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Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas (Hugo Award Winner - Best Novel) Hardcover – June 5, 2012
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Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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“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
About the Author
JOHN SCALZI is the author of several SF novels including the bestselling Old Man's War sequence, comprising Old Man's War, The Ghost Brigades, and the New York Times bestselling The Last Colony. He is a winner of science fiction's John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and he won the Hugo Award for Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded, a collection of essays from his popular blog Whatever. His latest novel, Fuzzy Nation, hit the New York Times bestseller list in its first week on sale. He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
A Scalzi protagonist is typically consistent between his novels: pun master, sarcastic, stubborn, and usually acts on behalf of the greater good. With Redshirts, all major characters felt like they were the same person because they all acted the same. Despite the novel's short length and that I read it in two days, I found myself getting confused with some of the main characters, not only because they all acted the same, but also because several names started with the same letter. Some disparity would have been appreciated.
I really had high hopes, and while Redshirts is a very quick and easy read, ultimately it is only mildly amusing. It does not feel like Scalzi put as much focus as he has with his other novels. Redshirts is a respectful nod to Star Trek, but it constantly separated itself from any Star Trek kind of atmosphere with the often unnecessary and excessive swearing. Despite that, I welcomed the absurdity of the story's twist, which handily added to the attempted humor of the story, but it is still that same story that ultimately fails to deliver. Compared to Scalzi's other works, it is pretty easy to recognize why Redshirts falls short with the story, characters and humor.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Did not know what to expect but this story and book certainly exceeded all of them.
At times laugh out loud funny and at other times quite
Thus book was super fun. I have been a star trek,star wars sci-fi fan for years and thought this is the kind of conversations the crews would have when faced with the... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
Really unique story, told from the viewpoints of the "expendable" characters. Lots of twists that surprised me.Published 6 days ago by C.Warhammer
There WAS stuff I liked about this book, but ultimately I think it's suffered from improper billing, both public and artistic. Read more
One of the best books I've ever read. The surprises keep coming and are delightful. A surprisingly thoughtful book full of wit and sentiment.Published 11 days ago by Shoitaan
WTF. Brilliant. Meta. Funny. Heartfelt. SF fan gone wild. Read and go live a better life with a good meaningful death. I mean it.Published 13 days ago by brian davison
So I'm a big big fan of Scalzi. I guess I should have noticed his name was bigger than the title of the book. His stuff has always been very original until now. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Darrin Adams