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Red Dwarf #4

Last Human

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Lister gazed out of the porthole and catalogue the series of disasters that had led him to this point in space and time: the bad decisions, the poor career choices, the unreliable friendships that had led him here - on a prison ship bound for the most inhospitable penal colony in the outer cosmos... and all he'd ever wanted was to be a soft metal guitar icon. This is the beginning of the third and eagerly awaited red dwarf novel where Lister starts out by searching for his Doppelganger and ends up having the future of the human race on his shoulders.

310 pages, Paperback

First published April 27, 1995

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About the author

Doug Naylor

9 books74 followers
Douglas R. Naylor is a British comedy writer, science fiction writer, director and television producer. He is best known as half of the writing team of the lnog-running BBC sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf (1988-2009), which is a worldwide cult hit.

Naylor was born in Manchester, England and studied at the University of Liverpool. In the mid-1980s, Naylor wrote two regular comedy sketch shows for BBC Radio 4 entitled Cliché and Son of Cliché. These sketch shows were scripted by Naylor along with another writer, Rob Grant. This writing partnership was successful with Naylor and Grant going on to co-write and produce numerous BBC television series throughout the 1980s and 1990s. These included programmes such as Comic Relief, Spitting Image, and The 10 Percenters.

The collaborations between Grant and Naylor have often used the pseudonym Grant Naylor. This collaboration is today best remembered for the creation of the British science fiction comedy television series, Red Dwarf (their earlier radio sketch shows formed the basis for the show; Chris Barrie starred in both those and Red Dwarf).

However sometime between the airing of sixth series of Red Dwarf in 1993, and the writing of the seventh series in 1996, Rob Grant ended his partnership with Naylor after revealing he was tired of it and of his intentions to quit and pursue other projects. The pair announced their professional split and cited creative and professional differences, along with Grant's desire to move onto new shows.However sometime between the airing of sixth series of Red Dwarf in 1993, and the writing of the seventh series in 1996, Rob Grant ended his partnership with Naylor after revealing he was tired of it and of his intentions to quit and pursue other projects. The pair announced their professional split and cited creative and professional differences, along with Grant's desire to move onto new shows.

As of 2007, Naylor and Grant Naylor Productions are primarily focused on the production of the DVD releases of Red Dwarf and the postulated and much-hoped-for movie. In 2008 it was announced by Grant Naylor Productions that Red Dwarf would return to TV screens in the form of four half hour specials for the digital channel Dave. The episodes were broadcast over the Easter weekend, 2009, and comprising a three-part special (20 minutes each), Back to Earth, and a behind-the-scenes "Making of" Back to Earth. Naylor wrote the scripts for the three new episodes and also directed them. Back to Earth received record ratings for freeview channel Dave. As of April 2011, Doug Naylor has been commissioned to write a new 6 episode series of Red Dwarf (working title Red Dwarf X). It is not yet known which characters, aside from the main 4, will return or whether it will resolve the cliffhanger at the end of series 8 or be a follow on or prequel to Back to Earth. The show starts filming in November 2011 with a probably 2012 release.

Writes under the name Grant Naylor when collaborating with Rob Grant.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 125 reviews
Profile Image for David Sarkies.
1,773 reviews300 followers
May 28, 2016
The Final Chapter
28 May 2016

It has taken ages for me to get around to reading this book, namely because when my sister first bought it back in 1995 she told me that I couldn't read it until she had finished it. I'm not sure if that ever came about – her reading it that is – however over Christmas, when I was back in Adelaide for a few weeks, I asked her if I would be able to borrow it (half expecting her to say no, namely because she hadn't got around to reading it yet) and fortunately she had this one, and Backwards, and leant them to me. So, I can now say that I have read all of the Red Dwarf books and can now look forward to bigger and better things.

