Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Review: Night of the Living Trekkies

Kevin David Anderson & Sam Stall, 2010, Quirk Books

Jim was the world's biggest Star Trek fan - until two tours of duty in Afghanistan destroyed his faith in humanity. Now he sleepwalks through life as the assistant manager of a small hotel in downtown Houston. But when a local Trek convention devolves into a genuine zombie apocalypse, Jim finds that everything he learned from Star Trek just might be enough to deliver a ragtag crew of fanboys and fangirls to safety. Or not.

I'll state right from the outset that Night of the Living Trekkies is a cracking good read, injecting as it does a welcome dose of good old-fashioned fun back into the zombie genre: the plot is engrossing and well-paced, with a great balance of laugh-out-loud humour and genuine horror, while some great characterisation drives the bulk of the action throughout. The character of Jim in particular - a man who knows almost everything there is to know about Star Trek, yet views 'Trek fandom with something very close to contempt - allows the authors to pull off the impressive trick of poking serious fun at the more obvious absurdities of fandom on the one hand, while nonetheless treating the fan community with a high degree of respect on the other, It's in no small part due to this balancing act that - just as Pride & Prejudice & Zombies (also published by Quirk, who obviously know when they're onto a good thing) has proven equally popular with fans of both Austen and zombies - Night of the Living Trekkies will appeal to both fans and non-fans of Star Trek, and most definitely to fans of apocalyptic zombie mayhem.

(Night of the Living Trekkies is distributed in Australia by Random House).

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