Grant Naylor is the collective writing name of Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. They gained quite a bit of notoriety for writing the hilarious long running BBC SCI-FI/comedy series Red Dwarf. This collaboration, unfortunately ended in the 1990s, when Rob Grant left due to the age old euphemism “creative differences”, although the series continue(s) on through series VII, VIII, IX and X.
The Red Dwarf series had it’s ups and downs, sometimes side split-tingly hilarious and sometimes just OK with series X airing in 2012 with a much aged cast, but closer to how some of the previous seasons were.
Grant Naylor wrote several Red Dwarf novels that, in some ways, were better written and “acted” than the actual series since some things just could not be done on the meager budget and technologies available.
This is the first of the novels and is very, very funny and an excellent way to get to know the series. It takes elements of much of the first few series and combines them into a novel that is one part SCI-FI, one part comedic masterpiece and all parts entertaining.
If you’ve never seen the series is about one human, Dave Lister, who due to an infraction on board the Jupiter Mining Corporation ship Red Dwarf is put into suspended animation as punishment. During his hibernation, the ship had a radiation leak and all of people on board died. Holly, the ship’s intelligent computer, sped the ship into the deep outer space for millions of years to prevent others from dying from the radiation and finally woke Dave after the radiation levels were acceptable. Sounds funny? Well, oddly it is….Dave’s infraction was bringing aboard a cat, named Frankenstein, which escaped into the holds and survived the radiation and somehow bred and over the millions of years evolved into a humanoid race which has many cat tendencies…they all left except for the dying and the “terminally stupid”. This leaves Dave with a companion, aptly named “Cat”. Holly, who has pretty much gone insane over the millions of years, creates a hologram of Dave’s cabin mate, Arnold Rimmer, an officious but completely inept career Space Corp member who’s main job before death was as a food dispenser cleaner and who now is supposed to keep Dave sane. Finally, a “nanny” type android that was near the end of the first season named Kryten who cooks, cleans, etc…
These are their bizarre, hilarious adventures, hurtling though space in a ship piloted by an mixed up computer, manned by a lager, curry, and chili sauce consuming Human, a creature evolved from his pet cat, a hologram of the Humans long dead roommate and a vaguely human shaped android.
If you enjoy this, read:
- Better than Life
- Last Human