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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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2,0952203,148 (3.79)1 / 233
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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English (216)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (219)
Showing 1-5 of 216 (next | show all)
Redshirts is a comedic science fiction novel that riffs off the premise of the disposable “redshirt” characters from TV shows such as Star Trek. Ensign Andrew Dahl has just joined the crew of the starship Intrepid, and he’s noticed that something strange is going on. Every Away Mission involves fatalities… but a certain subset of officers will always survive while a low ranking crew member dies. The Intrepid‘s crew have thus developed an elaborate system of avoiding these officers and the Away Missions at all costs. Then Dahl finds out something that offers him and his friends a chance of survival…

“Ensign Davis thought, Screw this, I want to live, and swerved to avoid the land worms. But then he tripped and one of the land worms ate his face and he died anyway.”

Redshirts was a lot of fun to read. The writing is delightful, and the jokes are hilarious. Even though I haven’t seen much of Star Trek, I still really enjoyed it. Part of what makes it so appealing is the super meta aspect to it. What would happen if you took the narrative devices and have the characters realize what’s going on?

My main problem with Red Shirts was that I found the characterization thin. At most, each character had one or two defining personality traits. Some seemed to lack even that. In terms of female characters, there was only one who had any impact on the plot.

Taking up a substantial amount of page time are three codas, located at the end of the book. They are all extraneous material and frankly not worth the time.

Redshirts doesn’t have a lot of depth to it, but I still found it worth a laugh. If you’re looking for some humor to lighten up your day, it’s a book I’d recommend.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Feb 6, 2016 |
Really enjoyable and easy read with more meat than I expected for a book that takes on the "the ensign always dies on the away mission" trope of Star Trek et al. That said reading this following Zoo City made me feel like the material was a little light on. A good holiday read for any science fiction fans. ( )
  kale.dyer | Jan 30, 2016 |
Another book I was required to read for a workshop on Sci-Fi for my job. I did not like this book at all. It felt so disconnected and all over the place. I had a hard time following along. The story was not interesting at all and it seemed like the characters just rambled on and on about nothing. Would never have read this if it wasn't required. ( )
  Erika.D | Jan 28, 2016 |
This was an interesting (if not completely successful) cross between Philip K. Dick and Robert A. Heinlein. The questions that arise from the plot (What is real? Is there a reality behind what I perceive as real?) are pure Dick. The writing and characters (for better or worse) are closer to Heinlein and Asimov, and not necessarily the best of either. That said, I started this not expecting to read the whole thing and found myself turning virtual pages until I finished. It had some of the qualities of Golden Age science fiction that keeps me coming back. And I'll never watch science fiction TV shows in the same way again. Also, this won the Hugo Award, so obviously Scalzi has some enthusiastic fans. ( )
  bibleblaster | Jan 23, 2016 |
I found this book rather disappointing as my first Scalzi. It was a short story expanded just a little bit too far and the Codas probably weren't entirely necessary.
The premise behind the story focusses on something that Star Trek fans have always noticed--it was deadly to be a crew member in a red shirt who goes on an "away mission" with one of the heroes of the show.
In this universe, there is a space ship where the crew members notice similar inevitable conclustions continually playing out--they discover that they are doomed to enact ridiculous scenarios and die foolish deaths that only serve to enhance the narrative of the heroes of the ship--everyone else is basically an "extra" and doomed to die unless they can avoid away missions.
Quite funny, but the premise could have been condensed a bit more than it was. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 216 (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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