Night of the Living Trekkies was pure, simple, unfiltered entertainment. It will never win a literary award, or be on the Time Magazine Top 100 list, but I really don’t care. I loved it. I read the entire book in a few hours, which for me isn’t out of the ordinary, but I did it at work instead of doing my job. I just couldn’t put it down. It was like a SyFy channel original put down on paper, only, you know, it was good. If you couldn’t guess for yourself, the book is about a zombie outbreak at a Star Trek convention. The results were epic.
I found out about this wonderful piece of literature by accident. One of the geek blogs I follow posted a commercial for the novel, only it was a trailer shot as if it was for a movie. It was hilarious and ridiculous and I immediately went out to the book store and found it. It was worth every penny.
The story gets moving immediately, starting off in a government lab with the expected Star Trek references, showing us the zombies, and then jumping to the convention. The characters are a bit shallow, other than Jim Pike, the main hero who is a former soldier with combat experience and a burden on his shoulders. Using only a handful of pages for flashback material, the novel blows through introductions and within a hundred pages the siege is on, and the action is kicking.
The other characters are the standard group in any horror survival story. You have the main hero’s little sister, her obnoxious pseudo-boyfriend, the fat geek, the hot girl who everyone wants (in this case she’s in a Princess Leia bikini), the giant guy who’s decked out with weapons, and of course, the doomsayer and foil (a red shirt of course). What I loved about the story is that it makes no attempt to be more than what it is; a cheesy, campy, fun read. The random Star Wars (yes, Star Wars) quotes thrown in as dialogue were awesome, the idea that every chapter is an original Star Trek series episode title made me smile, and the fact that the heroes destroy zombies using Tasers and Bat’Leths is just freaking badass. If you don’t know what a Bat’Leth is, don’t worry, you’re not a super Star Trek geek, but you’ll still love the novel.
What was most surprising was the ending. I fully expected a ridiculous, deus ex machina ending that neatly wrapped up everything nice and neat (which would not have taken anything away from the story in this case)but I was wrong. There was a pretty thrilling final showdown in a parking garage, and then a totally unexpected twist that bumped the entire story up from good to great. Anderson and Stall have managed to take some of the oldest material in the genre, and put a fresh spin on it, and while the story does pander to geeks, such as myself, it is definitely fun for everyone.
In a culture where zombies are starting to fizzle out due to inundation, I still keep an eye out for the few works that manage to do something different, and Night of the Living Trekkies is exactly what I hoped it would be. For any fans of Dawn of the Dead, or Star Trek, or both, go pick it up right now.