Redshirts Author:John Scalzi Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory. — Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on t... more »he fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.
Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.« less
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Redshirts is Scalzis homage to classic the Star Trek television series, where nameless extras, usually wearing red shirts, were routinely sacrificed on the altar of silly plot lines. You can imagine Scalzi thinking, as he watched one of these old shows, Wait a minute. Dont these guys realize that beaming down to a planet with the captain means their untimely death? And then running with the story of how a group of underlings deal with the absurdity that seems destined to come their way.
It winds up being an odd book. I liked it, I did. But the whole novel portion really does feel like a television show, light on the depth and quick to find a hackneyed solution to the problem posed at the start. Scalzi added three codas at the end which explore (relatively quickly) the ramifications of the core novel from the perspectives of other bit players in the narrative. And, interestingly, since these arent part of the television episode part of the book, they feel much deeper and connect much better to me, the reader.
Kind of proving that the core novel really *is* supposed to be mostly gloss and sillyness.
If youre in the mood for goofy, quick novels this is a good one.
This is a funny spoof of TV sci-fi shows where the minor characters, or extras on the ship, always die on missions while the senior officers manage to escape death. When Ensign Andy Dahl is assigned to the Intrepid, he quickly figures out that something is wrong when he notices his shipmates disappearing or getting very busy when a mission is on the horizon. When he discovers why this is happening, he finds himself in a sci-fi conundrum. The three codas at the end of the book provide some depth to the novel and some closure for a few characters. A nice unserious novel.
This is the second Scalzi book that I have read. The first was Fuzzy Nation which I enjoyed immensely. This book was also very enjoyable; it was funny and clever. Although I kind of wish it has ended before we got to the Codas. Still it was an entertaining read.
I read this on audiobook and really really enjoyed it. It's read by Will Wheaton, who does an excellent job reading audiobooks.
In the future the Intrepid is the flagship of the Universal Union and it is an honor to be assigned to it. So thinks Ensign Andrew Dahl until he starts to notice strange things...like the strange way the officers talk at times, like the high body count on away missions, and like how he does and says things he normally wouldnt on away missions.... When Dahl and his friends start looking into things more deeply they find that things on the Intrepid are very very wrong.
This is a hard book to review without spoilers, but I will try my best. Lets just say its a very tongue in cheek type of funny story. Its full of mystery, gorey sci-fi action scenes, strange coincidences, and a bit of time travel.
The characters are all quirky and interesting. Although this isnt a character driven story, they are there mainly to unravel the mystery of Intrepid.
The whole craziness around time travel and predestined fates gets a bit confusing towards the end of the book, but Scalzi approaches it all with a sense of humor that makes it more believable.
My only complaint is that I kind of wished the book would have stopped before it got to the Codas, I think they detracted from the story. The three Codas basically tell the impact of the Intrepids story on three characters that get involved from our time and world. They were kind of interesting, but didnt add to the story a whole lot.
In the end exactly how and why things happened how they did on the Intrepid was a bit ambiguous and confusing, but it was still pretty hilarious.
Overall this was an entertaining read. If you enjoy parodies and over-the-top humorous science fiction you will enjoy this book. It was pretty hilarious and entertaining to read. The story didnt always make complete sense and was a bit ambiguous at times, but Scalzi kind of makes fun of this so it works for this book. Recommended if you are a fan of humorous sci-fi or if you are a fan of Scalzis previous books.