Book - 2012 | First edition.
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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, 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.

Old Man's War Series
#1 Old Man's War
#2 The Ghost Brigades
#3 The Last Colony
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#5 The Human Division
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Publisher: New York : Tom Doherty Associates, 2012.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780765316998
Branch Call Number: FIC Scalz
Characteristics: 317 pages


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Feb 27, 2018

This book was even lighter weight than most of Scalzi's (this is not a criticism), but it was quite often laugh out loud funny. The plot was a bit strained (one might say not as strained as the plot within the plot...), but it was a very pleasant, fast read.

Feb 25, 2018

I think that a book which lampoons the overall silliness of the old Star Trek TV shows is a brilliant idea. And the first half of this book was interesting enough (and even genuinely humourous at times), but the last half gets way too meta for my taste. Or maybe the last half is only funny if you're a science fiction writer named John Scalzi who writes screen plays for low-budget science fiction TV shows?

LesliePACL Jan 29, 2018

As a Star Trek fan, I really enjoyed this different point of view. It's one of those rare books that had me actually laughing out loud.

DPLSaraQT Jan 15, 2018

Well-known and well-loved for good reason. Scalzi creates a delightful romp through the tropes and silliness of nostalgic sci-fi. Even people (like me) who have not seen every Star Trek episode ever made will still appreciate the satire. Recommended for fans of Ready Player One and Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.

Nov 12, 2017

Great concept, but poor execution.

The story is fun, but the writing isn't great. As several have said, the story would be improved greatly without the three, awkward epilogues tacked on. The book would also benefit from a good, strong editor - awkward phrases like "they would magically part for him as he came close and close behind him as he walked past" really should have been caught.

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.

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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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