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Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John…

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas (original 2012; edition 2013)

by John Scalzi

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1,5391534,773 (3.82)1 / 183
Title:Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas
Authors:John Scalzi
Info:Tor Books (2013), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:2013, Literary Lit (books in book)
Tags:spec fic, screen play, AD, 13 in 13

Work details

Redshirts by John Scalzi (2012)

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English (149)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (152)
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
I started reading this and I almost stopped fairly early on because I was worried that it was just going to poke fun at people I like. Well it turned out about how I feel about Galaxy Quest. Something I was worried about but came to really like in the end. The three short stories at the end of the book giving some closure to several characters were my favorite parts of the book. I will not be surprised to see it on the ballot next year for the Hugos even if it isn't a meaty story there is quite a bit in it to make you feel good. ( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jul 8, 2014 |
If you're a Star Trek fan then your imagination is already running with the title. This is a light hearted take from the viewpoint of the Red shirts. My only quibble are the codas. It almost lost a star simply for the codas alone. My advice is to read the first ending and skip the others. You were warned.
If you are not familiar with Star Trek ---- What are you doing with your life???!! Waste some hours by watching the entire series in one day or week. Do it NOW!! ( )
  revslick | Jun 29, 2014 |
John Scalzi has an affinity for the absurd, and this book takes absurdity to high levels. Scalzi has admitted that Redshirts was meant to be absurd and is based on the absurd pattern of an extra or smaller character wearing a red shirt in a Star Trek episode dying, while the main characters never die.

Having established that as the premise, Scalzi gives it an existential twist by having the characters realize they are, indeed characters, in a rather bad science fiction television show eerily similar to Star Trek. In the best tradition of science fiction television, the characters figure out a way to combat their impending doom by traveling to another dimension and confronting .... well, that would be telling.

The three codas add a more serious and sensitive layer to this tale of the redshirts who just wanted to live their own lives. ( )
  AuntieClio | Jun 28, 2014 |
I’ve read some of Scalzi’s work and while it is not some of my favorite science fiction, neither is it among the weakest of the genre. I purchased this book because the premise sounded intriguing, but must admit to be somewhat disappointed.


Essentially, the main characters in the story discover that they are actually fictional characters in an early 21st century science fiction television series modeled after Star Trek. As in Star Trek, while the “key” players (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scott) avoid death, there are always unfortunate “ensigns” on the “away team” that are considered expendable by the writers. Our protagonists are horrified to learn that they play the role of Redshirts, or expendable extras. Others on the crew have recognized this pattern and a culture of avoidance and nonsensical technology has developed on the Starship Intrepid as crew members go to great lengths to prevent assignment to away teams.

The newly assigned Redshirts come upon a way to address their seemingly hopeless situation which involves time travel and confrontation with the producers and writers of the television show.

Following the relatively short “main story”, which ends rather humorously, the author follows with three “codas”, or short stories that expound upon the original novel through vignettes focusing upon minor characters in the main story

The premise is cute and presents some interesting situations, but is just a little bit too silly to work for me. ( )
  santhony | Jun 23, 2014 |
Loved the ending of Chapter 23! Beautiful stuff.

I didn't know what to expect going into this book - what was to be a parody of the redshirt phenomenon on Star Trek (and is now optioned as a TV show... how meta.) The story went places I did not expect, and that's a good thing.

The characters discover they're playing out a television show, but even though they're redshirts I really felt for the characters.

Good stuff!

( )
  kevbayer | Jun 20, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 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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Average: (3.82)
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