Title: The Last Human
Author: Doug Naylor
Year written: 1995
Publisher and year: Penguin Books, 1995
ISBN Number: 0-14-014388-2
This is the third Red Dwarf book, and as far as I know it’s the last written, though this time just by Doug Naylor rather than writing it with Rob Grant. It does continue from the second book, Better Than Life, but I had this for years before I read the other two and it stood up on its own. The beginning is slightly confusing that way but there is a bit of a ‘previously on’ type beginning that does explain it to new readers.
If you haven’t heard of Red Dwarf the basic idea of the TV series, and the books, is that Dave Lister is the last human being alive, hence the title of the book. He was put into stasis on board a space ship as punishment for having a cat and while he was frozen in time there was a radiation leak that killed the crew. 3 million years in the future the ship’s computer, Holly (who doesn’t actually feature in this book) woke him up when the radiation was safe and the human race is extinct. On board the ship Dave Lister, the last human, is joined by a hologram of his bunk mate, Rimmer, a lifeform that evolved from the ships cat, simply called Cat, and a cleaning android called Kryten.
As this is based on the TV series, and written by the same person, it is probably written for fans of the show and this one does go further away from the episodes and dialogue within them than the previous books. The characters from the TV show are in it, with some added extras, and they do stay true to their on screen versions so fans of the show would probably enjoy that, though like the other books there’s parts of this book that build on the whole lore of the Red Dwarf universe and some parts that rewrite it which could make this both interesting and frustrating if that bothers you.
Title: Red Dwarf Omnibus (Red Dwarf and Better Than Life)
Author: Grant Naylor
Year written: 1989 (Red Dwarf) and 1990 (Better Than Life)
Publisher and year: Penguin Books, 1990
ISBN Number: 0-13-017466-4
This is another older book and one I’ve had for a year or so now, though it was bought second hand on eBay for quite cheap with some other books. It seems to be one of those that’s available from a few sellers on there so if you want it it’s probably the best place to look for a good deal. With the recent series of Red Dwarf finishing it made me want to revisit the older ones (again) and I thought I’d give these a read too. This review is of both parts of the Omnibus, Red Dwarf and Better Than Life, I did consider doing them separately but as I read them as one and they’re basicaly a continuation of each other it made sense to do them both. If you want to skip to the review of the specific book then I’ll do the titles in bold when I start, though they’re very similar in tone so there’s not much to differentiate them apart from the plot, though I have avoided anything spoilery aside from mentioning a few episode titles.
This book, or rather two books, are based on the characters and plot of the TV series Red Dwarf. When this was published in 1990 the latest series was series 3 so anything after that in the TV universe isn’t necessarily canon with this, and vice versa. It’s a sci-fi comedy that pokes fun at sci-fi, has a lot of typically British humour in it and has the odd poke at society as a whole, or parts of it anyway.
Title: Galaxy Quest: The Journey Continues
Author: Erik Burnham
Year written: 2015
Publisher and year: IDW Publishing, 2015
ISBN Number: 978-1631403569
I recently decided to finally buy the DVD versions of some of the movies I had on video, I’ve had a list for ages and this included Galaxy Quest. It was on the Amazon search that I discovered there are two graphic novels about the movie written as sequels so I thought I’d give them a go. This is the first one I got, it’s the most recent but I didn’t get it in physical form as it’s three times the cost of the Kindle version which is £2.99. The link in the UK on Amazon.co.uk is here, though it’s probably available in other formats on other sites too.
This book is written as a sequel to the movie, so it does help if you’ve seen the movie itself but there is a bit of a recap at the beginning as an introduction that gives the important information that ties in with this story. The idea is that there is a war going on in a distant galaxy that is won by one side, the Omega 13 is activated as in the movie and time goes back 13 seconds but this time the other side wins. Years later the side that loses goes in search of the reason for this change and they find the crew of actors who were in the original movie.