Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum When did you first read the novels?

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  • #229004

    So yeah, VI and XI are the worst for it, although I agree that, although VII manages to avoid the format for the most part, Ouroboros and Beyond a Joke really make it feel like they stumble across GELFs and Rogue Simulants pretty regularly. The two Starbug series definitely feel much more Star Trekkish, with GELF space, GELF battle cruiser, the Simulant and GELF working together etc. It’s the closest the show came to the feel of Last Human, with something resembling an actual society out there.

    Although I actually prefer that to the more human-centric approach taken in XI and XII.

    #229005

    > Although I actually prefer that to the more human-centric approach taken in XI and XII.

    Yeah same now I think about it. Don’t mind meeting the occasionally human if it’s done right … like Timewave for example … despite the episode being shit, they were pulled from the past into the present.

    But it’s much more interesting when they come across other forms of life, even if it does get a little repetitive, it highlights that whilst there maybe some life in the universe, it is human made and Lister is still the last alive … Kochanski notwithstanding of course.

    #229008
    bloodteller
    Blocked

    >Lister is still the last alive … Kochanski notwithstanding of course.

    apart from the 1000+ members of the resurrected crew who buggered off at the end of VIII and then never showed up again. where did those guys go?

    #229010
    Hamish
    Participant

    > Lister is the last alive … Kochanski notwithstanding of course.

    Which of course makes the whole “Last Human” title feel a bit odd as well.

    #229011

    Same place as the cat people … into a plot hole.

    #229013

    Which of course makes the whole “Last Human” title feel a bit odd as well.

    Mm, a book with two Listers, Kochanski and Rimmer’s isn’t really deserving of the title ‘Last Human’.

    #229016
    bloodteller
    Blocked

    they really should have called it “Only Human”, that would have solved everything

    #229022
    Warbodog
    Participant

    There’s a line right at the end where Lister contemplates his responsibilities as “the last human,” so Doug could get the title in. That beats Tikka to Ride in stories not paying attention to themselves.

    #229023
    bloodteller
    Blocked

    “Cat….you ever read Last Human?”
    “…Sure.”
    “D’you think Wilmot’s sexy?”

    #229052

    By “Rimmer’s”, I meant, of course, “Rimmer’s son”.
    Still, Four Humans isn’t such a good title.

    #229053
    Hamish
    Participant

    “Four’s Company”

    #229056
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Four Humans, a Cat and a Spaceship

    #229058
    Hamish
    Participant

    Two Listers, Two Rimmers

    #229092

    I think it says a lot when, after reading all the novels multiple times, I can never remember the plot of Last Human.

    The others all seem much more like Red Dwarf to me, and Backwards feels like the natural continuation of the other two

    #229093
    Hamish
    Participant

    Sp I just reached the chapter in Last Human where Kryten uses the DNA machine. Make that five humans now.

    #229095

    I’d totally forgot that happened in Last Human.

    #229096
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    Yeah, I can definitely remember bits of Last Human, and some of them are even original to the novel too, but I can’t remember the overall narrative.

    #229098
    Warbodog
    Participant

    One of several pointless annoyances throughout Last Human is how recycled episode dialogue and events are redistributed depending on which characters are around at the time, as if those lines could have been said by anyone. And Rimmer gets turned into the chicken, so there has to be an explanation about how the machine converted his light bee into organic matter or something, rather than just doing it to Cat or Kochanski. (Maybe that was to set up Kryten using it, but sticking with the part-organic brain would have been fine).

    The only thing I really liked in Last Human was the psi-scan informing them that Cat’s disembodied head was “lifeform incomplete.” Good old psi-scan.

    #229100
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    Huh. Ok, I’m not going to cheat and look at Wikipedia.

    There’s another Lister in a parallel universe and he’s bad and he kills the rest of his crew for reasons. He’s sentenced to be imprisoned in nasty BTL (sorry Cyberia) by some GELF.

    Lister and Kochanski are rescued from the Backwards world and we get a chunk of Psirens and an embarrassing sex scene. The crew are on their way back to Red Dwarf when they find the other Lister’s Starbug and the dead crew. They realise that they’re in the wrong universe….and….

    [gone blank here]

    They rescue the other Lister from Cyberia, but then the bad Lister knocks him out and switches places. The good Lister is hurled into Cyberia..while Bad Lister heads off on Starbug to conduct his evil lickle scheme (no, can’t remember what this was).

    THREE MILLION YEARS EARLIER, Rimmer’s son (sigh) Michael McGruder leaves Earth on a ship with terraforming equipment (I think). He thinks Rimmer’s a really great guy.

