adventure with loads of laughs and more than a few unexpected twists. It’s a little gem of a novel, and I thought it was just swell. Here’s hoping Anderson and Stall keep up the great work and give readers some more books loaded with smarts and laughs like this one.