Book - 2013
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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, 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 a lethal confrontation with alien forces, 2) the ship's senior officers always survive these confrontations, and 3) sadly, at least one low-ranking crew member is invariably killed. Unsurprisingly, the savvier crew members below decks avoid Away Missions at all costs.

Then Andrew stumbles on information that 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.

Redshirts by John Scalzi is the winner of the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Old Man's War Series
#1 Old Man's War
#2 The Ghost Brigades
#3 The Last Colony
#4 Zoe's Tale
#5 The Human Division
#6 The End of All Things
Short fiction: "After the Coup"

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Publisher: New York : Tor, 2013, c2012
Edition: 1st trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780765334794
Branch Call Number: SF F SCA
Characteristics: 317 p. ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Red shirts


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Sep 02, 2017

Potentially interesting premise, executed more dully than I would have expected. Honestly, I can not fathom why so many commenters have given it more than 3 stars...perhaps the library's rating button is broken?

Aug 19, 2017

I wish I hadn't wasted my time reading this book in the hopes that it would improve!
Choppy sentences, a "cute" plot and no substance
The best line is on page 14-"But the worm ate his face and he died anyway.
One of the least interesting sci-fi books ever.

SCL_Justin Jul 26, 2017

So the joke in John Scalzi’s Redshirts is that in a Star Trek-like future a bunch of expendable crewmembers on a starship figure out that something is hinky about their incredible death rate. Anyone who goes on a mission with one of the bridge crew has a terribly low survival rate. The book is about some of these lower decks members figuring out what is going on and how to change the universe to improve their odds. Be warned: it gets kind of meta. (Normally I like that, but this didn’t set my brain/heart on fire.)

It was a decent enough book, but that may be because I’m enough of a Star Trek nerd to enjoy looking at the bizarre universe they live in and figuring out ways to rationalize it. It had some decent things to say about lazy storytelling and figuring out a better way to write. And it didn’t take very long to read. It wasn’t as funny as I’d hoped but I didn’t hate myself for taking a few hours out of my life with it.

Jul 21, 2017

Cheerfully spoofed television industry in general in breaking the fourth wall adventure. So producer went into near nervous breakdown & closure.

Mar 01, 2017

I loved this book. The author was a creative consultant on Stargate: Universe, and it shows through the extent of 'meta' story-lines in the book. The story itself is a humorous blend of 'Galaxy Quest', 'Star Trek: TOS' and 'The Never Ending Story'. The plot starts with the Ensign 'Red Shirts' questioning their lives as expendable, low ranking officers on the Universal Union's flagship. They also begin questioning the wacky physics, the high mortality rates, and the weekly catastrophes their ship continuously faces. Without spoiling, the last 1/5th of the book is the epilogue, and it's very different than the first 4/5's. If you are a fan of any of the Star Trek, Star Gate, Battlestar Galactica, or Babylon 5 series, you'll enjoy the heck out of this book.

Nov 01, 2016

Loved, loved, loved this book. The story was interesting, as were the characters, the style of writing was fast and snappy.

AL_ALYSONC Aug 02, 2016

Not just for Science Fiction readers! Very funny

Jul 26, 2016

Star Trek satire at its best. Lots of layers. Very meta. Funny.

dragonrabbit Feb 03, 2016

I enjoyed the humor and the breaking of the fourth wall that the author plays around with. However, the ending was a bit weak, and I was left wishing a better book had carried the ideas this book had.

Aug 20, 2015

Scalzi is well respected in the fantasy-science fiction world but this work, the first I’ve read of his, may not be his best. The convoluted, introspecting story is capped with three sections he calls codas. Without the latter, the story might rate three stars, but he definitely falls out of the airlock with those rambling, self-indulgent addenda.
On the assumption that the target audience for this genre is young adult, and indeed the young crew members are the objects of the story’s main problem, one nevertheless quickly tires of their expressions, many inexplicably the same as used today—400 years in the future. There are excessive attributions in two-person dialog, and (in my e-book version at least) there are both paragraph indentations and spaces between, which tend to fluff up the number of pages in the book.
However, some points about bad television science fiction are well made, and the thoughts about reality are worthy of consideration.

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Jul 26, 2016

In one hand I have a restraining order, and in the other I have a Taser. Which would you like to meet first?

Jul 26, 2016

"We've already established whoever is writing us is an asshole"

Dec 19, 2013

“Things are always exploding around him . . . Not a good sign for a chief engineer.”

Dec 19, 2013

You’ll notice that the Intrepid’s inertial dampeners don’t work as well in crisis situations . . . The ship could do hairpin turns and loop-de-loops any other time and you’d never notice. But whenever there’s a dramatic event, there goes your footing.


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PimaLib_KatherineB May 06, 2015

Hilarious story that goes in depth into the lives of the poor "Redshirt" crew members. Readers who are familiar with Star Trek can guess what happens!

Aug 19, 2012

The first third is a novel that spoofs StarTrek with a twist. The last third is supposed communications between several authors and screenwriters. Do yourself a favor, and stop when the story is done.

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JCLBrianB May 21, 2013

JCLBrianB thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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Dec 19, 2013

Coarse Language: some swearing and crude language, appropriate in context

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