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  • gilwilson 4:24 PM on November 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , kevin d. anderson, mashup, , , sam stall, , , star trek, , trekkies,   

    “Night of the Living Trekkies” by Kevin D. Anderson and Sam Stall 

    “Night of the Living Trekkies”
    by Kevin D. Anderson and Sam Stall
    Published by Quirkbooks(2010)
    253 pages

    Okay folks it’s time to put your “Geek” pants on and get ready to “Go where no man has gone before.” We are talking about combining the worlds of Star Trek with a Zombie Apocalypse, Okay actually just a bunch of fans of Star Trek and a Zombie Apocalypse at a Star Trek convention.  Being a huge fan of the Zombie horror genre and a sci-fi nut, this book just screamed at me.  I picked up the book and from page one I was hooked.  The Star Trek references were excellent and the authors even strategically through in some Star Wars references that make this survival from the flesh eaters fun and exciting.    On top of the intelligently placed references the authors even have thrown their own spin into the creation and world of zombies.  In this book there are 3 ways to kill them, but let me tell you the Klingon bat’leth is the coolest in this book.

    Another aspect of this book is the mult-genre appeal, the authors have combined Sci-Fi, Zombies, Comedy and adventure to create a quest for survival novel.  This book takes the best of all these worlds and creates a mashup that seems like it wouldn’t work but does and with a lot of fun.  To quote one of the characters from this book, Jim Pike (former soldier fresh from Afghanistan), ”
    Star Trek is all about applying the Federation’s high-minded ideals to difficult situations.  No matter how bad things get, you’re supposed to play by the don’t-shoot-first, don’t-mess-with-pre-warp cultures, don’t-alter-the-timeline rules. But in the zombie univers it’s all about jettisoning everything- morality, sentimentality, weaklings – that might keep you from seeing the next sunrise. Because no matter how impeccably you behave, you’ll never bring the other side around to your way of thinking.  They don’t think.  They just kill.”  But by using the rules of the Federation a rag-tag group of Trekkies in costume, a hotel security Guard, an exo-biologist, a videogame creator, and even a woman in a Princess Leia slave costume that spouts out Star Wars references, all battle zombies hoping to make it to the next day before Houston is nuked.

    Jim Pike is a bellhop for the Botany Bay Hotel in Houston, the Botany Bay is the home of GulfCon, now in its 5th year, which is billed as the largest Starfleet convention in the Western Gulf Coast Region.  He used to be a big Star Trek fan but after two tours of duty in Afghanistan the what-is-it-all-about question has set in and Jim just wants to get by in life not responsible for anything.  Jim’s sister is a Trekkie and she’s bringing her new boyfriend, a videogame creator, to GulfCon to enjoy the festivities and see her brother.

    Meanwhile an accident at a military underground bunker near Houston has released a strange virus that animates the dead.  Many people are calling in sick and the convention is just beginning to go full force with all sorts of activities.  Jim is now being forced to act as security for the Botany Bay and with his un-erring intuition Jim begins to suspect that the world is coming to an end.  When the nightfall comes the zombies begin taking on their prey with more fervor and Jim is forced to lockdown the hotel and gather the few survivors and fight to escape the brain-eating zombies.

    With tons of sci-fi/Star Trek and comic book references this book is full of hilarious moments and with tons of zombies it is also full of some thrills that will keep you anxious to read the whole book in one night.  Some  of the fun in this book, if you are a fellow Trekkie are the names used and who they are used for, for example Jim Pike, the lead character, get’s his name from Captain Pike, the first captain of the Enterprise (in the original series) and Captain James T. Kirk. And yes there’s an awesome “Dammit Jim,..” quote or two.

  • gilwilson 3:34 AM on August 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , mashup, , , sea monsters, sense and sensibility and sea monsters   

    “Sense and Sensibility and Sea-Monsters” By Ben H. Winters & Jane Austen 

    “Sense and Sensibility and Sea-Monsters”
    By Ben H. Winters & Jane Austen
    Published 2010 by Quirk Books

    Having read a few other “mashup” books; “Pride & Prejudice & Zombies,” “Dawn of the Dreadfuls,” and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,”  I thought I’d give this one a try.  I’m sorry to say I found this one hard to get through.   I’m not sure what it lacked, but at times when the sea-monsters sections were introduced they seemed forced.  I admit though it did have its funny moments but I would have done better to avoid this book.

    The premise of the story is the Dashwood family from the Jane Austen novel continue on as Austen wrote them but with many dangers lurking in the waters of the world.  An event known as “The Alteration” has turned the creatures of the sea against mankind, this unexplained event spawns numerous “sea monsters,” including sea serpents, giant lobsters, and man-eating jellyfish.  Those are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, but you get the idea.

    Basically, Henry Dashwood is out to find the cause of the “Alteration” and upon his return is attacked by hammerhead sharks.  Before he dies from the wounds inflicted Mr. Dashwood inscribes a message in the sand for his son to take care of his mother and sisters, since they will be females and have no legal recourse to the inheritance.  The Dashwood women are not taken care of due to the son’s wife’s greediness.

