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Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas [Hardcover]

John Scalzi
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 5 2012 Hugo Award Winner - Best Novel
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.

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Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas + Old Man's War
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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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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
By Dia
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Amazing tongue in cheek rendition of what happens to the "new" guys on away missions with their Captain who never gets killed.
It is a fantasy/science fiction genre/bender that will leave you wondering what is really going on if you are NOT familiar with the Star Trek TV series. Of course, they make no mention of that and there are some very strange anomalies occurring in the book and then one of the minor characters starts to get wise to what may be going on and starts to investigate with some of his pals and does a time travel thing back to this century. And then, and the book! I gave it 4 stars because the author did an absolutely excellent job of storytelling and would have given him 5 stars, but I personally, do not enjoy fantasy. I do enjoy sci fi so it gave me both and I recommend it for a one-night read.
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Format:Kindle Edition
I liked this book but consider it a bit of a missed opportunity. On the one hand, it was a fairly non-serious take on a beloved sci-fi genre. On the other hand, being a huge fan of the Trek and similar, it was also predictable and I felt I was too far above the materials to pull a lot of enjoyment out of it. Also, I'm not sure what is going on in that third act. Seems out of place. Not a ba read, but if you are looking for a deep space opera look elsewhere.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect June 20 2014
By jrs
I really loved this book up until the codas. They just didn't work for me. Not that they are inherintly bad, they just didn't fit with the story imho. But it is still a terrifically fun book to read. I got many good chuckles out of it and recommend it to Star Trek fans or anyone who likes a good spoof. It's the kind satire only a true fan can write; nasty, but loving.

I have a more detailed review here:
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3.0 out of 5 stars Tale of the redshirts Feb. 22 2014
Ah, redshirts. Any geek worth their salt knows about them -- random extras on "Star Trek" who die in almost every episode.

But what if the redshirts knew that their fates were coming, and tried to stop it by whatever means necessary? That's the idea behind "Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas," John Scalzi's affectionate lampooning of sci-fi TV. It's a light, fluffy novel that touches on some philosophical ideas, but nothing too serious.

In the 23rd century, Ensign Andrew Dahl is assigned to the Universal Union flagship Intrepid. It's a dream job for a xenobiologist, except that some of his new shipmates are acting a little strange.

And soon he finds out why: the Intrepid has an incredibly high mortality rate. The captain, science officer, engineer, doctor and the handsome if dim Lieutenant Kerensky are never permanently injured, but low-ranking officers inevitably die messy, violent deaths. There's also a magic "box" that generates the answer to impossible problems.

The widower of one "redshirt" has already figured out the answer -- a bizarre answer that calls into question the nature of reality itself. And with Dahl scheduled for an away mission, he and his fellow endangered officers will have to take drastic steps: go back in time to a parallel world, and find a way of stopping their problems in the 21st century.

"Redshirts" is a fun idea for a story -- what if the disposable extras became aware of their doomedness, and tried to prevent it? There's a lot of metafictional twists and some contemplation of what reality is, but it never gets too heavy. It's a pleasantly light sci-fi story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Dec 19 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Scalzi is brilliant! My boss suggested this book and, man, she was right on the money. I couldn't put it down. A must-read, for sure.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read the reviews before buying. I had to read this as a "Trekkie" came away loving it. Good blend of comedy, existentialism and joie de vie that made me read it all in one sitting. Thanks.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Redshirts started off as a comedy with a lot of potential - a brilliant sendup of Star Trek that looked like it would only get better by the page. Unfortunately, Scalzi went off on a sharp tangent and instead headed off into the final frontier of bizarre philosophy. By the end, the whole thing has devolved from comedy to melodrama to bad melodrama. On the plus side, I do have to admit that it is well-written bad melodrama.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Clever and Funny July 2 2013
By MartinH
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ah to be a red shirt... This is a short one but a good one. It was well written and had be laughing out loud, the real kind not that phony 'lol' stuff. It has made me want to look at what else John Scalzi's written.
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