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Red Dwarf Books In Order

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Publication Order of Red Dwarf Books

Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Better than Life (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Last Human (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Backwards (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Red Dwarf book series is an entertaining science fiction comedy series from Grant Naylor, a pen name between authors Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. This series of books has become especially popular thanks to the long-running television series that the books are linked to.

The series is popular among fans for its whimsical comedy and for its strong focus on unique characters. It is also a popular series for how it often discusses points relating to free will, determinism and what will be done with humanity in the future as it continues to be at risk of eventual extinction.

The book series has particularly been influenced by the many episodes in the television series although each Red Dwarf book has its own unique series of points. These include many things that add to the characters and enhance their backstories. While the episodes of the series are often incorporated into these books, they allow people to learn more about the people they follow while making them think a little more about the fascinating worlds that they are exploring together.

Red Dwarf Characters

The Red Dwarf series focuses on a group of people on the titular mining spaceship. It focuses on Dave Lister, the last known human alive. He was kept in suspended animation for nearly three million years while a radiation leak occurred on the ship, killing everyone else onboard.

As he holds a desire to one day return to earth, he comes across many unique characters. These include Holly the onboard computer program, and Arnold Judas Rimmer, a former bunkmate who was revived as a hologram. A strange creature named Cat is also an important figure in the series. Cat is derived from a humanoid feline species that evolved from the pregnant cat that Dave had at the time of the radiation leak.

Many other characters appear through the Red Dwarf series as well. These include Kryten, a service droid, and Kristine, a simulated version of a woman that Dave once loved long ago.

The characters travel around the world and come across many other additional figures. Interestingly enough, the people on the Red Dwarf do not come across any aliens although there was one instance where they thought they were going to find them. It turned out that they just found a big garbage pod floating in space.

Red Dwarf Books

The 1989 book Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers is the first of the Red Dwarf books written by Naylor and Grant. This book goes into Dave and Arnold’s backstories as it focuses on their lives in the late twenty-first century. The book delves into understanding the lives that they lived and how they would often enjoy getting drunk on pub crawls. This eventually leads to them signing up to work on the Red Dwarf. This comes with an overall desire to travel around the universe and to do more things in life. The story looks into life for them before the radiation leak and also looks into what caused the leak to occur. Dave’s love life before the leak is also profiled in this book.

The 1990 book Better Than Life is another book that goes into the future on the Red Dwarf as Dave and the others on the ship travel out to Earth. This leads to an interesting alternate Earth where time runs backwards. However, while on Earth, the crew of the Red Dwarf finds that life on this planet is not as intriguing or relaxed as they might have thought it would be.

Last Human is a book from 1995 that Doug Naylor wrote. This features the people on the ship traveling out to a series of parallel universes. This is done with the goal of finding a viral strain that will grant whoever possesses it immortality.

Red Dwarf Adaptations

The most noteworthy adaptation of the Red Dwarf series comes from the BBC Two television series of the same name. This show ran from 1988 to 1993 and again from 1997 to 1999 with a revival having premiered in 2012. The program has run through more than ten series with more than 65 episodes. The series features Craig Charles as Dave, Danny John-Jules as Cat and Chris Barrie as Arnold.

The series has also been adapted into a radio drama and was brought to the United States in a short-lived American remake that even had Robert Llewellyn reprise his role as Kryten in that series. Doug Naylor has tried to get a feature-length movie off the ground as well although that has never garnered any traction.

Red Dwarf Awards

While the books in the Red Dwarf series have not necessarily gotten any awards, the television series that comes from the books has been heralded over the years. It has received a great amount of love from its fans over the years as it has been adapted into many series, a role playing game and much more.

The Red Dwarf series won a British Comedy Award from the BBC in 1994. It has also been honored for its visual effects by the Royal Television Society and even won an International Emmy in 1994.

Other Series of Interest

Fans who love the Red Dwarf series will be entertained by many other books that have especially been influential over the years. The most iconic example of books for fans to look for is Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy series. This series about a man who travels along the universe following the destruction of Earth has been released with several volumes over the years and has also been adapted into its own radio drama and short-run television series. The series even has its own official companion book written by Neil Gaiman.

The Stainless Steel Rat series from Harry Harrison is an especially entertaining science fiction series for fans to look forward to as well. The book series is about a young man who leaves his parents’ home and travels on an intergalactic pirate ship to various great planets in search of riches. However, his travels are not as peaceful as he hoped they would be as the lands he visits are challenging and often hostile.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Red Dwarf

3 Responses to “Red Dwarf”

  1. Dave Poole: 1 year ago

    The Red Dwarf TV series wasn’t based on the books.
    The books are besed on the TV series.
    I think that Rob Grant and Doug Naylor wanted to go more into the scientific theory behind the plots of episodes of the TV comedy series which are limited by their 30 minute run times.
    Ultimately Better than Life made a good, funny episode but I’m sure the writers wanted to go far deeper into the psychology of what became an excellent science fiction story in book form.

  2. Ken Kewn: 3 years ago


    I used to read stainless steel rat books years ago and loved them, can you let me know order of books please?




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