Author: Jeff Burk
Oh… my… God.
Two days later, and my head is still reeling from this book. Warring factions of Shatner fans facing off against “Campbellians” (they’re all missing their right hands; you do the math) in the mother of all conventions glorifying every single role that the Shat has ever played, sung, or stammered through. The Grand Poobah of Starfleet himself is the star of this novella and his voice will speak to you in that Shatnertastic affectation that haunts the dreams of millions, as you read along and relive every Priceline Negotiator commercial you ever saw. Your nights will be restless and fitful as Shat’s black and white face croons to you in Esperanto, but madness is a small price to pay as you get every single reference and in-joke in the book— and man, there are a TON of them. It’s like reading a story in a code that only you and your friends can translate.
The crux of the biscuit here is that every single role that Shatner has ever played has come to life and are all chasing the real Shatner through (wait for it… wait for it…) ShatnerCon. If that doesn’t grab you, then you’re on the wrong website, fella. This book is FUN. You’ll read it straight through in one sitting, guaranteed. As soon as I finished, I picked it right back up and started again; and I’ll read it a third time before breakfast.
There are only two problems with this story — 1) it’s way too short; clocking in at a mere 83 pages. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this as part of a great short story collection in the near future. 2) We have to wait years! Decades! Centuries, perhaps — for Shatner to ascend to heaven and let his image finally fall into public domain. Only then can we make this into the theatrical 3-D megaplex extravaganza that you’ll be screaming for when you’re done reading.
I love discovering a new author to follow and Jeff Burk is definitely on my radar now. It’s a shame he wasn’t able to make his scheduled appearance on Sci Fi Saturday Night a few months ago. I’d have loved to have talked to him about this minor masterpiece and find out which books of his I should seek out next. I’ll have to settle for watching my banged-up VHS copy of Shat’s dual role in WHITE APACHE, and hope that Jeff Burk hasn’t gone redshirt on us.
Shatnerquake is available on amazon.com