    Lister escapes Cyberia with the Shapeshifter lady from Star Trek VI. And…somehow meets up with Michael McGruder. And then Kryten turns into a human. For a bit. And we get a really crap version of the double-polaroid scene with Kochanski sitting in for Lister. There’s some weird professor in various GELF forms also posing some kind of vague threat, which Kochanski defeats with a rubber band. Yes, really.

    Then Bad Lister turns up, and shoots Good Lister in the groin. And Rimmer dies somehow, but manages to say goodbye to Michael (although their relationship is so unexplorered, I can’t remember them even meeting) by morsecode from his lightbee. Then he sends his lightbee into The Rage…but i can’t remember what this is. Some kind of cyclone of negativity. Like this place after Timewave aired, I guess.

    Then Kochanski and Lister have sex in some long grass. And then it ends. And you put it on the shelf and think “Well, that was a book I read”.

    #229107
    Warbodog
    Participant

    [Spoiler for Hamish etc.]

    You forgot the luck virus saving the day about four times in succession.

    You know how that happens at the end of Quarantine, but it’s really funny? The new scenes are not like that.

    #229108
    bloodteller
    Blocked

    yeah, i don’t really remember much of what Last Human was about. it does the Can Of Worms thing of trying to pack about a million different ideas into a novel that’s far too short to accommodate them all.

    there’s also random chunks of character facts and exposition shoved into sentences for no real reason. the only one i can remember off the top of my head is Lister in the prison craft “lying in the same fetal position as his long dead sister” because i remember reading that and thinking wait, what? so out of nowhere lister now has a sister i guess? this particular piece of information isn’t really relevant to the scene at hand and unless i’m mistaken, never comes up again at all.

    there’s also the one someone mentioned above about rimmer’s brothers having chips in their heads which make them good and smart. this also goes nowhere and negates all the stuff about his family we’ve heard about until now

    #229109
    bloodteller
    Blocked

    maybe i should actually re-read Last Human before i nitpick at it any further though, it’s probably much bettter than i remember it being

    i do remember there being some good bits in there. the DNA segment where kryten becomes human was done pretty interestingly iirc, and Retrekreben(?) was quite a fun character

    #229110
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Lister’s “sister” was just Doug being epic and literary by comparing him to his distant ancestor from the first chapter.

    Can’t exactly rate the novels against individual episodes, but if a series = a novel, I might go as far as:

    IV & V > IWCD > I-III & VI > BTL > X-XII & Backwards > VII-BTE > LH

    #229114
    Hamish
    Participant

    > [Spoiler for Hamish etc.]

    I appreciate the sentiment, but I have already gone through the audio book several times, so the only really spoilery bit was Pete’s mention of the “weird professor”, which I already knew about from other sources.

    Still, Last Human is not terrible if you treat it as just a pulp science fantasy romp. It at least has an enthusiasm about it that is enjoyable when in the right mood. It does fail as a Red Dwarf novel though, no question.

    #229116
    Plastic Percy
    Participant

    Never understood the anti-Lister shooting Lister. When I first read it, I’d assumed he’d castrated him with a bullet to his old chap.

    #229130
    Ridley
    Participant

    Wehay! Luck virus!

    Sounds almost exactly like fu–

    It’s cold outside

    #229192
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Add one to that list of encounters with external lifeforms, craft, or settlements for the pan-dimensional liquid beast from the mogadon cluster which happened between V and VI iirc

    #229193
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    And the Vidal Beast of Sharmutt II

    #229208
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Just watched Demons and Angels. What a Rob Grant’s Backwards episode that is.

    Though if he had novelised it, presumably the High crew’s deaths would have been even more graphic and we would have been “treated” to a deleted scene of Low Rimmer buggering Lister with his holowhip and barbecuing his underage rectum from the inside.

    #229259
    Moonlight
    Participant

    I suspect what actually killed the polymorph in Can of Worms was Cat’s barbed penis.

    #229293
    bloodteller
    Blocked

    re-read Last Human and Kryten’s segment reflecting on the idea of death was actually rather well written in comparison to the rest of the novel- it feels like something that wouldn’t have felt out of place in the first 2 books.

    the parts where it’s just dialogue copied directly from the TV show with “said Rimmer” stuck on the end over and over are quite annoying though.

    #229302
    Hamish
    Participant

    > the parts where it’s just dialogue copied directly from the TV show with “said Rimmer” stuck on the end over and over are quite annoying though.