    They move to Pestilent Island where the two older sisters are soon to find suitors.  One suitor, Colonel Brandon, is inflicted with a disease in which his face is sprouting tentacles.  Just picture Davy Jones from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.  Another suitor is Willoughby which is actually very close to the presentation in the original novel, but in this book he as a sidekick of an orangutan.  The people who were kind enough to let the Dashwoods stay in a shack on their island are the Middletons. Lady Middleton was captured in Africa and carried off against her will to become Sir John Middleton’s wife and she’s always trying to escape.

    If you have read the original novel and you pick this up you can tell some of the events are forced however there are some funny moments that will cause you to chuckle.  I would say bypass this one and enjoy the other mashup novels with vampires and zombies.

  • gilwilson 2:39 AM on June 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: abraham lincoln, abraham lincoln vampire hunter, , , , , mashup, , vampire hunter,   

    “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” By Seth Grahame-Smith 

    “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”
    By Seth Grahame-Smith
    Narrated by Scott Holst
    Published by Hachette Audio 2010
    Approx 10 hours

    I have just listened to one of the most all around entertaining books of all time.  Yes, this book “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is it.  This book offers a little bit for everyone, history, civil rights, and vampires.  Seth Grahame-Smith says in an interview included with this audio book that he got the Idea for the story around 2008-2009 just as the country was celebrating the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth.   He saw that all the bookstores were stocking the shelves full of books about Abraham Lincoln and at the same time the only other books that were visible was the “Twilight” series of books and the other books caused by this vampire craze.  So he did what any creative writer would do and said, “Hey, what would happen if you combined the two?”  (I paraphrased that, a bit.)  Then after his mashup “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” became a best seller he got the chance to mix Lincoln with vampires.

    The historical aspect of this book is priceless, Grahame-Smith and his key researchers, did some great work in maintaining a believability factor in this book by writing around historical facts.  Most having to do with Lincoln’s life and can be verified by many of the biographical books on Lincoln, but some of the history talks about some significant facts of our nation’s history.   One that sticks out is the mystery behind the Lost Colony of Roanoke, Virginia in 1590.  Grahame-Smith makes a pretty decent argument as to what could have happened.  There are many features through the book that made me look up the characters mentioned only to find that most of what was said was true, such as the haunting of the Surgical College in St. Louis, Missouri by Dr. McDowell, who wore a breast plate armor because he was paranoid…or was it because he was a vampire.

    There are times during this book when you just can’t help but laugh.  I know, it was a dark time in our history when our country was divided, and I know that vampires are scary blood sucking demons, but bring them together and there is fun aplenty.  This book would be perfect for any history buff, civil war buff, Lincoln buff or vampire buff.  For those looking at the historical aspect the adventure is fun.  For those looking at the vampire aspect, be careful you just may learn some of that history that you slept through in freshman history.

    The narrator does a superb job of bringing voice to this fun novel.  It is narrated like a history channel special most  of the time, leaning toward making the novel a credible historical work.  During the dialog scenes the narrator does a superb job of distinguishing between the different voice and really brings out the difference between a young, buff, ax-wielding, vampire slaying Abe Lincoln and the older presidential, tired of bloodshed Lincoln.    As an extra bonus if you get the audio CD you also get a pdf file with photos proving the vampires existence in Lincoln’s day that would be in the physical book.

    This book brings us the history of Lincoln and of early America with the premise of vampires coming to the New World and promoting slavery to provide a blood supply for the undead.  Throughout Lincoln’s life he was followed by mysterious deaths, like his mother’s death from an unknown disease that was caused by a vampire.   This vampire was a loan shark and loaned the Lincoln family enough money to start a farm in Indiana, when the farm failed, Abe’s father could not repay the loan, so the vampire came back and poisoned Abe’s mother with his vampiric blood.   When Abe becomes a teenager his father relates this story to him and Abe then schemes to bring this vampire back to the farm where a young Abe Lincoln stakes his first vampire.   From there he learns that there are many more in the area and begins his career as a vampire hunter.

    Lincoln soon learns of a vampire that is stealing children from their beds and tracks her down to Evansville, Indiana and attempts to stake her.  He makes many mistakes and is nearly drowned in the fight that ensues, but just before he blacks out he sees her destroyed by another man.  Abe wakes up in the home of this man days later, and learns the man is a vampire by the name of Henry Sturges.   Henry teaches Abe the ways of the vampyr and begins giving Abe assignments to destroy vampires.  Why does a vampire wish to destroy his own kind?  Because those that prey on the innocent do not deserve to live.

    All the way through Lincoln’s assassination he and Henry have a give and take relationship that leads to the deaths of many vampires.   Do yourself a favor and pick up this book and enjoy it for what it is…a fun book stocked with many historical facts.

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