William Shatner? William Shatner? WILLIAM SHATNER!!! Sorry. I saw that on Amazon and had to do it too.
As promised, here is my unbiased (cough, cough) review of Shatnerquake by Jeff Burk. I did try to be as impartial as possible, but given this book features one of my all time heroes there wasn’t too much chance of that.
Shatnerquake was my first foray into Bizarro Fiction, and after glancing through other Bizarro titles listed in the back of the book (Sex and Death In Television Town and War Sluts, to name two), I realised that this book was probably going to be quite tame compared to the others. And it was, if you discounted the odd swear word and that nearly everyone dies, most of them horribly.
The concept – a fiction bomb at a ShatnerCon brings to life all the characters William Shatner has ever played, and they are intent on killing the real William Shatner – was pure genius. It elicited one of those ‘Why can’t I have an idea that brilliant?’ moments. Picture if you can, Kirk with a lightsaber, Denny Crane being, well, Denny Crane, and William Shatner being his usual egotistical self, and you begin to get an idea of the story. There is a lot more to it than that, but I don’t want to spoil it for potential readers.
The book was hilarious, and I laughed out loud on several occasions. But novella is probably the more accurate word to describe it. At 83 pages, it is short; I was able to comfortably read it in one sitting. And I would have liked to seen more characterisation with some of the William Shatners - a few of them were only mentioned fleetingly. That being said, if you are a Star Trek or William Shatner fan you will love this book. As a writer of short fiction, I know length isn’t everything!