I did quite enjoy this book, and while there were a couple of amusing moments, I wouldn't say that it is one of those huge, laugh out loud type of books (though I did draw a few stares from my fellow commuters on my regular trips by train to work) but it was amusing nonetheless. The biggest problem that I found with this is that it seems that Grant and Naylor didn't seem to communicate with each other as to how they were going to proceed from Better than Life. While both books follow on from Better than Life, it was clear that there were some conflicts between the two. For instance in Backwards only Lister, the Cat, Kryten, and Rimmer escape the world (and both Lister and the Cat are teenagers). However in this book, despite it being set years after they left the Backwards Universe, Kochanski had left the universe with them (and this had been done by placing her ashes in the universe so that she would then return to life and then grow younger with Lister). However, it is clear that the events of Backwards didn't get a mention in this volume.

As I said it wasn't bad, but I found myself having to change the story a bit to try and make the two books eventually fit in (and I did that by assuming that when Lister had returned to Red Dwarf at the end of Backwards, albeit in a different universe, that Kochanski was with the crew as well). Another thing is that in parts it seemed that the editors didn't pick up some glaring mistakes, such as Rimmer blurting something out that should have clearly come from the mouth of the Cat. Oh, and while it was good to have Kochanski in the mix, she really didn't seem to fit with the original crew, and in a way seemed to come across as a third wheel (and the Cat also seemed to sit in the background a little too much as well).

Starbug

Like the other books, Last Human borrows heavily from the show so you will no doubt encounter some memorable scenes from the episodes (such as when Kryten becomes human, and the jokes that stem from that particular episode) as well as the one where Lister accidentally offends a tribe of gelfs and is forced to marry one of them to appease their anger. Those who have followed the show will no doubt be aware that in the later seasons they decided to bring Kochanski (who is Lister's love interest by the way) into the mix which I have to admit (and my Dad, who is a huge fan of the show, agrees with me) that it was the beginning of the end of the series – the best parts were with the original four crew members.

One of the interesting things is the concept that humans are alone in the universe – something that also comes out in Asimov's Foundation series. However that doesn't mean that the universe isn't populated, it is, it's just been populated by gelfs, or genetic engineered life forms. However, despite the fact that the Gelfs were created by humans doesn't mean that they are friendly to humans – much the opposite – they are actually quite hostile. This is where Red Dwarf differs immensely from Asimov – in Asimov humanity is being moved towards a point where they will be able to live in harmony with each other whereas in Red Dwarf humanity is inherently self-destructive and they will create things for their own ease and pleasure without actually thinking anything through – everything they do to try to make themselves more advanced ends up backfiring – there are no laws built into the gelfs to prevent them from turning on their creators.

Mind you, the whole concept of the last human is an interesting one. This is a part of the absurdity of Red Dwarf – humanity's last and best hope for survival comes down to this one person, Dave Lister – a good person, but not a shining example of the human race. Mind you, the original series, with just Lister being the last human alive, suggests the whole absurdity of the show, and in part the pointlessness of existence. Here we have Dave Lister, being kept alive for no reason other than to preserve the human race, yet there is no way that the human race can be preserved because there is no way that Lister can reproduce – it is interesting that the only other life form happens to be a cat, and an incredibly vein one at that. Also we note that all of the characters are male, but once again that just adds to the absurdity.

In this volume, however, the original absurdity, and existentialist nature of the show, has now taken a back seat and it has effectively turned into a action romp where at the end the good guy gets the girl and everybody lives happily ever after. In fact the main characters (which unfortunately doesn't include the Cat for, as I suggested previously, seems to take a back seat in this story, having been pushed out by the introduction of Kochanski) all overcome their obstacles (Rimmer included) and the book finishes on a upbeat note. However, I really did like the Rimmer plot (there are numerous plots being woven through this book, which is one of the great things about this volume), and I thought it really brought the character out well. However I will leave it at that and move on to my next project.

Red Dwarf
Profile Image for John Kirk.
394 reviews13 followers
April 8, 2012
Disappointing. The bits where it stayed close to the TV series are tedious (e.g. the Cat's variations on "this is deader than plaid") and the original bits don't make sense. I treat this as the fourth novel in the series, although it was published before Backwards. However, there are really two alternate third novels, which don't fit into the same continuity, and this is the lesser of the two.

