Book Review: Night of the Living Trekkies

by thiszine

NIGHT OF THE LIVING TREKKIES
by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall

Quirk Books
(July 2010, $14.95, 256 pages)

The title is a cheesy play on the popular zombie movie Night of the Living Dead, and the cover art looks like something that belongs on a choose-your-own-adventure book, but Night of the Living Trekkies is an awesome mash-up of two popular sub-cultures. How else to unite the sci-fi geeks with the apocalypse extremists?: zombies at a Star Trek convention.

They’re not traditional zombies, and the science fiction is reminiscent of Mystery Science Theater 2000, but authors Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall have done a fantastic job of pushing the boundaries of zombie literature. They have also fostered new respect for the dedication of Star Trek fanboys and fangirls. Anderson and Stall even managed to give a nod to the Star Wars franchise.

The prologue begins with two employees at an underground military facility in Houston, TX, making plans to go to a Star Trek convention; while they’re talking, the security system fails, opening some doors that should have stayed closed. Meanwhile, Jim Pike, a solider with serious PTSD who has convinced himself that working as a bellhop at a Houston hotel will reduce his stress, helps prepare for GulfCon, an extremely popular Star Trek convention. Incidentally, his younger sister Rayna is also attending with some friends. Let’s just say Jim’s bad day is about to get apocalyptic.

Before Rayna’s group arrives to the hotel parking lot (the importance of which I can’t reveal without spoiling the book) the staff is already having trouble with violent hotel guests and disappearing employees. Jim’s instincts are screaming at him that something horrible is happening but by the time he is able to convince anyone else that the problem is not just in his mind, the hotel is overwhelmed by zombies. Jim, with the help of a Star Wars fan, tries to rescue his sister and her friends, while Trekkies are dying all around them.

Star Trek fans should know that this isn’t just a horror story set at a convention, but again, I can’t elaborate without spoilers. Zombie fans should know that the undead are shamblers but able to move as a group, with a very unusual source of infection spread in a manner similar to 28 Days Later.

I am very impressed with the quality of books that Quirk has been publishing; some other great titles are Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls, and Android Karenina. They may look like fluff pieces at first glance, but the stories are quite entertaining.

~Ursula K. Raphael

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