Way back in July of 2010, Kobo Inc., a subsidiary of Indigo Books and Music, introduced the Kobo eReader as an inexpensive alternative to pricier eReaders such as Amazon’s Kindle. Their thought process: that people would embrace a low-cost eReader even if it meant fewer features like WiFi.
Three months ago that must have seemed like a great idea. What would happen though, if say, Kindle prices dropped to an equivalent level or they created a bare bones version that still contained WiFi? Oh wait, they did. Awkward.
“They thought Space was the Final Frontier–They were wrong.”
Jim Pike is a man tortured by the events of his past. An Afghanistan veteran in the throes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Jim has seen the bloodiest aspects of war and no longer wants the responsibility that came with his service. In fact, he doesn’t want any real responsibility whatsoever, haunted as he is by the loss of several members of his platoon. So, security guard at the Botany Bay Hotel and Conference Centre in the lovely town of Houston seems like the perfect fit. After all, the worst thing he’s going to have to deal with this weekend is a bunch of Star Trek geeks attending the annual GulfCon Star Trek convention. Or so he thinks…(cue ominous music)
Just down the road the Johnson Space Centre has been put into lockdown mode and convention goers are complaining about poor to nonexistent cell phone reception. Even the televisions seem to be on the fritz. To top off his day, Jim’s supervisor is missing, half the staff hasn’t shown up for work, and his sister Rayna is coming to town, bringing along a motley collection of Star Trek fans such as:
Matt Stockard–Wunderkind software developer drunk on his own dubious fame and possible paramour of Rayna’s (at least in his mind)
Gary Severin–Matt’s nominal boss, a stereotypically obese Sci-fi nerd and the foil of Matt’s excessive personality (picture comic book guy in a trek outfit)
T’Poc—Matt’s executive assistant and the girl who’s looking to hook up with Jim while wearing a suggestive outfit from the Star Trek Mirror Universe.
During the course of the next several hours, Jim’s finely honed sense of danger (which he first exhibited in Afghanistan while on patrol with his squad) keeps going off, but he’s too overwhelmed with the staff disappearances and his desire to connect with his sister to listen to them. That is, until his manager points out that anyone leaving the complex for a smoke…never comes back. Things quickly degenerate from there to an all out battle to stay alive in a convention centre populated by what at first glance appears to be the living dead. Jim soon comes to realize that things are not what they seem, they’re even worse, and that the monstrous hordes may have an extraterrestrial connection to recent events at the Space centre involving the Genesis probe. Luckily, a NASA exobiologist by the name of Sandoval may have the answers to their dilemna…if only they can find him before the Zombies do.
In the course of rounding up Rayna and her friends and trying to find a safe haven within the Hotel complex to hole up and wait for help, Jim comes across a girl dressed in a slave outfit (a la Princess Leia from Return of the Jedi). Strangely enough, she’s handcuffed to a bed with a video camera set up. Leia (not her real name) got herself mixed up in a little Star Trek dominatrix video and like everyone else, just wants to get out of Dodge. Add one Klingon with a Bat’leth, a guy in a red shirt with the unfortunate name “Willy Makit” (sound it out phonetically and you’ll get the joke) and the carnage begins.
The authors of Night of the Living Trekkies have created a unique perspective on the Zombie genre. Rather than those horror novels that leave the explanation of the Zombie outbreak to the reader’s imagination, they come up with an explanation of Zombism that has a scientific element to it. The pathogen is extraterrestrial, much like in the Andromeda Strain with one twist…this time those affected don’t stay dead.
Anderson and Stall are clearly Star Trek fans and have jam packed their novel with references both obvious and obscure. Each chapter title is an homage to the original episodes, and Jim Pike’s name is a subtle reference to both Jim Kirk and the Enterprise’ first captain, Christopher Pike. Even Dr. Sandoval’s name is a reference to a character in the original series (spoiler alert!) with a similar problem.
Night of the Living Trekkies departs from your usual fan fiction…it’s actually good! With a fast pace and interesting (although predictible) cast of characters, Night of the Living Trekkies takes the reader on a bloody yet satisfying journey into the world of Star Trek fandom while adding more than a dash of horror to complete the picture.
Publisher Quirk books has engaged on a unique marketing campaign to promote this book, investing in a faux movie trailer on youtube to showcase their author’s work. Here’s hoping a full length feature is in the future.