Shatner. Star Wars. ‘Star Trek’. ‘Twilight Zone’. Bruce Campell. If any one of these things get your Flux Capacitor fluxing , well then, Shatnerquake is a book that you need to read.
Shatnerquake takes place at the inventively titled convention known as Shatner Con. Shatner Con is a celebration of all things Shatner, with theaters showing Shatner 24/7, a museum dedicated to Shatner and ,of course, a legion of Kirk obsessed fans who are chomping at the bit to get to meet their idol. Sounds like the perfect event for the inner nerd in all of us, right? Well it would be …………if it wasn’t for those darn Campbellians! What are Campbellians, you ask? Campbellians are rabid fans of Bruce Campbell who have cut off their right arm below the elbow in a display of dedication to their hero. There is nothing Campbellians despise more, and I mean nothing, than William Shatner. The Campbellians have come up with a plan to permanently eradicate William Shatner from the planet by unleashing a Fiction Bomb at Shatner Con (in case you were wondering, a Fiction Bomb is a device that is housed in a VCR that, once detonated, can erase the memory of any character from the general consciousness). Unfortunately, the Fiction Bomb malfunctions and instead of erasing Shatner from existence, it unleashes every character Shatner has ever portrayed on an unsuspecting world. These characters all share the same insatiable desire to destroy the actor who gave them life. What follows is one of the most wonderfully bizarre pieces of genre fiction I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.
Shatnerquake is some of the most fun that you are likely to have reading a book. At just under 100 pages, this story plays out like most of Shatner’s films- a cheesy action-fest that will have you laughing and cheering throughout. Technically this book is considered bizarro (and that certainly is an apt description) but, due to the broad appeal and solid writing, it is able to transcend genres. Fans of sci-fi, horror, bizarro, action and comics have all sang the praises of this book. It is that good. With nods to even the most obscure Shatner characters, fans will find themselves reading and re-reading Shatnerquake just to see if they can pick out all of the characters- a Where’s Waldo, of sorts.
There is something special about reading a book where you can sit back and say, “Man, that author is one if us.” Burk knows how to push all the right buttons because he is a total nerd just like us. There is a certain level of confidence and respect that the author shows toward his fans- he knows that we will be familiar with the Incubus Shatner, while chuckling at the ‘Rescue 911’ Shatner. It is gleefully apparent that Burk had more fun writing this story than any of us will ever have reading it, and that is not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. He is nothing more than a fan who is indulging his inner-geekdom.
Lucky for us readers, Burk has the talent to pull off a story like this with great ease and fluidity. It would be easy to dismiss the concept as just another inventive piece of ‘Star Trek’ inspired fan fiction but Shatnerquake is so much more than that- it is the definitive piece of Shatner/Trek inspired fiction. Burk’s vast imagination and skilled writing are what make this a very special experience.
I honestly don’t know what else I can say to persuade you to read this book. If the thought of Captain Kirk wielding a light saber doesn’t sell you on this wonderfully crafted novella then nothing will.