The book is called "Last Human", but it also reintroduces Kochanski as a member of the crew (as seen in the 7th/8th series), the idea being that she and Lister left backwards-Earth together. That's fair enough, but by definition it means that Lister is no longer the last human. There are several other problems like that, where Doug Naylor has come up with two ideas, and either of them would work in isolation but they aren't compatible with each other.

Profile Image for Sandi.
276 reviews52 followers
October 9, 2011
I'm sad to say that this is even more of a letdown then Backwards was. It seems that Naylor needs Grant more then vice versa. At least when it comes to writing in the Red Dwarf universe. This book just wasn't that funny or even true to the characters. As a science fiction novel in it's own right it wasn't bad but then again, it wasn't great.

The plot is so full of holes I feel it's been a marksman's target and I couldn't get over the feeling that this had just been cobbled together as part of a contract commitment. There was just no heart and soul of the original Red Dwarf left in this. It has some moments of sheer brilliance that just don't seem to go anywhere.

I am a little disappointed because this series seems to have petered off in a whimper rather then go out with the big bang it and Lister deserved.
Profile Image for Newly Wardell.
455 reviews
January 30, 2022
Not my favorite but I liked it. Anytime spent with the boys from the Dwarf is a good time.
Profile Image for Angus McKeogh.
1,033 reviews48 followers
November 15, 2021
Rob Grant and Doug Naylor have split up and each written a solo effort in the Red Dwarf series. A couple major issues exist with this scenario: 1) How do you add books to one of the greatest comedic series of all time and 2) Are each of these authors able to pull off this feat solo despite previously working in concert? Nearly impossible task is the answer to the first question and not quite is my answer to the second. Pretty good. Not great. And nowhere near as good as the first two co-authored books.
Profile Image for Malcolm Frawley.
657 reviews4 followers
September 25, 2021
It appears that other readers found this instalment a little disappointing, possibly because this marks the spot where the 2 co-creators started writing the novels individually. I have been re-reading the series over the last year & this one I first enjoyed in 1996. I enjoyed it just as much 2nd time around. The level of imagination deployed in this sci-fi comedy is a continuous delight. And, if you think it's easy to write prose that incites actual laugher, try it yourself. I had already shared this fantastic Red Dwarf experience with my son. We have now inducted my oldest grandson. Great fun.
Profile Image for Paul.
347 reviews17 followers
February 2, 2019
3.75 stars.

The first of two books that both are direct sequels to the second Red Dwarf novel, Better than Life. After the writing team of Grant Naylor went their separate ways they still had a deal to write two more books so each took the story in their own direction, completely separately from each other. This one was penned by Doug Naylor, who also continued the TV series from this point on. As this was released first novel I chose to start with it.

While I didn't hate this book I wasn't overly enameled with it either. The first two novels had me wanting to continue reading long into the night to see what would happen next, whereas this struggled at times to hold my attention.

The introduction of a long lost character wasn't as successful on paper as it was on screen (I can separate the two in terms of fiction but as it happened in both I couldn't help but make comparisons), at least one of the crew seemed to take a big back seat and the story felt like it dragged a little at times.

One thing I've enjoyed with the books is that they've taken elements of the stories we've seen on screen and made them fully fleshed out with real explanations rather than just being there for laughs and this continued at times. It was also interesting to see a very different take on a concept that has been explored, before in the show (which I'll not spoil here). It actually made me wish the show had taken the route as well.

On the whole this was an ok read. I can't say for certain as I've not read Rob Grant's offering but the one thing I found myself thinking was that the books worked better when they collaborated rather than they went solo. This one got a definitive ending which was nice for the characters but this wasn't a book you'd ever point out as your preferred definitive end to Red Dwarf.

One last thing, Doug Naylor should never write love / sex scenes. He can't do it. They're terrible. And cringe-worthy. They weren't needed and for me did nothing for the story.
Profile Image for Dane Cobain.
Author 19 books303 followers
June 18, 2019
This is a Red Dwarf novel but written by only one of the two creators, and I think that it suffers a little as a result of that. I’ve actually read one of Rob Grant’s novels as well, and that wasn’t particularly good either, whereas I do like the two other Red Dwarf books that they wrote together, and Better Than Life in particular.

