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Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas [Kindle Edition]

John Scalzi
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (868 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $9.01
You Save: $5.98 (40%)
Sold by: Macmillan

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Kindle Edition $9.01  
Hardcover $18.96  
Paperback $9.48  
MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged $8.99  
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Book Description

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 expendedon 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.

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


At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.



Editorial Reviews

Review

“John Scalzi sets his imagination to STUN and scores a direct hit. Read on and prosper.”
—Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box

“I can honestly say I can’t think of another book that ever made me laugh this much. Ever.”
—Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind

“Scalzi takes apart the whole Star Trek universe and puts it back together far more plausibly—and a lot funnier too.”
—Lev Grossman, New York Times bestselling author of The Magicians

“A real joy to read… It’s hard to imagine a reader who wouldn’t enjoy this one.”
Booklist, starred review

Review

“Gripping… A perfectly executed plot clicks its way to a stunningcourtroom showdown in a cathartic finish.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Fuzzy Nation

“ In a genre flooded with bloated epics, it’s a real pleasure toread a story like this, as compactly and directly told as a punchto the stomach.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review, on Fuzzy Nation

“ If Stephen King were to try his hand at science fiction, he’d belucky to be half as entertaining as John Scalzi.”
—Dallas Morning News on The Ghost Brigades

“ Scalzi’s captivating blend of offworld adventure and political intrigue remains consistently engaging.” —Booklist on The Last Colony

Product Details

  • File Size: 449 KB
  • Print Length: 318 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0765316994
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (June 5, 2012)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0079XPUOW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,129 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
236 of 262 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A cute idea that struggles to sustain a novel July 22, 2012
Format:Hardcover
"Redshirts" is founded on a fairly clever conceit. Anyone even vaguely familiar with the original "Star Trek" television series is surely aware of the disposable crew members who were slaughtered in sordid ways when the Enterprise visited strange, new worlds. They were frequently ranked "ensign" and clad in red shirts. In each episode, the viewer could reliably predict the fate of the "away team" members, often by shirt color alone. Scalzi affectionately lampoons this and various other conventions of the sci-fi television series.

In his novel, new crew members aboard the Universal Union flagship Intrepid recognize some alarming patterns, not the least of which is that those of their ilk don't tend to live long... or prosper (sorry!). They slowly discern that there's a "Narrative" dictating the outcomes of their missions. While the more senior crew members have adapted by avoiding recognition and staying off the proverbial radar, the new crew members decide to challenge the "Narrative".

While Star Trek provides fertile ground for this type of satirical treatment, there really isn't enough substance for a novel. The primary narrative of "Redshirts" is only 231 pages, but that's at least a third longer than necessary given the story. The plotting is uncomplicated and straightforward despite the metafictional elements which Scalzi, to his credit, took a bit farther than expected. Characterization, another good potential use of space, was nonexistent. This wasn't a clever metaphor on Scalzi's part (i.e., symbolic that "redshirts" aren't fully-fleshed out characters in the series) but because, rightly or wrongly, he chose to focus on the ideas underpinning the story instead of character-building.
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104 of 129 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as clever as it thinks it is August 14, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Set on a bad 21st century rip-off of Star Trek, the young ensigns aboard the starship Intrepid discover that their ship has an astonishing turnover of junior officers. They soon set out to investigate why so many of their shipmates are destined to die, while the senior officers (and one dashing young lieutenant) survive unscathed. The answer leads to a breaching of the fourth wall and a quest that draws its cues from a certain Star Trek cliche that I won't reveal here.

There were two ways John Scalzi's Redshirts could have gone: 1) it could have been a brilliant and clever deconstruction of the plot contrivances of Star Trek; 2) it could have been a one-note satire, too smug and self-satisfied for its own good. Unfortunately, Redshirts takes path #2.

I really wanted to like the novel (and three codas) -- in the hands of a stronger writer, this idea could have become a multilayered satire, but Scalzi is unfortunately not up to the task. Instead, the Star Trek jokes are obvious, and the pseudo-Trek universe of the Intrepid is significantly less inspired than the film Galaxy Quest, to which the novel has more than a passing similarity. Unlike Galaxy Quest, which was a loving send-up of Star Trek (and indeed is more entertaining than the Next Generation films), Redshirts seems at times to have a smug contempt for the source material. It focuses on the bad science and plot problems of Trek, rather than the sociopolitical commentary and iconic characters that made Trek great.

