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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Night of the Living Trekkies

Author: Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall
Originally Published: 2010
Publisher: Quirk Books
Source: Won at Read All Over Reviews

The Story

After two tours of Afghanistan and an incident where he lost his whole team, ex-Star-Trek-fan Jim Pike has decided that he doesn’t want to be in a position of responsibility ever again. Which is exactly why he took a position as a bellboy at Botany Bay Hotel and Conference Centre, the hotel that hosts an annual Star Trek convention (GulfCon).

Only this year, he’s not only dealing with Trekkies. This year, he has to lead a team of Trekkies who all want to survive the zombie invasion that has broken out at GulfCon.

Dun dun dun!

The Response

Oh! I had wanted to read this since I saw the book trailer. I don’t normally enjoy book trailers – think a lot of them are way too cheesy, in the not-so-good-kind-of-cheese in all honesty – but this one suited the book so perfectly and it fed my love of scifi, zombies and scifi spoofs. So yay!

There are a few things you should know going into this book. The first is that the more you know about the Star Trek universe (especially the original series), the more you are going to appreciate this book. Like how the main character’s last name is Pike. And how at one point he runs into a “zombie” dressed up like Khan and so yells “Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!” Or how there is a group of red shirts who get killed, not by the “zombie” hoard, but by random freak accidents (if one can call dying due to anaphylactic shock during the “zombie” apocalypse a freak accident).

The second is that these aren’t really zombies. I mean, they kind of are… but really, these “zombies” are infected by an alien parasite that makes them become like zombies. But I’ve never seen a zombie with a third eye before. So I refuse to believe that they are actually zombies. Plus the parasite came from outer space. (Hence the use of quotation marks whenever I mention the term in regards to this book.)

Okay, disclaimers aside!

I went into this except an awesome scifi spoof cheese fest and that’s exactly what I got. (If you read this, you have to expect it to be fun and cheesy and not serious, because otherwise you’re going to be disappointed.) The writing is good, but it’s camp, and I thoroughly appreciated it for what it is!

There were a bunch of things that I absolutely loved about this, and so I am going to use bullet points to go over these points in the least possible fangirlish squealing way that I can possibly do so:

  • Shout outs to other scifi fandoms – go BSG! Star Wars! Yay!
  • An RV that has been transformed into the Enterprise!
  • The fact that real scientists doing super-secret research have used this convention as a FRONT all this time to meet in secret and discuss super-top-secret discoveries in the world of science!
  • They used real Klingon ceremonial weapons! Who wouldn’t want to use one of those to kill a zombie?!
  • The “zombies” told someone to “lower your shields” when they wanted into the convention hotel!

Now that fangirling is out of the way, I am also going to mention that this wasn’t just a squee-fest. I mean, there’s actual real character development behind the story. You can see how Jim Pike goes from not wanting to be a leader anymore, to really accepting and dealing with what happened in his past, allowing it to help him get his group out safely. And the two main females – Leia and Rayna – with how they dealt with their first foray into war-like situations, going through shock and ending up kicking arse in order to survive.

The descent of Matt into utter madness was also extremely exciting to read. In fact, he may have been my favourite character to read. Him with his tentacled arm. He wasn’t a nice guy before his infection, but at the same time, watching him develop his new alien abilities was so intriguing.

I can see how a lot of people may not like this, especially if you don’t like silly spoofs, or scifi, or (gods forbid!) Star Trek. It IS a silly book. But it’s highly enjoyable when taken for what it is.

The Bottom Line

Highly recommended for fans of the original Star Trek series. It’s good fun, mixed with a dash of awesome space aliens. (And yes, I still refuse to believe they are zombies.)

Other Reviews

Becky’s Book Reviews, Graeme’s Fantasy Book Reviews, Speculative Book Review, Have you reviewed this book on your blog? Let me know and I’ll add your link.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 6:58 am March 30, 2011.
Category: Speculative Fiction
Book Author(s): ,

  • Jess B

    Heeeeeeeee! I need to read this! :D

  • Court

    Jess – Yes! You need to read this! You will enjoy it!

  • Christa

    This has become one of my all time favorite books. I introduced my 12 year old to it recently. He read it in 24 hours. I was so pleased. Though, I find myself looking over my shoulder anytime I’m in a hotel elevator now. Is that odd?