Night of the Living Trekkies
© 2010 Kevin David Anderson
Oh, reader, good times ahead. When Jim Pike returned from Afghanistan as a psychologically scarred veteran, the last thing he wanted was responsibility. That’s the reason he took a lowly job at a hotel as a bellhop; lives weren’t on the line. Too bad his hotel and the entire Houston area are ground zero for an zombie epidemic — one that erupts most dramatically at a Star Trek convention. To protect his sister, Jim will fight side by side with a squad of redshirts, saving Princess Leia in the meantime. Night of the Living Trekkies is a glorious parody of both zombie fiction and Star Trek, grounding its invasion of the undead in science fiction. Its reanimated corpses are under the control of an invasive alien parasite, not a necromancer’s spell, but the attraction here is not the zombies or the action, but the humor. This is a novel saturated with Trek references; every chapter heading is drawn from the shows’ bank of episode titles, and virtually all of the characters are Trekkies who constantly argue about the shows — about whether the Animated Series is canon, for instance. Gloriously, though, the authors also have the chutzpah to include a character dressed as Princess Leia, who (as a running joke) ‘unwittingly’ drops lines from Star Wars in stressful situations. (“Some rescue! When you came in here, didn’t you have any plan for getting out?!”) It takes chutzpah to mix Star Wars references into a Trek book, but I thought it succeeded marvelously. This being a zombie novel, naturally there’s a body count….but even that becomes funny when so many corpses are wearing red shirts. Similarly appropriate are the zombies still dressed as Borg, whose shamble lacks only the Borg clacking and whirring to be authentic. I purchased this on vacation and it made my night.
Seriously the most fun I’ve had with a book this year.