Day 3 – Your Favourite Series
Red Dwarf is a famous TV series in the UK, and I hear it even has some kind of cult status in the US. At the same time of writing the show, Rob Grant and Doug Naylor (under the pen name Grant Naylor) also wrote a series of novels, which just happen to be some of the funniest Science fiction books I’ve ever read.
I love the TV show and have since I was tiny but the novels are something else altogether, Grant Naylor pushes this alternate medium to show you things that the series just couldn’t on screen. We learn about how Lister gets on Red Dwarf, Cat’s evoltion and are even privvy to the inner thoughts of Rimmer. If you loved the show then these books are pure gold, bringing you even more about the characters and certain plot lines that only had one or two episodes are now complete books. For instance, the backwards episode of Red Dwarf is deeply funny but I’d be the first to admit that the logic is never consistent. When you read the book ‘Backwards’ (third in the series) every single element of life in reverse is inspected and written to brilliant effect. A real storyline emerges, so if you loved the random episodes and off the wall events then you might not love the consistency of the novels, though the humour is still there in droves.
If you’ve never seen the show then you lose none of the laughs. These books work totally independently to the show and are ideal for lovers of science fiction. If you love Douglas Adams but have never read Grant Naylor then you are in for such a treat! Dry British humour, insane events and dark moments that will have you laughing so hard it hurts.
It’s rare for me to laugh out loud at a book and I think most people can attest that it’s a very strange thing to do in a public place. I have wept at some of these books and I never keep my copies for long because I’m always giving them away to people. Sadly out of print, these books can still be found on ebay or Amazon for incredibly reasonable prices. One of the truly great sci fi series’ and yet no one has ever read it! There’s a question later on down this challenge that regards underrated books and I consider this a truly underrated series!
For those of you who are intersted, here are the books that make up the series along with a quick blurb and which storylines are involved for fans of the TV show:
Red Dwarf – Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers
Dave Lister is trapped on a godforesaken moon as a taxi driver when he decides to enlist in mining to get back to Earth on the Red Dwarf. He’s forced to bunk with failure Arnold Rimmer, who is as anal retentive as a human being can get. A nuclear explosion takes place on the ship and Lister is the only survivor, along with an evolved cat who’s ancestor was left in the ships hold. Rimmer is brought back as a hologram to keep Lister sane and the three of them attempt to get back to earth, though it’s been a while since they were anywhere near home… This book introduces the whole cast and the faster than light storyline of the first eps.
Red Dwarf – Better Than Life
The guys (including android Kryton) are a slave to their inner desires in this better than life videogame. Slowly dying in the real world, the motley crew of Red Dwarf are actually far more in danger when it comes to Rimmer’s self-punishing psyche. Lister makes an amazing discovery whilst on a derelict planet and finds himself marooned. This book has the polymorph storyline and Holly regaining his intelligence. Talkie Toaster also appears!
Red Dwarf – Backwards
Almost a whole novel about time running in reverse in a parallel dimension. A book that will truly make your head spin, this story also has engineered cyborgs who’d like nothing better than to kill the last known human. With some truly amazing imagery, jokes and plot twists, this novel also features ‘Ace’ Rimmer as well as the ‘Apocolypse Boys’ storyline.
Red Dwarf – Last Human
The last in the series and by far the darkest, this novel also comes with a beautiful ending and alternate dimensions about! Kochanski returns and there are two Lister’s through most of this action-filled installment. This final chapter allows for far more character development than we would ever see in the series, showing how far all the characters have come since they joined forces. An amazing finale to an excellent series.