That brings me on to one of my main problems with this, which is that they essentially self-plagiarise, taking scenes and lines of dialogue verbatim from the show. I wouldn’t mind if it kept it all consistent, but those scenes are transplanted into this alternative narrative and you end up with different people saying lines that were first used in the show. It’s kind of grating and feels a little lazy.

Still, that’s not to say that this was all bad, and there were some cool bits of originality here and there which will be of interest to long-term fans of the show. I’m not so sure whether I’d recommend it to someone who hasn’t watched it, though. There are too many in-jokes, and it will also help if you go in knowing a little something about each of the characters.

All in all, then, I’m glad that I read this and that I can tick it off my list, but I also don’t think I’d go back to it and pick it up again. There isn’t enough of a reason for it, and while it was just fine to pick up once because of my love for the show, it’s not particularly memorable and it’s probably the weakest of the three books. Kind of disappointing to be honest, but I’ve come to terms with that. Yeah.
Profile Image for Adam.
305 reviews19 followers
April 29, 2021
Two words: diminishing returns.

This book still made me laugh at points, but my take isn’t all that original. It’s simply not as good, not as funny, not as coherent, not as well written or plotted as its predecessors.

Whether this depreciation of overall quality is due to Rob Grant and Doug Naylor not co writing the book, or time constraints, or the gravy train just derailing, who knows.

Anyway, it was fun while it lasted Red Dwarf. Off to check out the TV show now.

Story-6, Language-7, Ideas-6, Characters-7, Enjoyment-7, Overall-6.7
Profile Image for Ashley Lister.
Author 42 books72 followers
February 27, 2022
Not my favourite of the four books, but still a very enjoyable read with some strong humour and some eloquent science fiction.
Profile Image for Richard.
Author 2 books4 followers
October 6, 2012
While not as funny or as relatable to the BBC series as Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers or Better than Life, the third Red Dwarf book entertains! Written solely by Doug Naylor, Last Human picks up where Better than Life concludes and brings Lister's story full-circle.

It's a more complete story than the episodic first two books, and this seems to be its biggest flaw. The first two Red Dwarf books worked so well because they added to stories seen in the BBC series, but Last Human effectively salvages some of the funnier jokes and scenarios from Series III and IV into an overall narrative unrelated to the plots of specific episodes.

In the end, I liked it more than reviews listed here implied I might. Last Human was enjoyable, hard to put down, and a worthwhile addition to the Red Dwarf universe and characters I've imagined in my head through the TV series and previous books!
Profile Image for Paul Spencer.
143 reviews2 followers
August 7, 2021
The Red Dwarf novels are generally pacy and enjoyable affairs, but tend to grate slightly as they are their own ‘universe’ and differ from the paths that the TV series has taken, even though they use the same characters and situations. Naylor’s solo effort is an occasionally chortle-out-loud funny book, but the focus on sci-fi adventure while at times inventive is not that engaging; it seems to skim over events quite quickly (reads almost script-like) and there is not enough Rimmer in it! Naylor is definitely a very talented comic writer and can certainly write good sci-fi but the former tends to work better than the latter. And also, it’s interesting to note that this book kills Rimmer, and effectively ends Red Dwarf!
Profile Image for Jason.
1,170 reviews103 followers
April 5, 2016
Not the best book in the series of red dwarf books, really only for the super-fans of the series. It's a bit of a mash-up from various episodes and because of that it doesn't flow as well as the other books. You can find lots of plot holes too, for example the book is called "Last Human" but there is another human called Kochanski, so right away the title is confusing. Maybe if this book was better edited I would have rated it as high as the other books in the series. I still laughed though and enjoyed reading it.
Profile Image for Ochwey.
127 reviews19 followers
May 18, 2017
Rozdělení spisovatelského dua moc neprospělo, ale stejně jsem se dost pobavila a smála nahlas (proto, že znám ty vtípky ze seriálu nazpaměť?). Ale jen těm vtipům, děj byl trochu ujetá, zmatená a překombinovaná slátanina (ale ne ujetá v trpaslíkovském duchu!) a postavy měly takové nějaké nestandartní chování, ehh,
Profile Image for Liz.
360 reviews1 follower
January 18, 2020
Definitely better than 'Backwards'. The plot had a nicer flow and the characters were far more natural. 'Backwards' was a little too clinical for my taste, whereas 'Last Human' was far more... human (for want of a better term). Really enjoyable end to a fantastic series of books.

