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Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John…

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

by John Scalzi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,3993262,621 (3.76)1 / 360
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.
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English (323)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (326)
Showing 1-5 of 323 (next | show all)
Second Review:

First Review: Really fantastic and science fiction in its truest sense. This book isn't for everyone, but the more hardcore science fiction you are, the better.

There were parts that were quite odd, but that's what made this experience so great. This book was everything I hoped Cloud Atlas would have been. However, that book sucked and this book rocked.

This was my second Scalzi book and I'm a huge fan already. Can't wait to dig into some of his other words. ( )
  cgfaulknerog | May 28, 2020 |
I really enjoyed this novel. The problem is that this is not just a novel, but also three codas. (I think the codas would have been better off being published separately as short stories instead of being included with the novel. They're clever and enjoyable as shorts, but I finished with the novel 2 hours or so before the audiobook finished.) The novel section I would probably rate as 5 stars. With the codas, though, I'd rate the entire thing at 4 stars.

Minor spoilers follow (without the spoiler tag, because they are minor).

The novel manages to be a fun, witty romp through a badly written Star Trek rip-off universe without getting cheesy or boring. (The author makes this fun by acknowledging all of that. It is directly referenced several times in the story.) If you've seen the movie Galaxy Quest (one of my personal favorite films) then think about Laliari, the Thermian who came back to Earth and joined the reboot of the show. As far as she was aware, the fictional show was all real. Well, ALL of the characters in Redshirts are in her position at the start of the book. EVERYONE thinks that they are living in the real world, even though they are in a TV show.

If you're a Star Trek fan, you'll probably enjoy this. If you're a Galaxy Quest fan, you'll probably enjoy it more. If you want serious science, though... well, just remember how "real" the science usually is in science-fiction TV and movies, then make it worse than that on purpose, and you've got the science in this book. At least the science is bad on purpose here, and the characters recognize that. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | May 18, 2020 |
Scalzi has a good time poking fun at science fiction, sci-fi TV, and writing in this enjoyable meta satire. Weirdly, the story ended a hundred pages short of the back cover, and then we are given three pleasant but not entirely necessary codas. Still quite fine, especially for Star Trek fans. ( )
  villemezbrown | Apr 30, 2020 |
This book is clever, but not nearly as clever as it thinks it is. ( )
  dreamweaversunited | Apr 27, 2020 |
people die for the story line, until the characters fight back.
  Andrewfm | Apr 17, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 323 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Scalziprimary authorall editionscalculated
Getty ImagesPhotographersecondary authorsome 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 Wil 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 . . .
“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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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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