Redshirts

{4.5/5} “Dahl weaved through the trees, screaming for Q’eeng and Taylor. Some part of his brain wanted to know if he was running in the right direction; another part wanted to know why he wasn’t using his phone to contact Q’eeng. A third part reminded him that he had a pulse gun of his own, which might be effective against whatever was currently eating Cassaway and Mbeke. A fourth part of his brain was saying, This is the part where you run and scream a lot.

Dahl is an ensign has just been transferred to the starship Intrepid. The good news is the Intrepid is the flagship of the Universal Union. The bad news is that lowly ensigns on the Intrepid die at an alarming rate, particularly when they go on away missions. Eventually Dahl tracks down someone, hiding on the ship, who thinks he knows what’s really going on — they’re characters on a TV show.

Redshirts by John Scalzi was published in 2012.

In Star Trek (the original series) if you beamed down to a planet wearing a red shirt and you weren’t a regular cast member, there was a surprisingly high chance you would die on the away mission. Many people have noticed this, including Scalzi who’s a science fiction author.

The book pokes fun at Star Trek in an affectionate way, like the movie Galaxy Quest.

I’m generally a bit leery of stories that use metafictional devices such as characters interacting with their authors. But this one is done very well — i.e., it’s not confusing or boring.

This is a very funny and clever book. If you’re aware of the aforementioned situation with the red shirts, you’ll like it. Redshirts and ParaNorman (the movie I watched yesterday) are both funny, but Redshirts has a more interesting story.

I read and enjoyed Scalzi’s The Android’s Dream and I’m looking forward to reading more of his books.

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 7th, 2013 at 5:15 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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