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Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John…
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Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas (edition 2012)

by John Scalzi, Scalzi

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2,3402402,689 (3.8)1 / 243
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Title:Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas
Authors:John Scalzi
Other authors:Scalzi
Info:Tor Books (2012), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
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Work details

Redshirts by John Scalzi

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English (237)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  English (240)
Showing 1-5 of 237 (next | show all)
SO MUCH FUN!!

It was silly but smart, too. And there's so much meta in there it made me LOL a lot. :) Seriously loved this book - wish I'd picked it up a lot sooner!! ( )
  cybercarotte | Nov 23, 2016 |
Redshirts by John Scalzi is a very highly recommended sci-fi spoof; I heart Redshirts with all the hearty heartness a heart can heart. (Borrowed from Scalzi) Why on earth did I wait so long to read Redshirts? There were several parts that left me laughing so hard I was gasping for breath with tears in my eyes. (The magic box, pants.... okay, let me get it back together again.) Redshirts deserved the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

It should be almost a given fact that anyone who would want to read Redshirts knows that if you wore a redshirt, you were a disposable character in the original Star Trek series.

"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, with the chance to serve on 'Away Missions' alongside the starship's famous senior officers." Immediately, Dahl notices that the experienced crew members avoid Captain Abernathy, science officer Q'eeng, and astrogator Kerensky, especially if their appearance has anything to do with finding members for an away mission. It is well known that every away mission involves a lethal confrontation with alien forces and at least one low-ranking crew member is invariably killed. Oddly enough, Captain Abernathy, Q'eeng, and Kerensky always survive. Although Kerensky is often wounded, he always recovers remarkably quickly.

The lower ranking crew members all know that in order to survive, you must not go on an away mission. Even more startling is what Dahl discovers through the ship's hermit, Jenkins. Once he and his trusted colleagues figure out what is really going on they need to devise a plan to stop it and save more redshirts from certain death.

The story of Dahl on the Intrepid is told in the first two-thirds of the novel. This is followed by three codas set in 2012 which finish the story.

I savored every part of this novel. Scalzi's writing is incredible. In Redshirts, he creates a hilarious parody of bad science fiction shows, but more importantly it highlights how bad science, lazy writers, inconsistent plots, and killing off characters just to keep the tension high can detrimentally affect a series and reflect adversely on the shows fans. Good writing, real science, developing characters beyond clichés of a type, and believable plots can make the same show even better. The codas pull it all together and give it depth - questioning what is real and what is fiction?

http://shetreadssoftly.blogspot.com/2016/11/redshirts.html
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1817964810 ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Nov 21, 2016 |
This was something of an amusing novel. Somewhere around page 160, the book felt like it had reached the end, yet obviously there were still more pages to go. Then it seemed like it was going to become even more meta, with Dahl realizing he was the protagonist ... and then that ended and instead we had three codas of the implications of fiction being real. Unfortunately, these didn't do it for me, and didn't seem to fit with the tone or content of the preceding story. They weren't bad, per se, but they didn't add anything for me either, instead just being another 60 pages of implications, regarding characters we hadn't spent as much time with. I'd rather have spent more time with Dahl, and built on his realization with another layer of universe (or anything interesting). ( )
  teknognome | Nov 14, 2016 |
(More in depth review forthcoming) It's like if JJ Abrams made Stranger than Fiction with a dash of The Princess Bride. Which, if you know me, you know those are all things I love. It sounds ridiculous, and Redshirts was surely ridiculous, but here's the thing: it worked. Somehow Scalzi was able to take all the most ridiculous parts of bad sci-fi and self-aware literature and make a frankly awesome book. ( )
  jlharmon | Nov 3, 2016 |
I could summarize the plot of this novel in a short paragraph, but I won’t because if I did, you won’t have the “Oh, that’s different” experiences I had reading it, and I quite enjoyed them. I wouldn’t want to ruin those for you.
At one level, this is obviously a parody of Star Trek, The Original Series, told from the perspective of the poor unfortunate crewmembers sent on away missions for the sole purpose of dying in interesting and dramatic ways to advance the plot. As such, it’s a hoot. It has aliens, space travel, split realities, and inexplicable tech stuff. It also has additional layers that make it more than a comic ride through the galaxy aboard the Universal Union Spaceship Intrepid. These layers provide depth and make this a solid, thought provoking read. But even with all the philosophical and existential brain-bending, it is still a lighthearted and charming book.
When I started reading this, it reminded me of the movie Galaxy Quest. Then it became more like Star Trek IV. Then it turned a corner and seemed a bit like the Thursday Next books (by Jasper Fforde) with maybe a touch of The Never Ending Story. (Yes, I confess to being something of a geek, but who else would be reading stuff like this?) My point is that there is more than one story being told here. It’s rather like a thought experiment in novel form. I loved it.
The story has interesting, likeable characters, witty dialogue, and a very Star Trek-like setting. But if you’re looking for a mindless action adventure with a few jokes, this isn’t for you. If you’re looking for a simple slapstick parody of Star Trek, this isn’t it. It is also nothing like Scalzi’s Old Man Goes to War books (which are also very good) or even Fuzzy Nation (also a winner for me). Scalzi continues to grow as a writer, and this book proves it. I won’t say it’s better than his other books, but it is definitely different. What I will say is that I thought it was so good I wish I wrote it.
( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Scalziprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hayden, Patrick NielsenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lutjen, PeterCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheaton, WilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
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.
Quotations
"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 . . .
“In other words, crew deaths are a feature, not a bug,” Cassaway said, dryly.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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