    Especially when they were Lister’s lines to begin with…

    I do think that the Micheal Longman addition does at least help make the whole “Kryten becomes human” bit feel less aimless, as they now have to struggle just a bit to turn him back into a mechanoid again, but I have to agree with Pete that the resolution of it using the luck virus and a rubber band is stupid. Using the luck virus to find the coordinates of Lister’s location was nice, and I appreciate that it was Rimmer’s idea to do it there, but the Cat discovering hyperdrive through it was yet another stretch too far. Of course they basically do the same thing in Epideme as well.

    As for Kryten’s musings on death, I would have thought Doug would have wanted to tie that into Kryten’s attempted sacrifice against the Rage later on in the book. In fact, thematically that would have worked far better than Rimmer’s death, as all Rimmer did there was try to live up to McGruder’s expectations, when in all of the passages beforehand the book was trying to argue that basing your life on an unrealistic hero figure like McGruder did is not a good idea. It is tonally inconsistent.

    #233629

    Just expressing my thoughts while I’m halfway through Last Human; the Cat really doesn’t translate well into print, does he? I mean, I’ve read the other three all the way (IWCD, Better Than Life, and Backwards) and I don’t think he gets much original characterization other than in the Better Than Life hallucinations and the you-know-what chapter in Backwards.

    I think Cat works way better in a visual medium since there the Cat gets characterized through his fashion sense and the way he moves/talks as played by Danny John-Jules. I really appreciate Danny’s acting as the Cat now that I’m reading these novels.

    Though I’m loving Kryten so far in these novels, mostly in Last Human; the way he interacted with Lister’s Other Self when he realized he was the doppelgänger got me really sucked in. I like the plot they are building with McGruder; and Rimmer’s love story with Yvonne McGruder was a nice rare bit of heartwarming after reading Backwards where Rimmer gets shit-on for most of it, especially at the end.

    Also something I noticed, did they lift President Nixon’s interaction with his staff and use it for Back in the Red Part I with Captain Hollister? That was pretty funny.

    A great part of the novels for me is we get to see things we never seen in the show; Mimas, Garbage World (would love that to be put in an episode tho), Agonoids, and now the Earth President and a peek into the politics of the Red Dwarf universe.

    #233632
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Cat didn’t come across too clearly to whoever drew this cover: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51X7TL0fy7L.jpg

    #233633
    bloodteller
    Blocked

    i’ve always rather liked that cover tbh. its quite a cool alternate interpretation of Red Dwarf

    #233634
    Moonlight
    Participant

    I was just dreaming I was listening to the Last Human audiobook, but read by Chris Barrie, and McGruder was given an ill-fitting nasaly cartoon voice that I very much disliked.

    But speaking of the actual audiobook, I think Craig manages to nail the speech patterns of his fellow cast members even if he can’t do the voices.

    #233635

    I prefer Craig’s reading of Last Human over Rob Grant’s reading of Backwards. Just due to Craig being a familiar voice.

    #233636
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Cat didn’t come across too clearly to whoever drew this cover:

    That’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen.

    #233645
    flanl3
    Participant

    I’m thinking of getting myself a copy of the novels off Amazon – should I pay the extra few dollars for that cover?

    #233648
    Plastic Percy
    Participant

    Rimmer seems to be played by a young James Gandolfini.

    #234112
    tombow
    Participant

    I read the first 2 when I was 11-12. I loved them, they’re still some of my fave books of all time. By great luck, the Last Human was released new just as I was finishing BTL (I hadn’t planned it that way) so my Mum got it for me in hardback

    I hadn’t seen the first series when I read IWCD, only 2 onward, and I’m glad about that because I’m glad I got to experience the story for the first time with the bigger descriptions, inner thoughts, etc.

    I think I probably prefer Last Human to Backward, for all it’s faults LH seemed more interesting and ambitious where BW seemed more like a novelisation. I hated Kochanski perfectly fitting in and being loved by all the crew though, so glad DN made her more interesting for the show. I liked reading about Lister’s reverse better than life which is his worst nightmare.

    “there’s also random chunks of character facts and exposition shoved into sentences for no real reason. the only one i can remember off the top of my head is Lister in the prison craft “lying in the same fetal position as his long dead sister” because i remember reading that and thinking wait, what? so out of nowhere lister now has a sister i guess?”

    LH opens with a little aside about the birth of the first human who is just an unnamed prehistoric girl. She curls up and sleeps and then the action skips forward to Lister, the Last Human, sleeping similar to her. Just a little opening flair I guess.

    I guess the one thing with me and the novels, I really want to see where the story goes and what situation old Lister is in, from the future echo. I guess the ending of LH is the only real possible happy end for Lister that exists.

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