Star Trek Book Review: Night of the Living Trekkies

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and will be watching what Kevin David Anderson does in the future.

Night of the Living Trekkies over the weekend even though it came out in September of 2010. In my defense---can you blame me? How many more parodies making fun of Star Trek's loyal fanbase do we need? How many more takes on the Zombie apocalypse can he read/hear/see before we finally throw up our collective arms and say "ENOUGH! It's all been done!" The answer, clearly, is at least one more. After all, haven't you---loyal Star Trek fan that you are wondered what would happen if the Zombie apocalypse happened at the same time as the nation's largest Star Trek convention---held at the aptly named Botany Bay Hotel in downtown Houston? Yeah, me too. Such questions are answered in Night of the Living Trekkies as author Kevin David Anderson shows his prowess with both Star Trek lore, Zombie fiction and the fine art of satire that is required in mixing the two. The story opens as any one of a dozen or so Zombie movies. A military research facility, off the beaten path and in the middle of nowhere---fodder for a disaster of course---where the research goes horribly horribly wrong. Unlike the zombie films we're used to, however, this story also opens with a rich debate about Jean-Luc Picard's baldness vs. Captain Janeway's terrible "season 1 hair." The debate continues through klaxons and desperate attempts to contain . . . something. In true horror fashion we don't know what it is but the book's title offers a guess. From here the story weaves the tale of disenchanted gulf war vet, Jim Pike---employed in a low stress environment at the Botany Bay Hotel with absolutely no responsibility and a desire to keep it that way---amongst the droves of Star Trek fans gathering for Gulf Con, a premiere Star Trek Convention. Jim's time in the military as well as several strange biting attacks in the hotel ignite his instincts and, knowing danger is coming, he acts fast. Hilariously armed with a toy phaser, a taser and a working Klingon battle axe Jim has no choice but to fight an army of the undead in order to survive. The book is fantastic in that it refuses to take itself too seriously---obviously a requirement for satire---but the humor offered by Night of the Living Trekkies isn't a lampoon, or charicature of what being a Star Trek fan is. It is a delicate balance between the absurdity of living one's life based in a television show, and the inspiration and hope it has offered to its millions of loyal fans; to find their inner strength and be the best humanity has to offer. Having said that though, one of the the more hilarious moments the book offers is a troop of Red Shirts all doomed by fate---and not the fate of the Zombie Apocalypse. Another high point is the book's clever but not too trite address of the Star Conflict---Wars vs. Trek. Honoring both franchises, the gallant Jim rescues a damsel dressed---ironically---like Princess Leia from Star Wars. In fact, the book doesn't suffer much. Sure some of the gags are too over the top but really there are only---in my humble yet correct opinion---2 valid points of criticism. The first is that the book reads as a great episode of Star Trek and as a decent Zombie movie as well (think Dawn of the Dead's remake). While this is certainly a strong point it is also a handicap. Most Zombie movies are great visually and so the pages it takes to accurately describe a zombie kill in the same way it comes across in seconds on the screen---it's problematic at best. Also, the book falls prey to the same weakness that afflicted Shaun of the Dead. When dealing with Zombies and comedy, one must always win out---Night of the Living Trekkies is no exception. It is positively jarring to follow these characters through 2 acts of comedy, satire and slapstick only to reach act 3 and discover that the story has become serious, and a resolution is coming; one that is wholly unfunny---after all, we're dealing with the undead. Still, Night of the Living Trekkies takes it in stride and there is no hesitance in the telling and no uncertainty in the resolution. While I can't in good conscience rate this a solid 5 out of 5 Zombie story, the addition of the Trekkies, the Star Trek convention and the element of satire allows me to fully rate it a 5 out of 5 in comedy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and will be watching what Kevin David Anderson does in the future. I strongly suggest you all do too.

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A paragon of all things geek, by day Adam repairs computers for kids grades K-12 who go to school online. By night he writes articles about (mostly) Star Trek for What Culture as well as working on several creative projects ( He lives in Ohio with his Polyamorous life partner and their three children.