Reread - Jan 2020
2 reviews2 followers
September 9, 2011
Bloody rubbish. From reading this and then reading "Backwards" by Rob Grant you can see who teh talent really was out of teh two of them. It's a shame that it was Doug Naylor who kept on writing the show, one can only imagine how good Red Dwarf could have been had Rob Grant stuck around.
Profile Image for Soňa.
698 reviews46 followers
August 9, 2016
priveľa nápadov, priveľa snahy, priveľa rôznych dejových línii a prepletencov. Zbytočne zmätočné a smutne otravné. Škoda
Profile Image for Tyson Adams.
Author 5 books17 followers
November 4, 2021
It's cold outside, there's no kind of atmosphere, I'm all alone, more or less.

Last Human and Backwards continues the adventures of the crew of Red Dwarf after the events of Better Than Life. Doug Naylor tells the tale of Lister reuniting with his crew and adventuring into an alternate universe where they are mistaken for versions of themselves accused of crimes. Rob Grant tells the tale of Lister reuniting with the crew only to be stuck in the backward universe.

After Grant Naylor split up and became Doug Naylor and Rob Grant to write their respective third instalments in the Red Dwarf series, interesting things happened. I'm reviewing both books as one because I read both back to back and wanted to compare the two.

Last Human is the better of the two third instalments (4 stars). The adventure is a challenge for everyone and shows how far all the characters have come. While not as humorous as the previous books, it does manage to revel in the absurdity. I especially like (and remember from when I originally read this book 25 years ago) the luck virus and its part in the story.

Superficially, Backwards is the more absurd and humorous premise (2 stars). The multiverse crossovers, Ace Rimmer, and the Agonoids should make for an amazing adventure. But I found the jokes a bit flat and the story felt like a series of set-pieces - which is unsurprising given the previous instalments and that this was based on episodic TV scripts.

The main difference I wanted to discuss was the pig. I can still remember this mean "joke" from when I first read the series in the 90s. The "joke" in question appears in Backwards and it becomes apparent that the pig was actually a woman who had become morbidly obese and depressed as a result of being sexually assaulted as a teen by Cat.

The first time I read Backwards I felt sad for that character. This time I felt that Grant didn't like his characters and would go as far as to be unnecessarily mean to them for fun and sadistic "laughs".

This is also true of Rimmer. In Last Human, Rimmer is still the coward but manages to grow and be the character who says "Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast". Naylor lets him become more than a joke. Whereas in Backwards, Grant rubs in just how terrible Rimmer is and how one decision had irreversibly led him to be the loser we're meant to laugh at.

As Grant Naylor, I think the rough edges of both writers were smoothed out. Gestalt really is a great term for their partnership. But without Naylor, I think that Grant became mean (his own books seem to paint people as incompetent, dumb, and his stories are very dark).
Profile Image for David Ellery.
Author 2 books1 follower
January 27, 2021
While certainly an enjoyable read, this book doesn't match up to its two co-written predecessors. It isn't as engaging, doesn't weave in the classic moments from the series as neatly, doesn't ever fully come together, doesn't have the emotional heft it thinks it does, and there are a few reasons for that.

The first is the writing style, so fixated on punchy turns of phrase and over-dramatic verbs - screaming, bansheeing, and many, many more - it actually gets distracting by the end. The second is errors, from a line of dialogue that clearly belongs to the Cat instead being ascribed to Rimmer, to a human character somehow depressing a pistol trigger several inches with one, presumably remarkably long, finger, then managing that again while bracing the gun with both hands; it feels a little careless, like it could have done with another proofing pass. The third is the biggest issue: the characters.

