This format doesn’t usually include detailed reviews, and though I’ve written many an academic book review, this is a welcome change from that more monotonous grind. Night of the Living Trekkies is a light, fun, cleverly twisted genre mash-up from Quirk Books, the same folks who brought you the bent genius of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.
Written by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall, two self-proclaimed “lifelong science-fiction geeks”, Night of the Living Trekkies is ideal beach fodder for horror and sci-fi fans. The action, mostly taking place in a hotel in Houston, is channeled through quick, quirky and altogether convincing dialogue, making this short, sweet novel a pleasure to read. This is no masterpiece of literature, but it’s genre — a bizarre fusion of genres — at its best.
The main character, Jim Pike (this being only the tip of the iceberg of Star Trek references) is a former Marine — a veteran of the Afghanistan conflict. He has fallen on hard times, become a bit of a psych case, and now works as a bellboy at the Botany Bay Hotel and Conference Center (another subtle Trek reference).
As he prepares for the influx of Trekkies (or is that Trekkers?) attending the not-so-highly anticipated GulfCon Star Trek convention, Jim (a lapsed Trekkie) notices a series of unusual, possibly innocuous events. His only real talent, a finely honed sense of danger developed dodging IEDs in-country, proves a Godsend as he begins to suspect that something has actually gone horribly wrong.
Indeed, Jim and a cast of motley, costumed characters surrounding his visiting sister (also a Trekkie) are soon confronted with a veritable zombie apocalypse. The horror! Of course, these aren’t your usual living dead — many sport elaborate, silly costumes originally worn to the convention. Before you know it, Jim and his “crew” are battling Starfleet officers, Klingons, Borg and, well, other oddities too numerous to mention using their wits, a few tasers and a heavy dose of attitude.
Combining a sharp, steady pace with a series of well-woven plot twists, this zombie/sci-fi novel has something for everyone. It takes only minimal effort to boldly pour through the book’s chapters, all cleverly titled based on classic episodes from the original series.
Launched at this summer’s ComicCon, Night of the Living Trekkies is liable to become one of this year’s must-have geek tomes. It’s genre-bending brilliance at its best, and keeps the reader guessing until the very end, reminding us that space may very well be the final frontier…Of the undead!