In many ways, Redshirts feels like something Scalzi wrote for fun and never intended to publish. It lacks the creative heft of much of his other work and is probably not worth purchasing at full price. It's not terrible, but it's not worth the brief amount of time it takes to read it.
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39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it, but your mileage may vary October 21, 2012
By Ryan
Format:Hardcover
Redshirts by John Scalzi tells the story of the support crew onboard the Universal Union Capital Ship, Intrepid, and all the perils they face on a daily basis. I've been sitting on this review for a while, partly because I've not had much time to write but mostly because it has taken me a long time to come up with the right words for it. I'm a relative newcomer to Scalzi, having heard lots about him and his various sci-fi works but having never sat down and read anything of his until Redshirts. My first impression - if his other work is anywhere near as good as Redshirts then I can see myself devouring the rest of his bibliography in no time at all.

The story follows Ensign Andrew Dahl, newly assigned as a junior scientist onboard the Intrepid, complete with red shirt. Almost immediately he notices something strange - the support crew are very good at hiding, the away missions have an obscene amount of fatalities, and the officers always seemed to survive the most horrific of injuries and are back up within days ready to face the next away mission. Dahl is determined to find out what is going wrong on this ship, before the next away mission becomes his last. This is a book that exploits the concept of the Redshirt, that guy on the away team in Star Trek that you knew was going to die because he was wearing a red shirt. It pokes fun at all those 70′s - 90′s sci-fi TV shows in a number of overt and subtle ways. Decks six through ten always suffer from explosive decompression during a fire fight, consoles on the bridge blow up in a shower of sparks every time the ship is hit by an energy weapon, you know, the little things that make sci-fi TV unique. Redshirts is a book that feels more like a tribute than a parody - I found the whole story heartwarming, and never condescending.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Audiobook: terrible narration, terrible dialogue writing.
I find the audiobook version to be terrible for two reasons:

1. Wil Wheaton's poor narration. Read more
Published 9 hours ago by Upright Ape
4.0 out of 5 stars Really? How cool is that!
I'm just so excited about the concept, I couldn't give it less than four stars. I mean who wouldn't love a book about life from the point of view of the red shirts! Read more
Published 1 day ago by M. J. Richmond
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A brilliant subversion of the genre.
Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun... Then gets DEEP.
The book started out like I expected. It was fun and fast. The last quarter of the book got .... deep and almost existential. A book well worth the time.
Published 2 days ago by dwest
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
pretty good little book.
Published 2 days ago by Matthew Charles Groves
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny Story, Tons of Swearing
The subject matter was very good and humorous and there were many times I found myself laughing outloud. However, I don't like profanity and the author likes the word f**k, a lot! Read more
Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Just read it
Wow. I can only repeat - - - read it, just read it, open up your mind and read it.
Published 3 days ago by Wayne
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, innovative foray into the meta...
People have talked about the Star Trek Red Shirt phenomenon for years, but only Scalzi could turn it into a novel. Nice concept, well executed, and a lot of fun to read.
Published 3 days ago by Philip Curl
3.0 out of 5 stars innovative and creative
Different, unusually creative, humorous and even poignant at times...and makes one contemplate possibilities...isn't that what Sci-Fi is supposed to do?
Published 4 days ago by James P Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars he loved it.
gift for father, he loved it.
Published 5 days ago by Greg L. Ingram
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More About the Author

John Scalzi writes books, which, considering where you're reading this, makes perfect sense. He's best known for writing science fiction, including the New York Times bestseller "Redshirts," which won the Hugo Award for Best Novel. He also writes non-fiction, on subjects ranging from personal finance to astronomy to film, was the Creative Consultant for the Stargate: Universe television series. He enjoys pie, as should all right thinking people. You can get to his blog by typing the word "Whatever" into Google. No, seriously, try it.

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Why are so many novels over-priced?
17.77USD for the rest of the world. This is an outrage. I'm really huge fan of Mr. Scalzi's work but his publisher's pricing policy is insulting.
Jun 18, 2012 by Merras |  See all 6 posts
Okay, this looks like fun.
Big fan of Scalzi, and I read the first 4 chapters (which were awesome). But I won't be buying this on kindle at the current price - I would rather buy the paperback... HOWEVER that's what the publishers want us to do, buy their precious paper instead of the e-copies... so I definitely won't be... Read More
Apr 22, 2012 by Lil one Loki |  See all 8 posts
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