I read John Scalzi’s blog “Whatever“, so I’ve been aware of Redshirts for a good while. I bought it just after it was released, but it sat around on my Kindle for some time before I got around to reading it. I’m glad I didn’t wait even longer.
Title: Redshirts : a novel with three codas
Author: John Scalzi
Publisher: Tor Books
Originally published: 2012
Genre: Science fiction
The dice landed on: 5
Did I finish?: Yes
Do I like the cover?: Yes
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 thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.
Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.
Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. 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.
This was fun.
Having watched the odd episode of Star Trek probably makes it even funnier, but I think this book could work for anyone.The reason is that while it starts out as a parody of Star Trek it turns into a lot more as the book goes along and the young ensigns figure out what their role in the universe really are. Not to mention when they start trying to do something about being mere redshirts.