The main cast just aren't as rich or strong as they are in the series, or the prior two books. There are discrepancies from those novels, and inconsistencies in behaviour in this one, most notably Lister see-sawing back and forth between being disturbed by deaths, and not caring much at all. Then there are the three most prominent new characters. One exists purely to set up the finale, one shows initial potential only to remain a plot device for the rest of the story, and Kochanski...

Kochanksi is a missed opportunity. She could have provided a fun new perspective, a new dynamic, and there are hints of that at first, but she never develops a real personality beyond moments here or there. She never evolves beyond being Lister's dream girl. This is particularly felt in a repurposing of a classic scene with her in place of Lister, doing little more than parroting his words and reactions, which undermines it, and her. Frankly, the show did a much better job of Kochanski in series seven and eight, and I suspect that was mostly down to Chloe Annett.

If it seems I'm being harsh, it's because I know Doug Naylor's a better writer than this, and I'm frustrated in knowing how much better this could have been. It's good, but...
Profile Image for David Robert Bloomer.
134 reviews1 follower
November 10, 2022
The last Red Dwarf book is re-read many years after the first time. Was it any good? Did it conclude the plot lines of the previous 3 books? Let's find out.

This book is in no a continuation of the book Backwards, so if you are going to read that trilogy this book is unnecessary. It's more of a parallel tale rather than a continuation of Backwards.This book starts with the main crew coming from a Backward universe but it is different to the book of the same name. It seems to be a different take from the conclusion of Better Than Life, where none of their adventures in the Backwards universe is delved into at all. It seems to be explained as a different Red Dwarf crew, a parallel universe of the crew that are in Backwards. That was a longer explanation than I intended but this is the fourth book, so you may expect something you're not going to get.

Is it any good? Like the other 3 books it does borrow quite liberally from the tv series. You can spot the quotes from the show quite easily if you're a fan of the show. Which can be odd sometimes when it is different characters speaking the lines. It does have a strong plot line though and has a lot of new takes on things from the show. Such as Gelfs that could never have been realised in the tv show budget. Also we get an explanation of where the Gelfs, simulants and other life forms that inhabit the Red Dwarf universe, which I found really interesting.

It is a very enjoyable read and does feel like a proper book; not just rehashed scenes from the show thrown together into a book. The main cast is swelled by the addition of Kochanski but thankfully she is still more like Clare Grogan rather than Chloe Annette's version. So we have a Scot more down to earth than the upper class swot of series 7 and 8. Which would have made those series better if they had used her.

The crew are in another dimension and have to save an alternative Lister who is incarcerated in a Matrix style prison. So begins the 4th book and it's a dam good read. Even familiar plot elements are used to bolster the main plot. I'd recommend this book highly. Even if you don't read the other previous books, you'll soon get the gist.
119 reviews2 followers
March 21, 2020
I have been a fan of Red Dwarf since it first came out in 1988. A truly brilliant show by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. I have seen all the episodes up to Season 11 so far and frankly feel that after Season 8 it started to fall a bit for me. Still a fan though.

I have also read the first two books Infinity Welcomes Careful Drives and Better Than Life and totally loved them. This book and Backwards were unknown to me until recently when I discovered that the first two are available in Audio and read by Chris Barrie. Needless to say, I picked both books up right away (albeit second hand as they appear to be out of print).

Last Human is written by Doug Naylor only and I feel the story falls short a bit in the "feel" department of Red Dwarf as a result. In the novel there are areas of dialogue and scenes taken from the show, albeit in different contexts I believe, which is ok but odd, at least for me. The story is interesting and somewhat darker at times then I care to read in a Red Dwarf story but all in all it turned out ok. Technically the writing style is very good and engaging and the story line is well written.

Overall, I would say this is my least favorite of the 3 Red Dwarf novels. I'd still recommend it to fans of Red Dwarf or anyone who wants an ok Sci-Fi book to read. Four stars.
Profile Image for Tom Sadira.
Author 7 books10 followers
January 24, 2019
Another masterful comedy-scifi novel, full of fun and adventure and weirdness.

