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Shatnerquake
Reviewed by Joe Crowe, © 2009

Format: Book
By:   Jeff Burk
Genre:   Shatner
Review Date:   August 21, 2009
Audience Rating:   R
RevSF Rating:   7/10 (What Is This?)

"Shatner spun the bat'leth in front of him and stepped forward to meet his combatant."

In this book, Captain Kirk fights using a lightsaber.

When it came out, everybody and their mama happily linked to the news. I pursued it further and bought one, because to avoid doing so is a distinct lack of Shatnition.

Shatnerquake has William Shatner fighting characters he's played in TV and movies. Shatner is a self-aware cheeseball in real life. Shatner would write an action-movie story like this about himself (or have someone write for him), but he ain't got the time, baby. He's William Shatner. So writer Jeff Burk has done Shatner a great service.

The villains are Bruce Campbell fans. You think you're getting an all-Shatner story, so that's bonus nerdiness. They explode a Fiction Bomb that brings Shatner's TV and movie selves to life. Hijinks ensue.

The story is only 80 pages. It could have been padded with a few hundred more, but instead, it gets right to the punchline. It's all about the Shatners.

Every Shatner performance I can think of shows up, at least in cameo. My personal favorite TJ Hooker is in it, and so is Denny Crane from Boston Legal and the guy who saw something on the wing in Twilight Zone.

The Shatners are like the Gremlins. Like in a TV or movie tie-in novel, the key here is depicting characters we already know. I'm pretty sure the book does a good job with that, but I may have been dazed by the neatness of reading a story with TJ Hooker in it.

One of my favorite parts is when Rescue 911 Shatner narrates over a gory death.

Shatnerquake is a zombie-movie style gore-fest in print. Everyone except the Shatners hangs around only a page or two until their gross deaths. The detailed writeups of the deaths are a distraction from all the Shatners.

Apparently the proofreader fell asleep reading TekWar. This isn't a big deal to some normal humans, but I'm an editor. I see typos and mistakes everywhere. I can not un-see them, like Tyler Durden in Fight Club. Here, each glaring mistake stares at me, and says "Nyah."

There is no love interest. Shatner and the Shatners learn nothing about themselves. That is thinking too hard, and this story does not call for it. Everyone just fights, until the fight is over, then they move on to another fight.

Shatnerquake tries to capture Shatner in a bottle. It reaches for Shatner and comes up short, as we all do. But at least it tries, as we all must.


Check out the whole story behind Shatnerquake! RevolutionSF interviews Jeff Burk, the writer of Shatnerquake.


 
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