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Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John…

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas (edition 2012)

by John Scalzi, Scalzi

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2,2062302,943 (3.79)1 / 237
Title:Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas
Authors:John Scalzi
Other authors:Scalzi
Info:Tor Books (2012), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

Work details

Redshirts by John Scalzi

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Showing 1-5 of 227 (next | show all)
More intriguing than I expected, and more quirky in the way I normally can't get into. I'm pragmatic & logical, empathizing more with the Vulcan characters than with the humans. I mean, right there, I'm distracted at the inconsistency I just noticed - shouldn't the book reference Vulcans and Terrans, rather? And so I expected less quirkiness, just because that's what I hoped for.

Anyway, back on track with this review. This was not quite was expected, which was more of a simple homage to the expendable characters of ST:TOS that focused on their ship life and away missions. I did not realize how 'meta' it would be, to the whole ST world, with the codas and all. So, what I'm saying is, that even though it was (in a way) a bit of a disappointment, I'm still giving it 4 stars.

And, finally, I agree with the reviewers who said it's not quite funny in the same way the blurbs imply. It's witty, clever, even sometimes joyful, but not joke-a-minute funny. Thank goodness. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
You can read about my thoughts about this book here:
( )
  BuffyBarber | Jun 5, 2016 |
A fantastically funny story which was exactly as I hoped it would be. John Scalzi tears into the 'redshirts' trope with glee but also with affection; this is one of those rare books that had me with a permanent grin etched on my face throughout. It is very funny, and will appeal to anyone who has ever watched a film or TV show and noticed that the anonymous red-shirted extra always gets killed whilst the hero survives, that the stormtroopers never seem to be able to shoot straight, that the characters spout dialogue that is completely inorganic and seems only to exist to drive the plot forward; above all, that there are innumerable plot holes and faulty logic at play.

It is very quick and easy to read, well-paced and never indulgent or overly self-referential. In a rather peculiar way, it reminded me a bit of an Elmore Leonard novel: very dialogue- and plot-driven and not boring the reader with oodles of descriptive writing. Scalzi also respects his readers; he doesn't try to shoehorn a romantic arc in with Dahl and Maia as I had feared he would, and the book also has a lot of heart, particularly where Jenkins' wife and Nick the bartender are concerned.

People may be worried about the complexity of the meta angle, but have no fears. Scalzi deals with this quite ably - his clarity is helped by the fact that, as mentioned above, the book is primarily dialogue-driven. The three codas are not as bad as some other reviewers have suggested; I was dreading reaching the end as I thought they would ruin the book, but I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, the novel might have been better if it had ended before then, leaving the focus on the redshirts, but they fit in well with the overall story and they didn't detract from my enjoyment of the previous two-hundred or so pages.

Overall, Redshirts is a well-crafted book and exactly the sort of thing that appeals to me. It's not for everyone, but if you're looking at it and think it sounds interesting then I think you'll like it. I would say it's great for people who like TVTropes.org and watch Community, people who liked the affectionate sci-fi geekiness of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One and the meta-comedy of David Wong's two John Dies at the End books. I wouldn't go so far as to put it on quite the same level as those three books, but it holds a similar place in my heart. ( )
  MikeFutcher | Jun 3, 2016 |
Light. Witty.
Strangely evocative.
I found myself tearing up at the end, which is weird and somewhat out of character. I didn't laugh out loud, which I guess is what I was supposed to do.
Hence, 3 Stars.
But, Scalzi's writing style has developed over time into a powerful force.
He can narrate anything into an interesting, meaningful experience (i.e. this book). For this, I love the man.
( )
  apomonis | Jun 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 227 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Scalziprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hayden, Patrick NielsenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lutjen, PeterCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheaton, WilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Redshirts is dedicated to the following:

To Will Wheaton, whom I heart with all the hearty heartiness a heart can heart;

To Mykal Burns, my friend since the TRS-80 days at the Glendora Public Library;

And to Joe Mallozzi and Brad Wright, who took me to space with them.
First words
From the top of the large boulder he sat on, Ensign Tom Davis looked across the expanse of the cave toward Captain Lucius Abernathy, Science Officer Q'eeng and Chief Engineer Paul West perched on a second, larger boulder, and thought, Well, this sucks.
"Someone who knows that no matter what, you don't deal upward on the chain of command," Dahl said. The crewman grinned.
"I don't think luck had much to do with it."
"That's it? 'The Box'?" Dahl said.

"If it makes you feel better to think it's an experimental quantum-based computer with advanced inductive artificial intelligence capacity, whose design origins comes to us from an advanced but extinct race of warrior-engineers, then you can think about it that way," Collins said.

"Is that actually what it is?" Dahl asked.

"Sure," Collins said . . .
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Book description
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 even more thrilled to be assigned to the ship's xenobiology laboratory, with the chance to serve on "Away Missions" alongside the starship's famous senior officers.

Life couldn't be better... until Andrew begins to realize that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship's captain, its chief science officers, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) sadly, at least one low-ranked crew member is invariably killed.

Unsurprisingly, the savvier members belowdecks avoid Away Missions at all costs. 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.

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Enjoying his assignment with the xenobiology lab on board the prestigious Intrepid, ensign Andrew Dahl worries about casualties suffered by low-ranking officers during away missions before making a shocking discovery about the starship's actual purpose.… (more)

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