This third book in the series focused more heavily on Kryten (android) and Rimmer (holographic entity) and did a fantastic job of developing their characters. Cat took a backseat, which was fine, and the author reintroduced Kriss Kochanski—Lister's long dead girlfriend, who was a perfect addition to their team.

The sci-fi elements were plentiful: mind prisons, instantaneous gene-editing, cross-dimensional evil twins, viruses that can terraform planets full of lava into paradise (or grant an organism "luck"), and of course, one of my favorites, the special "currency" the Gelf civilization valued above all others. ;)

Just like with the previous Red Dwarf books, the only bad thing about this one is that it had to end!

Profile Image for Christopher.
587 reviews
March 14, 2018
Yeah, I should have read these in order. I think that while part of my problem was the story itself and plotholes that several other reviewers have noted, I was also put off by the narrator. He made Lister sound like a complete arse, Cat was a non-player, Rimmer was a bigger wuss than before, and Kryten was...well, he was about the same, I guess.

I didn't like how Kryten turned himself into a human and then decided that he could upload a computer virus to himself and cause the giant tornado to crash because it was...electrical? It doesn't work that way! And the broccoli vial? No one sprouted broccoli and it was specifically stated that it was the luck potion that made Other Lister take on the fury of the storm so...how did that vial help?

Ugh.
Profile Image for Anna.
25 reviews
May 3, 2019
I'm a big fan of the show, so I was able to imagine the characters' looks, voices, accents and mannerisms. I can't tell if the made the book better or worse. Maybe it raised my expectations too high. Or maybe it gave the jokes that little bit of extra humour they needed. Either way, I'm glad to be done with the book. The ending was trite, Cat seemed to be a boring cameo (despite being such an entertaining character in the show) and at least a quarter of the book could have been edited out by removing all the repetition and gratuitous explanations. Do I really need a whole page to explain what was already clear from a paragraph?
Profile Image for Elden.
137 reviews25 followers
September 3, 2021
If anyone else is like me and wondering why this and backwards are both book 3, it is because the two guys who wrote Red Dwarf went their separate ways. Then both wrote a continuation of the first two books.

It's hard for me to choose which was better between Last Human and Backwards. They each had their own merits, but they were definitely better when the authors wrote together.

I liked the drama this story had, but he definitely tried to make a bigger universe. I feel backwards was truer to the comedy of the show Red Dwarf, so I think that one slightly edges out this one.

It's still good, but it would have been better if they wrote it together.
33 reviews9 followers
January 8, 2017
Not as good as the previous two books in the series. The characters don't seem as fleshed out in this book, as if the author doesn't know them very well. In fact, at one stage it was written 'said Rimmer' when it was clearly something the Cat was saying. Just a typo but it sums up the feeling I got throughout the book. It wasn't bad, just not as good as I was hoping for after the first two books.
Profile Image for Danny Truscott.
33 reviews1 follower
April 1, 2018
Pretty awful, nowhere near as fun as the previous two. This one focused way too much on a bad story (something that wasn't exactly the strong point of the others), and included none of the stupid jokes or character building that we'd typically associate with Red Dwarf.

If you were to ask me in a year what the plot of the book is, I probably won't be able to recall. Completely forgettable, I'm quite disappointed given how much I enjoyed the first one.
Profile Image for Melany.
71 reviews
July 21, 2019
I really enjoyed the first two books, but this one had so many plot holes, even for science fiction, I just couldn’t deal with it. I mean, they land on a asteroid that has telephone poles and electricity? The inhabitants drive jeeps? “A rocket whined out of the barrel and sizzled across the penal colony before it exploded into the electric chain-link perimeter fence, shattering the concrete posts. “ Chain-link? Concrete? It just took me out of the story.
10 reviews
March 12, 2022
I enjoyed this book, but it was my least favourite of the red dwarf books so far. I found the first two very funny, but it felt like this was written in a slightly different style. There were a numbers of jokes which felt as if they were written as visual jokes, pulling you out of the world and the story.

I’m definitely going to read the first two again, but I’m not sure I’ll return to last human any time soon.
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