320 pages

English language

Published April 6, 2012 by Tor.

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5 stars (6 reviews)

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.

5 editions

Scalzi brings the snark

4 stars

I felt the need for a little Scalzi snark and this is the snarkiest of his novels. It delivered on that in spades along with the entertainment. I inhaled this in one sitting, and there were definite snorts and giggles as I went through it. Yes, its only 4 stars on the top line but that's because a reader needs to be in on the joke. You have to be into Star Trek etc for any of this to make sense. Quality Scalzi, can recommend.

Borgovian land worms!

4 stars

John Scalzi's dialog crackles with quick banter that makes his books worth reading:

Corey looked down and furrowed his brow. "Where are my pants?" he said. "We took them from you," Dahl said. "Why?" Corey said. "Because we need to talk to you," Dahl said. "You could do that without taking my pants," Corey said. "In a perfect world, yes," Dahl said.

-- John Scalzi, "Redshirts"

The only other Scalzi book I've read, Kiaju Preservation Society, let me down on plot—even when you remove the expected suspension of disbelief required of all sci-fi.

Fortunately, this book's plot holds up throughout the narrative.

The plot falls right out from the title. Think back to season one of "Star Trek: The Next Generation"—when the show was terrible. Think about all the nameless crew members who died on away missions. All those people had lives and families and worries. And their sad fate …

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  • Space warfare
  • Fiction